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Building a Career as a Strength and Conditioning Coach: From University to Employment Careers in Sport and Exercise Science/Performance, Durham University, 9 th April 2008. Dave Cripps, BSc, MSc, CSCS Moseley Rugby Football Club. INTRODUCTION. What is a strength and conditioning coach?:
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Building a Career as a Strength and Conditioning Coach:From University to EmploymentCareers in Sport and Exercise Science/Performance, Durham University, 9th April 2008 Dave Cripps, BSc, MSc, CSCS Moseley Rugby Football Club
INTRODUCTION • What is a strength and conditioning coach?: Someone who bridges the gap between sport science theory and applied coaching to provide support to athletes and teams. Implement a structure to develop individuals physiologically and physically using a sport specific approach, to promote optimal sport performance • Who employs them? • - Professional sports clubs • - National governing bodies • - Private companies
WHAT DO I DO? • Team training – Warm up/cool down, conditioning drills, fluids, monitor • Matchday – Warm up/cool down, • fluids, oversee, assist! • Strength training – Implement individualised programmes • and coach • Nutrition – Implement individualised programmes • Monitoring – Track changes in body composition, • strength training loads and fitness
My other relevant experiences: • Strength and conditioning support to elite and amateur: rugby referees, university scholar athletes, junior tennis players, rugby players, football players, track athletes and triathletes • Visits to a number of professional sports clubs and organisations to spend time with coaches and athletes • Physiological support to elite and amateur athletes: rugby, swimming, track and field, triathlon and basketball players • General coaching experience in schools and at sport clubs • My key qualifications: • BSc (hons) Sport Science and MSc Exercise Physiology • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS (QUALIFICATIONS)? Essential Desirable Undergraduate degree in related sport science disciplines (usually minimum 2:1) HSE approved full first aid certificate NSCA CSCS or UKSCA accreditation Postgraduate degree in related sport science disciplines (MSc, MPhil, PhD) Additional coaching awards (Governing body coaching awards Additional professional awards (BWLA and possibly BASES SE and accreditation)
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS (EXPERIENCE)? Essential Desirable 2-3 years experience of providing a range of strength and conditioning support to athletes and/or teams This should include work within different sports Working alongside coaches and other support staff Experience providing strength and conditioning support to elite/high performance athletes Including work with teams as well as individuals/small groups Work with national teams/ athletes • Experience of providing support during travel
WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU NEED TO BE? Personality: - Confident - Motivational - Innovative - Sociable Qualities: - Excellent communicator - Team player - Work under pressure - Problem solve Background: - Played competitive sports
MISCONCENPTIONS AND MISTAKES OF STUDENTS • A degree/degrees alone qualify you • There are no experience opportunities • Not appreciating the importance of applied coaching skills • Not gaining experience early enough • Not thinking about and looking into your career early enough
WHAT IS THE REALITY? • Voluntary basis • Covering your costs • Very frustrating • Very difficult to find any experience • Little help from current professionals HOWEVER… • Real opportunity to learn how to apply sport science • Development of skills and knowledge • Build contacts and network • Make a real difference and work with great people!
HOW DO I GAIN EXPERIENCE AND FIND WORK THEN? • Email and write to every strength and conditioning coach at a club/organisation within your travelling area • Enquire about internships at clubs/organisations, many are not advertised • Contact clubs/organisations/individuals who maybe interested in your services (local sports clubs and athletes) • Search the web (UKSport, BASES, UKSCA, EIS, Jobs.ac.uk, • clubs and organisations) • Network: attend conferences, keep in touch with contacts, get • your name known!
CONCLUSIONS • Submerge yourself in strength and conditioning, read key texts and the latest research, it’s a world away from university! • Start gaining experience ASAP! Its hard to find but be • determined and opportunities will open • Get a full first aid certificate and once prepared, book a place for • either an NSCA CSCS exam or begin UKSCA accreditation • Network, let as many people in the field know who you are! • Arrange visits and attend conferences, seminars and workshops
KEY ORGANISATIONS, WEBSITES AND AUTHORS • UKSport.gov.uk • BASES.org.uk (British Association of Sport and Exercise Science) • NSCA.lift.org (National Strength and Conditioning Association) • UKSCA.org.uk (Uk Strength and Conditioning Association) • Jobs.ac.uk • EIS2win.co.uk (English Institute of Sport) • PPonline.co.uk (Peal Performance Online) • Periodization Training for Sports (Bompa and Carrera,2003) • High Performance Sports Conditioning (Foran et al., 2001) • Supertraining (Mel Siff, 2003) • Any other texts/research by: Vern Gambetta, Mel Sif, Tudor Bompa, Vladimir Zatsiorsky, Gray Cook, Paul Gamble, Dan Baker, Tim Gabbett, Mark Kovacs and others