The University of Manitoba Bison Athletic Development Program has announced an opportunity for any basketball player between the ages to train at the new Bison Strength and Conditioning room in the new Active Living Center on campus.  

What is it?
The University of Manitoba Bison Athletic Development Program is set up so that the athlete will participate in a four month block.  Athletes are encouraged to train year round in order to get maximum benefit.

Where does it take place?
Our program will take place in the University of Manitoba’s BRAND NEW State of the Art Bison Strength and Conditioning room in the new Active Living Center.

Which athletes would benefit from the program?
This program is open to ANY athlete, male or female between the ages of 12 and 18.  You do not need to be on a Junior Bison team to be a part of this program.  This age specific program will increase performance by developing competency of key movement skills like sprinting and jumping, decrease injuries by incorporating injury prevention training, and increase performance by developing strength and power. Athletes competing in volleyball, basketball, hockey, football, rugby, soccer as well any other sport that requires high levels of athleticism for success would greatly benefit from this program.

What is special about this program?

  • Expert Bison Sport Strength and Conditioning coaches working with the athletes.
  • No more than a 1 to 12 coach to athlete ratio.
  • A program that will progress each athlete to more challenging and effective exercises as they become physically capable of it.
  • Athletes will have custom programs to meet the needs of their sport & areas of individual physical need.
  • Regular testing to track progress with reports and debriefs available to participants and their parents.
  • The program is set up that the athlete will participate in four month blocks but athletes are encouraged to train year round in order to get maximum benefit.

What is the cost of the program?

How do I register?

Why is it important to be involved in long term physical training programs?
Fitness must be worked at all the times otherwise an athlete will detrain and lose all previous hard earned improvements.  Short term physical training programs are beneficial for temporarily improving performance but when training stops, performance begins to decline and worse yet; risk of injury goes back up.

Who will be training the athletes?
This program will be developed and administered by University of Manitoba Bison Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Shawn Preston, Cole Scheller, and the Bison Strength and Conditioning staff.

Shawn Preston has nearly 10 years of experience dealing with the Long Term Athlete Development process, and preparation of Elite International athletes. This list includes athletes that have competed in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics as members of the Canadian Snowboard team, Canadian Alpine Ski team, 2011 Rugby World Cup, 2014 Youth Olympics and Rugby Junior World Cup, as well preparing athletes with LTAD principles or for their professional competitive seasons in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, UFC, International combative sports seasons, and numerous NCAA division 1 and CIS scholarship athletes.

Recently Shawn has returned to Canada from his second visit to China where he was contracted to deliver strength and conditioning services to a group of selected high medal potential Chinese National Team athletes. The athletes he supported where competitive in the sports of Tae-Kwon-Do, Judo, and Boxing where he has had the opportunity to prepare 4 Chinese National Games Champions, and most recently the 6th ranked Taekwondo athlete in the world in her weight class.  Between contracts in China Shawn spent a year at the Canadian Sport Institute in Calgary contracting with the development of elite sport programs for U19 National team members of Rugby Canada Women’s National Team, carded members of Gymnastics Canada, as well as the Hockey Canada development program, and elite lacrosse clubs.

Shawn received his Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training at the University of Maine-Presque Isle and a Masters in Science Education with a focus of Athletic Training at Old Dominion University.  At ODU his research emphasis was focused on the use of functional movement and strength performance testing within Sports Medicine assessment. While studying at ODU he served as a Sports Medicine Graduate Assistant with Christopher Newport University working with the football, basketball, lacrosse, tennis and various other athletic teams and was a part of 6 Conference Championships and numerous trips to the NCAA Championships.

What if I have questions about the program or registration?
Shawn Preston, MSEd, CSCS, ATC
Strength and Conditioning Coach
University of Manitoba Bisons


The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Manitoba has an injury prevention study partnered with the College of Rehabilitation Sciences for.  The details from Assistant Professor Joanne Parsons can be found below...

My name is Joanne Parsons and I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Manitoba. I'm working with Shawn Preston, Head Bison Strength & Conditioning Coach on a research study looking at how a conditioning program can affect performance on some tests that may identify athletes at increased risk of injury. We are looking for athletes aged 12-16 years old who currently play organized sports, and wondered whether your athletes would be interested in participating in the study.

The Junior Bisons Strength and Conditioning program will be holding Open House events for athletes who are interested in undergoing some baseline fitness tests that assess speed, balance, core stability, power, and strength. That testing will take about 1.25 hours, at the Fort Garry campus. Parents can sign up their athletes for the Junior Bisons program after the Open House if they would like (with the associated monthly fee of $120-$180) but it is completely optional. We need athletes who do the Bisons program as well as those who just continue to do their regular sports activities to be in the study. Athletes will be re-tested at the end of the 4 month study period. We will ask that athletes report any injuries during this time.

At the end of the study we will compare the test results from the athletes who participated in the Junior Bisons Strength and Conditioning program and those who decided not to. We will also compare the number of injuries that the athletes suffered during that 4 month period.

Please keep in mind that participation in this study is completely voluntary and an individual decision for each athlete and parent. Participating in (or withdrawing from) this study will have no consequences for you or your athlete. You can still attend the Open House, and/or join the Junior Bison program, and not participate in the research study. If you'd be interested in volunteering for the study, or would like more information, please contact us at, or 204-787-1436. Best time to contact us by phone is Mondays and Wednesdays between 2:00 and 7:00 pm.

Joanne Parsons                                                                                            
Assistant Professor                                                                                   
Department of Physical Therapy                                                            
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Manitoba

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