During this internship, I was responsible for assisting with the day-to-day operations of the strength and conditioning department, which included assisting with the implementation of training programs, coaching on the field, performing regular testing on athletes by using sprinting gates and force plates, making sure iPADs and VBT units were charged, among other responsibilities. I was also responsible for the training session set up and clean up for training sessions at the Stark Performance Center and Lied Recreation Center. In addition, I had staff education assignments which included weekly round table discussions, monthly presentations, and an end-of-the-semester training plan. I had to program for an assigned team and had to defend my training plan on a "hypothetical" interview for an Iowa State job opening.
My greatest accomplishment was when I had to lead a training session on my own but with supervision. That was a great experience because I was able to test my group leadership skills. I had a lot of learning opportunities when it comes to coaching, and that was also very positive for me because I was looking to learn about cueing complex weightlifting movements. Also, one of my goals for this internship was to learn how to create annual plans for any given sport, and I was able to successfully complete it. I think I am much better when it comes to rationalizing training programs, and that is very important for those who want to enter the collegiate strength and conditioning field.
As a female in the strength and conditioning coach field, it is important that we speak up. Don't be afraid of coaching; show that you are confident and that you know what you are talking about. You might feel intimidated at first but that is how you are going to get the trust of male student-athletes, so really focus on that.
What advice would you give?
Get as much experience as possible early on (shadowing opportunities, internships...). Networking!! Networking is so important, so reach out to people you admire and make connections.