Earlier this month, I attended the USA Track & Field (USATF) Level One Coaching Certification course and really enjoyed it. So I guess you’re wondering, why would a personal trainer take such a course. Really the course is for anyone and for me it was all about learning new things to help me help others. Since RunSYRun is branching off and starting a new fitness program, geared towards helping runners run stronger races, this course really was a great introduction to what I have in store for my future.
The class left me with a greater understanding of the proper training techniques that should be used when training clients. For me, it was really interesting to see how the track and field disciplines all tie-in together. I was really interested in the biomotor training for speed and power events. This section, along with the sprinting section, will help me develop effective training programs for my clients.
Breakdown of the Course
Friday – January 8, 2016, 5:00 pm – 9:45 pm
We were introduced to some wonderful instructors, Coach Allen Allden and Coach Neil Young. The course started off with Positive Coaching, Philosophy, Ethics and Risk Management, Physiology, and Training Theory. Each coach brought their own personal experiences and were able to share those with us instead of reading the power point verbatim. I really enjoyed the start of the course. On this day I was able to walk away with better techniques to help me coach clients, and a thorough understanding of the different training phases (macrocycle, mesocycle, and microcycle) and when to apply them. Today also turned out to be a refresher for my National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal training (CPT) course. I probably could have taught the Physiology portion of the course :-). I swear it felt great knowing exactly what the instructor was talking about when it came to the various systems in the body and their functions.
Saturday – January 9, 2016, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
I was really looking forward to this day. Today’s agenda consisted of the following: Sports Biomechanics, Biomotor Training for Speed and Power, Sprints & Hurdles, Hurdles & Relay, Throws, and Psychology. Even though my day got started a little late (sorry but I just can’t function without breakfast so I spent some time fixing that before heading out and arrived 15 minutes late to class), I was looking forward to biomotor training and sprints. Coach McAtee (another instructor) started us off with discussing how physics interplay with anatomy and physiology to affect human performance. I swear, I really get geeked about this 🙂 ish, especially since I’m learning more about it through my CPT certification. Coach Young, then followed with biomotor training and sprints. He had my full attention. Since I train runners and my goal is to help them get faster, PR specific race distances, race stronger and injury free, I was really looking forward to learning how to set up specific training. This section of the course will aid me in helping my clients reach their goals when it comes to power and speed.
Sunday – January 10, 2016, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
This day started off pretty rough. I left my home early to arrive in plenty of time before the class started (see I was a little late on Saturday 😦 ). Oh well, the universe was sure working against me (or maybe it was working for me…there was an accident on my route, so maybe not being where I thought I wanted to be was a win win) and I arrived to class super late :-(. It could have been worst right, I could not have made it at all. Guess it depends on the way we look at things…I’m going with the latter :-), I arrived safe, sound and in my right mind. Today’s agenda consisted of Jumps and Endurance Training. I really didn’t mind missing the first portion of the class because I wasn’t interested in jumps (no offense to Coach Young), I was really looking forward to endurance running (of course I would be…being a distance runner 🙂 ). Once again I was not disappointed. Coach Allen really went over the mechanics of endurance running and I swear I walked away with a lot of tidbits that once again will help me help my clients.
In order to become certified, we had to pass a 150 question, open book test within 90 days from the date of taking the course with an 80%.
There really was a lot of information over the course of the weekend and I swear my brain was still processing information days later. The course covered several disciplines, events, and key coaching points which made this an excellent starting point for new coaches working with clients. It was great being among other coaches and hearing their experiences on the track and field. I’m so looking forward to sharing what I have learned during this training.
I don’t think I’m interested in coaching track and field but I would love to go out and assist or even serve as a volunteer. I really feel as though I got what I expected out of this course. My goal is to continue to learn and share my knowledge by helping others improve themselves and reach their fitness goals. I really feel as though I’m well on my way.