Duties and responsibilities
Strength and conditioning coaches can work in any sports setting that requires them. For example, they can work in schools, professional sports teams or for the army. Their main duty is to design programmes to improve the strength, technique and physical fitness of athletes and their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Designing and implementing training and condition programmes. Often, these will be tailored to match the competitive season (e.g., in-season, off-season or pre-season). These programmes should be designed to reduce injury and promotes training improvement
- Working closely with other sports and healthcare professionals, such as nutritionists, sports psychologists or physiotherapists, to help with the rehabilitation and strengthening of injured athletes
- Tracking athletes compliance to the training programme and their progress and results
- Conducting needs-analysis for sports teams or individual athletes to designed programmes best suited to them
To become a strength and conditioning coach, you will need a bachelors degree in a related field, such as sports science, kinesiology or athletic training. Some employers may also prefer you to have a masters degree in a related field too.
On top of this educational commitment, strength and conditioning coaches will need to have the relevant state certification. More often than not, this means that strength and conditioning coaches will need the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification. Like most other sport professionals, strength and conditioning coaches will need a first aid certificate, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate and automated external defibrillation (AED) certificate.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as the above educational requirements, strength and conditioning coaches will need to be genuinely passionate about exercise and have experience in creating exercise programmes.
- Written and verbal communication skills are essential as strength and conditioning coaches will have work closely with athletes, sport professionals and health professionals. This means attending meetings regarding the athletes and keeping up to date documents that anyone can understand
- Leadership skills are essential as strength and conditioning coaches will have to lead, encourage and motivate sports teams
- Teamwork skills are also key as strength and conditioning coaches will have to work closely with other professionals to produce the most effective training programmes for each athlete and/or team
- Problem solving skills as strength and conditioning coaches will have to design effective training programmes that prevent injuries and rehabilitate if necessary
Strength and conditioning coaches tend to work typical full time hours, which is around 4o hours per week. However, when working for professional sports teams, strength and conditioning coaches may have to adhere to their schedule, meaning that they may work long and hectic hours.
According to the Economic Research Institute, the average salary for a strength and conditioning coach in the united states is $56,137 per year.
Strength and conditioning coaches may progress to become head strength and conditioning coaches, which gives them greater responsibility and flexibility. Strength and conditioning coaches may also specialize in a particular sport, age range or competitive level.