Strength Performance Network

5 years ago I embarked on a career path change. Having tuaght karate for 20 years, been an employed actor for 30 years, and having then begun as a personal trainer, I decided that collegiate level athletics was where I wanted to be. Consequently, I pursued my Master's degree in Sports Conditioning, became CSCS certified, and began an internship at the local college. The college had not previously had a Strength and Conditioning program. My whole goal was to get in on the ground floor to secure that position.  I interned for almost 2 years. When the head coach decided to move on and secured a new job elsewhere, I served as the interim coach while they took applications. I put mine in hoping to have the "inside track". Then I was bypassed in favor of someone with "more experience". 
Here's the rub.  I have a lifetime of experience in teaching and training, but at 52 with a family, cannot honestly flit about the country pursuing unpaid internships to build my resumee specifically with college athletes. 
So, how does a tied-down-by-family 52-year-old convince an institution that his lifetime of experience managing group and individual fitness, teaching public school, assisting with HS teams, and a Master's specifically in Sports Conditioning is worth taking a chance on over the young, mobile, single, unfettered applicants who've had the freedom to work for free and travel unencumbered??
Seriously! Tips are welcome!

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Comment by Eddy Schumacher on August 20, 2012 at 10:51am

I like the idea of getting on at the high school, but sadly, the local high schools do not employ strength coaches. The football coaches "attempt" to do that themselves. The smarter ones enlist the help of the weight training coach on faculty, limited as that help often turns out to be. I'll give it a shot anyway, but I know many of the high schools and systems here (having subbed as a teacher at the schools and having two boys who played football). Still, it's the best lead so far. Thanks!
As to the closed system "old boy" network, I had actually hoped to take advantage of that very fact! Didn't work out that way, though.  The internal hire usually comes through the intern and grad assistant programs, but not this time!

Comment by John Weatherly on August 20, 2012 at 7:34am

Yes. not everybody is independently wealthy.  Most need a decent paycheck to get "more experience."  In your case, the many life experiences should count for something.  Your many years of teaching, coaching, and fitness management should have value.  How much experience do you need to be a strength and conditioning coach?  What about talent, knowledge, and passion?  You have the education and many experiences. Talented athletes get a chance to play.  There's not any method to quantify talent or performance for strength coaching.  It largely appears to be an ol' boy system at the college level.  A very "in the know" scientist told me college jobs are filled before they are even advertised.  He said: "I doubt if there are any strength and conditioning jobs really open in university athletic departments."  It's a closed society.

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