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12/27/2014 8:32:26 PM - Albert
I need to get experience in strength and conditioning field. I was hoping to get some advice on how I can approach coaches to ask about volunteering my time for them?


Very direct question and it say a lot about you. You understand what you need to do to give yourself a chance in this field. There are a group of people that are appalled at the fact that coaches have to volunteer in order to get their start in the profession. It is usually non-coaches that don't get it. Like all coaches, I wish it didn't have to be that way. But, until someone convinces the NCAA and every state high school association that every school must have a strength & conditioning coach that has a degree in the field and is certified, that only does strength & conditioning (not a sport coach or ATC) then we will always have this grossly imbalanced supply and demand problem in our profession.

That being said, it seems you are wise enough to know that not too many coaches will hire you without experience. Consider yourself ahead of 90% of coaches wanting to get into the field, Albert. I'm serious.

Ok, so here is a basic plan that may help you get the ball rolling.

How to find an internship
The first step is to figure out what internships you can take and what you can't take. You will be able to find an internship. Problem is you may have to move across the country. So you must narrow these possibilities down by:
a.) Geographical area to where home is
b.) Geographical area to where school is
c.) Geographical area to where someone lives that you could stay with rent free

I am not saying that applying for an internship and going through with the interview is not great experience, but turning it down put you in a bad spot. Here's why.

When you apply for a job, here is a normal process:
1. Apply
2. get contacted to interview
3. interview
4. get offered job
5. accept or decline the offer.

Number 5 is the difference between a job and an internship. You see, when you get offered a job, they give you the salary, benefits, etc. When you apply for an internship, all of that is a given. You already knwo you aren't getting paid shit. So, when offered, what is there to think about. You already know the salary and how far from home. You know if it will work or not. That is why you apply for jobs you may not take but apply for internship only that you would take.

Plus, if you realize you made a bad choice and quit the internship, you can;t even put it on your resume, so be sure.

Alright, here is the process:

1.) Regularly visit and to get up with internship postings.

2.) Attend every conference and clinic you can. Meet everyone you can. You may not have business cards so internet stalk every head coach you meet and send a hand-written note.

3.) Have someone look at your resume, preferably someone who has been a head S&C coach.

4. Figure out every school that you could commute to from home, school, or somewhere else you could stay and make a list of every head S&C coach.

5. Send your resume and a specific cover letter to every head S&C coach on that list.

6. If you get an interview, do your homework. Figure out where the coach has been and done. Don't try to impress him/her with all of your ideas (they are probably good but that is not why you would be given the internship.)

Albert, I hope this helps a little. Don't get frustrated and find the schools you would like to and can realistically intern for and pursue them hard.

Mark Watts

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