Anthony Donskov is the founder of DSC where he serves as the Director of Sport Performance. Donskov holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science & is the author of Physical Preparation for Ice Hockey.
So you want to be a Strength Coach?
It’s that time of year again at DSC. Another long, grinding summer of action packed, electrically charged energy in the weight room. A time for PR’s, sweat equity, discipline, dedication and a one-day better mentality! It’s also time for a brand new group of interns to begin their quest in the strength and conditioning field in hopes of gaining valuable hands-on experience and one day becoming a practitioner. This will be the seventh year since the inception of our internship program at DSC. The truth is, all interns want to learn, but what they need the most has nothing to do with strength and conditioning methodologies, exercise science, or set/rep schemes, and everything to do with people skills and accountability.
The world as changed since I was in University. Technology, social media, and texting have changed the way we communicate with one another. In fact, we don’t communicate anymore, we write messages behind computer screens and spend seconds composing text messages with minimal thought behind content, grammar and punctuation. We have forgotten the importance of face-to-face communication, pulse, and genuine people skills. THIS IS COACHING! Society has changed as well into a “rights and privileges” mindset where handouts and freebies are expected. It doesn’t work that way in the weight room. At DSC, it’s all about priorities and obligations. If you want to be a Coach, you better learn these intangible tangibles quickly or your career in our weight room will be short lived.
Don’t answer “Ya” when responding to an athlete/Coach, tuck your shirt in, tuck your chain in, get the gum out of your mouth, take your hat off, tie your shoes, look coaches and athletes in the eyes when you speak, be on time, shake hands firmly, show passion, pulse and intent, clean up, be proactive, find solutions not problems, e-mail with proper grammar, respond to voicemails in a prompt fashion, take pride in cleaning the gym, treat elite athletes and beginners with the same care, concern and attention. Don’t tell me what you know because I don’t care. You are here to learn a system, not recount your undergraduate career to our staff. Your previous sporting career is yesterday’s news, and it certainly doesn’t assure you competence in this field. Show pulse, passion, and attention to detail and NEVER forget that EVERYDAY is a job interview. Don’t tell me how bad you want it, SHOW me. The most important job you’re doing is the one you’re doing right now.
If you can learn these life lessons at Donskov Strength and Conditioning than your internship was a huge success. We have done our jobs. These are the big rocks, the meat and potatoes of life. The dessert is the science, and the programming. As the old saying goes never eat dessert without first having your meat and potatoes…and if your full, skip dessert.