Career Connections

Jake Swan
Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Exercise Science
Year: Senior
Hometown/State: IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Acceleration Iowa
Company/Organization website:
Title: Sports Performance Coach
Destination: Waukee, Iowa
Timeframe: 8/17-12/17

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
During my internship I learned how to train kids to run properly on the treadmill as well as how to properly perform plyometric exercises. I was also required to come up with workouts for the kids to do as a break from the main workout for the day. overseeing the kids as their performed different movements was one of the biggest responsibilities as well.

I accomplished...
I had the opportunity to work with a bunch of different kids and adults while at the internship. seeing them get better, faster, and stronger was one of my biggest accomplishment. It meant they took what I was saying to heart and listened to me when i tried to help them get better. I was also able to work with an Iowa Barnstormer who needed rehab after surgery. I only got to work with him for a short time, but we already saw growth will I was there with him. I had also had the opportunity to work with a girl who has cerebral palsy and couldn't use the left side of her body well. she was able to do a lot of the workouts and has been improving consistently.

My most valuable effort...
One of the most valuable projects i worked on would have to be working with the younger kids who are just starting to workout. they may do sports during part of the year, but they come to us in the off-season to get better. It has been amazing seeing them improve and get more confident in their workouts and their abilities.

I learned...
The entire internship was a huge learning experience for me. before this, I hadn't worked with kids in this kind of setting before and it was very strange. I didn't know how to interact with them or how to even talk to them while they were doing the workout. Since then, I have been able to relate to most all of the kids and can joke with them all about regular things. that sounds menial, but it is a huge difference now that I know each of the kids as person instead of these random children.

I will never forget...
One of the most memorable experiences would have to be working with the Iowa Barnstormer. It was a lot different working with him than it was with the kids. He was hard working in a different sense, but he also listened to me way better than the younger kids. He was grateful about us helping him get back to 100 percent and it was great watching him improve.

A surprising discovery...
I was surprised about how hard it was to first connect with the kids. I had worked with people my age and geriatrics, but it was a whole different story when trying to talk to the younger kids. when talking to older adults, its easier for us both to keep the conversation because we have similar priorities. younger kids are worried about high school and that boy or girl they like. I learned I needed to just ask basic questions: how old are you, where do you go to school, what sports do you play. and that would open up the door for more questions. I have learned to just start asking questions to get the ball rolling and from there it got a lot easier to relate. i plan on using this later in my profession as I want my clients to be comfortable with me sooner rather than later.

Advice for others...
Don't be afraid to ask questions! you may have to get out of your comfort zone and act like a fool to get the kids to laugh. they will open up to you, you just have to give it a little bit of time. think about what might be important in their life and listen when they do talk! Don't blow them off if they end up talking about something you don't want to listen to. they will be able to tell and it will make it harder for them to open up to.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I first learned about it by taking a field trip to it and a few other facilities in one of my classes.

I landed this assignment by...
I emailed the owner of the facilities and they had one of the directors get back to me. set up a time to meet one of the facility directors and did a small interview and learned how the facility operated.

I wanted this experience because...
I wanted this assignment because I hadn't worked with kids. I think it is important to be able to work with people of all ages and younger children were the last group of people I needed to work with.

Submit your experience!

Establish a student teaching or internship experience!

Career Connections home