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How to Become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach

How to Become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach

A strength and conditioning coach helps you formulate and maintain a fitness regime for yourself. SportsAspire will tell you how to become a certified strength and conditioning coach.
SportsAspire Staff
"The only thing I claim to be an expert about is my clients. I know their bodies better than anyone."
― Nick Tumminello, Strength and Conditioning Trainer

Maintaining a good, healthy body is more of a necessity than a luxury, as of today. While regular simple exercises help you remain fit, you need to know some special moves and exercises to strengthen your limbs and keep your muscles strong. This, in fact, is a compulsion if you are into sports and physical activities in high school or college. These special moves would be better taught by a professional instructor or a strength and conditioning coach. In the paragraphs below, you will learn how to become a strength and conditioning coach.

Job Profile
  • A strength and conditioning coach studies his students first―checks their health, fitness levels, immunity, physical attributes, etc.
  • Accordingly, he plans a regimen that will suit your body. He will help you perform moves that sculpt your body in the right way.
  • He will help players undergo training during matches.
  • He formulates new, better moves for his clients.
  • He needs to know basic first aid so that he can help players in case of minor wounds.
  • He should encourage extracurricular activities in school and promote health clubs.
  • He is required to encourage athletes to give their best, whatever be the circumstances.

Requirements
  • Physical strength and fitness
  • Decision-making ability
  • Mental strength and emotional stability
  • Patience to put up with frequent travel
  • Strength to put up with career instability (at times)
  • Proficiency in training techniques

Education
High School
  • It would help if you choose to play a lot of sports right from high school so that you make way for a career as a coach.
  • You can take any number of subjects you want in your high school diploma; ultimately, you have to graduate in a different field.
  • However, make sure your physical training is in good hands. It will help you in the future.

Bachelor's Degree
  • You may obtain a bachelor's degree in any strength or exercise-related field, physical education, or kinesiology.
  • While in college, you may apply for a certification, or you may wait until you have graduated, after which you can take the certification.
  • You can apply for a variety of internships and other training programs while you are in college.
  • You can spend your summers working as an assistant to certified coaches and personal instructors so that you gain sufficient experience.
  • Make sure you gather the contacts of many such coaches and specialists. Their recommendations go a long way to help you find the right job.

Certification
  • This is the most important step―you need to undertake specific strength and conditioning certification courses to become eligible for the job.
  • The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) offers a variety of certified strength and conditioning specialist online courses for various certifications. Some of the important ones are:

    ▶ Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
    ▶ NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)
  • The Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA) offers similar courses:

    ▶ Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) certification
    ▶ Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC)
  • Similar certified strength and conditioning specialist exams can be taken through the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).
  • The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers a special certification called Sports Conditioning Specialty Certification (SCSC).
  • You may also need to take CPR and other emergency medical training certifications from the American Red Cross or the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), etc.
  • These organizations will offer you the necessary study guides and other material online. You may directly apply for the exam from the official site and then take the certification. These certificates will take you far ahead in your field.
  • You may still want to start off as an assistant instructor. Some time later, you may qualify to work independently.

Salary
  • Strength and conditioning coaches are paid pretty well. However, do not expect a lump sum at an entry-level position.
  • In fact, it would be better if you are under a certified coach himself. You can observe him and learn the tricks of the trade.
  • The average salary is around USD 25,000. This increases with experience.
  • Also, the coaches for school and college might be paid lesser than the ones who work only for sports academies.
  • A higher salary would fall in between USD 40,000 to USD 60,000.
  • Highly skilled and experienced coaches may command a remuneration of more than USD 70,000.
  • If you start your own private agency or freelance, you might earn on a per-contract basis. With good contacts and projects, you might earn very well as a private trainer too.

Work Environment
  • This is quite a tedious career choice as you will be on your feet all day.
  • You can find work in schools, colleges, sports academies, physiotherapy clinics, private fitness clubs, etc.
  • This job has a sufficiently good job growth, with intense competition.
  • You need to stand out in the crowd; therefore, make sure you are fulfill all the requirements―both physical and educational.
  • Depending on where you work, you may have regular hours or may be required to travel.
  • The crux of the matter is that you need to be in excellent physical shape, need to have the right certification, and most of all, the right attitude.

The job opportunities in the field of strength and conditioning are immense, if you have the proper degree and the required certification. With an increasing number of people becoming conscious about their health and fitness, such professionals are always in demand. Remember to maintain yourself in a fit manner, so as to influence your potential customers.