Strength and Conditioning
Strength & Conditioning—Taking a closer look into this high-demand field
It’s 5am. It is spring and the weather forecast is warm once the sun comes up. Big State University’s strength and conditioning coach, Derek Morgan, is already at work. Most people who happen to be up at this early hour are drowsily sipping coffee, trying to get geared up for the day ahead but Coach Morgan has already set up the entire 100 yard football field at BSU’s indoor practice facility for the morning.
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6:15am. Coach Morgan hustles over to the soccer field to lead the women’s soccer team through their warm-up. After a quick lap around the field the coach describes the exact movements of each stretch while slowly performing each one with the team. After a light stretch the team moves on to the dynamic warm-up starting with the lightest of activities. They start with the walking quad stretch, Frankenstein kicks and high knees. As their muscles warm, the drills progress in intensity until each athlete is in a full sweat and ready to perform at their best. The soccer athletes, sweating and breathing heavily, are ready to start practice for the day.
7am. Over on the baseball diamond Coach Morgan gives the baseball team the run down for today’s in-season workout session. Position players will be getting a light lower body lift in today, with a focus on total body work, that will include squats, lunges, single-arm hang cleans and dead lifts. The pitching staff will be performing their shoulder maintenance program to prevent tendonitis and will move on to their rotational core workout to build power for their fastballs and sliders. The starting pitchers for this weekend’s conference series will finish their workout with a distance running progression. They need the strength and the stamina in their legs to keep the zip on the fastball for nine innings of dominance.
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9 am. Coach Morgan swings by his office to check his email, voice mail and look through the latest strength and conditioning research journals for anything he can start putting into his workout programs.
9:30am. Coach Morgan attends a staff meeting with the football coaches. As the spring season winds down, it’s time to finalize the summer workout schedule. The head football coach has some priorities that he needs Coach Morgan to address. Last season a rash of ACL injuries decimated the running back core and the head coach needs the strength and conditioning expert to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The next priority is speed development. Olympic lifts, form running, agility drills and anything else that can improve the athletes’ quickness are requested. The head football coach has one goal for Coach Morgan, make sure these guys can run.
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10:30am. Coach Morgan is off to make sure his summer program meets all of the coaching staff’s needs and to prepare for the rest of the day. Coach Jones still has workouts scheduled with the basketball team, the track team’s sprinters and individual workouts with the volleyball team’s All-American middle blocker. It’s been a productive day for Coach Morgan so far, and its still two hours until lunch!
The above scenario outlines a typical day for a collegiate level strength and conditioning coach. But what specifically are the job duties of this professional? What schooling is required for a career in this field? This information and more can be found below.