T Nation

Strength Coach Questions


#1

I'm just starting to look into colleges, and choosing a major, so I figured I would do something I love for a living, so i'm looking into becoming a strength coach, a personal trainer, or even a phys-ed teacher. I was wondering if anoyone could recommend the best majors to take to become a strength coach. Thanks


#2

Physics


#3

A buddy of mine is in a similar situation. He's looking to focus on kinesiology, or applied anatomy. I think it was something like that. He also mentioned considering exercise science or some sort of human kinetics.

Don't forget, I'd consider your "real-world" education to be of equal or greater importance than that fancy book-learnin'. Find a friend you can experiment with (...no, not in "that" way) and try training him/her.


#4

Hi,
For which sports specifically? Nowadays, "functional" strength is specialized and would help if you competed in any event.

Strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer, PE teacher have slightly different educational and experience background but kinesiology and physiology would be a good place to start.

However, since you mentioned "strength coach" at the end, then I would go and speak with a good college football team's staff coaches. What I've discovered is that universities don't teach power or explosive movements in PE classes to students. You often get that training from being involved with football, possibly wresting, competitive weight lifters, track, gymnastics, and other power sports. Sports science is relatively new compared to Chemistry or Physics and is changing constantly. The National Strength and Conditioning Association might be helpful too. Anyways, good luck in your life and live it well.


#5

Physics is a good bonus. Human anatomy and applied kinesiology.


#6

How about Engineering - A friend of mine became a fitness equipment designer after graduating from Mechanical Engineering.

Geek boy


#7

Since you have an interest in Physical Education. You can major in Phy Ed and get a certification it in, and in the meantime do a concentration in Ex phys (which will also cover kinesiology, biomechanics, some cardiac rehab), and you could complete some electives in other areas like athletic training. This would give you a great base.


#8

Phys Ed would let you teach in HS and also be the strength coach. A liitle more job stability than if you were with a football team whose coach gets fired every 5 years.


#9

I'm almost in the same boat as you except im going from training to trying to get into strength coaching. First off what alot of individuals said holds true, namely your own research and experience have just as much to do as booksmarts and the program you take. Your degree/certifications will get you in the door but your training techniques will measure your success.


#10

I am a strength coach. Motivation is key to success. Getting your athletes to believe in what you are doing is the second step. But first, know your stuff. teaching a power clean and snatch is totally different than actually know how to do one. Some of the best strength coaches out there were competitve athletes that knew what worked and what didn't: look at the most recent article with cosgrove!

As for School stuff. I got my undergrad in Exercise Management. It was only a difference of 4 classes between exercise management and exercise phys, and since i want to run a facility some day, i liked the business aspect better. But you need to have an understanding of physiology and the know-how to doing exercises. You don't just do it to do it and follow the hot new trend like "functional" training. I laugh when i hear that term because I recently got out of personal training when everything we did was functional. Huh?? I asked my boss that since I don't do any of the bosu and phys ball stuff to that extent (I do some exercises), that i am not functional because I can overhead squat 225? He didn't answer that one.

In this order of importance: know your exercises and why you do them; know how to do them properly; know how to teach them; and be a motivator.

my 2.5 cents

also, i did grad work and was a grad asst. strength coach. I used the track throwers a lot as guinnie pigs in training because I used to be a collegiate thrower to. If you have a high level athlete and a purpose, you can sometimes get away with it. But don't just do it to do it


#11

[quote]clonewars2000 wrote:
. You don't just do it to do it and follow the hot new trend like "functional" training. I laugh when i hear that term because I recently got out of personal training when everything we did was functional. Huh?? I asked my boss that since I don't do any of the bosu and phys ball stuff to that extent (I do some exercises), that i am not functional because I can overhead squat 225? He didn't answer that one.

Pardon me but I always thought that Strongman exercises in additon to Oly/Power lifting were more "functional" than what you were describing. How interesting that you mentioned this.


#12

There are two areas in which to go here private coach (via your own business or existing franchise) or coach at a university/ professional team. In both cases, unless you have your own business, you are at the mercy of the company people who are often too stupid to know what actually works for athletes.

At the universities you are bound to what the football coaches want; at the frachises you are bound by the company rules. So, unless you plan on going along with the program and being a "Yes" man then I would seek another route.

Fortuantely, I work for a company that allows me to do as I wish. Here I am bound by nothing but my imagination and education. I have been with this company since I was 22 without ever finishing college and without any special bullsh** certification (I am in the midst of developing my own for upper level strength coaches who still compete. In other words you better practice what you preach or don't bother) . I have worked with the most elite professional, collegiate, and high school athletes in the chicagoland area. I am sure there are guys who post on this board regurlarly who can vouche.

P.S. All the information I learned that helped prepare for this was via the scientific and practical articles on internet sources. Most of which were found on this site. All college did was present me with bad information so I certainly learned what not to do!

Pete Arroyo
Chicago, IL


#13

Thank you for your responses, I figured that my own experiences would teach me more than going to school, but universities and businesses are probably going to want to see credentials, and some of the classes couldn't hurt. I've trained at Defranco's, and I learned so much from just working with them.


#14

If you want to be a strength coach at a university pick a division I school and volunteer in the weight room once you get there.

When applying for a collegiate job you will get graded upon your experience, degrees, certification, etc. Personal training is not experience. Sometimes it doesn't even matter what your degree was in as long as you have an undergrad and grad degree.

Participation in athletics is a plus. If you are not talented enough to play at a high level take up Oly lifting, powerlifting, strongman, Highland Games, etc. It is a plus, but not that important to everyone.


#15

First year of college will probably be all general education classes, right? I'd like to take a few classes that relate to what I want to evenutally major in (strength coach, phys ed, trainer, ect.) , like a Phys. Ed class or something. Anyone?


#16

I'd go with PE. There are more jobs available for PE teachers then strength coaches. After you graduate, get your CSCS from the NSCA.