Building a Better Strength and Conditioning Coach

Building a Better Strength and Conditioning Coach
Ashley Jones

I am not a sports scientist; I am a strength and conditioning coach. One man’s opinion.

No matter what else the person has if they can not communicate, empathise and organize then every other qualification they have is useless.

Personally, I do not think you need a degree to do this job, it helps when things are not going right to have something to fall back upon to rationalize but it is not the be all and end all or the first thing I would look at if employing someone.

I know of an excellent coach who has continually been discriminated against because he does not have formal tertiary qualifications, but he has studied his entire life, attending seminars done internships with Poliquin, Chek, Siff and Ian King. Conversely I have interviewed graduates who can not tell me the teaching points for a squat or who do not actually train themselves.

What do I want to see, when I look at a resume?

1.   Australian Strength & Conditioning Association (or equivalent) coaching qualifications
2.   A recognized national weight lifting federation coaching qualification
3.   A training history and even a competition or two under your belt, you do not have to be a world class athlete to know how to train and compete, “Time Under the Bar”   (Dave Tate)

4.   What do you read on a regular basis; just to highlight a few areas and examples:

  • Web sites; t-nation, elitefts, strength and conditioning, getstrength
  • Books; supertraining, The Encyclopaedia of Weightlifting, Science and Practice of Strength Training, Russian Training Manuals
  • Authors; Brooks Kubik, Bill Starr, Jim Smitz, Louie Simmons, Dave Tate, Lyn Jones, Bud Jefrries
  • Journals; Milo, Strength and Conditioning, Soviet Sports Training Review

5. A copy of your programs and then organizing a group in a practical session
6. Who have you trained previously, and I will ring and check and ask would you have this person train you again and why have they moved on
7. Formal tertiary qualifications, can you stick at something long enough to earn something
8. What is your personal philosophy in strength & conditioning, What do you Stand For!

This are in no ranked order but they would be the areas I would consider when I would be short listing and then finalizing, obviously my own personal biases come through strongly in this listing, but as said at the commencement, just one man’s opinion.



Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones specialist in the physical preparation of rugby athletes. He has worked with professional sports teams that include Sydney Kings, Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, Northern Eagles, Crusaders, New Zealand All Blacks, and Australian Wallabies. Irish by Ancestry, Australian by Birth, Japanese by Accident and a Kiwi by Choice.

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