Understanding how people move
The greatest improvements you’ll make as a strength and conditioning coach are as a PT with general population. Whilst some are naturals, others are poor and have little control over their own bodies. As a strength and conditioning coach learning how to cue effectively to ensure correct movement patterns is a skill within itself. How can you expect to improve a finely tuned athlete if you have little understanding of mechanics and how different individuals respond to your coaching?
2. Increased confidence
Being a graduate and now aspiring strength and conditioning coach you might think you have all the knowledge in the world and sometimes feel you should probably have your own team right? However when you’ve entered the field of athletic development you need to be able to convince others of what you need to get them to do, and why. Up until this point the only test you may have felt uncomfortable doing is a presentation in front of your peers, well guess what when 30-40 athletes are all wanting answers, you’ll need to sell yourself pretty confidently.
3. Respecting the hustle
Whether your paying rent in a facility, or you’re on a client to client earning capacity there is always someone out there willing to take a client from under you. Whether under cutting you on cost p/session, or simply offering more within their sessions. When rent day comes you’ll soon learn if you don’t cease an opportunity someone else will! As a strength and conditioning coach you need to develop a thick skin and realise rent has to come from somewhere!
4. Time management
Your glossy programs you’ve been writing for your friends and family throughout your uni career may have worked for them. But what happens when you have 45-60min to get everything in you want to accomplish? Good strength and conditioning coaches are able to prioritise not only the physical parameter trained but also the banter/explanations within a session to ensure you get done what you need to in the limited time. It’s no different in a team environment when the coach dictates how much time you get!
5. Freedom of hours
If you truly aspire to be a strength and conditioning coach your qualifications won’t get you there. The ‘sweat hours’ or time you have volunteered will not only increase your network contacts but provide opportunity for you to learn how to apply your trade. It’s no use telling your manager in a retail store I need to start at 11am because the teams training in the morning?! As a PT you can schedule clients around your commitment to being a strength and conditioning coach! Eventually this will shift and hopefully you can forgo your PT sessions for a full time strength and conditioning gig! J
One final thing, personally I don’t know many strength and conditioning coaches who haven’t been a PT at some stage, and this is certain for many of the great ones. Many strength and conditioning coaches in full time roles still do PT because they know it pays the bills! You don’t want to have completed a 3-year undergraduate degree to have your hopes shattered to realise there are only a few professional teams available across different codes, and after 100’s of job applications you realise employment is limited…. So what you then get a trade?