When I tell people I am a CSCS, many people are not even sure what that is. And that’s okay! The certification for a CSCS, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, is arguably one of the most prestigious and challenging certs to be obtained in the strength and conditioning industry. It is required at most professional level jobs if you plan to be coaching in a team setting. Therefore, many colleges and sports training facilities require one. From the NSCA website, they explain the CSCS as follows,
“Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists® (CSCS®) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.” https://www.nsca.com/certification/cscs/
This certification took me about a year and a half to obtain due to a full time job and prepping for powerlifting meets. I could’ve gone through a quick 3-month online personal trainer certification but that was not my vision. I wanted to have a deep understanding of strength and conditioning, from knowing the systems in the body, developing nutrition strategies for performance, designing programs, grasping sports psychology, etc. so I could help other athletes and the general population. I am so glad I took the step to pursue this cert back in 2016 because the NSCA did a wonderful job of preparing me to feel 100% confident in my role of developing athletic potential. And they continue to provide resources to me through continuous education so I can evolve as the industry becomes even better. I highly recommend this cert for those pondering working with athletes. You will not be disappointed!