Career Connections

James Lowery
Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: Exercise Science

Company/Organization: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Company/Organization website:
Title: Strength and Conditioning Intern
Destination: Lafayette, LA
Timeframe: Spring 2017

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My basic responsibilities are to see to it that athletes perform the prescribed individual program lifts and exercises. This includes: a) The athlete is on time and ready to work b) The athlete is aware of the lifts or exercises he or she is supposed to perform that day c) Make sure the athlete performs these lifts and exercises to the best of his or her ability and at the correct intensity d) Coach the athlete where necessary on proper technique e) Help athletes through other non-lifting conditioning exercises I am also responsible for the nutrition station for all athletes. This responsibility involves handing out nutritional foods to athletes before and after the workout sessions.

I accomplished...
At Louisiana Lafayette, there is a football player called Booker. He is not a real ball of fire during the off-season and needs a lot of encouragement. Without encouragement, Booker would probably just sit down and choose not to do any of the work. Over the last two months, I have practiced my leadership techniques with him. This included: always providing a positive attitude, been encouraging, and avoiding any punishment. Booker’s favorite thing was winning some of the friendly competitions I set up during the exercise program. Booker would get a special twinkle in his eye and the “I kicked your butt” grin on his face when he won. Spring football has finally arrived and all the pain and agony of off-season conditioning is paying off. Booker is a back-up 300-pound linemen and he plays a lot of special teams. During practice last week, the starter ahead of Booker was having a bad day. The Head Football Coach was riding him mercilessly. Finally, he had enough and put Booker in. Booker did pretty well and the Head Coach was quick to make it known that the starter’s job was in jeopardy if he didn’t step up his game. While standing on the sideline, I slapped Booker on the behind and said “I told you, you could do it!” That grin came over his face. I really think my efforts have made a difference in Booker’s performance. Despite the progress, he was my biggest challenge. He is beginning to put in the effort to improve himself, but still requires more attention than any other football player. I have tried to smile and bring a genuine passion and enthusiasm to the time I work with Booker. I take the time to share my vision and team goals with him. My job as the leader is to show Booker the clear path he can take to reach team goals and show him how he is important to the team. During his time as a starter during spring ball practice, I believe that emphasis on team goals and the “you can do it” positive attitude finally made a difference. Most of all, I believe Booker proved to himself that he could make a difference.

I learned...
I continue to have problems with the “Death, Murder, Kill Workout” programming style used at Lafayette. The athletes are doing many high intensity exercises or lifts for reps for time and I do not believe this style provides any concentrated work on building strength, football specific needs, or injury prevention. The more I work with this style of programming, the less and less I like it for a full programming style. I guess part of the learning process includes learning how not to do something. Some of their programming can be used during an endurance training session, but not as a full-time training method. I believe my dislike for the programming style at Lafayette shows through in my daily actions and the Coaches can tell. I do not believe I should hide my feelings, but my employer may not appreciate it.

Advice for others...
Strength and Conditioning internships can be very rewarding. You can make a big difference in an athletes future. There is a real sense of pride in helping a green freshmen progress to a senior leader. As a coach, you can look back and say "I built that." However, not all internships are created equal. Some programs will allow you to only be grunt labor. Long hours of being a gofer. When applying for a Strength and Conditioning internship, future students must ask questions about what you will actually be doing. Don't be fooled by the advertising. In some internships you will learn a lot. In those where you were only a gofer, you will learn almost nothing.

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