Posts Tagged ‘recertification’

When I was asked what I do, I had to explain what a Strength and Conditioning Coach is and is not, complete with comparisons. It usually takes me more than ten sentences. That was more than ten years ago in my country. Fast forward to the present (eve of 2015) here in Hong Kong and when I am asked what I do, people would understand it in around four sentences. But long ones. Thanks to today’s sports superstars like Manny Pacquiao who acknowledge their support staff, people are now becoming aware of the Strength and Conditioning Coach.

The trend now is specialization and coaches are not exempted. A Strength and Conditioning Coach is a specialized coach who works with athletes and sports coaches in improving their performance. There are certifying bodies who would assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in strength training and conditioning through written and practical assessment. That is after having checked the required academic achievement and the basic requirement of current Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training. The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is one of the internationally recognized bodies who certify individuals who passed their certifying exam. Those who passed the NSCA assessment for Strength and Conditioning Coach are called Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS). Other certifying bodies are the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), and the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA).

cscs-logo2Not everyone who passes the exam and are certified can be called Strength and Conditioning coaches. It takes a lot of guided experience in order to develop into an effective Strength and Conditioning Coach. It is an ever continuous learning process. It is reflected by the regular recertification process which is every three years for the NSCA-CSCS. Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are a requirement aside from fees. These can be gained by attending and/or conducting recognized seminars and workshops in related areas; having other certifications, having online quizzes; plus a mandatory requirement of an updated CPR & AED card.

There are a lot of individuals who are CSCS but are not actively coaching. This may be one reason the NSCA came up with the Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC). This is a registry of individuals who have the experience, knowledge, and skills in Strength and Conditioning. This additional title signifies that the holder has been coaching for at least two years or more. Not all the experienced and highly qualified Strength and Conditioning Coaches opted to be in the RSCC though since inclusion in the registry is not automatic. A qualified CSCS has to apply for it. The pioneer Strength and Conditioning Coaches may not have been certified but they were very effective as coaches and they possess a very deep understanding of the art and science of strength training. Certifying bodies are now setting the standards and trends in this area of expertise as more and more people choose to become Strength and Conditioning Coaches.

So what do I do? I have a career that gives me the opportunity to influence the lives of people. It is also a cyclic journey of long periods of preparation and hard work topped by a short but sweet peak of achievement only to start again at another level. To be in this profession requires one to play different roles, to work for the success of others while always being behind the scenes. It requires one to be strong enough not to be acknowledged during victories. This is what I do. That was more than four sentences.

01 January 2015