CSCA – Why did you become an S&C coach?
CPD – I had my first strength and conditioning coach at the age of 15. I don’t think I fully appreciated it at the time but the training was a key factor in the transformation of my physical abilities and my success over the years as an athlete. The experience really made me recognize the tremendous impact that strength and conditioning could have on the development of athletic abilities and drives me today to provide the same opportunity and results to the athletes under my care. I started to go down a completely unrelated educational and career path but recognized my heart was not there and redirected by time and studies to S&C.
CSCA – Entering the industry, what do you think was your greatest need?
CPD – As a new coach, I needed mentorship and guidance. I consider myself very fortunate that I have been exposed to so many different training environments and learned from some exceptional coaches. I owe a lot of gratitude to Joe McCullum, UBC Head Strength, and Conditioning coach. Joe took me on as an undergraduate coach at the University of British Columbia Varsity training center. Along with Joe, Tavis Bruce, UBC Assistant Strength, and Conditioning Coach has had a tremendous impact on my development as a coach. I am very fortunate to still be working with and learning from Tavis with the Women’s National Volleyball team that trains out of the Richmond Olympic Oval.
When I entered the industry as a coach I recognized and learned it was paramount that athletes needed to learn how to move very well. In the early days, I placed more emphasis on the need or importance for athletes to be strong. While strength is very important it is only part of the equation for developing high functioning athletes. Joe, Tavis, and other mentors including Josh Neumann of Essentials of Athletics and Molly O’Brien and Sean McKeown of Fortius have shaped my personal training philosophy. I look forward to continuing to learn from Dr. Paul Gamble in the coming years.
CSCA – To date, what has been your greatest learning as an S&C coach?
Well developed interpersonal skills may be one of the most important determinants of success for a coach. This includes the coach-athlete relationship and extends to the sharing of information within the Integrated Support Team (IST). I continue to place emphasis and attention on developing this area of my coaching. I have also learned the importance of a thorough needs analysis for every sport you are coaching. The value derived from thoroughly understanding the physical demands of the sport and the profile of the athletes is paramount and will immediately impact the decisions you make around testing and programming for your athletes.