Advice and/or Help Greatly Appreciated

Hey Guys,

I know this might be a lot to ask, but I was wondering if any of you could help me or give me guidance of which way to head.

I am currently starting graduate studies for my MBA and am seriously considering getting into coaching and/or athletic directing upon completion.

My academics are pretty stellar IMO however I have little in the way of experience in the coaching field or exercise science. I am debating taking the CSCS exam and going for my level one usatf coaching. However I fear even with this I will have anywhere near enough functional experience to snag a decent coaching job.

So the questions are:

Is there anything specific which I can do to better my chances at getting a decent job post graduation?

What can I do to combat the track stars who apply for positions with no experience and no skill at coaching, but yet seem to nab jobs?

Is there anyway to show coaching skill without having to coach a sub 10.2 kid?

Does anyone know of any good summer internships track and or athletic directing which I could apply to, preferably in the states or at least north america (but trust me I am open to any good oppurtunity)?

This is a big one and understandable if no one can help me here, but would anyone here personally or know somone who would have something open for about a month in dec/jan, even if it is not track specific and preferably not with a college team as I dont know the rules about competing for a college team and also coaching at the same time?

And last but not least could Charlie, Pierre or any of the other coaches on here outline their progression to coaching in the higher ranks?

Thanks a lot for any info you guys can give, I know its a lot to ask, but even a little bit of information would help me out a lot, I would really like to break into this sport in coaching, and I know it is tough to crack and still have money to live on with the wages being earned.

this is just my opinon but dont worry about titles as i believe that most athletic coaching associations are a joke especially the CSCS. there are thousands ppl out there with a piece of paper from those jokers and they still dont know what they are doing. rely on your ability continue to research and learn. never turn down a piece of potentially useful info. and forge a athlete through your hard work as well as his/her. your entering a difficult field but a rewarding one, i think, and you like most of us cant concieve of a better job (your probably like me an shutter at the thought of sitting at a desk all day).

a possable plan?
start a 12 month low paying coaching job, perhaps as a coaching assistant?
Learn as much about how a succesfull coach conducts his business, after all, if you want to earn a living out of it, it is a business.
Dont expect to come out of the theory and earn big $$$$
After a yr, maybe 2, you will have/or not created some inspiring athletes.
Then you check the market, once you have actually created some athletes, they are now used as your references as per a normal job.
If you have good references, ie successful athletes, then the job market door opens a lot more, bringing in more $$ to you! yipee
If your references suck eggs! cause you cant coach after a yr or 2, then keep learning, but not where you are, look for another low key job with better coach support, study harder, and develop some inspiring atheletes.

The one thing I’ve learned is that qualifications mean very little regardless of type.

3 Things are needed IMO for success -
#1 Base knowledge
#2 Common sense & intelligence
#3 Experience

Qual’s can give you #1, time gives you #3 - but where most people fail is #2

also, you need qualifications for insurance reasons too! well you do here anyway

True Bold & kinda important in todays world!

Also, sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So I’d reccommend going to seminars and talking to coaches. Go to meets and talk to other coaches. Get to know as many people as possible in the field! Networking is crucial for your career opportunities plus you’ll have a lot of resources to draw upon should you need help with a training issue.

I think the other ideas above are good too. I don’t think the CSCS is a joke. Sure, it’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread but most college employers desire it.

Thanks guys,

a lot of great advice. i understand i am going to make barebones to start with and was planning on something like bolds post. the certifications would be more for resume purpose as anything, i understand they aremnt much more than a peice of paper.

along those lines how do you break into that first decent place where you can get some athletes, IMO it wouldnt help much to go to many of the d3 schools or even small d1 schools as the athletes really arent there to make a name for yourself.

do you just hope to get lucky and get one of those untapped athletes or is there a decent way to break into the bigger schools? most i have seen usually go with the standout athlete they coached a few years earlier or someone who has grinded it out at lower levels for years.

basically i see a lot of poor decisions being made in the coaching ranks and many very poorly knowledged canidates raking in the jobs, mortac’s advice was helpful and I will probably start searching out meets come the winter season or spring season here, anyone else have any advice as to what i could do to get a headstart? would trying to get in with like minor league and/or major league teams in other sports help at all since I dont really know much about the track organizations around other than the usatf?

perhaps you have to start from total scratch with athletes. as in, they come to you to want to be an athlete, but they are just normal joe blow. Within 8 months, i had coached a group of approx 15 high school kids, and by the end, 2 were sub 11 sec, 2 more low 11, a few mid 11. girls low 12 around yr 10 level. the others were younger and started from like 14sec times!
on a seperate occasion, a femal x country regional winner, by more than 5min at school level, by more than 3 min at regional level, would have done well at states level except the WORK at KFC became more important.
on another occasion, a guy within 8 mnths to run 1.55 800 after heats/semmis in the final for under 20’s. he was a 2.08 runner after 12 mnths with previous coach.

all these people were nothing before i coached them. within 8mnths they were showing results. That would be something you could expect.
I have not tried to break into paid coaching, but i am studying for it now.

Sorry if I missed anything but you are going to finish with getting your MBA first right?

Oh yea, no doubt about that one. I was going to go for my masters in sports management, but I figure the MBA will give me a lot more flexability. I might go for that after anyhow depending on my situation upon graduation.

You should also be judged by how much the athletes you coach have improved. That’s not to say you need to coach a guy to run 9.9. But if you had some college Aged guys (whose rate of improvement might be expected to have slowed) and they improved from, say, 11.0 to 10.5 then I would be taking a serious look at everything else you bring to the party (ie, academics, management skills, personal demeanour, etc). Apart from that, if you can demonstrate improvement with average talents, a smart super-talent may just come on down - then you’ll have your “calling card” .

the advantage of training a nobody is simply that they are nothing in an athletic sense. they can be molded to greatness, which is something i personally think would be more desirable. if i choose to work with athletes i think i would like to work with highschool athletes. anyway i think you will enjoy training someone from nothing to something.

I agree with you kitkat, but what you should be based on and what your actually based on often differ, I have seen a lot of great coaches (some local highschool and small college) not get any looks, while people who have 10.3 and 10.4 people and dont improve them at all get the better jobs.

But your right, if your a good coach you’ll improve kids, and eventually you’ll catch a break.

James, you are also right that is the most rewarding type of coaching seeing what you can mold by yourself. However I’ll be paying off student loans at the time and I dont think highschool coaching will cut it if I want to survive.

you dont need to coach highschool so to speak. but i think you will enjoy coaching someone to something great. that could occur in college or someone from off the street.

I think if you are running Track as a business you need some good business partners - so look around for these guys. If you look at something like HSI as a model you don’t need that many resources in terms of facilities BUT you do need 1. a good place to train where you can do quality sessions all year around. 2. a good agent. 3. good medical backup.