Interviews ARTICLES

Industry News and Research

Head of Physical Preparation on Working with the Vancouver Whitecaps

This interview with Jon is an excellent example of selflessly contributing to the field by agreeing to make this submission while in the middle of the competitive season, a time we all understand can be stressful and time restrictive. Thank you Jon! CSCA: What was the key to you securing a job with the Whitecaps (did being a player help increase your odds of getting the job)?  JP: To answer this question, I will give you the background of how I got into the position I am currently in. I started at the Academy level in 2011, where I was brought [...]

October 29, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

CSCA Interview with Dr. Stuart McGill

Dr. Stuart McGill is an excellent example of a Canadian researcher who has influenced S&C coaches globally with is work. We are extremely fortunate to have such an approachable, knowledgable, and personable, person to learn from. The CSCA was able to catch up with Dr. McGill regarding items such as what his focus was as an undergraduate student, to his current venture. CSCA: What was your motivation to focus your career on back health / research? SM: My answer may disappoint you. I went to University more interested in playing sport than for academics - the football coach suggested I [...]

October 1, 2020|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

Making a Difference in Prince Edward Island: Wyatt Inman

Canada is a wonderful country. Part of what makes it wonderful is the beautiful province of PEI. The CSCA is thrilled to share this interview with Wyatt Inman, an S&C coach who has been making a difference in PEI for over 20 years.   CSCA - What is your current primary role?  WI - I have been a faculty member of Holland College on Prince Edward Island since 1998.  I began as a kinesiologist with the Atlantic Police Academy, and in 2000 I became the co-ordinator of the Sport and Leisure Management diploma program.  My current primary role is teaching [...]

July 30, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

From Ontario to BC: Experiences Guided by My Mentors Made Me a Better Coach

My career has been inspired by experiences guided by mentors. My education is what qualifies me for my job, yet the knowledge from my formal education is not what makes me effective in my role. Although I do not consider myself to be amongst the best coaches in the country, my position allows me to collaborate with those who are. When learning from a great coach, I have observed a common trend in their actions and results: passionate selfless coaches make organizations and their athletes better.     Coaches and teachers alike have had huge impacts on my life at various stages. [...]

July 29, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

A Rising Star in Nova Scotia: Erik Richard

CSCA - What is your current primary role?   ER - I am currently the head strength & conditioning coach for Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. My role has grown from working with a few of the varsity teams to taking over full operations single handed and providing a program structure not seen before at SMU. I now run varsity programs and am entering a second year providing an internship for local students. I formerly worked as a strength & conditioning coach for the Canadian Sports Centre Atlantic. I am a CSCS and a CEP, and I am finishing [...]

July 29, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

Transitioning from Amateur to Professional Sport

I don’t need to be the first to tell you that we are living through a very interesting time. A global pandemic taking shape and stopping everything we know...including sports! Who knew sports could be stopped?! Regardless of the current climate, let me walk you through some of the things I have experienced upon taking a new role in professional sport. Earlier this year, I left the Canadian Olympic Sport system, and took a role in strength and conditioning and sport science with the Chicago Cubs. I had been working at Institut National du Sport du Quebec for 6 years, [...]

June 18, 2020|Categories: Career, Interviews|

Rising Stars from Brock University – Vicki Bendus and Dave McDowell

 Vicki Bendus  CSCA - Why did you become an S&C coach?  VB - I never thought I’d be a coach. I actually thought I didn’t like coaching when I was first exposed to it as a hockey camp instructor in high school. It was exhausting and, man, those kids don’t listen…And yet, here we are.   Like many S&C coaches, my journey began as an athlete. I started with my first S&C coach at age 12. My dad reached out to a young, up and coming coach in Collingwood, Sarah Applegarth, who ended up making an incredible impact on me [...]

April 30, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

St. Francis Xavier University’s Head S&C Coach

CSCA - Why did you become an S&C coach?  JC - I think multiple factors ultimately led to me becoming an S&C coach. Since I can remember, my whole life has revolved around sport. Growing up, I was very fortunate to have supportive parents that were both former competitive athletes and eventually became coaches. I believe this is where my initial interest in coaching developed. I always knew I wanted to work in sport in some capacity, however, if you were to tell me back in high school that I would become an S&C coach one day, I probably would [...]

April 30, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

Rising S&C Star in BC: Cody Piwowar-Desilets

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 [...]

April 30, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

CSCA Director Spotlight: Acadia University’s Elliott Richardson

CSCA - How did you get started in the industry?  Strength and conditioning allowed me to exceed my potential as an athlete and became something that I wanted to share with others following the same athletic path.   I was constantly undersized through my developing years, so S&C gave me the edge to excel at the university level, and to play professionally in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for 3 years. The passion I had for learning about S&C at university transformed me from a middling student to an Academic All Canadian after switching into kinesiology (GPA >3.5).   During my time [...]

January 30, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

The Challenges Have Made Me a Better Coach – Good Mentors Are Key in This Industry

I really enjoy helping people achieve things they never thought possible, on the field, ice, court, while also providing opportunities for achievement outside their sport.   CSCA – How did you get started in the industry?  As with most coaches, I started as an athlete, spending thousands of hours on the pitch. As with most athletes, I was completely blind that anything outside of having my hands on a rugby ball would help me improve. As I got further into my Kinesiology degree, I quickly started to realize the ignorance of those thoughts and started playing around with what I was learning in [...]

January 15, 2020|Categories: Interviews|

The Experience of Professional Sport

I will always remember one NHL GM saying; “We don’t need to test them, we just need to get them in a room with their shirts off to get a look at them, that’s all we need to know if they’ll be worth drafting.” I still can’t believe I heard that in 2008.  On my podcast Leave Your Mark, I recently asked Duncan French, the performance director for the UFC, what his impression of his experience in the English Premiership was like? Did it live up to childhood dreams as he had the good fortune to work for his favorite [...]

January 15, 2020|Categories: Career, Interviews|

Insights into Strength & Conditioning in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association

The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) has not only been a place for student-athletes to continue their post-secondary athletic pursuits for over 50 years, but it is also becoming a place for strength and conditioning coaches to start and grow in their careers. Like some of the student-athletes they work with, S&C coaches can gain the experience needed to transition to USport, national, and/or professional organizations. Over the last 5 years especially there has been a big boom in schools adding strength and conditioning to their athletic departments to stay competitive and assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes. In [...]

January 15, 2020|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

Advisory Team Spotlight

CSCA – How did you get started in the industry?   In 1994, I was attending Simon Fraser University, taking Forensic Psychology courses hoping to be the next Jodie Foster (referencing her role in the movie Silence of the Lambs). But in all honesty, like most young adults, I was not sure what to study and where my true aptitudes lay.   In second year, I ended up taking a Kinesiology course which I found both intriguing and refreshing, plus I earned my first decent mark. I was always a sporty girl and grew up playing everything like most kids in the [...]

November 14, 2019|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

From Calgary to Toronto to LA

Head S&C Coach for the Los Angeles Kings shares his wisdom about working in the NHL  CSCA - How did you get your first job working in pro sport?   I’m currently in my first pro sport team position. I worked in the private sector training elite athletes after my undergraduate degree, and then after completing my master’s degree in 2007, I began working with our National Olympic athletes for the next 7 years. I was able to get an interview with the LA Kings through my colleague Ryan van Asten, who was leaving the role I was seeking for the [...]

November 14, 2019|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

Working in the CFL

Jordan discusses his experience working in the Canadian Football League  CSCA - How did you get your first job working in pro sport?   I got it the old-fashioned way, they posted a job and I applied, sort of. Much like many others, it is no secret that Strength & Conditioning is a people business and I had a prior connection to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, in the Canadian Football League, through my network. I have never kept it secret that most, if not all, of my opportunities, came from prior connections and I am quite proud of that. I don’t think [...]

November 6, 2019|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

NFL to MLB to Special Forces

Patrik has worked with the New York Jets in the NFL, the Toronto Blue Jays in MLB and is now working with Tactical Special Forces officers in Alberta.   CSCA - How did you get your first job working in pro sport / tactical forces?  My first opportunity to work in and experience professional sports came in the Summer of 2013 with the New York Jets in the National Football League (NFL). I had just completed my first S&C position, a 12-month placement at the University of Michigan in their Olympic Sports S&C Department and I was looking for my next [...]

November 6, 2019|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

Working with Special Forces

From elite high performance sport to working with Canadian Special Operation Forces. Dale works with professionals who train because it can be a matter of life or death.   CSCA - How did you get your first job working tactical forces individuals?   This has been my 10th year working within the field of high performance. I began my career working part-time for the Queen’s University Varsity Strength and Conditioning program where I was completing my undergraduate Bachelors of Physical and Health Education.   As soon as that first door opened in the performance world, I knew that was exactly what I wanted [...]

November 6, 2019|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

Networking is a Lifelong Journey of Curiosity

Networking is not about taking or getting something, it is a lifelong journey of curiosity, of finding ways to help people. CSCA - How did you get your first job working in pro sport?   In the early 1990s was fortunate to study at Concordia University and work in the Athletic Department under Scott Livingston and Ron Rappel, learning the foundation of Athletic Therapy and Strength & Conditioning.  In my final year of university, I met Gaetan Lefebvre, the Montreal Canadiens Athletic Therapist, and I had the privilege of being selected for their first internship. I was then able to see [...]

October 31, 2019|Categories: Industry, Interviews|

Key To Success – Be Humble

My first job in professional sports was with the Toronto Maple Leafs and I was fortunate to be recommended for the position by a few colleagues and friends. I had been working with the Oshawa Generals as well as some NHL athletes on the private side and that work led to the opportunity. I went into the interview and was thrown into the gym and asked to coach a bunch of athletes. I think because I was prepared and confident in my abilities as a young (somewhat cocky) coach I did well. I was offered the job immediately after that [...]

October 31, 2019|Categories: Industry, Interviews|
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