Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Marcus Kilpatrick, Ph.D.

Keywords

Training, Weights, Coaching, Athletics, College

Abstract

The role of the Strength & Conditioning coach (SCC) has increased dramatically in collegiate athletics over the past 30 years. The SCC now spends more time with the athletes than even the individual sport coaches do because of NCAA rules. Despite the importance of the SCC, little is known as to what makes a good SCC and what a typical SCC is like currently. Limited amounts of research have been conducted to determine the characteristics and opinions of this specific population. The main role of a SCC is to enhance athletic performance of the athletes at a university. They achieve this goal by enhancing strength, power, speed, agility, conditioning, flexibility, among other things. In addition, a good SCC will also help "toughen" up a team mentally, consult athletes on nutrition facts, and serve a variety of roles during team practices. The purpose of this study was to survey NCAA Division I (bowl subdivision) SCCs to assess what characteristics they possess as well as what characteristics they deem to be important for other SCCs to possess. The questions asked ranged from education level to current activity level. The results of the current study supported the hypotheses. SCCs come from a variety of backgrounds in regards to their education, certifications, past experiences, physical activity level, and physical size. The coaches also tended to favor other coaches similar to themselves. With the findings from this study, prospective SCCs will have a better understanding of the hiring practices of prospective employers. Current SCCs will gain a better knowledge of their peers and the field in general. Future research is needed in the field regarding race and gender, two topics only briefly discussed in the current investigation.

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