Tara De Leon - NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Season 7 Episode 4

by Eric McMahon, MEd, CSCS, RSCC*D and Tara De Leon, MS, CSCS, RSCC
Coaching Podcast May 2023


Meet Tara De Leon, a former collegiate strength and conditioning coach who now works as a personal trainer in Edgewater, MD. De Leon shares insight with NSCA Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager, Eric McMahon, and episode co-host, NSCA Personal Training Program Manager, Blake Brightwell, on alternate routes for strength and conditioning coaches through personal training, group fitness, and private sector coaching. This episode discusses the “coaching identity” as it exists and impacts coaches’ beliefs across various stages of professional development. With the growth of the strength and conditioning field, De Leon challenges us to expand our thinking and perceptions around personal training, while holding true to our values and expertise as coaches. Regardless of your current role in the profession, learn more about how the NSCA can help you grow your career.  

You can connect with Tara on Instagram: @tara_de_leon_fitness or tara@edgewaterfit.com | Find Eric on Instagram: @ericmcmahoncscs or Twitter: @ericmcmahoncscs

Show Notes

“And now as I've gotten more comfortable with who I am as a trainer, I absolutely call myself a personal trainer, and I'm proud of it.” 9:30

“I think the industry is kind of headed towards that where I think one-on-one training will be a really valuable commodity. But the majority will be semi-private and small groups type stuff. I also think there's a huge opportunity in the online space.” 14:43

“Someday, I might get married and have a husband and have a job that can't just pick up and go with me wherever I feel like it. Or if I have a kid, and I want to see them every now and then, strength coaching is not a great career for that. At least not where I was because we were there at 6:00 in the morning, 10:00 at night, weekends. It was all over the place. So I think having a little bit more open mindset for me was important. Because the private sector really offers all that other opportunity.” 19:30

“So having to have that skill set to be able to hear about all their aches and pains and have some sort of answer for how to mitigate them or fix them entirely, mentally, socially, it takes a lot.” 29:16

“So I hope that the coaches out there kind of get inspired to get more involved and maybe serve on a committee or speak at a conference or come on the podcast, try to make it better for all of us.” 33:52


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING]

[00:00:04.33] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast season seven episode four.

[00:00:10.21] Someday, I might get married and have a husband and have a job that can't just pick up and go with me wherever I feel like it. Or if I have a kid, and I want to see them every now and then, spring coaching is not a great career for that. So I think having a little bit more open mindset for me was important. Because the private sector really offers all that other opportunity.

[00:00:34.85] This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast where we talk to strength and conditioning coaches about what you really need to know but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

[00:00:45.68] This is the NSCA Coaching Podcast, and I'm Eric McMahon. Today, we're joined by Tara DeLeon. She's an RSCC strength and conditioning coach who now works as a personal trainer in Edgewater, Maryland. Tara, thanks for joining us.

[00:01:00.39] Thanks so much for having me.

[00:01:02.37] We will dive into your background in just a second. But before we do, we have a guest co-host today, NSCA's new personal training program manager, Blake Brightwell. Blake, I appreciate the help today.

[00:01:16.66] Thanks for having me on. I've been a loyal listener for years and years. So it's fun to be on this side of things.

[00:01:23.28] Let's learn about your role as we go today. Today's episode, we are going to unpack a bit of a stigma that exists in the coaching community around personal training. The global fitness industry is valued at over $87 billion. And despite a reputation for unhealthy food and rising concerns of obesity, the US holds several impressive fitness bests with the most fitness clubs out of any country in the world, and over 60 million Americans holding gym memberships, the impact of strength and conditioning on non-athletic and general populations is an important topic even for many of us who work primarily around sport.

[00:02:08.73] Tara, you worked as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach. Now, your team the private sector. Why don't you kick this thing off by telling your path and your story in the profession.

[00:02:18.90] I'd love to. So I started my fitness journey probably when I was a kid playing sports. But when I got to college, I met someone who was a personal trainer. And he was like, you should do this. You have a great personality for it. And I was like, yeah, that sounds fun. So I actually switched my whole major. I went from business to sports psychology, and then eventually just exercise science. Because the body is so cool that it just really interested me.

[00:02:46.20] And I actually started working as a personal trainer for a few years, taught some group fitness. And then I decided that I really, really wanted to work with athletes. And I thought this was a really novel idea. It turns out it wasn't. And it was really hard to get into. I went on a handful of interviews. And they basically told me like hey, you don't have the right certification, which by the way, was the CSCS. And I don't have a master's degree.

[00:03:12.37] So I went back and got both of those and then tried to get a job, and nobody would hire me because I didn't have any experience. So my eight years or whatever as a personal trainer didn't really count for anything as you guys know, in the strength and conditioning industry, and I was kind of shocked. I was like, what do you mean? I work with people one-on-one. And I have the knowledge to do this in groups, so what is the issue here?

[00:03:37.86] But as everyone I'm sure that's listening knows strength and conditioning is a whole different animal than personal training. So I got my break at Navy. I interviewed there. And they told me it was between me and one of the guy, and they went with the other guy. But they offered to let me stay on and kind of volunteer and see what it's all about and get some experience there. So I did that and I loved it. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to work at such a beautiful place and learn from really, really great strength coaches.

[00:04:09.91] And then not long after that, I got a call from Loyola in Baltimore, and they wanted to hire me, so I was up there for a few years. And then I transitioned back into private sector. It was one of those things. They brought in new head coach and all the assistant coaches got let go. So they say you're not truly a strength coach until you've been fired, so that was a big day in my career. So luckily, I had a friend who was running a private sector facility kind of near where I was from.

[00:04:42.27] So I moved back there and was training mostly youth athletes. And then all of a sudden, like a semi-pro football team, moved in, and we started coaching these guys, which was a lot of fun. And then after maybe two years working there, I bought a house that was nowhere near there. I got tired of making practically no money and working really long hours.

[00:05:10.65] And there was a gym four minutes from my house. So I thought, hey, you know what? I'm going to go back to personal training. And I honestly, couldn't be happier. I did have a hard time with the transition, but I make a boatload of cash, and I set my own hours. So it's like a win-win for me.

[00:05:29.28] What is your current clientele look like these days? I know you said you used to work with youth athletes. But who are you working with primarily these days?

[00:05:37.53] Yeah, people ask me that all the time. And it is such a random mix that it's hard to even quantify who is my bread and butter. But I work a lot with people who are women, who are trying to get pregnant is like a huge niche of mine. I had trouble with that. So I think they kind of gravitate towards someone who's been there, women who are pregnant usually because the fertility clients just stay on during their pregnancy because they see the benefit of it.

[00:06:06.28] I have a lot of older ladies. I run a group called Senior Women in the Weight Room, so I've taken all these 70 and 80-year-old ladies and taught them how to back spot and deadlift and bench press, and they're total dude bros. And all the actual dude rows of the weight room are always looking at us like what? Look at you, Granny. So that's kind of fun. And they like it because they see the benefit at that age. They're like, holy smokes when I don't do this, I am stiff as hell the next day.

[00:06:37.74] And when I do come here, it is like everything's moving, right? Everything's feeling good. I might be a little sore, but everything works well. So maybe half of my clientele is older like that.

[00:06:52.17] Tara, do you feel like your background working in college athletics with more athletic populations helps you in your programming, your decision making now with general population?

[00:07:06.03] Yeah, I actually love that because as I look around the gym, I can kind of tell who's had a good strength coach before and who hasn't. Because you guys know, we just do things a little different, right? The dynamic warm up is a key part of what we do. But in the gym like gen pop, you'll see them hop on the treadmill for five minutes and then be like, all right, time to deadlift. Whereas in the strength and conditioning world, we don't see that as much.

[00:07:32.74] So a lot of my clients feel really empowered that they know how to grab a PVC pipe and do some mobility drills and things like that not everybody else is doing, and of course, with better results.

[00:07:45.69] I do have a follow up question on that. So flip side of that coin, how do you feel like your eight years in personal training before you went into collegiate athletics, how do you feel like that helped?

[00:08:01.14] That's a great question. So I think that really helps because I was so used to looking at people's issues, right? Very few people come to a personal trainer because they've got it all figured out, and, they don't have any pain right? So, people come to you and talk about this issue this issue, this issue. Of all of our strength athletes, we know that they're going to have some sort of health issue, some, knee pain something right? And it's our job to kind of figure out how to make that better and then make them perform on top of that.

[00:08:32.35] So being able to look at that and kind of like real quickly determine what exercise would be a good choice for that rather than having to rewrite the whole program for the whole team, it was really invaluable to me for sure.

[00:08:47.05] Do you feel like there's a difference between personal training and private sector coaching? I know that's a very loaded question. We may not get to the bottom of this. And I think it's something that there's going to be a lot of difference among our listeners-- a lot of difference in answers among our listeners tuning in as well, but want to pick your brain on that. How do you deal with your coaching identity in the personal training space?

[00:09:19.99] So I really struggled with this when I came back to personal training. I'd been a collegiate coach. And then I was private sector, and now here I am as a personal trainer. And for the first two years I worked here, I always like, hey, put on my business card that I'm a strength conditioning coach. I don't want to be personal trainer. I want to be known as a strength coach. And now as I've gotten more comfortable with who I am as a trainer, I absolutely call myself a personal trainer, and I'm proud of it.

[00:09:49.12] But I do think there is a huge difference between being a personal trainer in a gym or a studio versus a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector. I think the expectations are different. In personal training, a lot of times people will come in, and they just want a good workout, and then they leave. And of course, the good personal trainers will give some coaching along the way, right? Maybe talk about habits and what we can do to help get to our goals. No matter what the goals are.

[00:10:21.48] Whereas a private sector strength and conditioning coach is kind of expected to talk about nutrition and sleep and recovery in addition to all of the exercises that you would run a team through. I also think that private sector strength coaches often do stuff in group format. So maybe not everybody is doing the same program, but you've got 10 guys in there at once working. Whereas in personal training, that's much less common where I'm at.

[00:10:51.33] We do mostly one-on-one or small group with everybody doing the same stuff. I've only recently started having two and three people at a time all doing their own programs. And the only reason I did that is because I'm too busy. I don't have any more time, which is a good problem to have. But I don't have any more time to give to one-on-one, so I just started putting everybody in groups, whether they like it or not. So far, they all like it, though.

[00:11:17.68] So just kind of pulling from my experience in the personal training world, that's a really hot topic. And that was an area that I saw a lot of my employees struggle with moving their one-on-one clients into a small group setting. Can you talk about how you have that conversation with your clients?

[00:11:40.77] So I think this goes back to the relationship that you've built with your client. I didn't really give people a choice. I just kind of looked at who I thought would have a similar vibe and could work well together, not necessarily as partners but in the vicinity like sharing similar conversation. And I was like, hey, my schedule is really busy. Do you mind if I throw you in with this person on Friday for your session. And everybody's like, yeah, whatever. Nobody gave me any pushback at all.

[00:12:13.56] And then once they do it once or twice they're like, this is great. Can I always work out with her? It just became this really easy thing. Of course, there's a handful of clients that are much more challenging who I would not dare but with anyone else. But for the most part, it's been a pretty easy transition.

[00:12:32.99] Personal training can be a really impactful profession, obviously, on the personal level. But you think about why that stigma exists in the coaching community. And I know for me, I think my first certification that I got or my first opportunity to train anyone was through personal training. So for many coaches, maybe it's considered early in the path of I'm going to get a personal training credential and move into a higher level team training or coaching scenario.

[00:13:09.04] But I think as we hit different milestones in life, there's some other factors that play there. And maybe many of us coaches start thinking a little more entrepreneurial about how we can make ends meet in this profession. What opportunities do you see Tara and Blake emerging in the personal training private sector space that many of our collegiate or professional coaches may not be aware of?

[00:13:45.26] Yeah, it's interesting that you kind of brought up the career path there because I really struggled with that when I was going from strength coach back to personal training. It felt like a regression in my career. And I did have a heck of a time kind of getting my brain around that. But as I've been in the profession now for a while, I do feel like there are a lot more opportunities even though I'm not necessarily an entrepreneur, I work for a company, a big gym.

[00:14:15.89] I see myself going I wonder if I could transition everybody to semi-private trading instead of one-on-one, or I wonder if I could start a group class where there's 30 people doing this all at once, and it would be a lot like a strength and conditioning experience at that point, the exception being everybody's not an athlete or better said, nobody is an athlete. So everybody's kind of in different places.

[00:14:43.25] But I think the industry is kind of headed towards that where I think one-on-one training will be a really valuable commodity. But the majority will be semi-private and small groups type stuff. I also think there's a huge opportunity in the online space, but not that many people are doing it well. It's one thing to throw a workout plan in an app and be like, there you go it's 100 bucks. It's another to truly coach people through distance. You know what I mean?

[00:15:16.08] Yeah, and just building off of that, I think it's really valuable to get your in-person coaching experience first so that you can truly understand what a program looks like in all facets, recovery, nutrition, all that good stuff. But a couple of other areas that I've seen recently that I'm really excited about on the private sector side of things is both corporate performance and then youth training like you mentioned earlier. I think that those two are both on the come up.

[00:15:52.87] Yeah, I totally agree. We have tons of youth that are just joining the gym. We have nine and 10-year-olds that are like, can I get a membership? And we're like, it's kind of like some liability for us. But I guess if your mom's here with you, you know? But five years ago, 10 years ago, we would have never seen that. Youth were still playing outside back then. Now, they're interested in training.

[00:16:19.48] Yeah, it's definitely been a paradigm shift. It's really exciting, though. I mean it's more job opportunities for us. Yeah.

[00:16:28.54] When I look at training as a whole, and at the NSCA, we have our coaching department. We have our personal training department. And we have our tactical department. And I think our listeners, I think, our members understand that that's what we're about. But when you look at fitness in a much broader view, we often are find ourself more training for activity or sport.

[00:16:54.85] But on the other side, we have clients that train just to improve their lifestyle or how they feel on a daily basis. And then there's another group that are training more occupational purposes. And there's a lot of crossover there. And I think that's something that is challenging for us. I know Blake and I talk about this a good amount. It's challenging for us to talk about coaching without talking about private sector coaching and personal training.

[00:17:27.62] It's tough for us to talk about tactical, military, strength, and conditioning in, those emerging professions without talking about other physical professions where or factory workers or jobs that just require a lot of physical work. And so recognizing those crossover areas I think that's really the spirit of what this episode is about of maybe working through some of the identity challenges we have as I'm a coach, and I'm going to coach wherever I'm at.

[00:18:07.60] I think we've come a long way as a profession of OK, I get let go from this job. I'm going to pack up and take that same program with me to wherever I go next and whatever setting that is. And I think it's an optimistic view, but I feel like our field is in a better place to go into an environment, and figure out, hey, what do I need to do to be successful here?

[00:18:34.77] And that's going to look a lot different at a university like Navy than other colleges or in a personal training setting or in it or in a more traditional military environment. So I think there's so much to unpack there. I think it's a really healthy conversation. Tara, I want to ask you lessons learned. We're going to talk to young coaches who all they really see right now is collegiate strength and conditioning, or they want to work in pro sports what are some lessons you've learned working in the private sector that you think would have benefited you earlier in your career or could benefit them where they're at?

[00:19:17.99] I didn't really have the long term view when I was starting out when I wanted to be a strength coach. And I was willing to move anywhere to do it. And I didn't have the vision of someday, I might get married and have a husband and have a job that can't just pick up and go with me wherever I feel like it. Or if I have a kid, and I want to see them every now and then, strength coaching is not a great career for that.

[00:19:44.57] At least not where I was because we were there at 6:00 in the morning, 10:00 at night, weekends. It was all over the place. So I think having a little bit more open mindset for me was important. Because the private sector really offers all that other opportunity. My schedule now is 7:00 to 5:00. So I to get up and see my son in the morning. I get to come work all day. And then I pick them up. And I've got a couple hours before bedtime. And I never work weekends unless it's an emergency or something, but rarely do I ever do that.

[00:20:19.86] So I think kind of stepping back and swallowing the shame of not being a strength coach was important for me to have a better life. I think it's really easy for us to get caught up in our job as our identity. So changing that identity for me from strength coach to human that's also a personal trainer was important. And I think there's so many opportunities for these young coaches coming out.

[00:20:47.63] And I know it's frustrating. We've all been there right like, man, I want this job. And then you get your dream job, and it only pays like $25,000 a year. And you can't live on that. Our industry definitely has a ways to go. But even like a brand new trainer starting out who is not real great yet is going to make more than that. And of course, it's a different skill set required, right?

[00:21:11.39] Training requires selling whereas strength conditioning doesn't really unless you consider selling the team on what you're doing or selling the sport coach on your plan, but your finances don't depend on it. Whereas in training, of course, it does. But I just think there's we've come a long way and there's a long way, we can still go, too.

[00:21:33.89] Yeah, I actually kept one of my schedules from when I was a coach in college athletics just to remind me. I absolutely loved that setting, loved working with athletes. But the 14 hour days, six days a week is just really tough to set up a life outside of that. Nothing wrong with that if that's the route you want to go. But I think realizing that there are other ways that you can apply your skills is really, really important, so.

[00:22:06.65] It's so empowering, too. You're not stuck in that life even though you love it, you have an opportunity to do something else. So it's nice to know that there are options.

[00:22:18.17] Right, and just because you step away from the college weight room doesn't mean that you lost those skill sets or that you can't use them anymore, right? I felt like that was kind of my differentiating factor when I moved over into personal training is I was kind of the sport performance guy for anyone who walked into the gym, right? I might not have had a team of 35 people, but I definitely got to work with athletes a lot probably more than anybody else in the gym. So just getting that bedrock foundation, I felt was invaluable for my career.

[00:22:56.87] Absolutely. We actually have a trainer here at the gym who was like a strength and conditioning intern. And then he couldn't find a job in the industry. So he came home, lived with his parents and started working here. And like me, he struggled with the identity crisis. But for a long time, anybody who came in the gym that was any sort of athlete at all whether they were youth athlete or master's athlete that he was like the guy. So you totally can kind of brand yourself as the sports performance guy in the private sector and still have a really satisfying and lucrative career.

[00:23:36.84] It is empowering to find another work environment where you can thrive. I think when it takes a little bravery to pull out of maybe the track you're on and address those challenges within yourself, the identity things that we're talking about. But one thing I hear just through this episode is that not all personal trainers are the same. Just like another stigma, not all coaches are the same, not every strength and conditioning coach is a I'll just stereotype the football strength coach that maybe we grew up thinking about.

[00:24:20.04] There's our field's a lot broader now. And I think that maybe always has been the case in the private sector. Maybe we're just coming around to that, and I think that helps us on the coaching side that how our mind is expanding, how our field is expanding allows us to be a little more open minded towards different types of private sector opportunities.

[00:24:48.98] Also, if you're a coach that maybe is never considered private sector working with athletes with private sector coaching, that can be a great bridge coming out of a college environment or a professional environment. There are athletes that want to be worked with, that want to have someone to teach them speed mechanics or sprint technique or how to squat, how to clean, all the fundamental things that you're working on in the college or professional settings.

[00:25:25.32] So there's that perception, too that maybe everybody's an athlete. It depends how you define it. And you can build a whole career on that mindset, the ATLD and all the different areas we talk about at the NSCA. So I think it's pretty cool to explore that. I think it's challenging for a lot of us to adjust who we think we are, our identity in terms of I'm a coach, or I'm a personal trainer, or I'm a business owner.

[00:26:00.25] It's a healthy exercise, though. And I'll pick on myself. I went to a liberal arts, small liberal arts college where they ask these sociology and in psychology type questions quite a bit of us. So it always sends me down those thinking rabbit holes. But this is cool. Tara, I appreciate you sharing with us.

[00:26:25.06] Yeah, of course. Something I do to kind of keep myself feeling like I'm still a strength coach is once a month I put on a clinic for members. And I'll be like, today's deadlift day. We're going to take 90 minutes, and you're going to learn how to do an awesome deadlift. I've got a sprint mechanics, how to start, how to set up to run a 40 yard dash. We get the laser timers out and go through that kind of thing like how to do a power clean and what the steps are working up to that.

[00:26:57.07] And almost always, it's random gym members. It's never the youth athletes that show up or the collegiate athletes. It's always just like huh, I've seen people do this on TV. It looks cool. I thought I'd learn. And they come do the 90 minute clinic once a month. There's always a way to keep yourself in the door there. And I was thinking about what you were saying, Eric about the stigma. And I think part of the stigma comes from the fact that there's such a low barrier to entry for personal training, right?

[00:27:28.24] Get your high school degree if that, turn 18 even. Get your CPR, get your certification and then turn you loose. You're here to do good or do damage. Whereas strength and conditioning officially doesn't really have any more qualifications than that. But all of us know that it's like if you don't have a master's and your CSCS and experience, good luck.

[00:27:50.62] So I think that we kind of feel like we're super educated and personal trainers are like 18-year-old dude bros. Whereas in reality, we come in all shapes and sizes, all levels of education.

[00:28:05.74] Yeah, I love that you mentioned that. That's the really unfortunate part about the personal training world. I think that gets lumped in with, because the barrier of entry is so low, that must mean that it's easy. And I'm sure that you can attest working with geriatric populations, they're not necessarily easy to work with, right? Almost everybody has at least one or two orthopedic injuries that they have to work around. So if anything, you almost have to brush up on your anatomy a little bit more to make sure that you're not hurting people who are probably a little bit more susceptible to injury.

[00:28:50.51] Also, the interpersonal skills that you have to have as a personal trainer. As a strength coach, I spent a lot of time walking around the weight room correcting for and being like, oh good job, guys, let's go, get people hyped up and then talking one-on-one if there was an issue. But I'm face-to-face with a person for an hour. They know more about me, and I know more about them than they're besties do.

[00:29:16.13] So having to have that skill set to be able to hear about all their aches and pains and have some sort of answer for how to mitigate them or fix them entirely, mentally, socially, it takes a lot. Not that strength conditioning doesn't, but I feel like as a personal trainer, you can't be an introvert and do well without a lot of effort, which is funny. I consider myself an introvert, but that takes a lot of effort.

[00:29:49.78] Yeah, and then just building off of that point, I feel like you can get something from your clients because you have all that time with them on-on-one, right? If you have a CEO that you're training come to your session with questions that you want to know like how can I run my personal business better? Or a medical professional, you get to pick from all of these different professions and kind of steal their thoughts along the way. So that was always something that was really--

[00:30:22.42] And they're paying you for it.

[00:30:24.22] Right? Yeah, it's awesome.

[00:30:25.84] I love that. I feel like I've learned more from my clients than I ever have given them back. I know a whole ton about fitness, but learning about business and all sorts of other stuff but even just like life skills, one of my clients gave me a cleaning hack for getting stains out of clothes the other day, and it worked. And I was like ooh, this is game changer, especially with a toddler in the house. So if you pay attention, you really get a lot back from it, too.

[00:30:57.63] It's most definitely.

[00:31:00.36] I was thinking back a few years you spoke at the NSCA coaches conference? Did I get that right?

[00:31:05.68] Yeah.

[00:31:06.40] Was it 2017? I'm taking a guess there.

[00:31:10.23] I think maybe 2018, it's been a while.

[00:31:13.56] Nice. What's your involvement with the NSCA? You reached out, you wanted to be on the podcast, you spoke at one of our conferences. What's been your NSCA experience? And what message do you have for those who are maybe listening to their first NSCA podcast?

[00:31:34.34] Oh, I love the NSCA. I got some good advice early, early in my career that I need to get the certification, so I did. But I didn't really take it any further than that. And then someone told me, you've got to go to the Coaches Conference. If you're a strength coach, you got to be there. There is no way that you'll ever progress in your career if you're not at the Coaches Conference. So I jumped in to that advice wholeheartedly.

[00:32:00.35] And being introverted, it was kind of hard for me to just randomly walk up and be like, hey where do you work? I work at Navy or whatever. Luckily, when you work at a school that people have heard of, they come up to you a lot of the time. So that made it a little bit easier for me. But I've met some really great people. And I feel like the association really cares about our success and the future of the industry. So it's really nice to be a part of it.

[00:32:30.81] I've kind of done all of the things that I've done with the NSCA reluctantly. But people will be like, for example, I went to the Delaware State Clinic a long time ago. And Matt Nein from Salisbury was there. And he's like, you've got to speak at this thing. And I was like, no dude, I don't know anything about speaking. I'm a strength coach. I don't use big words. And he was like, come on, you are smart. You should do this. And I said, all right.

[00:32:56.66] So I test drove my Coaches Conference speech at the Delaware State Clinic the year before. And it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. [LAUGH] So when somebody reached out and was like, do you want to do this at the national level? And I was like, yeah, I guess so. And they had some sort of promo going on because I was talking about female athletes. Somebody was giving me a stipend of $200 or whatever. So I was like, yes, I'll take it.

[00:33:25.46] I'm a strength coach, I'm for, of course I'll take it. So I went and did that, and it was great. I really enjoyed the experience. It's really rewarding to give back. As a personal trainer, I never really feel like I'm giving back because people are paying me for my help. So it's like a win-win. But as a strength coach, being able to present and speak and do things to help further the industry was really rewarding for me.

[00:33:52.67] So I hope that the coaches out there kind of get inspired to get more involved and maybe serve on a committee or speak at a conference or come on the podcast, try to make it better for all of us.

[00:34:05.41] Yeah, this was cool. And I think that give back mentality, that's what drove me to speaking at the NSCA. And it's something that it's only human to be a little nervous about speaking opportunities or putting yourself out there or sharing. But that wears off, and you probably were one of the people at that conference or those events that took the most away from it. Kind of like you and you were talking about working with your clients, how much you learn from them.

[00:34:40.15] There's a lot of that comes from speaking and sharing. The more you put out the more you're going to get back. And that's a sentiment that we share often on this podcast. I like today that we unpack personal training as a strength and conditioning profession. I don't think we always connect those dots in the way that we tried to today. And I think we had some really good conversation.

[00:35:07.51] Tara, you're a great resource on this, just appreciate the time you spent breaking this down. And if you would, for anyone who wants to reach out and ask you any questions, what's the best way to contact you?

[00:35:22.05] Yeah, I would love to be a resource for anybody who wants to help with anything that we talked about. Giving back huge part of what I do. So please, please, please contact me. You can always email me. I assume you're going to link my email in the show notes or something.

[00:35:36.90] Absolutely.

[00:35:38.10] But it's tara@edgewaterfit.com. And then I'm on social media Tara DeLeon Fitness on Facebook and Instagram, more active on Instagram, but eventually, I'll see it on Facebook. I'm happy to help.

[00:35:53.71] Right. My man Blake, podcast number one for you. This is awesome. You did great.

[00:35:59.89] For the books. It was a lot of fun. I appreciate you guys having me on. And Tara, it was a lot of fun to chop it up with you.

[00:36:07.03] Yeah, nice to meet you, Blake. If you ever need me for anything, let me know.

[00:36:11.35] Most definitely.

[00:36:12.64] That's how it happens right there. Everyone listening in, we are very thankful for you, our listeners, couldn't do this without you. And when we're out at events Blake and I, we always run into people that mention an episode of the podcast. And that really means a lot to us. I think it's what we go for by doing this. Also, special thanks to Sorinex exercise equipment, we appreciate their support.

[00:36:41.00] Hey, everyone. This is strength and conditioning Coach Scott Caulfield. You just listened to the NSCA Coaching Podcast, one of the best sources of information about the strength and conditioning profession. If you're new to this podcast, and you want to learn more, subscribe now to always get the latest episodes delivered right to you.

[00:36:58.54] This was the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure to join us next time.

[00:37:17.11] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Eric L. McMahon, MEd, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F,*D, RSCC*E

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Eric McMahon is the Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager at the NSCA Headquarters in Colorado Springs. He joined the NSCA Staff in 2020 with ove ...

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Tara R. De Leon, MS, CSCS, RSCC

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After completing an undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Tara De Leon received a Masters degree i ...

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