Header Graphic
Sk8Strong Monthly Newsletters > June Newsletter/ "How to Choose an Off-Ice Coach"
June Newsletter/ "How to Choose an Off-Ice Coach"

Jun 1, 2009

This month's article "How to Choose an Off-Ice Coach" will help you better understand the degrees and qualifications an off-ice trainer should have.

"How th Choose an Off-Ice Cocah"

There are many people out there who consider themselves 'off-ice trainers,' just as there are many figure skating coaches who consider themselves a good coach. When you are choosing a professional to work with your child or yourself, it is important to choose an off-ice coach with certain certifications or degrees, and research theri background. Many university programs and degrees include years of study into the human body and its biomechanics, and the majority of people who complete these degrees are well educated. After this article, you should be familiar with ther different degrees that will make a person a qualified professional to work with you or your skater.

Physical Therapist (MSPT or DPT): A physical therapist completes a 5-6.5 year program of study focusing on the evaluation and treatment of the human body, as well as exercise prescription. A good PT will be able to evlauate a skater's movement patterns and determine the need for certain exercises to correct flexibility and strength deficits and imbalances. There are many continuing education opportunites for a PT to further his or her knowledge base in functional exercise, treatment techniques, and evaluative tools. What's even better- a PT can make quick recommendations for the injured skater!

Athletic Trainer (ATC): An athletic trainer completes a 4 year bachelors degree program, focusing on anatomy, acute injury treatment techniques, exercise prescription. Many athletic trainers may receive further certifications through the NSCA or NASM (to be discussed later) as a strength and conditioning specialist or personal trainer, and are typically qualified to do exercise programs for skaters.

Exercise Physiology or Kinesiology degree: This is a four year degree of study focusing on movement science and anatomy. In this course of study, their may or may not be a large focus on exercise prescription. Like the athletic trainer, a person may further their certifications through the NASM or NSCA.

Masters or Bachelors in Strength and Conditioning: A relatively newer degree, this degree is not widely available at many schools, but is a welcome addition to the health field. This program of study is for people that want to solely focus on strength training with athletes, and goes MUCH more in depth than a certification. Highly recommended by me, as I've worked with several people who have been through this program.

CSCS or PES certification: The CSCS (Strength and Conditioning Specialist) is offered by the National Strength and Conditionoing Association, and The PES (Performance Enhancement Specialist) is offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Both are respected certifications that involve a book of study and lengthy exam, and many people with college degrees opt to obtain this certification to add to their knowledge base. However, this is not a degree.

It is also recommendeded to look for someone with experience. In the nine years since I received my PT degree, I have significantly changed the strength training programs that my skaters do. Through many continuing education courses (thank you, Mike Boyle!), I have expanded my knowledge base year after year.


*The Sk8Strong scholarship has increased to $300, thanks to donations from the following companies: www.skatingcircle.com, and Analytical Human Motion, creator of the "Off-Ice Edge Trainer." We have received applications from many qualified skaters, and the winner will be announced by June 20th on www.sk8strong.com. Good luck to all!

*JUNE SALE! For the month of June, "The Competitive Skater" DVD will be on sale for $34.95. Also, customers will receive a free month of Sk8Strong membership with any DVD purchase!

*Lauren will be at the Liberty Summer Competition in Aston, PA in July. Limited appointments for evaluations/assessments available. Contact Lauren at laurensteve@sk8strong.com to set up an appointment. For more info on assessments, visit www.sk8strong.com/trainwithsk8strong.html.