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What Is a Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and How to Become One

What Does a Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Do?

As a head strength and conditioning coach, your responsibilities differ from that of a normal fitness trainer or coach in that you work primarily with athletes—that, and as a head coach, you manage a team of other coaches and professionals to create a cohesive program to train and improve the performance of your athletes. You most likely operate this program in support of collegiate or professional-level sports. In addition to managerial and administrative duties, you create individualized strength training programs for athletes, manage budgets and equipment purchases, and create a healthy environment in which athletes can gain the strength and skills to succeed in their sport.

How to Become a Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

Becoming a head strength and conditioning coach requires extensive education and qualifications. It is not enough to be an athlete yourself, although that certainly is a part, and most strength and conditioning coaches have prior athletic careers. You must also have a master’s degree in kinesiology, sports medicine, or another field closely related to athletics. As a head coach, you need considerable interpersonal skills to manage your fellow coaches, to motivate athletes amidst a long exercise session, and, in the case of collegiate sports especially, to assist with fundraising efforts. As a senior position within a sports program, head strength and conditioning coach is a position that requires considerable prior experience, and you should first spend five or more years as a strength and conditioning coach before seeking to advance to this position.