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High Performance Trainers in the Spotlight- Tim Roland

Paul Bulatao - Thursday, November 03, 2016

What is your current role in the industry:

I currently have a few different roles. I am the Colts Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Northern Suburbs Rugby Club, a Strength and Conditioning Intern at the Australian Rugby Sevens, and Director of OTF Fitness – my own fitness/performance business.

What sparked your interest to pursue a career in this area?

I have always been passionate about sport, I have a scientific/analytical mind, and consider myself a caring person, so I combined all these and initially landed at Physiotherapy! I did my undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy and while studying I fell in love with strength training and became very interested in strength and conditioning so I did my Masters in High Performance Sport at ACU.

What is required to be successful in this role?

Good communication skills and an ability to work well in a team are very important traits to have as a strength and conditioning coach. I think it also helps if you yourself train, and have a good understanding of the sport you are working in. You also have to be prepared to do a large amount of volunteer hours as jobs are very competitive!

Having achieved this level of success in your field, what things have you had to give up and sacrifice in order for you to get to where you are today?

I am still in the very early stages in my career as a strength and conditioning coach, but there have been a few sacrifices I've had to make. I have sacrificed a number of opportunities to work full time as a physio in a private practice because I really want to follow my passion and work with athletes. I have also sacrificed many weekends because as an S+C you are often working most of the day on Saturday when your teams are playing.

What has been the top stand-out moment in your career to date?

Having worked closely with the Australian Sevens Women’s team it is hard to look past their gold medal achievement at the recent Rio Olympics. Knowing how hard they have worked for this, and having played a small part in helping some of the athletes was a stand out moment for me. Also watching all 3 of my Colts teams at Norths Rugby make the semi-finals for the first time in over 10 years was very rewarding.

What opportunities can this chosen field lead to?

There are many different pathways that you can follow in this field. You can go down the physiotherapy pathway as many do by completing a Master of Physiotherapy after doing an undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science. You can also go down the Exercise Physiology route and work with patients with chronic health issues. However what I am interested in, which also happens to be the most challenging pathway to follow, is to work with elite/sub-elite athletes. This could also lead to opportunities to travel the world with your team which is very exciting.

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Network, network, network! Often these days to land a job as a strength and conditioning coach it is simply assumed that you tick all the boxes on the job advertisement, and to get the job it really helps if you know someone who has contacts with the club/organisation you want to work with. And get out there and practice your trade by volunteering as much as possible early in your career. This will not only look good on the resume and help you build contacts, but it will also allow you to put into practice the theory you have learned, and develop your communication, organisation and interpersonal skills which are crucial to becoming a successful strength and conditioning coach.

To be further inspired by Tim's journey, or to find out more about how you can become a High Performance Trainer, including training prerequisites, visit the High Performance Trainer page.



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