Developing and Implementing a Coaching Philosophy: Guidance from Award-Winning Strength and Conditioning Coaches

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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Traditional examinations of coaching philosophies consider the perspective of sport coaches (e.g., soccer, cricket, rugby). The focus on sport coaches’ coaching philosophy has advanced the study of coaching effectiveness while simultaneously omitting strength and conditioning coaches from the larger body of literature on coaching philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to reveal how award winning strength and conditioning coaches shape and use their coaching philosophy. The participants include four renowned strength and conditioning coaches, one at the high school, one at the college, and two at the professional level. A summary is provided at the end that examines commonalities (e.g., all the respondents expressed the need to have a specific coaching philosophy) and differences (e.g., how discipline factors into their coaching philosophy) across the respondents’ views and connects their viewpoints to the broader literature on sport coaching.

Andy Gillham owns and operates Ludus Consulting LLC focusing on performance enhancement for athletes, coaches and business executives in the USA and Canada. Of specific note is his work with coaches and athletic administrators on improving systematic coach evaluation and providing targeted coach development opportunities. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a certified consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Gary Schofield is the head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Greater Atlanta Christian School, a private high school in Norcross, GA. He has served in the same position for 15 years and is the NSCA Southeast Regional Coordinator, a former NSCA State Director and the 2012 NSCA High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year.

Michael Doscher is the head Speed and Strength and Conditioning Coach at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. Multiple teams training under Doscher have won national championships and Doscher was named College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the year in 2005 by the NSCA and was the NCAA Division II Strength and Conditioning Coach of the year in 2007. He was further recognized with the certification of Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC) in 2009 by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCCa).

Joe Kenn is the head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Carolina Panthers in the National Football League. Kenn has won both the Professional (2014) and College (2002) Strength and Conditioning coach of the year awards from the NSCA and has earned the MSCC certification.

Dan Dalrymple is the head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League. Dalrymple was named the Cybex Professional Strength and Conditioning coach of the year and the Samson Strength and Conditioning coach of the year, and has earned the MSCC certification.

Address author correspondence to Andy Gillham at drgillham@gmail.com