Would you ever seek out a financial advisor that didn’t have their own finances in order? Would you go to a nutritionist that looks like they’ve been locked in McDonald’s for the past 12 years? Would you hire a dog trainer that hates dogs?
Over the past couple of weeks, I have talked to two friends that had different experiences with training on the job. One friend works as a strength coach in Minor League Baseball. He told me they frown upon him lifting at work. It does not matter if his work is done and there is no one in the weight room, lifting on the job is taboo. It is expected that if he wants to train, he does so before or after work hours. The other friend was a head strength coach for a college football team. He said the football coach once laid into him because he never saw him lifting weights. This was just a couple weeks into the job.
The two guys in these situations are friends and fellow strength coaches, so I tend to side with them. For the baseball guy, I think them frowning upon him for lifting at work is BS. Those of us in the field understand that 12-14-hour days are common. Usually, especially if working with a single team, the whole workday is not filled with groups. While there is plenty of administrative work, programming, scheduling, and continued learning that can fill our days, we can usually fit in 1-2 hours to train and still finish all the day’s tasks. With the football guy, I somewhat understand where the football coach was coming from, yet this was just a couple of weeks into his job. There is a ton of leg work at the beginning of a job. Not many head strength coaches that I’ve seen spend a lot of time worrying about their own training the first couple of weeks on the job.
Training should be considered a job duty for strength and conditioning professionals. To me, it’s called leading by example. If I were small and out of shape or big and weak, who is going to want to listen to me tell them how to get their body to perform? Who is going to want to hire me to get their team physically prepared for the grueling season ahead?
While I do believe everyone in the field of strength and conditioning should be doing some sort of training, there are two rules we should always follow.
1. Our training does not take priority over the training of the athletes
2. If we spend an hour plus training, we better make damn well sure that all our tasks get completed and we are well prepared for every group
Lift on my friends