Mike Favre, MEd, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D, USAW-2
Mike Favre is the Director of Olympic Sports Strength and Conditioning at the University of Michigan, where he oversees the physical development for 30 sports programs. All areas of long- and short-term planning/periodization, testing, education, and physical preparation within the Olympic Sports Department fall under his direction. Previously, Favre was with the United States Olympic Committee as a strength and conditioning coach/physiologist for over 5 years where his chief responsibilities included wrestling, judo, and taekwondo. Favre has also presented and published at the national and international level. His 18 years of experience includes collegiate, professional, and elite international coaching positions. Favre also served in the United States Army as an infantry soldier to include combat operations during Operation Desert Storm.1. How did you get started in your career?
I have had a great interest in physical fitness for as long as I can remember. This interest was increased through my sports participation, service in the United States Army and competitive powerlifting. It was not until attending Arizona State University and enrolling in a weight training class though, that I discovered that being a strength and conditioning coach was even a profession. It was an epiphany, really. I knew then that this was the profession for me. So I walked over to the athletic weight room in Sun Devil Stadium, introduced myself to Rich Wenner, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, and communicated my interest in learning from him. 2. Who has helped you achieve your personal career goals? How did they help?
There are so many great individuals that have helped me throughout my career. To name a few, Rich Wenner at Arizona State University, Dr. Mike Stone at East Tennessee State University, Meg Stone at East Tennessee State University, Dave Clark in Great Britain, Clive Brewer in Great Britain, Dr. Brent Alvar at Rocky Mountain University, Dr. Michael Jackson at Temple University, and Dr. Mark Peterson at the University of Michigan. They have all been integral in wide variety of ways such as understanding the role and responsibilities of being a strength and conditioning coach, understanding and incorporating the science, networking within the profession, and progressing as a professional.3. How has the NSCA help in your professional career?
The NSCA has continuously afforded me the opportunity to progress myself within the field by providing education, guidance, professional standards, a network of top professionals, and an outlet for contributing to the profession. Being awarded the 2011 NSCA College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award was, and continues to be, one of the greatest recognitions in my career.4. In what ways have you been involved with the NSCA?
The NSCA offers numerous avenues in which to contribute positively to the growth of the profession and those within it. The areas I have been fortunate to be associated with are as an executive council member and chair with the Special Interest Groups (SIG), a speaker, an author, a committee member, along with being a participant in several other initiatives.5. How has volunteering helped you contribute to your community?
In addition to bettering my own professional credentials, knowledge and skills, the NSCA has also allowed me the opportunity to be involved in progressing our profession at the national and international levels, and to assist in the career development of aspiring young strength and conditioning coaches.6. What personal goals have you achieved by volunteering with the NSCA?
Since my beginning in this profession, I not only wanted to become the best strength and conditioning coach I could be, but also to become a contributor for progress and change within the field of strength and conditioning. I have also been able to realize my goal of being involved in helping aspiring strength and conditioning coaches with career development. Volunteering has been a great opportunity for me to pay back the profession and the NSCA for all that it has given me. 7. What advice would you provide to those looking to volunteer with the NSCA?
An area within the NSCA that is always in need of further assistance is the Special Interest Groups (SIG). These groups are made up of strength and conditioning professionals and offer the NSCA with a direct line of communication with what is going on at the practitioner level. These groups are in need of short articles, presentations, and videos that can positively impact the profession and the populations we serve. These articles, presentation, and videos are a great way for professionals of all levels to gain experience, build their resume, and establish a reputation as being a contributor within the field. 8. What advice would you give to those starting out in their career?
First, get your education. This not only pertains to an appropriate degree, but also to outside study. The science is what forms the foundation of our craft. Second, become a “technician” at the movements and activities you are going to prescribe to you athletes. There are so many great resources out there to aid in elevating your proficiency. It is difficult to teach what you cannot do. Finally, your success will directly correlate to your initiative. Just having the desire to be the best is not enough, you must relentlessly pursue your aspirations every day. Complacency is the killer of progress.