Im looking for advice on becoming a strength and conditioning coach. I am 21 years old with 3 of 4 years complete on a BA degree in Psychology with a minor in athletic coaching from Iowa State University. Although my undergrad degree is not ideal, I am very strongly interested in pursuing a Masters degree in a field related to S&C (Exercise Physiology?). I will be obtaining my coaching certificate here in the state of iowa in june, and will start coaching jr high/high school track and or football.
I'm trying to figure out what is the best path to take to becoming a collegiate level S&C coach (for football, or other). It is my understanding that the best way to get on the right track is to actually play football for a school and then jump into an internship with them and work my way up from there, however, I do not play football anymore. I am trying to get back on the right foot here and get involved in any schooling that I would need and getting as much experience as possible.
My goals? I want to coach football and/or track at the high school or collegiate level. I want to be involved in the strength and conditioning aspects of both. I would be happy with either career.
Any suggestions? Thanks
Re: S&C Coaching
The hardest part of this industry - is convincing others you can do the job. reasonEverybody knows somebody who is a trainer of some sorts. And, even though they are motivating, they Suck..... ie, they get no results. Getting results for yourself if one thing, getting results for somebody else is another Also, you could be the best Trainer in the world - if nobody knows, you wont do anything. This means marketing - and not sitting in-front of a computer, it means doing what everybody else doesnt (that's why they don't make any money) and that's to walk and talk the streets. Get the word out. (like those religious dudes) It can be the worst part of the job - but it will make or break you. Do it, and it'll make you, chicken out, and you'll take forever or it'll break you. (and you end up working some crummy job) That is unless you just want a JOB where you get paid $17hr and you compete against hundreds of others for the one position? Some of the best jobs go to BIG name superstars. You have to start somewhere. At 21 and not even doing the sport That's the other big point - why would people hire you if you don't even do the sport anymore and you're only 21? It's far too young to be sitting on the sidelines. Lead by example. FYI - i run my own P.T. studio, other trainers crash and burn all the time, because they cannot sell themselfs. Even one's ability to train and coach is effected by the ability to sell. Subtill words make a huge difference to getting someone the confidence to achieve.
Re: S&C Coaching
In the words of some top s&c coaches, don't. The system in place at the collegiate level for football, makes it nearly impossible to truly provide a quality training program to any team. You will constantly be in a battle with incompetent sport coaches. If you can deal with getting players after they have run a 20-30 suicides on the field, which you had no control over. Essentially, you will probably spend more time in the gym as physical therapist than a true professional training athletes for all aspects of their sport.
Now, being a track and field coach, would most likely be more fulfilling from a coaching prespective, as you tend to have complete autonomy over your athlete's training programs. In addition, you can actually have your training/coaching measuered by the results the athletes will obtain. I was in your position a few years ago. I dont want to completely push you away from a strength coach for a football team, but it is not as great of a position as you might think.
And yes, it makes things easier if you played somewhere. I walked on to a D1 Team, got an internship, then did another internship at a top school. Eventually, I realized I enjoyed training track more than football anyway. All of my intern friends, are still interning or in tiny assitant positions years later, spending their time rehabbing shoulder and knee injuries.
Just wanted to give you another view.
Re: S&C Coaching
My advice to you is be open minded to all types of training. Dont get me wrong any strength coach with half a brain will tell you dont even think about using certain programs, say like Crossfit. We all know it sucks. Another important aspect of this watered down industry is the who you know system. I'll be the 1st to admit I got my 1st pro job cause of who I know. But if you can learn from all who is willing to take the time to teach you. I was blessed enough get that while I was running track.
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