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Career Advice

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  • Career Advice

    I am currently a trainer at a small, private facility with a small but regular base and I hold an informal strength coach position with the college basketball team I used to play for.

    I have an A.S. and am under the impression that I need to finish a B.A. or B.S. if I am to make enough to eat for the foreseeable future. I have been accepted to the B.S. Exercise Science program at the school where I got my A.S. and where I coach the basketball team. However, I am dubious of the value of this degree.

    I am in the Minneapolis area, close to the University of Minnesota and many other excellent colleges. However, the Exercise Science degree would cost much less time and money than transferring to the U of M or a private institution. It's possible I could even test out of a few courses because I know a few of the professors well and they're aware of my field experience/ self-education.

    If my desire is to be a strength coach (possibly at the collegiate/professional level) and train "normal" people regularly, would the convenient Exercise Science degree do fine in place of a hard biology/chemistry/etc. degree? I assume I'll need a Master's as well, so perhaps it would behoove me to just get the E.S. over with and apply for grad school. I know Rip and The Board have been extremely critical of the Exercise Science degree and he recommends it to precisely nobody, so I'm just looking for some input over here.

    Would love some advice from the BBM & forum crew.

  • #2
    I'm not a coach, but if you look around at the most successful coaches what pattern do you see? Not necessarily tons of education, but lots of skill in marketing and client generation. I'm not so sure that the degrees would increase your pay in and of themselves. I think the best return on investment would be in learning how to market, generate leads, and converting those leads into clients. Getting more clients will give you more experience which will make you a better coach. Going through to a grad degree is going to cost a lot of money. I would hate to see you spend all that money and still wind up in the same spot. I would personally just focus on upping the marketing game in the near term.


    • #3
      All collegiate SC positions require a certification (NSCA, CSCS, USAW, etc) as a pre req without the degree. As a general rule, the higher profile the coaching job, the more credentials you need when applying, which could include an MS in Kinesiology or a related field. This is just the price of admission. It is possible as a very experienced SC coach to obtain an elevated position in-house without the degree, such as a promotion to head SC coach from assistant after a number of years and under the right circumstances.

      As a coach for the average lifter, you don’t need any of that to run a private coaching service. Your reputation as a coach will grow through self-advertisement and as you gain clients and what’s true is that some (if not most) credentials don’t even reflect evidence as it stands today for physiology and the modern bio psychological social model of pain, etc. I would say it’s a waste of time and could even be detrimental to your development as a coach. Self study and adopting BBM philosophies is your best bet, possibly obtaining a degree in anatomy and physiology, becoming a registered dietician, etc.

      It may be tough pursuing both, as dogma and its expectations in the collegiate SC coaching arena may conflict with your knowledge of best coaching practices and current data. Perhaps you can develop and change that niche from the inside out.
      Senior Member
      Last edited by tfranc; 11-01-2018, 03:27 AM.


      • #4
        If you have the opportunity and resource I would say go for it. You can definitely do great things with the resources you now have. Good luck dude.


        • #5
          I've been involved with two D-I strength and conditioning programs and have known a handful of D-I S&C coaches

          Here are some basics:
          Required bachelors, Masters preferred
          If you're looking for D-I football, you better have played on that team and know someone. You'll start as a G.A. strength coach.
          Olympic sports: expect to do an internship as a student as part of the Ex. Science program. Then move around to other programs
          Expect to do unpaid internships, until a low paying D-3 or assistant D-1 spot opens...and by low pay....its low pay
          Politics.....your coach leaves or gets fired....bye bye. Unless you're employed by the university: rare.

          Take a look at NSCA accredited college programs and internships. Also take a look at the CSCCa.


          • #6
            Thank you, Matthew. I appreciate the specifics.