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Excelsior has had the privilege to work with many different individuals and organisations, from the recreational athlete to Olympians and World Champions. A few of our current and previous clients have been kind enough to leave their thoughts here.
Dan James – Paralympian:
During the build up to the Beijing Paralympics I was fortunate to be able to train with Excelsior. During this time James delivered a specific eleven month training block to me starting from base fitness up to more complex circuits and exercises. James would always take part in our sessions and this really helped motivate me, as we would push each other to achieve during the sessions. James was flexible around my shift work and would always answer any questions I had, however daft they sounded! James would give me homework fitness assignments and core exercises to do so when I was on my own during the week I had a structure. James’s attitude and professionalism were top class and he would always be reachable via the phone or email if I had any questions. Having James support enabled me to reach a level of fitness and sporting performance that I had never achieved before. I would recommend Excelsior’s name to any serious athlete looking to achieve their goals.
Exeter Chiefs Rugby Academy:
James was in sole charge of fitness related matters, organising and implementing training programmes… also provided players with mentoring and advice on nutritional needs. He varied the programmes and was keen to keep ideas fresh and designed activities suitable to help young rugby player’s progress. James was keen to put time into the thought process of his ideas and carry out to a very high standard.
University of Exeter:
James has been our lead strength and conditioning coach for the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) at the University of Exeter since the scheme’s inception. His attitude, professionalism and above all his drive and desire to help each sportsman and woman develop and reach their potential is exactly what we require.
James shows a real interest in each of his athletes and helps them to aspire to be as good as they can and ensures that no goals are unattainable.
The students relate well to James’ approach and the successes enjoyed by those athletes under his guidance have been impressive as they have been numerous. James continues to be a first class deliverer within the Exeter TASS programme.
I first worked with James in Devon Golf’s High Performance Group when I was 16. His attitude and enthusiasm towards training was the main reason I approached him whilst I was studying in the U.S.A to train with him again. He makes our sessions tough but enjoyable. He made me a personal plan and advice on nutrition to get me physically ready for the Ladies European Tour School and I really believe this is what took my game to the next level and keep me injury free.
He is a brilliant coach that gives you all the right feedback and support. I would definitely recommend him to anyone wanting to succeed in their sport.
Jess Bradley- European Tour Professional
For the past 2 years, as Head of Athletic Development, James has made a significant contribution to the development and understanding of athletic development among our sports programmes. With knowledge and passion, he has continually championed best practise in relation to the athletic development of young athletes, and been unstinting in the rigour of its delivery. As a coach, James has made a direct contribution to the development of several prominent individuals, as well as more broadly to our squads.
As well – and invaluably – James has committed time and energy to educating our community, through individual time with coaches, interaction with our PE department, and the development of resources. This has enabled us to impact on a wider group of athletes that one coach could ordinarily reach, and also to provide on-going learning. As James leaves us, this will perhaps be his legacy: our increased awareness of best practise supported by some tools for implementation.
Louise Helyer – Modern Pentathlete, Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist Epee:
I have been working with James since September 2009, with a history of becoming injured in winter months our main goal was to over come this and help my core/hip area to become more stable thus enabling me to run at my full potential. Not only have I made it through the winter months without gaining the usual knee injuries I have also improved my performance to currently become one of the top ranked athletes.
The one to one individual training I have received from Excelsior has been exceptional, training sessions have been adapted to suit my needs on a week to week basis, with short term goals established right from the beginning. As an athlete strength and conditioning is not my favourite thing in the world, but James’s enthusiasm have made sessions interesting and worthwhile with clear improvements already starting to appear.
Georgina Rozario: England Scrum Half:
I had the pleasure of having James as my first s&c coach when I was at University in Plymouth. I worked with him for 3 years and learnt everything I now know about training to the best of my ability.
When I first saw James I was identified as a talented rugby player but had various injury and illness problems to contend with. By the end of my time with him I had become an athlete and later received my first international cap against the U.S.A.
I have since gone on to get 20 caps for my country and hope to gain many more in the future. I owe a lot to James for my development as a player and still use many of his training techniques and stay in touch when I need advice.
James is very knowledgeable and takes a lot of pride in what he does.
The young athletes in the southwest are very lucky to have him as a coach!!
Robin Williams GB Footballer Paralympian:
I have been training with James for over four years now and firmly believe he has played a key role in my transformation as an athlete and therefore as a footballer.
It’s fair to say I was in poor condition in various aspects when we first met, however, James’ ability to focus on the most important things and eliminate the baggage from training has enabled me to develop rapidly, having missed selection for the 2009 European Championships I am now a regular in the starting lineup.
James has taught me that athletic training can take many forms, you need not be limited to massive amounts of running on treadmills, for example. James never fails to provide new challenges both in our sessions and in my training program, which makes the sessions interesting and enjoyable, whilst still achieving a good volume of high quality work.
In particular, James is able to make his points in a clear and concise way (a very important tool for a coach working with an athlete who is blind), which has lead to a vast improvement in my running speed and technique.
James Marshall is a master of his field. He knows how to turn a big audience hall into a small seminar setting, where he picks everyone up. One of the finest invited speakers DAASM has ever had the privilege to announce.
Dr. Dr. Homayun Gharavi
Founder & President of DAASM
“James worked with the Exeter and Taunton based Southwest Talent Centre scholarship athletes. He is deeply knowledgeable about strength and conditioning and has excelled at working with young athletes. His sessions are challenging and fun and he has succeeded in blending a group of athletes from a diverse range of sports into a cohesive training group.
James has grasped the nettle of long term athlete development and his athletes are reaping the benefits: to highlight just a few of the successes from his training group, two fencers have progressed onto the TASS programme and one has won a U23 world cup medal, while two athletes from athletics who were injury prone prior to their involvement with the Talent Centre have won English Schools Athletics Championship medals and titles. I have no hesitation recommending James.”
London Welsh RFC:
James has provided a wealth of experience and expertise to the Academy set up at London Welsh RFC in recent years. He has addressed both the physical and mental development of the players through innovative, player and position specific programmes which have resulted in each individual within the group developing towards their potential.
Sean Clifford- Point Guard:
I feel that training with South West Talent and James Marshall has been the best thing I’ve done for my basketball career so far.
It has greatly improved my overall athleticism which has been a real benefit to me when on court.
More importantly, however, the training has enabled me to continue playing whilst suffering from a back injury which has caused me real problems over a number of years.
It has made huge improvements more recently and I am
confident that I will be in good shape to play this coming season.
South WestFencing Hub:
Working with James has been a pleasure and education for all of the fencers and coaches, from beginner fencers and trainee fencers, up to international fencers and coaches with decades of experience.
We really appreciate James’ desire to challenge assumptions but simultaneously his ability to listen to both fencers and coaches on technical and tactical points. He manages to keep his sessions fresh and innovative without losing sight of our central goals.
His sessions are challenging and fun and his attention to detail is a tribute to his professionalism. Thank you.
Seb Baylis + Tom Baylis:
“James Marshall is now managing my two sons’ strength and conditioning training for a fourth consecutive year. From the very start, youngsters and parents alike have easily engaged with James’ professional approach and personable manner.
Now both semi-professional cyclists aged 20 and 18, between them they have achieved numerous successes in the National Junior Series, including two stage wins, a silver medal in the National Championships, and selection for team GB in the Junior World Series.
They have, and continue to benefit immensely from James’ particular style of personal training; their power and endurance has enabled them to compete at the highest level, and just as significant, they have remained injury free.
James’ sessions, whether personal or conducted in a group, are always highly focussed, yet enjoyable. James is adept at getting the absolute best from his students, and on several occasions his mentorship has extended to coping with some of the mental stresses facing the top level athlete. This latter, and vital part of the picture, can be hard to find in a tutor, but James appears to me to be a natural at gaining the aspiring sportsman’s confidence, to very positive effect.
We are, in short, most impressed by the value James has added to our sons’ sport, and hope he will be a part of their careers for years to come.”
Rugby Football League:
James’ knowledge of strength and conditioning has been a valuable resource that I have used to enhance the training programmes at 4 professional Rugby League clubs; Harlequins, St Helens, Whitehaven and Workington. He has had a positive impact on the performance of the athletes and added to the professional development of coaching staff
James has been my strength and conditioning coach since June 2009 and during this time he has provided me with constant support and helped me develop as an athlete, from Under 17 international level to senior international.
He is currently helping me with my transition from fencer to Modern Pentathlete.
Josh Steels: wheelchair tennis:
I started working with James 3 years ago via the TASS programme. When James first met me, physically I was nowhere the best I could be. Since working with James I have seen vast improvements in my fitness and strength which has been put into great use on court.
Each session is worked around making sure I am able to get the best quality training as well as catering for my chronic pain and fatigue levels.
On top of this James has always been happy to meet at facilities that are best for myself meaning I could fit training sessions in on route to tournaments or camps.
James is a fantastic strength and conditioning coach, I would definitely recommend Excelsior to any athlete looking to improve themselves. There is no doubt that James can help any athlete achieve the best that they can be.
I first met James at a South West Gymnastic conference and thought he was superb then, and still do!
James’ ability to adapt to different sports and levels is excellent, and he is superb at getting his message across to different ages of gymnasts.
He did a workshop at our club for our competitive gymnasts and it was superb, His work was of great value to a wide range of ages and levels, with a tremendous emphasis on posture and injury prevention.
We have been able to put his training methods into practice and are seeing an improvement in the all round strength and fitness of our gymnasts.
David Lloyd Tennis Academy:
James is much liked and respected by all the players both because of his wide knowledge of tennis specific fitness and his ability to communicate the content.
The access to expert advice on training and coaching in the STS has been extremely beneficial when guiding Helen (15) through different stages of her physical development.
Time is very precious and especially as busy parents of even busier teenagers, we need all the help we can get. As well as following the programme, it has been really useful to dip into certain topics as and when situations occur. Advice on how to prevent and counteract knee problems was certainly helpful when Helen started complaining that ‘her knees were hurting’ directly after competitions.
There is so much information, in a range of different media formats, its keeps you interested and motivated. We have not been as conscientious as we would have liked to be, in what turns out to be a joint parent/athlete venture, but the beauty of that is the programme is easy to follow and at your own pace, given all of the other constrains in the pot!
We would certainly recommend to others.
James has a huge breath and depth of knowledge on fitness issues. He is able to implement this knowledge into a practical course both making the task of fitness and conditioning both different and interesting from other fitness training that most are familiar with. He understands the safety issues when dealing with young adults strength and conditioning programmes. Programmes he sets are tailored to the individual needs of the group. There was a huge amount of progress made with some of these individuals in terms of their understanding of fitness and their own fitness levels.
Judith Hamer – GB Wheelchair Basketball, Paralympian:
I have worked with James for three years now. James’s attitude to training has changed my approach to my training session and sport making me more focussed and organised to get as much as I can out of each session.
The improvements I have made with my fitness, core and my psychological approach to training have been largely down to my sessions with James
College of St Mark and St John:
James is an excellent and experienced Strength and Conditioning Coach. He is able to draw on these experiences to adapt and meet each client’s specific needs. James is known for his engaging and dynamic style that has proved effective in producing results. Having worked with James, he is both organized and efficient. He also is an evidence based practitioner happy to engage in debate and take on new ideas. James rightly demands high standards and a good work ethic which reflects his own contribution to each situation
James has been training the top performance players in the county and has proved a great success. The sessions are well organised and the feedback and the programmes given to the players are excellent.
David Ardley- triathlete:
I had the pleasure (I think !) of working with James for a year or so focused on getting my Triathlon times down. Its amazing what was achieved in the space of an hour before work. What stood out for me is the constant variation of exercises and his ability to set the
difficulties levels just right.
His sense of humour and competitive spirit always helped when my energy levels were not quite
there. I can attribute his structured training to my eventual success competing in the World Triathlon championships (age group) in Hamburg.
Paul Mitchell Golf Academy:
With twenty plus years golf coaching experience working with all levels of golfer, I have sought after specific physical training for my more elite players. In this quest, I have worked alongside trainers who have worked with the very best golfers in the world. I can hand on heart say that James is the best Physical Trainer I have ever had the pleasure to work with and I can guarantee that he’ll have a hugely positive influence on your game.
James is much liked and respected by all the players both because of his wide knowledge of tennis specific fitness and his ability to communicate the content.