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As an assistant strength coach, I don't deal directly with most of the coaching staff or administration (AD, Compliance officer, etc.). That's the head strength coach's job and I don't envy certain aspects of it. But it does give me the opportunity to see certain road blocks in advance and  to think ahead of how I might handle many of the obstacles a fledgling program might face. 

It seems in most cases, if not all, that the coaches and administrators with whom I work simply don't understand what a CSCS is!  Perhaps in their eyes, it is just a glorified gym owner.  I had a professor of Sports Science who often spoke of conversations where he'd explain what he studied, taught, and practiced, only to have the response be a reductive "Oh, so you're a P.E. teacher!"   Yeah. I pass out the basketballs and let the kids play!  sheesh.

The years of study to understand bio-mechanics, anatomy, exercise physiology, sport specific metabolic and strength training, sports nutrition for our athletes, sports psychology, rehabilitation training, etc., only to have an administrator with NO such background restrict us in what we can provide for our athletes, or a coach who read an article or played their sport 30 years ago tell the specialist what exercies he/she wants because they read an article or used to do "such and such" (THIRTY YEARS AGO!!!) 
I'd like to think I can be diplomatic enough that when I eventually have my own program, I could deal with most things. But I've seen a few personalities that are simply too inflexible to communicate with.  Not being allowed to do what I KNOW I've been trained to do and what I KNOW will benefit my athletes because of administrative narrow-mindedness, mis-information, or plain stubbornness will be a HUGE challenge!

I'm sure such frustrations and road blocks are not unique to our institution, but I'm curious what others face and how they deal with such issues.

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Comment by Eddy Schumacher on January 24, 2012 at 12:04am

It would be interesting to have a survey of those statistics.  The impression given is generally that the CSCS IS the credential, and that the degree IS the credential.  I'm not a fan of more hoops for the sake of hoops, but some credibility for our job would be nice! But the point made In the recent Strength Performance blog about Nick Saban and Urban Meyer's statement's pretty much says it, too.  But on a far simpler level, US educating our own superiors regarding what we bring to the table (given the opportunity) would help, too!

Comment by John Weatherly on January 23, 2012 at 11:41pm

Somewhat true but while there are road blocks in probably any field the point is - and you made the comment about "rolling the basketballs out" along with the Sport Science professor being told he was "a PE teacher" - I don't think too many people would argue that a medical doctor has more respect than a conditioning coach in our society.  Licensure helps legitimize a field.  My late father was a veterinarian which, while not dealing with human life, is a respected profession in our society.  It requires a DVM and licensure to practice.  Administrators and sport coaches do not value or respect your MS and CSCS.  That's the problem.  That's obvious if you look at major universities that have head conditioning personnel that don't have anything close to your credentials.  I'd like to see data on how many D1 university athletic departments have head conditioning coaches with your credentials.  I bet you would be surprised at how many visible major college athletic departments have head positions that don't have degrees in exercise/sport science let along a MS like you have.

Comment by Eddy Schumacher on January 23, 2012 at 2:56pm

It's still more about the administration.  I'm not really making the connection between your observation and my blog.  I HAVE the Master's degree.  And a CSCS IS a certification that is nationally recognized, and required for the position we hold, whatever your belief regarding the NSCA.  My point is, why even require the education and certification if those who hire you are going to put roadblocks on the very job you're trying to do?  It happens in many professions that have strict credential and licensure requirements, such as doctors and school teachers, so I don't see licensure as the answer. 

Comment by John Weatherly on January 23, 2012 at 8:05am

Nothing will change until professional credentials and licensure are required to be a strength & conditioning coach.  Organizations such as NSCA only seem to care about generating revenue for their certifications, not seeking or confronting issues to promote real change.  For example, back in 89 when I first became CSCS there weren't that many of them.  Now, there are all these people with CSCS and many do not have degrees in exercise/sport science.  These are big issues that need to be dealt with or at least acknowledged by leadership.  I've been stonewalled for years about stuff like this.  Look at all the people on this site (people with degrees or grad degrees in exercise/sport science) who have "I am looking for another job" at the bottom of their bio.  Nothing will happen until leadership wants to do something to change things.  I am sending your blog post above to NSCA President-Elect Dr. Steve Fleck, Dr. William Kraemer, Dr. Mike Stone, and Dr. Andy Fry. 

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