What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
The strength and conditioning field is a very diverse and evolving world. It can be very welcoming and very intimidating at the same time. And let's be real for a second ... it's a man's world ... which makes it slightly more difficult for a young female to get herself in, but a challenge I've accepted nonetheless.
Being a strength and conditioning coach is a very rewarding job. As an athlete, I would constantly set goals for myself (still do), and it was always an exciting feeling to cross one off the list. Now it's not necessarily my goals that I enjoy crossing off the list, its the goals of my athletes. I am always so happy to help an athlete in their process and pursuit of success. I've said this before, but I think a big reason why I got into this field was so I could hold onto my athlete identity a little bit longer. Forever living vicariously through my athletes *sigh*.
Strength and conditioning is constantly changing; its rarely stagnate, and there's always something new to research. Although at times it makes my head spin, its also very freeing ... there's really no right or wrong way to approach things as long as you always have the athlete's well-being as your top priority. I've learned that some approaches (programming styles, structure of workouts, etc.) work REALLY well for some athletes, and don't work at all for others. You need to understand the personnel you're working with and sometimes that means using trial and error until you get it right.
Now, I'm not saying this field is a free-for-all, it's far from it, but if you are well-educated and driven to constantly learn - there are so many different ways of accomplishing success in the weight room. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I am educated and motivated to continue to learn each and every day; I think that is such an important aspect of any job.
I am now coming to the 5th week of my masters program and I love it. I love the like-minded people I'm surrounded by, I love the new atmosphere, and I love the new experience I am getting. By coming to Ohio University, I was most definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, but I'm so happy I did - I know I am right where I need to be in my life. Though my role in the weight room is slightly different than what I'm used to, I know that the experience I gain will help me progress and grow in the field.
I love what I do, and though its a challenge sometimes - keeping up with new research, earning the respect of athletes, etc. I know I am right where I belong and will continue to take on every challenge I am faced with. After all, if you do something you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life.