I will be the first to admit that High School Strength & Conditioning is in a serious need of an overhaul. I am not saying there aren't some really good High School Strength & Conditioning Coaches in this country, but they are few and far between. If a school district is in the position that they can afford to pay a certified strength & Conditioning Coach with at least a bachelors degree, they are an anomaly. Most schools don't have a structured physical development program let a lone someone to supervises it and a way to implement it in the physical education curriculum. In most cases, this is how things play out in the high school weightroom:
- The head football coach either run the training program for the football team and every other teams fend for themselves
- The Head football Coach puts on of his assistants in charge of the weightroom because he is not a teacher in the building and he could use the stipend.
- Every coach runs their own training program with their own teams. Some don't give a shit and they all fight over the athletes and feel their program should take priority.
There are a ton of other scenarios that I am sure are happening. Regardless, the student athletes are the ones who miss out on developing physically to their potential.
Another scenario that happens and may be the best for everyone involved is when a private training facility acquires a contract to train the teams at the high school. This usually means that a qualified coach who is passionate about training fulfill a need that the school has. It works well, but not all districts have the funds and not all private facilities do a great job when they have the opportunity.
On one hand...
You are an educated and experienced coach with a proven track record of improving performance of the athletes you train. And, you own the best sports performance training facility in the area.
At the same time...
The local high schools in the area either do not have a structured program or their programs are way below what you feel is an adequate program. You know this because you train a few of the athletes from schools around the area and you have done your own reconnaissance.
So in your mind...
You are the best coach and trainer anyone in the tri-state area has ever seen. Every high school in the area's strength training sucks. This is a no brainer. Every district should pay you to train their teams. But, they haven't beat down your door yet and they haven't thrown the booster money at you. Why?
Here's Why you aren't training the High School Teams in your area
I had an opportunity to talk to a young sports performance coach who was training to get his foot in the door at a local high school. I couldn't give him any advice until I fully understood the situation. After we hashed out some ideas he got back to me with a business plan on how we was going to make it work. He is going to be successful at some point with that district. It may not work as first, but it will work. Our conversation got me thinking about what questions you need answered before you seal the deal.
1. Has the high school ever had a strength coach before?
In one instance, a coach I know was not hired after the last coach was fired. This guys did such a shitty job, that the high school would rather not have a coach than hire a new one. Their perception of what a strength coach is has been tainted.
2. If they don't have a strength coach, who does their programming?
If the sport coaches train their own teams or if the football or track coach or athletic trainer trains most of the teams, what are they doing? Understand that in most cases, coaches train teams because they want to, they enjoy it. Spending money to hire someone to train their teams not only takes away responsibility, but critical time spend mentoring those young athletes.
3. What program are they running?
This is where local private facility owners get butt-hurt about the programs that the high school is running. Trainers literally get offended by the program a high school runs with their players. Their first inclination is thinking that if they trained the football team, the record would change dramatically. You know, because you have a magical program.
So your strategy is what?
You are going to tactfully tell the head coaches and AD that the program they are doing is subpar and you would fix everything.
Do you think that will work? "Hey, I noticed your program sucks, why don't you pay me to run it?"
The coaches and AD won't pay you to train their teams because they don't know you. They don't know who you are, don;t care about your credentials, and you are no different than any other personal trainer that charges by the hour.
Coaches also understand that the training that takes place is essential for the team to develop as a team. A private contractor basically has no say in playing time, or discipline of a player. Tough task when your most important job is to instil discipline and to mentor young athletes.
Instead of being a condescending dick, try this
Instead of setting up a meeting with the AD and Coaches to give your sales pitch about how awesome you are, hold a free clinic.
Advertise to every middle and high school in the area including rec centers, etc. Hold a series of performance (speed, agility, injury prevention) clinics at key times during the year. Beginning and ends of summer, winter break, etc. This is the type of things you do every day with your clients anyway.
During these clinics, the high school coaches will get to see you present the information. This is your interview and the only shot you may have of getting the coaches, parents, etc. to know you better.
If you are trying any local athletes from the area, include them in your clinics as demonstrators IF... they are the best players at their schools. If they aren't, skip them for the clinics.
Another thing is to show up at all of your athlete's games that you are currently training. This is a great way to be seen by parents, coaches, etc. supporting your athletes. I always hate the trainers who do everything they can to steal their athlete's thunder. "Here's one of my athlete's with a 20lbs PR because of my training." Insert plugging your business here. Guess what, shithead, the kid is 14 years old, just be testosterone alone he will get a 20 lbs PR doing any shitty program. I like to see the trainers like Nick Showman who are always taking pictures with his athletes after their games and keeping them in the spotlight. He is always talking about their character and work ethic instead of stealing their thunder.
Lastly... volunteer. If you have a relationship with any of the sport coaches then offer to train their team for free. Don't make the mistake of assuming that someone will pay you to train their teams without knowing how you train. Secondly they may not have the funds and not have the motivation to find the funds without knowing what you can do for their teams.
Coaches have a tough time trusting people they don't know to train their teams. They are also emotionally invested in the training philosophy they have implemented. They probably don't feel they need anything "fixed" in their program and may not know enough to know the difference anyhow.
Sell yourself, not your program
305 for 5 doubles
Box Jumps for 5 doubles
70kg for 3 singles
* Columbus Weightlifting has found a new home at 11Athletics. I have known Mark Cannella for a long time and I am excited to see them here. They had a bunch of equipment given to them for free that they brought with them. It was pretty cool training with an Eleiko competition bar. They even brought a piece of equipment to hand my bag on. Not sure what else you would do with it.
Log Clean & Press Drop Set
200 x6/ 170 x4
Chest supports Neutral Grip Dumbbell Row
60s x 15
DB Lateral Raise Mech Drop Set
half reps x10