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  • Writer's pictureRon McKeefery

IGCT Episode #279: Simon Taylor & Steve Nightingale "Smile In The Face of Adversity"


Simon Taylor – Simon originally hails from the UK but has lived all over the world. He started his coaching career in London, working in high performance tennis.

In 2011 he emigrated to Canada and became the Lead S&C Coach, and Director of Education, at Twist Performance in Vancouver. In this role Simon helped Twist to secure a successful  bid to provide performance and physiotherapy services to the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC).

Moving to Beijing in 2016 he worked with multiple national teams in the build up to the summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. This included the Chinese National Table Tennis Team who swept the board at the Olympics with a total of 4 gold and 2 silver medals. Simon also worked with many other successful athletes including gold medal winning weightlifter Shi Zhi Yong.

Following the 2016 Olympics Simon moved to winter sports and headed up the performance team for the Chinese Figure Skating federation and helped Sui Wenjing and Han Cong to Olympic silver, they narrowly missed out on gold by less than 0.5 points.

Having achieved success in both summer and winter sports Simon was invited by the COC to head up the new division called Team China. This new department overseas the provision of sports performance and rehabilitation services to all the national teams under the COC’s banner.

Steve Nightingale - Following his graduation from University of Bedfordshire in 2009, Steve started teaching in a college in the UK, whilst also working with a semi-professional rugby team, and running private training in an MMA gym. In 2012, following the completion of his Masters degree in Strength and Conditioning (at Middlesex University, London), he moved to South Essex College to continue teaching, and at the same time took on the role of Head of Strength and Conditioning for the English Ice Hockey Association. During this time, he published several papers in Journal of Strength and Conditioning, Strength and Conditioning Journal, and the UKSCA Professional Strength and Conditioning Journal, as well as providing S&C and sports science support to the professional ice hockey team Coventry Blaze.

In 2016, Steve was recruited by the Chinese Olympic Committee to work as the strength and conditioning coach for the female ice hockey program, and followed this with supporting the Chinese National Short Track Speed Skating team in the build up to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Following the Games, Steve was appointed as Assistant Director of Sports Performance Services of Team China, a Chinese Olympic Committee project designed to standardise and improve the provision of performance services to the Olympic sports teams. Steve is a council member on the NSCA Hockey Special Interest Group, and in 2018 he worked with Adam Douglas (York University/Hockey Canada) to contribute a chapter to the Routledge Handbook of Strength and Conditioning.


In This Episode We Discuss:

  • What experience in his journey impacted him the most, and Why.

  • Biggest mistake he has made and how he learned from it.

  • Misconceptions and truths about coaching in China.

  • Working within a different culture.

  • Program design for the Olympic Quad athlete.

  • Best piece of coaching advice he has ever received.

  • His favorite quote, Book/App/Website recommendation.

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