Sport - Elite/Professional
Does working with elite athletes in high performance environments and assisting them achieve ultimate success appeal to you?
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
Strength and Conditioning Coaches are primarily charged with the physical performance of athletes. Roles relate to strength and power, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, rehabilitation, injury prevention and load management. The role works closely with other professionals such as sport scientists, sport coaches, sport medicine and therapy providers.
It is possible to specialise in one discipline, such as strength, but it is more common in elite sport to have competency in a second and third discipline. This will be dictated by the requirements of the sport and athletes you would be working with.
The title of Sport Scientist can be a generic term used in reference to all disciplines of applied sport science or it may be a role title in itself. Roles relate to training load planning, physical testing and assessment, performance analysis, biomechanics and load management. The role works closely with other professionals such as strength and conditioning, sport coaches, sport medicine and therapy providers.
The roles usually require you to specialise in one discipline, such as load management, but it is common in elite sport to have competency in a second related specialism like performance analysis or take on other broader applied sport science duties. This will be dictated by the requirements of the sport and athletes you would be working with. It is also highly likely to specialise as your career progresses and experience of the disciplines is evolved.
The jobs in this sector are highly competitive much like the nature of the sport. Roles exist in all the professional football codes, state institutes and in some universities, particularly overseas. The jobs are universal so the opportunity to pursue a career overseas is also very realistic. In many instances Australia is seen as a leading nation in these professions and in high demand globally.
Strength and Conditioning
Sport Analysis Software Packages
Excel & Data Management Competency
High Level Interpersonal Abilities
Commitment to Continual Improvement and Professional Development
Experience and demonstrated competencies are the key to gaining an opportunity in Elite and Professional Sport. Many roles are advertised but pre-determined short-listed so it is important to gain entry level experience through voluntary opportunities that help develop a broad network. Attending conference and professional course or workshops are another way to continually build unique and valuable skill-sets. Additionally, by seeking active involvement in your governing associations and seeking accreditation is essential for employment. The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) and Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) are the key professional bodies for these roles.
To work in Elite and Professional Sport you should undertake the Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science then pursue major study areas in Strength and Conditioning, Applied Sport Science or a practical combination of related majors.