In the modern age, athletes cannot afford to solely rely on their natural ability for success. Ensuring that they are in tip-top fitness is vitally important. Many athletes who have brilliant natural ability but who lack fitness or work ethic end up not achieving their true potential.
It’s difficult for one to work on their own to ensure that their fitness is up to standard. This is where running partners or coaches come in handy. Participating in a fitness activity such as marathon training can have great benefits when done with a partner or a coach.
Fitness and running coaches spend hours on end doing exhaustive research on how individuals and athletes especially can optimize their fitness and thus performance.
It is advisable for athletes who are looking to compete better or run faster to consult a strength and conditioning coach if they have the means to do so.
Each athlete also has unique bodies and with their own unique strengths and weaknesses and so strength and conditioning programs have to be specially developed to cater for them.
“Strength and conditioning training involves a wide range of exercises developed to build a variety of skills with a focus on mind, mobility, stability, strength, endurance, power, speed, agility and performance” according to Altafitness.au.
Strength and conditioning coaches have two main goals that they strive to achieve. The first is to maximize the performance of the athlete. The second is to reduce athletic injuries as well as strengthen body parts which may be prone to injury.
Strength and conditioning exercises have to be done consistently. A week or two of not doing it properly can severely impact the performance of an athlete. Unlike an athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coaches focus primarily on sporting performance rather than injury.
Personal coaching services also specifically focus on athletes who are competitive. Personal coaches are often employed by higher education institutions and professional sports teams.
It is essential that strength and conditioning coaches develop an in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations governing the sport which their subject/client is engaged in. This will help them to be specific in terms of better identifying mechanisms/practices which can improve the performance of the athlete or team which they are managing.
How can one become a strength and conditioning coach?
Are you perhaps considering a career in strength and conditioning? If you are athletic and enjoy sport then it could be the perfect opportunity for you. One can become a successful strength and conditioning coach by working hard and developing an interest in the field. The sports industry is currently booming and so the demand for strength and conditioning coaches is increasing.
The first step towards becoming a strength and conditioning coach is to get a qualification. Becoming a strength and conditioning coach for a school team or a semi-professional team will often just require a certificate from a reputable organization. On the other hand, working for a professional or high-profile team will often require a University degree or diploma in sports science or a related field.
Popular bachelor’s degrees options for those who become strength and fitness coaches include exercise science, kinesiology, athletic training, physical education, and exercise physiology.
Tyler Read from PTPioneer.com has created an in-depth analysis of suggested study options for those who want to become strength and conditioning coaches.
Strength and conditioning coaches with bachelor’s degrees are likely to earn higher salaries. You should also get adequate hands-on experience. To most people, experience trumps your University grades and degree.
Whilst you are studying towards gaining your qualification, you should volunteer your services for free to local sports teams or athletes or try and gain work experience by offering to assist someone who is experienced in the field.
You should also network as much as possible. Networking is a skill that is required in any job today. Enhancing one’s networking skills involves regularly aiming to improve one’s social skills. The fourth industrial revolution has made networking easier. You can now interact with others from within your field by using social networking apps such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
Like with almost every job these days, the most important thing you need to do in order to boost your popularity as a strength and conditioning coach builds your own personal brand. This is easier said than done but you have to always market yourself and make people know about what you are able to offer.
Building your own personal brand and being friendly to everyone that you interact with while in the field doing practical work will most likely lead to new opportunities if you work hard.
Some strength and conditioning coaches opt to work in the private sector. Some work in gyms whilst others open their own practices. In the modern-day, some strength and conditioning coaches can also work with athletes remotely.
The coaches can either opt to work in a specialized sports code or discipline or they can apply for jobs and wait to be assigned to particular duties.
Aerobic exercise prescriptions require strength and conditioning coaches to determine the type, duration, and frequency of each exercise. In resistance exercise prescription, these factors are already usually determined.
These days, a strength and conditioning coach is required for an elite athlete if they want to perform to the best of their abilities. There are minor things which if implemented can severely improve the performance of an athlete on the field. Moreover, there are minor things which if not corrected can be the difference between an athlete placing first or last.
Like any career, it takes hard work for a strength and fitness coach to achieve maximum potential but the most important thing should be a love for the job.
-By Tyler Read