It’s very interesting for me to hear about the interactions of coworkers in other professions. To me, strength and conditioning staff become much more like family. We work long hours together; train together; eat together; and go to conferences together. We probably get to know each other much better than most coworkers do from other professions.
I was talking to someone who is a manager in technology the other day and they said they don’t like to spend too much time with their subordinates outside of work. To me, this is every day occurrence in our profession. Just last night I met one of my interns out for a drink. Is that weird (Cue Austin Powers’ Gold Member voice)?
What’s the Difference?
I believe the main difference is that we can separate ourselves from our work better than most. Not to mention, from what I have gathered, we are a little more laid back than most professions. When we step out of the weight room, it’s time to get away from the work. I never used to be able to do this and would constantly talk about strength and conditioning until I realized there are other things in life :).
Now, I’m not saying that self-education outside of work is not important, but that’s for another post. The bonds we make strengthen ourselves in the field, leaving us with more connections to reach out to for help. It is truly a “who-you-know, not what-you-know” profession, for the most part. So, why not befriend your interns or your boss? Like I said, we spend all our time with them anyway!
Soaking It All In
I wrote awhile back on making your intern better than you. I still believe this is the way it should be. Spending time with your interns outside of the weight room allows them to learn even more; have time to ask more questions and observe how life changes after obtaining a full-time job.
I probably got more out of observing how some of my mentors were outside of work than I did during work. It really is quite fascinating.
Having said all that, there will be times when you have to light a fire under someone on your staff, but that happens in all families, right? How else will they learn when they have done something wrong?
My advice would be to start bonding more as a staff if you don’t already. You can learn much from each other outside of work.
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