by Michael Caro, MS, CSCS,*D, RSCC
NSCA Coach August 2020
Vol 7, Issue 2
Collegiate strength and conditioning programs are becoming more sophisticated with each passing year. At all levels, strength and conditioning coaches are adding more staff, purchasing and utilizing more sophisticated equipment, and even employing dedicated data analytics software and personnel. However, as programs expand, it becomes increasingly important to document the daily routines and responsibilities within the department to ensure optimal efficiency with minimal oversight.
A department policies and procedures manual contains essential information about a strength and conditioning program in an easily accessible reference. It contains the basic workings of the department; the reporting chain of command; the processes for daily, weekly, and annual tasks; and all other information covering how the program runs. Such a manual is particularly invaluable for coaches of small college programs who commonly serve in several capacities, such as a fitness center manager, strength and conditioning coach, sport coach, or game day manager, to name a few (1,3). Including clearly defined facility program rules and guidelines, as well as consequences for breaking them (preferably pre-approved by the administration), can save considerable time and headaches when issues occur.
Organizing a department policies and procedures manual can be quite a project due to the large amount of information that must be documented. The following is a non-exhaustive list of items that should be included in a strength and conditioning department policies and procedures manual.
This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »
1. Haggerty, L. A profile of strength and conditioning coaches at National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II and III member institutions. Electronic theses and dissertations, 2005.
2. Herbert, DL. A good reason for keeping records. Strength and Conditioning Journal 16(3): 64, 1994.
3. Massey, C, Schwind, J, Andrews, D, and Maneval, M. An analysis of the job of strength and conditioning coach for football at the Division II level. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23(9): 2493-2499, 2009.
4. National Strength and Conditioning Association. NSCA strength and conditioning professional standards and guidelines. 2017. Retrieved 2020 from https://www.nsca.com/education/ articles/nsca-strength-and-conditioning-professional-standardsand- guidelines/.
5. Parsons, JT, Anderson, SA, Casa, DJ, and Hainline, B. Preventing catastrophic injury and death in collegiate athletes: Interassociation recommendations endorsed by 13 medical and sports medicine organisations. Journal of Athletic Training 54(8): 843-851, 2019.