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Sport Lecturer Mat Blair works with a student in the gym

Coaching career

Permanent employment is beneficial for tertiary-qualified strength and conditioning coaches.

The strength and conditioning coach is a sports service provider that plays an integral role in preparing an athlete for competition. The bio-physical elements of strength and conditioning are well-known, however little information is available on the working conditions of the coaches. 

Masters student Bennett Jones used an online, in-depth, survey to gather quantitative data from coaches within New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Participants were categorised into the three most common employment styles for this population, (1) permanently-employed, (2) self-employed and (3) other. Seventy-two coaches responded to the survey. 

Findings revealed the working conditions of coaches within this region vary and depend on the style of employment. Those employed permanently had the greatest industry experience, have a tertiary level qualification, and hold or are working towards gaining an industry-specific accreditation. They receive higher remuneration, have benefit packages and work longer hours than self-employed and other-employed coaches. 

Permanent employment appears to be the most rewarding form of employment for coaches in this region, however it does not come without difficulties relating to work conditions. These challenges include travelling away from home, 10+ hour days and hours that frequently exceed contracted expectations. Applied, this research allows for emergent coaches to make informed professional development and career-related decisions.