Expectations of strength and conditioning professionals: perspectives of athletic administrators and strength and conditioning professionals

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew B. Carter (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Pamela Kocher Brown

Abstract: Strength & conditioning (S&C) training in collegiate athletics has become an integral part of optimal athletic preparation. Such training improves physical qualities required to excel in sports and decreases the likelihood of injury. S&C programs have become commonplace within all levels of collegiate athletics. However, there is presently no standardized evaluation of the S&C professional or standardization of who should be performing said evaluation. The purpose of this study was to examine the expectations of S&C professionals from the perspective of the athletic administrator (AD) providing supervisory oversight, and S&C professionals themselves. Sixteen collegiate athletic professionals (8 athletic administrators, 8 S&C professionals) from an NCAA Division I Mid-Major Conference participated in a semi-structured interview on the current expectations and evaluation process for S&C professionals. Results revealed that S&C professionals and ADs were consistent in their understandings of the S&C professionals’ roles and responsibilities. Despite mutual awareness of roles and responsibilities, S&C professionals believed that the evaluation process could be improved by standardization. Participants also agreed that such an evaluation process would be difficult given a lack of uniform measures of standards. S&C professionals wanted an objective measure of success; they did not believe the measure should be based on wins and losses. Instead, participants suggested the possible use of the number of non-contact injuries or improvement of various performance metrics. The findings of this study indicated that ADs did not feel comfortable giving evaluations specifically about program design, exercise selection, and key performance indicators. Due in part to lack of expertise with the S&C area, as well as a multitude of professional-related responsibilities. ADs in this study did, however, acknowledge the need for standardized and formal forms of evaluation, which suggests that an objective third party may be best to create these standards. Who should create such measures was unclear. Neither the S&C professionals nor the AD participants offered recommendations as to a third-party evaluator. It was clear from these findings that the current standards as advocated by the NSCA are not useful as guidelines for evaluations. None of the ADs interviewed had heard of, read in any depth, or used NSCA guidelines for evaluation. Moreover, the same was true of S&C professionals. Only one had engaged with the guidelines and believed the guidelines were problematic in their lack of individuality for varying levels of competition. Future research might identify an appropriate third party to craft such standards, as well as the creation of measures and metrics that could be used by professionals. Such a formal and consistent evaluation process would allow ADs to conduct beneficial evaluations and provide S&C professionals with feedback to aid in their professional development and place emphasis on the health and safety of the collegiate athlete.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Athletic Administrator, Athletic Administrator Oversight, Athletic Director, Strength and Conditioning Evaluation, Strength and Conditioning Responsibilities
Physical education teachers $x Rating of
Physical education and training $x Standards
Physical education and training $x Study and teaching (Higher)
Physical education and training $x Administration
College sports $x Management

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