The NFL features massive athletes colliding into one another. It's the job of a team's strength coach to make sure the players are strong enough to sustain that pounding. For example, the Houston Texans' players manual on strength and conditioning includes sections on nutrition, conditioning, speed and quickness, skill development, flexibility, muscular fitness and rest. The strength coach must design that type of program and implement it year-round. To do so, he needs the proper training and a track record of success. There is no guarantee of making it to the NFL, but doing a handful of things will give you a good shot.
Things You'll Need
- College degree
- College strength coach position
- Good reputation
- Networking skills
How to Become a Strength Coach for the NFL
Earn a college degree in an area that teaches you about the human body. Recommended majors include exercise science, health science, kinesiology, physical education and physiology. Taking classes in sociology, psychology and writing also could help.
Get a college strength coach position. This is a major steppingstone. Developing players will get you noticed. It could be at a big-time program or an up-and-coming school you helped to turn around.
Gain a reputation through results. If your college team's offensive line allowed very few sacks, your methods will get noticed.
Network and keep in touch with everyone you meet. It's not unusual for a college strength coach to get hired by a NFL coach who knew him from when they used to coach together at the same college years earlier.
Tips & Warnings
- Join an organization like the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association, National Strength and Conditioning Association or the National Strength Professionals Association. It won't impress anyone without having experience and success, but you'll stay up-to-date with the current training methods and get to meet other trainers.
- Perform the workout you give to the team yourself. That way you have a better understanding of what works.
- If you're a college student not playing a sport, volunteer to help in the weight room and shadow the school's strength coach.
- Get a graduate assistant job as a strength coach. After college, graduate assistant jobs allow you to learn about coaching while getting a graduate degree.
- If you can't get a NFL job, you could become a personal trainer with the knowledge you acquired.
- There's tough competition because of the low number of jobs. There are 32 NFL teams, meaning at most there are 64 strength coaches---each team usually has an assistant.
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