Monday, September 17, 2012
How to Become A Great Strength Coach
Athletic performance coaches are a hot commodity in the sports industry today mainly because this particular type of coach specializes in the development of sport training that will turn a team from good to great. As high schools and universities buy into and understand the importance of proper training for sport, it becomes more crucial for Strength & Conditioning coaches to enhance their knowledge through certifications, experience, and research.
One path that can be taken in order to advance in the athletic performance profession, as mentioned before, is to become certified. According to Schultz (2005), 86.3% of the employers surveyed agreed that earning the National Strength & Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential or the Strength & Conditioning Collegiate Coaches Association (SCCC) certificate greatly increases the individual’s chances of being hired. These certifications demonstrate professionalism, commitment, and integrity that will separate you from competition.
As an aspiring strength and conditioning coach, you should strive to become an intern and work toward a graduate assistant position at the university of your choice. As an intern, this is where you show your head coach how dedicated and committed you are to wanting to be in a higher position. You will be laboring at an intensive pace, work long hours and learn at the same time throughout your internship; however, in the end it will pay off if you go above and beyond to impress your head coach. The graduate assistant job should be your next goal. At this point you should have a developed resume, program designs, coaching and training philosophies plus whatever you feel will highlight your skills and talents as compared to other potential competitors. Having internships and Graduate Assistantships are all a part of your professional experience that will help you become a great strength coach.
Another way to refine your athletic performance skills is to research other athletic performance programs and learn about other coach’s philosophies regarding their athletes. Kim Pinske, assistant strength and conditioning coach at the United States Air Force Academy stated, “I believe that the most effective way to advance your knowledge and ability as a coach and educator is to visit and observe other programs and to communicate with other practitioners. Today, when I find myself busy with the daily routine and grind, I remember the time and patience that other coaches gave to me when I am put in the position to reciprocate with younger professionals” (Greener, Peterson & Pinske, 2012). In addition to this statement, it is essential to keep in good contact with the coaches that you meet and learn from, because in the future they could potentially need someone to hire. In the athletic performance profession, it is all about who you know --- networking is key.
Athletic performance is a growing profession that requires potential practitioners to always to study and stay up-to-date with the most current trends to in order to produce better athletes. For those wanting to become a Strength & Conditioning coach it is imperative that you take advantage of certifications and networking opportunities to enhance your awareness of the athletic performance industry. Stay informed to continue developing as a coach and to create better athletes.