From strong lifters to strength coaches: a grounded theory of central Texas division I strength and conditioning coach education
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Objective: collegiate strength and conditioning coaches continue to gain greater prominence as a subject of research in sports studies literature. However, information is lacking on the specific educational experiences of strength coaches, particularly related to why strength coaches pursued the educational options they did and how they feel those options impacted them during their careers. Nineteen (14 men and 5 women) full- or part-time strength and conditioning coaches at NCAA Division I universities in Central Texas were interviewed about their educational experience and how they learned how to be a strength coach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and then transcribed, coded, and analyzed in the methods consistent with grounded theory. A theory was formulated that identified major educational experiences of coaches and how those experiences correlate to perceptions of coaching proficiency. It was found that mentorship experiences, regular rigorous exercise, and continuous self-education based around projects, were essential educational experiences for these coaches.