Mike Young, PhD
Director of Sports PerformanceIn his role as the Director of Sports Performance, Mike serves as the strength and speed coach and primary biomechanist for Athletic Lab. Mike brings the unique qualities of being a nationally recognized researcher, coach, and educator. His depth of knowledge and experience in the field of athletic development is evidenced by his stays at all three U.S. Olympic Training Centers as an athlete (Lake Placid), sport scientist (Colorado Springs & Chula Vista), and coach (Colorado Springs).
Mike has an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology, a Master of Science degree in Athletic Administration and a PhD in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Biomechanics. He has studied extensively in anatomy, physiology, sport psychology, motor learning, training theory and biomechanics. Mike has earned an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is a certified USA Weightlifting Club Coach, a Crossfit Level 1 Certified Trainer, is one of less than 20 USA Track & Field (USATF) Level 3 coaches in the country and has a USATF Level 2 certification in 3 event areas.
More than just education and experience however, Mike is a world-renowned expert in the field of speed development and conditioning for sport. He is well-versed in coaching the Olympic Lifts and creating specialized strength, speed and conditioning programs to help maximize the performance of any athlete. He has developed training plans for sports ranging from dragon boating, to soccer, to swimming and has helped prepare numerous players for the NFL combine, most notably Bradie James (Dallas Cowboys) and Super Bowl Champion Marquise Hill (New England Patriots) as well as MLB players such as Andres Torres. He served as the sport performance coach for the Carolina Railhawks for the 2010 and 2011 season where they were crowned NASL champions and NASL regular season champions. More recently, he has taken a position as the first team fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS. In the sport of Track & Field he coached or assisted multiple Olympians, National Champions, and Collegiate National Champions. Currently, Mike serves as the coach for the HPC Elite team, which is a team of internationally competitive track and field athletes that has placed over twenty athletes in national championships since its inception in 2008 and he has coached 5 national champions. Previously, Mike served as a jumps and multi-events coach at Ohio University where his athletes set 2 school records. Following OU, Mike moved to Baton Rouge where he mentored under legendary track and field coach, "Boo" Schexnayder for 4 years. While at LSU, Mike was on the staff of 6 National Championship teams. Following his time at LSU, Mike became the sprints and multi-events coach for Army Track & Field. In his short 3 years at Army, Mike's athletes rewrote the record books with 9 school records, 54 All-Time Top Ten performances, 24 Conference Championships, and achieved the three highest point totals ever recorded in a single event at the conference championship.
Mike is equally qualified as a sport scientist and educator. His research on sprinting, stretching, balance, and throwing activities have been published and presented in Regional, National and International journals and conferences. He has been the biomechanist for the United State's men and women shot putters since 2001. They are consistently ranked among the very best in the world and have won numerous World Championship and Olympic games medals. In 2010, Mike also took over as the biomechanist for the American high jumpers.
As an educator, Mike has been an instructor or professor at Ohio University, Louisiana State University and the University of North Carolina. He is one of the most sought after speakers in the country on athletic development. He has lectured for USA Speed Skating, the Chinese Olympic Coaches at the Beijing Sport University and the North Carolina Justice Academy where he regularly instructs on the Physical Preparedness for Law Enforcement Officers. He is a Level 1, 2, and 3 Instructor for USATF, and has served as the Director of Technology, Biomechanics Chairperson, Sport Science Chairperson and Vertical Jumps Chairperson for USATF's Coaches’ Education division. He is only one of two people to be a Level 3 instructor in three different event disciplines (sprints, throws, and jumps). In his role as a USATF Coaches Education instructor, Mike became the youngest Level 2 (at the age of 26) and Level 3 (at 28) instructor ever in the 30 year history of the program. He has also taught more Level 1 schools than anyone in the history of the program. More recently, he has taken over as the sport science chair and one of the lead instructor for the USTFCCCA's Coaching Academy. Additionally, Mike is also a prolific author, having written 2 book chapters, 2 books, and over 20 articles published in nationally distributed publications ranging from Maxim to Track Coach.
Andrew Allden, MS
Endurance SpecialistAndrew Allden is the head coach of the middle distance runner's on the HPC Elite team. He joins the HPC staff following a successful coaching career at the Division I level. From 1996-2001 Allden was the cross country and distance coach at the University of South Carolina. During his time there, the women's program recorded two indoor NCAA runner-up finishes (2000 and 2001) and placed in the top 10 in the outdoor championship five consecutive years. The team also won its first SEC title in 2000. Prior to working at South Carolina, Allden served as men's and women's cross country coach, recruiting coordinator and interim head track coach at Tulane University. While Allden served as interim head coach in 1995, the team set nine school records, had seven conference champions, 19 all-conference honors and one NCAA Top 10 finisher. Allden was named Louisiana Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1995. Allden was the men's distance coach for the U.S. men's track and field team at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary in 2004. He has served as both president (2001-2003) and vice president (1997-2001) of the Women's Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association. He also served on the U.S. Track Coaches Association Executive Committee from 2001-2003. Allden currently serves as men's long distance running chairman for NC USATF and elite athlete coordinator for the OBX (Outer Banks) marathon. Additionally, Allden is the director for many of USA Track & Field's most successful Level I Coaching Certification Schools. Allden is a 1986 graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., where he earned a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also has a master's in sport administration from the University of Georgia (1991).
Jared Porter, PhD
Skill Acquisition SpecialistJared's areas of specialization are practice schedules, skill acquisition, decision making and sports psychology. Jared is skilled in designing practice schedules to increase practice efficiency for both player and coach. In addition, he is also knowledgeable in the field of training and conditioning. Jared’s goal is to combine principles of training, motivation, teamwork, and coaching philosophy into a well-rounded program that will lead to a successful team. Jared has worked with a variety of coaches and athletes in the planning and implementation of programs to enhance coaching efficiency and player performance.
He has also lectured widely on various motor learning and practice related issues. Broadly speaking, Jared’s research focuses on the contextual interference effect and how contextual interference influences motor skill learning, specifically applied motor skills. His current research investigates how gradually increasing contextual interference enhances performance both during practice and on later tests. He has developed a line of research suggesting low amounts of contextual interference are beneficial for novices early in practice while higher amounts of contextual interference are beneficial for skilled performers later in practice.
More specifically, his research suggests that as a learner becomes more skilled it is beneficial to systematically increase the amount of contextual interference in practice. His research has been presented both nationally and internationally. Jared completed his Ph.D. in Motor Learning with a minor in Cognitive Psychology in 2008 from LSU.
Mianfang Ruan, PhD
Motion Analysis SpecialistMianfang is one of the lead researchers for HPC. Prior to coming to HPC, Mianfang served as a sports biomechanist at the Shanghai Sports Institute in China. Mianfang is an expert in analyzing human movement. From live data collection to lab experiments, Mianfang can collect and interpret data from a wide variety of human movements. Mianfang is also highly knowledgeable in muscle mechanics and has used this knowledge to improve performance in a variety of activities.
Mianfang's goal is to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners and to combine the principles of biomechanics and the latest intervention technology into a comprehensive human performance enhancement solution. His research has been presented at the national and international level. Ruan earned his PhD in Biomechanics in 2007 from LSU.
Jason Winchester, PhD
Exercise Physiologist / Performance SpecialistJason’s area of expertise is in understanding the physiological and mechanical demands of training for elite performance. This understanding of the integration between human physiology and biomechanics allows him to optimize training programs for HPC clients. In recent years, Jason’s research in human performance has been published nationally and internationally in multiple peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at conferences of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). His research has also been presented internationally at the Commonwealth Games International Sports Conference in Melbourne Australia.
Jason earned his undergraduate degree in Health and Exercise and his Master of Science degree in Human Performance where he worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and performed research on elite and sub-elite athletes in the Musculoskeletal Research Center, a facility dedicated to understanding the biomechanical and physiological demands of human performance. Currently, Jason completed his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology with a minor in Biomechanics at Louisiana State University. At LSU, Jason was the primary instructor for academic courses titled ‘Scientific Basis of Exercise’ and ‘Exercise Testing and Prescription’. Jason is currently a professor at George Mason University.
In addition to teaching, Jason performs research on elite athletes in the Exercise Biochemistry Lab and worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the LSU Football Team. Jason is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA and has years of experience working with athletes in various sports, ages, and levels.