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 Earn 2.0 CEUs in category C from the NSCA when you complete the course 
Strength Coach Network Fundamentals:
Your solution to a broken system of coach education

No matter what the stage of your Strength & Conditioning career, from the lowliest intern to the Performance Director operating at the highest level of sport, there are a few common problems that plague the average coach:

1. Intense financial pressure created by job competition and exploitative organisations

2. Huge time costs that affect your social and family life

3. A lack of real world education produced by those at the top of our field

If none of these apply to you, you can stop reading. But if not, you'll want to keep reading. If you feel like you’ve hit a ceiling or you’re struggling to distinguish yourself in climbing the ladder, you’re struggling with problems that your degree or professional education didn’t prepare you for, and you’re feeling the squeeze financially and in your personal life, this one is for you- especially if you work or aspire to work in pro/college team sport.

Coach education should serve the coach

At Strength Coach Network we firmly believe that you've experienced these problems is because the existing education system has failed you. It sounds obvious to say but coach education should serve the coach. Yet the vast majority of available education serves the end user of the training, namely the athlete: get bigger, stronger, faster, fitter etc.

Of course there is some overlap between the interests of the coach and the athlete. When they perform a little better, you look a little better (if the right people notice). But these aren’t the problems that strength coaches are losing sleep over at night.

The burning issues for coaches are how to be strategic in getting the job they want rather than spending years as an intern or eating shit on the bottom rung of the profession. They worry about how they’re going to earn enough money to live to a decent standard, whether they should drive uber or personal training to make ends meet, or how long they could last financially if they got fired tomorrow (not long).

Worrying about sets and reps when all this stuff is going on is like painting the fence during a hurricane. Let’s tackle the big stuff and serve you the coach FIRST, then worry about serving the athlete second.

Coach education should solve real world problems

There are several major flaws to traditional strength and conditioning education that simply do not reflect the nature of the problems we face in the real world of coaching, or the environments we have to operate in. Firstly, while there is great value to research studies and papers, examining successful programmes from within the field, or searching for an optimal way of doing things, this just isn’t how sport works.

Your job is to train athletes for months or even years, not a few weeks at a time. You’re not trying to push up one key variable, but twenty, and they all affect one another, often in conflicting ways. A certain programme may work great for your favourite coach or team, but you’re not them and you don’t work with their athletes. Optimal is always changing, and blind copy and paste of what is already out there is destined to fail. You’re only on the road to success once you develop the judgement to understand the why rather than just the what.

My belief is that current strength and conditioning has become overly simplified because it sells better. It’s easier to scale, it’s easier to consume, and you don’t have to think so hard. Do the course, collect the CEUs, come back next year. Reality is much uglier and more complex, but neither of these things sell as well.

To be clear: it’s not all bad. I’m not being a hater for the sake of it. I have stood on the shoulders of many great researchers and educators in my career. But you would be astonished at just how many people who make a living educating coaches have never earned their living as coaches. Not just at the highest level possible, or for a prolonged period of time, then they switched careers for reasons of lifestyle or family or money. Ever.

Though well intentioned, educators with such professional backgrounds miss out on the nuance and practical knowledge and skills that are truly required to excel in the world of sport. How can you master an environment you have never inhabited? When you want to learn how to fly a plane, learn from an experienced pilot. When you want to learn how to run a business, ask the self made millionaire. When you want to learn how to operate as a strength and conditioning professional at the highest level of sport, it behooves you to at least learn in part from those who are currently doing it or who have spent huge chunks of their career doing it.

These are biggest problems coaches actually face:
  • Athletes are getting hurt in the field or on the court, not the gym.
  • Athletes' training isn't transferring to the field or court, not the gym.
  • Athletes are getting stale or fatigued from training on the field, not the gym.
  • Sometimes >90% of what they do happens on the field or court, not the gym.

Yet so much of coach education is gym focussed. How much success can you drive if you get lost in the weeds of the 10% and the 90% is just a secondary thought? Traditional education has it ass backwards and begins with discussion of one exercise over another, programming details, coaching cues because it feels immediately productive. 

But until you add a 30,000ft view, a global perspective and the ability to zoom in and out of these modes you won’t realise your full coaching potential to influence athletes where it is felt: on the field or court,
not the gym.

Principles first, methods second

Sport is inherently unpredictable. By its very nature you’re going to encounter problems every day that you’ve never dealt with before, especially as you progress through your career and deal with new or different forms of problems.

Specific tools, methods or ways of doing things may work, but they work because the underlying principles are sound and the integrated systems they operate within allow for it. Until you take the time to understand the integrated nature of sport, and the principles that govern effective sports performance and development of athletic talent, you’re simply a coach with a hammer looking for nails. As soon as the circumstances or environment changes the methods based coach is destined to fail. Traditional Strength & Conditioning education provides you with the hammer.

The principles minded coach can simply adapt their approach to solve the problem with different tools. 
This is the difference between being given fish and learning how to fish. It’s the difference between instructing others in exercise and being a coach. One is a lot more costly and time intensive than the other, but if you want to be truly successful and exert the maximum influence on your athletes careers, you need to take the road less travelled.

You are not an island

We teach students and developing coaches to learn and work in silos- to be an island in themselves. The role of the strength coach is just to train the physical qualities that underpin sporting performance, right?!

"If you lift them heavy, they'll get big and strong"

"If they test poorly for conditioning, add a bunch of MAS intervals"

"If you have a raft of hamstring injuries, add Nordics to the programming"

You don’t need to consider the impact of your actions on any other part of the system, just do what the research or course materials say. But this does not reflect the nature of sport or the athletes that we work with. Each individual is an interconnected complex network of biological systems where all variables affect one another in unpredictable ways.

The silo approach is damaging because it doesn’t account for the singular nature of the stress response, and the fact that the actions of other athlete stakeholders also eat into this limited capacity. Getting your pound of flesh as a practitioner feels good, but you might actually be hurting your athletes and the performance of the team as a whole if you do not respect the interconnected nature of your work. This is a huge indictment of a profession where most coaches do not have even a passing understanding of what everyone else’s job is, let alone how they do it. If you can’t explain what they do, how can you account for it in your own work?

"Are you saying my degree is bullshit?"

No. There is value to your degree (if you haven't graduated yet, don't quit!). There is equally value to professional accreditations, research and other traditional education pathways. 

Training or sport science research, while not accurately representing the environment it intends to serve, does provide insight and direction to coaches about what avenues may offer the most potential return on time, money and energy. They can also validate the experimentation of more bold coaches who are pushing the envelope. 

Similarly there is no replacement for in-person mentorship and communication, something that covid has reinforced for the whole world in recent times. Some of the biggest lightbulb moments in my career have happened during side conversations or dinners at conferences and seminars. There is great value in being able to block out time to learn and think, and put yourself in the same room with like minded individuals.

Likewise, you will never get to the top without doing the work on the gym floor and on the field or court: the 10,000 hour rule is bullshit, but whatever the number is, nobody ever got worse by doing more and more purposeful practice. The acquisition and refinement of practical coaching skill and the comfort of operating within a sporting organisation comes from immersing yourself in these environments.

BUT: there are a lot of terrible coaches out there who chain themselves to the gym, attend every conference, and subscribe to every journal under the sun. A large number of these coaches also experience career stagnation and financial hardship. The average strength coach has no problem whatsoever with work, so this is not a problem that we can work our way out of. Solving this problem with more work is pouring water in your face when you're already drowning.

Time to solve real world problems

Despite what some of our critics may believe, we feel the purpose of education is to solve real world problems, not just obtain a piece of paper, collect CEUs, or check a box for one's employer. The biggest criticism our members have had of certifying and governing bodies and higher education is that they simply aren't preparing coaches to be able to be productive teammates within high level organisations. So what does the degree or accreditation actually do?!

We have no problem preparing young dentists or doctors to immediately be productive members of the team at a surgery or hospital when they graduate, yet the cliche of the average intern only being fit to do piss tests, protein shakes and babysit athletes holds water. Feedback from top level coaches in our network is that a huge amount of time has to be spent each year on intern and staff development to achieve even a rudimentary level of skill and understanding on anything that isn't basic powerlifting or Olympic weight lifting.

When this fact is pointed out to these organisations the finger pointing begins:

"Not everyone wants to be a high level strength coach"

"It isn't on us to tell other people how to structure their curriculums."

"We don't have the time or resources to teach coaches about such esoteric stuff"

Well, at Strength Coach Network we're happy to fill that gap. Rather than work forwards from what it is that lecturers or course tutors *think* great coach education might be, we decided to work backwards from the coaches at the very top of the field. We surveyed 60 coaches from the NFL, NBA, EPL, power 5 colleges, professional rugby and more and asked them what knowledge, skills and qualities they most value in their careers, but they lacked when finishing the degree or certification.

We asked what they have to spend the most amount of time on each year to bring their staff up to standard. And we asked what the biggest gaps are in the applied knowledge on offer by the usual suspects of strength & conditioning education. Then we got to work on filling those gaps. The end result is Strength Coach Network Fundamentals.

Strength Coach Network Fundamentals

In building the Strength Coach Network fundamentals course we asked ourselves "If we could lock our younger selves in a room for an intense weekend of learning, what would we want that coach to leave with that would jump them to the front of the job line, and drastically accelerate their professional development for the rest of their career?"

The result is 20 hours of taught materials, with an additional 20 hours of self directed study and demonstrated learning, with a curriculum spans the gamut from the theoretical to the applied, from broad concepts to specific methods, from you as the individual to the organisation you serve.

We're interested in teaching you just as much about how to think as what to do, and to provide you with the tools to thrive in whatever stage of your career that you're in. Most courses want to turn you into a McDonald's fry cook. Easy to teach and replicate, good enough if your standards aren't too high. If you want a simple, "do this list" of things to copy, this is not for you. We want to turn you into a classically trained Chef- hard to teach, hard to replicate, high standards. But the food tastes better and people will ultimately pay a lot more for it.

Sign up for Strength Coach Network Fundamentals and you'll get access to modules on key career development topics including:

  • Problem solving
  • Conditioning
  • Mental models
  • Risk management and decision making
  • Sport concepts
  • Stress physiology
  • Testing and statistics
  • Annual planning
  • Sprinting for field and court sports
  • Agility
  • Jumps and plyometrics
  • Power
  • Strength
  • Hypertrophy and local muscular endurance
  • Financial planning

We've put together a holistic 360 degree curriculum of coach development. All modules are mixed media in nature- primarily video with supporting text and graphics. We provide an extensive supporting reading list of books and freely available papers to provide you with necessary background and context, and flesh out the concepts being discussed.

You'll also get the opportunity to demonstrate your learning at the end of each module by taking a quiz. Be warned: this is not spoon feeding. You will not pass these quizzes by just skimming and guessing. This is the exactly the kind of stuff we are trying to combat. We purposefully made it so that you have to consume the full module to answer the questions! No thinking = no value!

We've also included the ability to comment on each module in case you want to provide feedback, ask small questions or provide input about modules or materials that you want see from us in the future.

Lastly, you will receive a certificate of completion, which like every other certificate in this industry serves no other purpose than to flex on social media and give free marketing to the company producing the education. But when you do it with us, it's post modernist and tongue in cheek ;)

Get the answers to the exam

The biggest benefit to a course like this is you're getting the answers to the exam. When dozens of elite level coaches are telling you "THIS is the stuff we want from our interns, GAs and assistants", we've done the hard work of researching and filtering for you. Now it's just on you to put in the time and the work. When you have you'll be that much further ahead of your peers who are either still figuring it out, or just ploughing ahead without addressing gaps in their development.

The Strength Coach Network Fundamentals seeks to address the 4 Ps of career development:

Personal- to build more efficient processes into your work, free up more time to be a human being and spend time with your loved ones.

to equip yourself with the financial tools to earn your worth and be secure in your standard of living.

Progression- to develop the necessary professional skills and knowledge to achieve your ultimate career goal.

Purpose- to belong to something bigger than one's self and feel a sense of mission in your work (this one is on you, but if you've read this far, you probably have it) 

We want to provide with the kind of information and mental tools to become a true high performance practitioner: to influence every aspect of your programme by collaborating with other key athlete stakeholders from dieticians, to sport coaches to medical staff. In doing so you'll become the indispensable hub that all information and decision making passes through, a role that makes you easier to promote and pay well, and harder to fire. 

Meet our course presenters:
Dr Bryan Mann

Professor, University of Miami
Powerlifter  & Author

Two decades of NCAA Division 1 Coaching Experience
Cameron Josse

Athletic Performance Coach, Indiana University Football (Top 12 AP Poll)

Former staff member, Onnit, DeFranco's training
Nick DiMarco

Director of Strength & Conditioning, Elon University

Former UFA, Baltimore Ravens, PhD candidate
Jake Tuura

Founder, Jacked Athlete

Former S&C, Youngstown State University
Steffan Jones

Dir. of Sport Performance, Wellington School, Founder, PaceLab

Former dual professional athlete, consultant to IPL and pro baseball
Allen Giese

Founder, North Star Planning

30+ years of experience as a wealth manager and financial advisor, several hundred million under management
Dominic Matteo

Precision Nutrition Coach

Full time nutritional consultant & educator
Keir Wenham-Flatt

Founder, Strength Coach Network

Rugby guy

We're delighted to bring together a distinguished list of presenters who are extremely high level performers in their respective modules. Our main criteria was skin in the game. If you do not make your living getting results in the real world, you cannot contribute to this course.

They bring DECADES of elite level of experience to the table, across a wide variety of sports, pairing the theoretical with the practical, and most importantly they get fired if they do shitty work or give shitty advice, which is the definition of skin in the game. This is a stark contrast to the a governing body that gives shitty advice secure in the knowledge that everyone still has to come to the conference next year to get their CEUs.

How to know this course is NOT for you

If you’re wanting cheap education. Good, cheap, or fast- you can only pick two. Strength Coach Network Fundamentals is not cheap, but you’ll learn a whole lot In a short space of time from some very accomplished coaches, and join an exclusive network of strength & conditioning professionals who want to change how things are done. Not to mention: our goal is to bring you many times the value of this course over the duration of your career. If it doesn’t save you $500+ of mis-negotiated contracts, Fd up financial planning, or professional mis-steps, email me and I’ll send you my address so you can slap me in person. The rest is free money! 

If you just want to get your CEUs and keep your accreditation. There are probably quicker, cheaper and easier ways to get it done. We believe there is a fundamental conflict of interest between education and accreditation, and you certainly can’t criticise key players in the industry when relying on them to increase your sales appeal. ”Who’s bread I eat, his song I sing”

If you want to train regular people, not athletes. You can get a ton of value from business courses/resources, general training resources on strength, hypertrophy and power, and nutrition. Our course is for strength and conditioning coaches who want to work athletes possible, either in private sector, or the school/college/professional sector. If you work with team, field or court athletes, even better. We’re for you.

If you want a simple recipe or a to do list. This is going to be hard, but the juice is worth the squeeze. If it was easy, everyone else would be doing it. We estimate 2-3 hours per module to consume the materials, do the reading, take the quizzes and do any additional note taking. Assuming you do an hour of study per day (most don't), and take weekends off, this course is going to take anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks to complete. No mean feat.

Career changing education

This course is not intended to be like all the rest. Like most of the good things in life, in taking this course, you'll sacrifice the short term reward of convenience and ease for a bigger reward in the long term: drastically improved professional prospects. There's no plug and play programme. There's no exercise list. There's no gimmick you can show off on the gram. What you are going to get is a framework and a way of thinking, that if you spend the time and do the work, will serve you for the rest of your career.

The same is true financially. We're more expensive than the rest, but our intent and belief is that you'll return many times the value of this course to you over the course of your career. When you're able to distinguish yourself from the competition and land bigger jobs sooner, and negotiate from financially stronger positions, that's real return on investment. Successful and financially productive careers are not built on methods. Learning a way of tweaking PNF, or even being the best Olympic lifting guy does not get you hired or win championships.

We're biased but even if our competitors were offering the same type of materials or information (they're not, we checked), we put our guys against their guys any day of the week. We've tried to recruit the smartest guys out ehre with a ton of skin in the game.

Even if you can find better out there (you can't), you're probably going to have to cherry pick from a variety of different sources at a much higher cost of time and money. With The Fundamentals, we've done the filtering for you. It's all here for you in an easy to consume format and a much lower price than you'd be able to organise by yourself.

"How much is it going to cost me?"

We’ve set the price of entry to this course at $599.99.

This is premium education, so we've priced it accordingly. But as an investment that will return many times that to you over the course of your long career, it should be an easy decision to make. If you really can’t afford $600, please don’t spend your money here and break the bank, go fix that problem first. If you don’t think you’re going to be around long enough to return the investment of this course over a couple of years or longer, this field is not for you and you shouldn’t spend your money here. 
But if you are committed to this field and you are looking significantly improve your work and career prospects as a coach, this course is for you.

For comparison:

If you want to take the most basic level of exercise physiology at Stanford Online, you'll pay $1500 for 6 hours of taught content, or about $250 per hour.

An online Master's degree in Strength & Conditioning from Liberty University will set you back over $15000. The equates to roughly 10 modules, or about $1500 per course.

Not only are these courses several times higher than Strength Coach Network Fundamentals, there is no guarantee that the content will be taught by top level pros who are telling you exactly what the high level organisations are crying out for. We offer more quality, more content, at a lower price than existing offerings in the marketplace. 

Furthermore you'll get exclusive discounts to all Strength Coach Network memberships if you're not already a member, in addition to discounted pricing on the subsequent levels of this course series, and our future sport specific courses.

Get ready to master The Fundamentals

If you've made it this far you're probably tired: of the status quo of traditional strength & conditioning education, of doing what everyone else has done to get what everyone else has got. More importantly you probably want to do something about it. If you're ready to get started and you want to get your hands on our most in depth offering to date, and help us on our mission to change the face of strength and conditioning, click on the link below and we'll see you on the inside.

It gets even better! Earn 2.0 CEUs for your NSCA certification in category C when you complete the course!

Click here to sign up for The Fundamentals