Jessica Holmes completed 60 hours of work placement at Blitz S&C. Blitz provides athlete performance testing, strength and conditioning coaching and athlete education services. The business is owned by ACPE’s Dr Adrian Schultz who is an accomplished Exercise Physiologist. The Industry Hub interviewed Adrian and Jessica to learn more.
1.What did the placement focus on?
A large part of the placement was observation, working with groups and individual athletes. Including initial assessments, training for periods of time and then re-assessing, which took place at the performance hub, and training and testing outdoors.
As Jess’s knowledge and skills grew, she began to lead warm up activities, with a big focus on group sessions (pod style training, 6-8 athletes in a group). She then progressed onto coaching athletes while they trained. Eventually Jess will work with her own individual clients, conducting both assessing and programming.
2. What are the benefits of WIL and internship placements
Getting supervised work experience with expert and industry-based people. You will also become more comfortable dealing with clients in a professional manner in a real-world service setting.
Applying theoretical knowledge from university while gaining practical skills. As well as boosting confidence and enjoyment in the role. Being able to connect with athletes and supporting them as they progress. There is also the opportunity to learn business processes and the best way to market the service for repeat business.
Networking and getting as much experience as possible, to meet other professionals is very important. Opportunities come from knowing people, and you are more likely to get a role if you are meeting key decision makers. WIL is a great way to do this.
My recommendations on networking include joining a professional body, such as ASCA, as a student. This will allow you to attend regional and state events, such as professional development workshops and industry conferences. The international ones (i.e. NSCA) are great if you can make it.
1.What is your new role at Blitz S&C:
Casual squad coach, working with groups one to two days a week (kayakers, swimmers ect). Providing S&C training, warmups, and monitoring during sessions. Soon I will begin to work on one and one sessions, as the business builds more clients.
2. What did you learn on placement?
In advanced S&C there is a strong focus on technique, and it was great to apply this in practice. For example, not everyone performs a deadlift the way a textbook might describe, and it was great to see this in reality.
I worked with groups aged 12-18, so there was lots of opportunity to learn behaviour management techniques.
I built up my own professional coaching technique. The opportunity to work within a business setting and environment, helped me understand how I should conduct myself with clients. It was a big change from the more informal coaching style I am used to.
3. What advice do you have for fellow ACPE students on WIL placements?
I think work experience is very important and it is good to get in early and get a taste for different things, as the experience will help with in-class learning. If you get a job off you should take it, purely for the experience.
Back yourself, remain confident and show them that you know what you are talking about. Sell yourself, get straight into it and ask lots of questions. I was given a little bit of homework, such as listening to podcasts ect. Which was really good.
4. What was your involvement with the Australian Men’s Netball – Physical Fitness Testing?
Alongside two other ACPE students (Brody Louge and Rohan Yates) I volunteered to assist with fitness testing for the Australian Men’s Netball team. This was conducted over 2 days. During the sessions with did a range of different tests, such as the Yoyo, 505 Agility, 20-metre sprints, sit-up tests, vertical jump and push-ups.
It was great because Adrian set up the testing, and then ran the sessions. Leading the boys through the tests was a great experience and working with elite athletes has been a highlight of my time at Blitz S&C.
5. What career aspirations do you have?
Still not really sure, at the moment I am a level 2 Cricket Coach and an Assistant S&C Coach for under-19 girl’s cricket in the central coast and I would really like to see where this takes me. I am also really enjoying my time with Adrian; the business is growing so I am hoping to stay for a few years and learn lots while I am here.