Joe Kenn | Vice President of Education and Performance
The strength and conditioning coaches at any level must take on a wide variety of roles. Depending on the time of year, they can be the acting head coach for a specific team, serve as a confidant, motivator, educator, disciplinarian, and creator among others. It is this type of role and the way this role can change in the matter of minutes while on the floor in an active training session that leads me to believe we are similar to chameleons. We must quickly change when the environment or situation changes at the spur of the moment. We must be the most adaptable coaches in the building!
In a programming and scheduling process, which is a high priority in our jobs, this is where being adaptable is very important. You can have your daily script mapped out like a champion only to have a sport coach tell you their team, 1 - won’t be in today, or 2 - can we push back two hours. This leads to a reevaluation of how the rest of their week looks from a training aspect in example 1, and how do you juggle the other teams that are scheduled for facility usage in example 2. No need to complain, no one will listen, hold your head high and always be one step ahead of the possibilities. Always be prepared for the unexpected.
In watching athlete’s daily interactions, you may notice something is not quite right. This could be by their daily readiness profile, a teammate filling you in on a situation that may have arose, or their body language is strangely different. After assessing the situation, you may have to readjust their specific training loads and movements for the day. This is part of our jobs as coaches, not putting them in harm’s way.
And finally, we are here to serve. We are a service provider. We provide the professionalism to help prepare our athletes and well as their coaches for mental and physical success. This doesn’t mean we are servants! We should not feel bullied or disrespected because we aim for success. Hold your ground, justify your reasoning and have constructive conversations that will lead to respect on all levels.