By Rowdy Teaff, Sports Editor
Since July of 2015, Kade Cole is the head strength and conditioning coach for all of the athletics programs of Hardin-Simmons University.
To be a strength and conditioning coach, it requires post-graduate studies and certificates to be successful. Cole said, “I have my Strength and Conditioning Coach Certification through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, United States Weightlifting level 1 certifications, Certified Speed and Agility Coach certification through the National Sports Performance Association and Reflexive Performance Reset level 1 certification.”
Internships provide good experience for up and coming strength coaches because you are able to get hands on learning, develop a professional network and learn from those who have been in the field. Cole elaborated on how his internships helped him become a better professional. “I was blessed with some excellent mentors who taught me that the most important development in sports is the development of relationships between coaches and players and between coaches and coaches. Developing trust in a working relationship creates the opportunity for the training plan to work and maximize the athletic development process,” Cole said.
Cole shared his favorite part about being a strength coach. “My favorite part of being a strength coach is building relationships with athletes over multiple years, watching their personal and athletic development over that time and seeing where it takes them in their lives after athletics,” Cole said.
Strength coaches could make the difference between good teams and great teams. Cole says that strength coaches are important for the overall development of athletes. “Strength coaches see athletes more consistently than any other member of the athletics staff. Their goal is to help make them more resistant to injury, improve efficiency of movement and increase muscle strength and neural coordination,” Cole said.
Having been a player in the success of our athletics program, Cole has a lot to hang his hat on. Cole’s favorite accomplishment here at HSU is how he, along with the help of the athletics department, has been able to improve the weight room. “I think I am most excited about is the university’s support in improving the weight room. The athletes regularly ask for equipment improvements, and the university has significantly stepped up their prioritization of this project. My first year we had a lot of broken equipment and not nearly enough to go around. I still have big goals for what this room can become, but it’s been a blessing to be a part of the change that has happened up to this point,” Cole said.