WHAT MAKES A GOOD PRACTITIONER IN STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aims of the study were to identify the key characteristics and physical attributes perceived to make a good British based practitioner in strength and conditioning in rugby and football from the perspective of players and other sport science (SS) team members. The study has been prompted due to lack of British interpretation of the strength and conditioning coach (SCC) and a stigma suggesting they must have a certain image of being 'big' muscular and intimidating. The research begins by looking to the history of strength and conditioning (SC) to find where the stereotypical image occurred. From there it is described how the SCC has evolved to science and theory as it became the backbone of conditioning. The study was carried out online via surveys which involved quantative and qualitative approaches to come to a conclusion of what athletes and SSs felt would make an 'ideal' SCC in the areas of characteristics, physical image, fitness and gender. The results showed knowledge and experience over physical presence was what athletes desired from a SCC. The coach should also show experience through their own conditioning as it was deemed somewhat essential for a SCC to have a good fitness level and athletic look. It was also established that gender of the SCC was not important and participants would work with a male or female SCC contrary to past American research. The final conclusion was a SCC does not have to be male, have a large physique or be intense to get the most from their athletes but it was desired for them to be knowledgeable and adaptable to each athletes demands.
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