Research Paper: Becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach

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Sports and Conditioning Coach

Becoming a Strength & Conditioning Coach

Becoming a strength and conditioning coach: An overview

People who are drawn to the profession of coaching, specifically the profession of a strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer, come from many different backgrounds. Some of them may have played sports in high school and college and want to make a living doing what they love. Others may have come to sports later in life, because of a desire to improve their own personal fitness. However, to succeed in the profession requires more than simply loving sports or working out: it requires in-depth scientific knowledge of kinesiology, sports, and nutrition.

The type of education required for a strength and conditioning coach depends on the type of coach the person desires to become. For example, if someone wants to become a personal trainer and work at a gym, he or she must usually pass some type of certification course. A variety of certifications are available, and most methods require taking an exam and some type of on-site course, as well as a high school diploma and certification in CPR. Focusing on the certifications required by the gyms at which the trainer desires to work, so long as they are accredited institutions, would be the best route to take in securing a job. Trainers can also work independently, and train private clients (Waehner 2011).

There are also full-length university degrees available in coaching and training, such as the University of Michigan's kinesiology program and Syracuse University's sports management program. These programs provide in-depth study of human anatomy and also the 'business' of sports. Degrees are available at most universities in physical education and many coaches double both as teachers and trainers at the junior and senior high school level.

The expense and the timeline of becoming a strength and conditioning coach will vary greatly upon the individual and the specific career path he or she selects in the profession. For someone seeking a degree in physical therapy, the duration of time could be as long as six years, combining graduate and undergraduate study. Getting certified as a personal trainer may take only a matter of months. But regardless of the individual's formal education, there is also a great deal of self-study involved. Someone who coaches others must try to remain in good physical condition him or herself. A coach for a specific sport or type of conditioning will likely have personal experience in the field, which would be used to 'sell' his or her services to others.

Pay for coaches can vary. At the low end of the spectrum, personal trainers are often employed on a per-diem basis by gyms for as low as $25 per hour, or they may charge more for private sessions (typically anywhere from $60-$100, but this may vary depending on the region, type of coaching, and qualifications possessed by the coach). Coaches at colleges and universities usually receive a salary with benefits, and enjoy an added degree of security that self-employed individuals lack. The pay of school coaches can also vary widely, based upon the nature of the institution and the affiliated team. Coaches from major, successful teams can earn six-figure salaries, while coaches for high school teams may earn the same amount as teachers, if they are also physical education teachers in addition to their coaching duties (of course, becoming a teacher requires additional certification as well). Like pay, vacation days and benefits will vary depending upon the situation. A self-employed trainer may get no benefits or unpaid vacation days, while a coach for a school will have a fairly regular schedule, based upon the semester, and the full benefits accorded to a full-time employee or faculty member.

Most coaches choose to pursue their profession for more than tangible rewards, however. They may enjoy motivating and inspiring people to excel at a particular sport, encouraging athletes to 'push' their body to the limit, or they may enjoy helping clients to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. Coaches select their profession so they can get paid to do what they love. The profession is active and involves constant changes as the coach works with different clients… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach.  (2011, November 17).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/becoming-strength-conditioning-coach/3571764

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"Becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach."  Essaytown.com.  November 17, 2011.  Accessed May 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/becoming-strength-conditioning-coach/3571764.