In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

“Please God don’t let me be pigeon hold in a normal job.” This was a prayer of mine immediately after graduating undergrad and being denied an internship by the United States Olympic Committee. I am fairly certain that many of you out there pray the same thing in regards to looking for your first break in the coaching field out of school, or maybe even looking for a promotion. On this episode of the podcast, I share a bit of my personal background story in an effort to answer the question “how can I get a break into the strength and conditioning career field.” I also share some tips on how to separate yourself from the pack of other coaches looking for a job.

If you are a coach looking for help in managing your career make sure to check out my upcoming Careers In Coaching seminar in Atlanta that is happening January 19-20, 2019.



World class athletes, great coaches,  what do they do when they’re at their best? We don’t take no for an answer, We don’t take no for an answer, We don’t take no for an answer, With no doubt for life , no doubt.   



We’re gonna get him on the run, boy. Once we get on the road, we’re gonna keep on the run. then we’re gonna go go go go go, go. Now your kids probably saying to yourself, hey, I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna get the world by the tail and wrap it around and pull it down and put it in my pocket.  


Brett Bartholomew  00:58

So imagine driving down the highway, you’re trying to catch a flight. And you’re already running a little bit behind many of you this feeling probably isn’t for and a lot of us wait till the last minute to catch a flight or head to the airport when we should. And all of a sudden you hear a pop. And not just any pop, like, you know, oh, that was interesting, but now I’m pretty sure something’s wrong. And that was not what I needed right now kind of a pop. And you discover quickly that you hit a flat tire. Right on the road during rush hour traffic. When you’re late for the, for a trip to the airport. And you’re still about 45 minutes away.


Brett Bartholomew  01:39

That is exactly what happened to me. When I was trying to wait make my way to Phoenix, Arizona for my first internship. I was out of college probably about a little over six months at the time if my memory serves me correct. And I thought I had been a shoo in for an internship at the US Olympic Training Center at Lake Placid. Now I thought I was a shoo in because one of my professors at the time was involved or in had known somebody involved with the US Olympic Committee and had trained Paula Radcliffe or been involved with the pain, the training of the British long distance runner legendary long distance runner, Paula Radcliffe and he had written me a glowing recommendation to the USMC up at Lake Placid. So the naive college student that I was, I was like, alright, you know, I got good grades, played sports growing up, you know, I have experienced, I trained other fighters in exchange for my training when I was in college, you know, and I thought I had just enough, you know, to get me over the hump and make me a competitive applicant, you know, for an internship. And I remember the day when the letter came from the USOC and I opened it slowly and I was pretty optimistic at the time. I mean, many of you know, you know, like we all go through things in life but when you’re young you’re especially naive, you haven’t had the world that’s kind of kicked you down, so to speak a number of times. 


Brett Bartholomew  03:05

So everything that you do, you’re a little bit more bias to thinking alright, I’m going to be successful here. This is going to be good news. And you just haven’t had that time for that, you know, cynicism to set in yet. And hopefully, nobody has completely like that now, you know, in terms of cynicism, but anybody that’s over the age of 30 or 35 understands what I mean by that. And I remember opening that letter, and I looked at it and I’d gotten rejected by the USOC. I’ll save you the dramatic interlude there. I literally had like no idea what I was gonna do then, here I was I just graduated from Kansas State University, a place that was near and dear to my heart. You know, I knew I wanted to be a strength and conditioning coach, knew I wanted to work with athletes for a living and you know, now that was a bit fuzzier for me. 


Brett Bartholomew  03:52

So I remember I went and worked out that night to get rid of some energy and I like instead of going home I parked in a car dealership and it was just because it was the only place where you know I didn’t feel like anybody would think I was creeping on him or loitering. You know if you parked in a gas station and people see you in your car or grocery store parking lot, might get the cops called on you but there is a car dealership right by I just parked and ironically enough, the song Eight Mile Road from Eminem was playing and the lyrics could not have spoken to what I was feeling more perfectly at the time. I remember you know, I was just looking up I had, I was out of the car and I was looking up at the night sky and I was just trying to think like letting this sit in and absorb like I got denied like what am I going to do now? What does one do when they get denied for an internship? 


Brett Bartholomew  04:44

Now keep in mind the proliferation of podcasts and articles and blogs and how to manuals and all this stuff written by strength and conditioning coaches that exists now like wasn’t around then. It wasn’t I mean, you could get on forums and things like that. But generally it was talking about training. There wasn’t the guidance there. There is today at this point in time. So I really had no idea what to do. I didn’t have any friends and in strength and conditioning. But you know the lyrics for the song were it was a part where he said, Please I’m begging you God don’t let me be pigeon holed in no regular job. And that’s how I felt. And it wasn’t that I you know, I feel like any other job isn’t worthwhile. It’s just that I knew what I wanted to do. Right? So this isn’t meant to offend anybody with any other job. This was just my dream at the time. So I hope you can appreciate that. 


Brett Bartholomew  05:31

So anyway, going back to you know, on the interstate, headed to Phoenix, Arizona. Why am I headed there? Because the company I was trying to intern for at the time had told me no so many times after I had applied and subsequently been denied for the USOC internship, a close friend of mine had told me about this company. And first it was well you’re not a student and we can’t have people that aren’t full time students be interns. And then it was well you can’t do it for this reason, you’ve missed the application and I was just tired of being told no. I think at this point in my life, you know, I’d already been hospitalized and kind of felt like I was held prisoner for one part of my life. I just been denied after graduating college I felt like I worked pretty hard. You know my parents didn’t want me to work in college. They both grew up extremely poor. So they wanted me to not have to have that burden, but that’s just never been the way I operated so I had two jobs in college. I had worked through college, and so I was tired of hearing no. So I remember telling my dad I’m like I’ve got to go down there. And it just so happened that he had a business trip at the time. And he had to go visit a client. 


Brett Bartholomew  06:42

My father was a longtime financial advisor. So he said you want to hop along? Sure. So this leads us back to the flat tire. Eventually we get to the airport. What do you know we’re late and I love my father but he’s not the most mobile person. So even once we get checked in we are still running late now we’re in the back of the line. And if you’re listening to this, your hearts likely beating faster because you know the feeling of this. You know how it feels when you see that TSA line and you’re about to board or you’re already boarding and there’s inevitably somebody in line that Oh, I forgot to take my shoes off. Oh, I forgot my belt. Oh, I didn’t know I had a you know, a mallet in my back pocket. Oh yeah, I didn’t know that I had a water bottle filled to the brim with water and then right when you think they finally made it random security screen and you’re just sitting in there at this point in time. Remember I didn’t even wait for my father to say it. I just went up to somebody in line and I said listen, I’m really sorry. We’re about to miss our flight. And you know I’d given her some kind of sob story which was true. I’m like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I’ve gotta get here. She’s like save it, go right in front and God bless that woman where she is today. But we got on the flight. 


Brett Bartholomew  07:58

So here we are, we’re now in we’re Phoenix Arizona we’re going to Tempe and I remember walking in the building and it was closed that day. It was a Saturday but the woman that was there and there was only like two or three people there at the time aside from some athletes who are doing some recovery and regeneration showed me around and you could tell that she was absolutely annoyed. Bottom borderline just facts by the fact that here I am she’s not even supposed to be there, she’s there. She’s now showing me around on this wide-eyed kid you know looking at what was like a playground to me at the time. I mean state of the art performance training facility. Just amazing stuff. And I remember right when we were about to leave and I realized


Brett Bartholomew  08:43

This was the same woman who had told me no many a time. She said do you have a moment? I’m gonna introduce you to somebody and I’m gonna withhold names, just for privacy reasons, but I said yes. So I sat down and met with an individual that asked me a bunch of questions and it was a blessing that they even wanted to give me their time. My dad and I are sitting there. And within 15 to 20 minutes of the conversation. They finally tell us that, you know, they’re the president of the company. And if I can meet certain standards and requirements that you know, they might be able to help and I said, well, you know, but I’ve been told no so many times. 


Brett Bartholomew  09:18

So listen, we’ve had people call, write resumes, send faxes. We’ve never really had somebody fly down here and basically like knock on the door, kick it down before. Like we want that drive. So if you can get to this location, within a week we’ll let you in. So I remember at the time I go home my dad was already bought in pun intended. I, you know, my mother and my brother at the time, like nobody really understood what I wanted to do with my life. They didn’t understand what strength and conditioning was. Maybe you’re not in the industry. If you’re listening to this and you don’t really understand what it is and that’s fine. Many people don’t and the way that it’s typecasted in the media is awful. And part of that’s our fault. But you know, I, both of them kind of thought especially my brother that I was going to be a glorified gym teacher. 


Brett Bartholomew  10:08

I remember actually specifically him telling me that he was going to end up paying my bills in 10 years and this was a stupid selfish move. You know, just didn’t really get it. You know, like you shouldn’t be moving away from the family. But I did. A friend of mine was nice enough to travel with me. I packed everything I could into a Honda Accord scratch that it was a Blazer ZR2 used Blazer ZR2, two door at the time, and we drove down and when you know it as if being told no a bunch of times, having a flat tire nearly missing your flight and having to move literally from Nebraska to the, you know, to Florida wasn’t enough. Now all of a sudden we have hurricane Gustav to contend with that is barreling up into the Gulf of Mexico. So once again, my naivete kicks in. We’re driving down on my car, the weather’s fine. You know, we’re almost in Mobile, Alabama now. And then it hits storm surge has absolutely covered mobile you know, thank gosh, I had a car that some dude before me put a lift kit on, trust me I’m not the type to do the lift kit although at 16 I will say Fast and the Furious, nearly convinced me that I needed underglow on my friggin Honda Tiburon, Hyundai Tiburon, thank God I didn’t do that. That was also during the frosted tips and the puka shell necklace phase. Golly, we were so lost then


Brett Bartholomew  11:34

Anyway, we’re driving down and this hurricane is full fledge and thankfully like we’re just getting on the outskirts of it now but I’ve got to drive over this three mile long bridge. And they literally call it Three Mile Bridge, and the waves are just crashing against it. And I’m trying to get to this is Pensacola, Florida Pensacola or Gulf Breeze. 


Brett Bartholomew  11:51

If anybody’s familiar with the area, I get there and I’m like, I’ve got this I made the timeline. Like I’ve driven through anarchy and then storm, I’m ready to go. So it’s nighttime. By the time I get there. My friend catches a flight back. It was part of the deal. I mean, who wants to do a 20 plus hour drive by themselves? On the way back, and I remember calling in my intern coordinator at the time I’m like I’m here, ready to go. Let me know what you need. And I’ll be there early and they’re like, dude, everybody’s evacuated. 


Brett Bartholomew  12:21

There’s a hurricane that’s either about to hit. I can’t remember if it had already gone through, but they’re like, nobody’s gonna be there, you know, on this day. And so you know, I flip on the news. I’m in this intern house all alone in a community. I don’t know anything about just trying to like hunker down. If I need to wander in tornado watch, you guys get the idea. 


Brett Bartholomew  12:42

Now, thankfully, the rest of the internship goes well, and for anybody that knows my background, like, you know, it was a big cornerstone of how I got to what I’m doing today, but the point of this is not to talk about my journey in singularity. The point of this episode is to talk about and answer some of the common questions that I get from coaches that are really trying to find jobs and break into the industry or the field. I know some strength coaches really don’t like this referred to as an industry because they think that means it’s all about making money. I don’t really agree with that field, industry, career vocation, they all  mean the same thing to me. I think it’s splitting hairs, frankly, but and again, strength and conditioning isn’t the only one that’s hard to get into. There are tons of industries or fields that are oversaturated and it’s really competitive. 


Brett Bartholomew  13:31

But regardless, the majority of the population that reaches out to me are coaches and they just say hey, what advice do you have for young strength coaches? How can I get an internship in the United States? This is usually asked from somebody in the United Kingdom, Australia or abroad. What can we as coaches do to increase our chances of being a leader in this industry someday? And then, you know, basically, how can I get a job?


Brett Bartholomew  13:56

And the question seem to be pretty easy to answer. The question seem to be fairly straightforward. But the reality is, is people aren’t asking these things because they’re lazy. People are asking these things because the old way is broken. 


Brett Bartholomew  14:14

Over the past decade or two, the equivalent of climate change has happened within strength and conditioning and many other fields. But I’m going to speak to strength and conditioning on this episode in particular and and it’s gonna be interrelated. So if you’re in Hotel and Restaurant Management, if you’re an engineering, no matter what you’re into, this is going to apply and I’m sure many of you have some phenomenal stories of your own. And I’d urge you to share those in the comments section or within the Art of Coaching community. But for so long, we’ve told coaches, hey, all you have to do is get your degree, do an internship, read research, and you’re good. And that’s just not true anymore. It’s not, it’s also not true that you just send somebody your resume or you have a connection. 


Brett Bartholomew  15:02

A lot of times people want to say well to you know, to a degree Yeah. localism plays a big role. localism and nepotism played big roles in careers but who you know isn’t gonna keep you there that may get you into certain positions occasionally, it’s not always gonna  work, how you think it is, but it’s not gonna keep you there. And so, you start thinking, alright, well, what can I do? You know, somefolks have done some really creative things. They, I always tell people, Hey, do find something that separates you in a good way. Don’t just send a resume. Why don’t you send them some videos of your coaching, whether it’s a hang clean, whether it’s a deadlift, whether it’s something to do with agility? Any veteran coach is not going to look at that and think, oh, this guy’s an idiot, he doesn’t queue well. If anything they’re gonna look at that you tried and that you showed them more than a piece of paper. Because, you know, I’ve only shared one story I remember the same, nearly the same thing happened to me when I wanted to volunteer and be a part of the University of Nebraska string staff. They told me no, I wasn’t an in state student. You know, there was, there were so many different things eventually when I got it, and that’s a story for another time if you want to hear it. 


Brett Bartholomew  16:10

You know, I walked into my supervisor’s desk and he showed me this stack of papers that no joke if put into one single pile because it was multiple stacks, would have at least been three feet six inches tall, and he’s like, that’s the resumes that we get, you know, within half of a calendar year and those were just the ones that he printed off. And so it’s a struggle to me when I hear people say like, hey, you know, I sent a resume and this that, whatever, that’s not enough. And, and a lot of it is our fault because we haven’t given them you know, a lot of different steps. So we’re going to talk about some of those here. Because it’s not just that old advice, and that old way is broken. Because of these things. 


Brett Bartholomew  16:51

The coaching community has been as well. There are people, it’s not only hard to get a job, but once people keep a job, a lot of them get burnout. And you can say whatever you want about burnout, there were over four decades of research that show that burnout occurs. Burnout literally occurs in those of us that care most about our jobs. Burnout is not a matter of oh, somebody’s not committed enough. They’re not grateful enough. You know, they don’t know how to solve problems, knows that’s not what burnout is about at all. And so you’re looking at a population where it’s not just coaches within the field that are struggling to get jobs, but also ones that are dealing with this psychological phenomenon. And that is, how it’s how it’s defined. If you want to look at the literature that they’ll they’ll say that burnout is a prolonged response to chronic, emotional and interpersonal stressors on a job, and it’s defined specifically by three dimensions, exhaustion, cynicism, and an efficacy. 


Brett Bartholomew  17:55

The use of that term began to appear within the 1970s and it was originally applied to mostly people working in Human Services profession, because these are people that have to hear about people’s problems, complaints, they have to do their best to serve that community. They’re very rarely thanked for what they do. It’s just a grind. They’re not evaluated on what they do sound familiar? There’s no objective way to evaluate them and some of that stuff’s changing. And despite the fact that things like burnout were derived and at first as a non scholarly pop psychology, now it’s a term that has over four decades of research, and that’s going to be a topic for a future podcast as well. But right now I want to focus again on  what coaches can do that are trying to get into the field. And who want to make a difference. So let’s start from the root to the fruit. 


Brett Bartholomew  18:40

Right so yes, that’s great that you got your degree now what well, it if you’re local, you know to, if you’re within the United States, and that’s where you’re trying to stay. There are a couple of things that you can do right? Aside from sending your resume, send in videos, go to the school, asked to volunteer at the school and get some face time there. Don’t be afraid to pay somebody for their time, I get it like we’re all cash strapped. But when I was a graduate assistant making nothing, I remember one month I took a last like 300 bucks I had and offer to pay a coach that for an hour just to meet with me. And that’s just how I was raised. That coach was like, hey, I’ll do it for free. But my parents always taught me to beware of free advice, man also to respect people’s time enough that you pay for their time because you’re paying for their expertise, and we can go back and forth we all give our time for free but there’s a limit on that. 


Brett Bartholomew  19:33

And for every person there is it says well, this person charged me and what have you, like you gotta keep in mind that a lot of these coaches will get reached out to six, seven times a day, maybe a week, what have you and if they literally gave an hour three hours to every single person that reached out they wouldn’t have a job anymore. So that’s one way I separated myself not being scared to say hey, I consider this an investment. I appreciate that you’ll do it for free, but I’d feel more comfortable paying you buying you lunch, doing whatever I can.


Brett Bartholomew  20:02

That’s certainly not the only way I do think volunteering and getting in front of them that helped me but traveling or or just walking in one time I was I mean, I walked into the University of Nebraska strength and conditioning facility with a suit on with a suit, you know, and they laughed at me and they’re like, what are you doing? 


Brett Bartholomew  20:19

And I’m like, listen, I take this really seriously, this is what I want to do for a living I brought a change of clothes with me but you know that you’ve got to be willing to find things to do and I personally think that you know if I’m bringing anybody on even as an intern, they’ve got to go through if their local suite we need to meet up if not, we’ve got to do a Skype or Zoom interview several of them we I need a resume but I also need to see a couple of things examples of your coaching. I don’t really care if it’s good or bad. We can fix that. What I want to see is your personality. What I want to see as did you get those things done? Did you send three videos of you doing a weight room movement? Did you send three videos of you doing a speed acceleration, multi directional movement? Did you look at the camera, did it was everything submitted professionally? And I’ll ask them some questions and we’re gonna go over those things as well because I’ve been asked very odd questions during interviews. You know, and just to touch on these things right now, because I think it is an area where young coaches really need to improve. 


Brett Bartholomew  21:19

A lot of them come in, they have their program and they’re ready to go. But it’s not all about programming. You know, take for example, if somebody asks you, why did you leave your last job? Now, as an intern or somebody who’s trying to get into the field, you may feel like I didn’t have a last job, but hopefully you’ve gotten some volunteer experience. And this isn’t just for people beginning in the field. This can be for any of you changing roles, right? So somebody asks you why you left your last job? Really, a lot of times what they’re looking for is did you badmouth your previous employer, you know, like, and I can’t name the amount of times I’ve heard somebody be like, well, they just didn’t help me grow or it wasn’t this or they didn’t give me enough responsibility. And that alone is a huge red flag, because it assumes that somebody else is responsible for your development. That assumes that somebody else is responsible for teaching you. And we all know that while you can be really fortunate to have a mentor that’s not, it’s no, the world doesn’t owe you anything. it’s nobody’s job to teach you and to mentor you. You know, hopefully you get people that will and but you can’t count on that too. So to say you left your last job because they didn’t teach you, they didn’t do this, they didn’t provide the means necessary. I’d really urge you to stay away from that. If that’s what you feel like it’s happening. 


Brett Bartholomew  22:32

Then right now you need to go tell your superior, tell somebody that, you know, you’d really like further development, education and you’re willing to meet them on their time on their terms, and do what you can but do not just understand that if somebody asks you why you left your last job, they’re trying to see does this person badmouth their previous employer? You know, they’re not looking for a long diatribe. And so looking at those things as well, you could say, well, what’s your greatest weakness? And here you know, a lot of times people ask this question to gauge how comfortable you are answering it, not actually to pick apart your response. So, you know, if you say, oh, my greatest weakness is delegating. Okay, well, that’s something that we can fix. We can fix the delegating. But if you say, Well, my greatest weakness is I’m a perfectionist, even though that might be true. 


Brett Bartholomew  23:19

A potential employer could hear that and think, well, like that’s, it’s kind of an inherent trait and maybe you’ll mature out of that, but that’s a little harder to for us to solve. Then say you have an issue delegating, or you have an issue with time management, you know, so, understand on that end, if somebody asks, what your greatest weakness is, you know, they want to see if you’re boastful about your strengths or not, if you’re willing to ever admit fault or humility in regards to weaknesses, and both of those can signal potential problems with working with you in the future. So again, what’s the right answer? It’s going to depend, but say something that can be fixed, and that’s honest, you know, cite something that, don’t say I’m a perfectionist. Say sometimes I get too wrapped up in the details. Or sometimes you know, I don’t reach out to my network enough if I’m stuck or need help. Those are honest and humble answers. 


Brett Bartholomew  24:09

So think about these things. Right. The last one, I’d say in regards to questions, is you know, I always ask people, do you have any questions for me? and I’m somebody that thinks that intelligence is hallmarked, far more by your ability to ask questions than it is your ability to quote unquote, have all the answers. So think about that. I mean, it’s our, this Latin this generation and I’m not talking about millennials. I just mean like everybody that kind of lives in this timeframe is slowly kind of being taught to think in tweets or posts. I’ll notice that even when I put things on Instagram, I’ll say, what would you do in this situation and why? be specific, and 9 times out of 10 screw that. 9.5 times out of 10. I will get one liner answers. I remember one in particular I put up there. What do you think coaches should be evaluated on and how would you evaluate them? And I got answers, no joke, that range from their ability to lead others that simple. 


Brett Bartholomew  25:10

To a good heart, to personality to did they meet their athletes goals? I mean, those are all well meaning, but that certainly does not answer the question what they should evaluate their coaches on and how they would do it. So I typically follow that up I’d be like, great like, thanks for taking the time to respond. How would we evaluate that? What would that look like? And I’d give them some examples. And then they’d still struggle or they wouldn’t respond. And it just shows how much work we have to do in order to make people feel comfortable. Not only being questioned, but asking questions and thinking about great questions. I mean, things like hey, what drives your curiosity? You know, what primary struggles are you dealing with? You’re in your job or in the company’s mission right now. 


Brett Bartholomew  26:00

What are the core values in which this team believes in and how would my role help drive those things forward? You know, when a prospective candidate for a job asks about values, culture mission drives, that is something that shows that person is really committed. So I urge you to have some great questions ready not just your programming booklet, you know, not just your videos, I mean, really be ready to dive in and show them that you’ve done your homework and that you’re interested in them. It’s an old piece from Dale Carnegie, you know, don’t, you have to be interested to be interesting. So ask questions. To touch base on another tip, and these again, these are all related just to continue to go back to it to people that are trying to find jobs, get jobs, you know, what can they do to make themselves a more attractive candidate? Understand that I probably should have started with this. 


Brett Bartholomew  26:55

Passion is not enough. So if you’re a young coach listening to this, don’t think that just because you’re an athlete or you love training or you love working out, or you know that you’re going to be a great strength coach. That’s like somebody saying I’m good at arguing is going to be a great lawyer. That’s not always the case. There’s so much more to it than that. And passion while you want to have passion, it can also be a vise. If you’re passionate about something, oftentimes it can lead to you thinking you’re more competent than it, then you are. And that’s the Dunning Kruger effect. 


Brett Bartholomew  27:30

You have to consider the fact that there are plenty of people that are passionate about their jobs out there, but that does not make them good at it. That only means they’re heavily interested in it. And there’s so many other things that go into it. So, you know, when you’re looking at jobs, and this is one of the most common questions I get is hey, what graduate school should I go to what internship should I look at? Should I go with a big school, a small school? Should I go into the NBA or NFL? You know, we should I got one the other day that should I coach male or female athletes, you should do everything you have the opportunity to do meaning you should early on in your career. 


Brett Bartholomew  28:42

Your job is to make yourself a Swiss army knife. Your job is to coach athletes and people from all ages, all activity levels, all parts of the world anything you can do say yes. Now is a huge piece of my development getting started as I wanted to coach everything I remember one time I worked with a group and I’m so thankful for this to that my employer at the time, I worked with a group that two guys had had ACL reconstructions, and were NBA Europe basketball players. One was a healthy college football player. One was a major league baseball player coming off with surgery. And because we were minimally staffed like all these guys had to coach in the same or training the same group. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:59

So now instead of looking at my template and saying, okay, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, this is what we’re doing. I literally had to put all their names on the sheet and go through a thorough progression and regression kind of analysis of okay with this guy’s doing sled sprints. What are my ACL returned to play guys doing? What’s this guy doing? And I’d have to sit there and figure that out methodically, and an hour later I’d have to coach a bunch of screaming little kids, and two hours before I was working with  military or amputees or wounded warriors, and an hour before that, I was working with just general pop and or one time it was a bunch of surgeons. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:59

So don’t get bougie about who you’re coaching coach, male and female athletes, you know, coach, and if you think that the big jobs are where it’s all at, you’re wrong. Some of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the world are at small schools or in high schools, are training people out of their garages, do not make the mistake of following a logo. Do not think that just because you go to University of so and so that’s one eight national titles recently that you are gonna be a great strength coach for that. It’s gonna be impressive on your resume. It’s not, what’s going to make you stand out is your abilities, your skills, your willingness to adapt and learn. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:41

So you’ve got to make sure and lock that in. I had put together a free eBook on my website on called advice for for new coaches. And it was a terrible title, because it really just should have been invited for coaches in general. And keep in mind that anytime I give advice, it’s because I’ve messed up or these are things that I wish I would have known sooner. So that’s where it’s coming from. So you know, we’ve covered a couple of things when it comes to career. We’ve come to understanding that the old way is not enough. Resumes aren’t enough. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:41

You’ve got to find creative ways to get yourself out there and the right ways, right, be good at your job. Make sure that you’re in it for more reasons than just being passionate. That is not enough. videotape yourself coaching, try to get face time volunteer, coach anybody you can. That’s all a lot of this falls under the category of taking risks. You know, you have to applaud people that ask the questions that they do, because, you know, some of this stuff is really uncomfortable and these guys feel insecure and it’s life or death. If you’re outside of United States. What can you do this gets trickier? So understand that there are a lot of and this may change by the time this podcast goes live. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:41

But there are a lot of laws that kind of govern internships within the United States now, right, because people abuse certain privileges. And it’s, you know, it got messy and I think just the legislature around it all has changed. But if you’re from outside of the country and you’re trying to work in the United States, you need to make sure that you’ve reached out to governing bodies, whoever you’re whether you’re trying to get a job and in let’s say college football, American football, reach out, go to the NCAA website, get in touch with somebody in that office and say, hey, I’m, I’m out of the country. I’m trying to get internship at an institution out there, what’s required of me, do your homework. If you’re trying to look at a private sector facility, reach out to them say hey, I understand there are laws and regulations around this. What do I have to do in order to manage those and make sure that I’m going about it in the right way? You know, reach out to folks, once you have a list or idea of things that you can do, start checking those things off? start checking those things off. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:41

Now I mean, with Airbnb, and all these other things in some places have free housing for interns. There are so many unique opportunities, but you’ve got to check those things off. You’ve got to do the homework and I’d say if that’s one frustration I have with with sometimes folks that reach out young coaches that reach out it’s not, believe me they’re not stupid, they’re not stupid. And they’re not lazy necessarily. It’s just that many of them don’t know how to go through these channels. They’re so overwhelmed, and they’re so anxious and they’re so passionate again, which can be a double edged sword. They don’t they don’t stop and just kind of like okay, what should I do? How should I think about it? I mean, and part of that is they think they can get on social media and, and just get known and it’s easy, but you’ve got to do your homework. There chances are somebody’s written an article about it, a blog about it, or governing institutions can guide you thoroughly, thoroughly on that


Brett Bartholomew  33:15

I think that’s really, really critically important. All right. So moving forward, we’re gonna talk about just a couple more things. You know, one that I urge people not to do is trying to like prove your value. Don’t try to stand out again, like, and when I say stand out, because you may say, hey, a couple minutes ago, you said stand out, you know, I mean, don’t try to do things that are outrageous. Don’t do things that you think will get you attention. Don’t try to be contrarian, about things so that you can get a name for yourself. 


Brett Bartholomew  33:56

There are so many people that will light up veteran coaches, social media accounts, or they’ll try to get on a podcast and they’ll blow up some theory or they’ll attack somebody and you know, that’s an I’ve been on the side of that I’ve had people tried to tell me, Oh, the Art Of Coaching doesn’t matter. And you know, then I realized that this was a 22 year old coach that has never worked really with anybody outside of one sport, and was largely an assistant at a university, right? 


Brett Bartholomew  33:56

And the Art Of Coaching doesn’t matter. And I started to respond and I realized now this is bait. You know, so if you’re getting into the field, don’t, do not try to resort to those things. It’s not gonna bode well for you. You’re gonna ruin relationships. Savvy, older veteran coaches are gonna understand what you’re trying to do, and you will get blacklisted. It’s just it’s too long of a game. It’s too long of a game in your career. For you to think that you know, some little short spike in popularity is going to be worth it, you know? Sure. Well, there’ll be some people that rally around you and make you feel like it was the right thing to do. 


Brett Bartholomew  33:56

Of course, of course, there’s always going to be contrarians, but that’s not the way you want to stand out. Okay, you will destroy your career before you even have one. So these are a couple of tips, guys. That are critical for everything that continue to evolve. I would also urge you that you know, take stock in your finances, make sure that you look and say okay, if I do have to move, if I do have to do this internship and I did two unpaid internships, and then a graduate assistantship that paid less than it was a $10,000 stipend, if memory serves me, correct, what you know, and it was incredibly valuable because I got to coach a ton of different teams. That experience is worth it. You know, and we could get into the debate on here, what should be expected of folks and the difference between interning and volunteering that’s a big debate here in the States right now. 


Brett Bartholomew  33:56

But right now, this podcast is specifically or this episode is specifically to the coaches that feel like I’m lost. I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do. You know, and it’s worth thinking, okay. Do I have the finances to be able to support this? Do I understand the politics that are involved? Am I being too narrow in my scope of the job market? I think that’s another huge piece too.


Brett Bartholomew  36:04

A lot of times coaches think this is, I’m going into pro sport, or I’m gonna do this or I’m gonna run my own facility. You need to cast a wide net at first, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your first job is your last job. So don’t go into something thinking that if you don’t get an NBA job, you’re gone. Or if you don’t get into soccer, you know, at this level, you’re done. You need to go anywhere. You can practice your skill set. And if for you, that might be personal training at a place down the road. 


Brett Bartholomew  37:52

Listen, that’s better than doing nothing guys, coaching is coaching and plus don’t disrespect that profession like that. Many strength coaches started out as personal trainers. There are many personal trainers out there that are more knowledgeable than strength coaches and take their education much more seriously because they work hectic schedules. 


Brett Bartholomew  37:52

This isn’t a classes thing. But so don’t don’t try to create some divide. And the only reason I say that is I’ll never forget that when I went to the private sector, at first people telling me, you know, if you get out of a team setting, you’re done. And that’s not true. That’s not true. There are jobs that are gonna be offered to you. It’s not about what’s better. What’s worse are both great. I know I personally love aspects of both of them, you know, but my wife and I made a deal a long time ago that we will not go back to the team setting unless it was an organization with the right values. And it was a situation that was sustainable for the family that we want to have. 


Brett Bartholomew  37:52

And that’s the final point I’ll leave you with, values. So many people lead with vanity instead of values. And this coincides with many of the things that I’ve told you. People won’t be seeking out big schools and the highest level sport organizations and the stuff that will get them the biggest metaphorical bump in popularity. Your values are what should drive where you go. And if your value is to be a great coach. 


Brett Bartholomew  38:17

Once again, you need to understand that has nothing to do with a logo, that has everything to do with the effort that you apply every day and what you do. Your commitment to craftsmanship, your commitment and sharing your own journey with others so they can learn from it and your ability to remain humble and remember that this is a journey that is not gonna be done at any point in your life. You’re all apprentices and a craft in which we will never become a master. And so whether you are looking to get a job, looking at what you do to keep a job or anything like that, we’re gonna discuss these things more in depth, but it all has to be locked into your values. Because that will catch up with you. I promise you if you don’t believe me, go find a senior coach right now. 


Brett Bartholomew  38:49

Ask them a time where they were led astray by vanity more than their values and what that taught them and the mistake and things that it caused them in their in their career coaching or what have you. Lastly, and I know I said that already. But one more thing I wanted to touch on. You better be good to people, that stuff will catch up with you. I can’t tell you the amount of times at clinics. I’ll see somebody you know and if they find out somebody’s not with a big team or an organization or what have you. They want nothing to do with them. They only Hobnob it with the people that have the best logos. 


Brett Bartholomew  40:15

Again, you guys are missing the point. Make sure you reach out to everybody create a community as my friend Ron McKee free says create a tribe. Make sure you’re building each other up. It’s a small, small world in strength and conditioning in other fields. Separate yourself about the right reasons, made sure that you’re providing value not proving value. Listen, if you want to learn more about this. 


Brett Bartholomew  40:15

We’re gonna be doing an event, Art Of Coaching is gonna be hosting an event in January 2019. The dates are gonna be announced on my newsletter so if you haven’t had a chance to signed up for the newsletter. It’s gonna be included in the show notes. So make sure to subscribe to that. But it will be announced soon. It may have already been announced by the time you hear that so make sure that you subscribe to that newsletter. That’s where everything is going to be locked and loaded and delivered first. And this event is gonna talk about career development within strength and conditioning. 


Brett Bartholomew  40:15

This is gonna talk about the pitfalls many of us fall into and it’s gonna cover everything from getting the job, keeping the job, dealing with burnout, mental health issues within coaching and it’s open to anybody you don’t have to be a coach. This is professionalism, one on one career management one on one, and it’s gonna be a really special thing. I want to thank you all for listening. I hope this has been valuable to you. Again, take a look at the newsletter if you want to stay up to date with all things Art Of Coaching and I wish you a great week ahead. Take care.

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