Following on from Patrick’s insightful blog which I enjoyed reading, I wanted to add some further comments to support those reading and following.
As Patrick mentioned, you can plan as much as you want with your own life and career however it can throw unexpected things in front of you that can swerve your path in a different direction to what you originally might have thought.
Despite the unknown, it is certainly good to have a good structure to your professional identity and the direction in which you want to take it. Much like Patrick, my passion and fascination with the human body and sport led me to my original study of physiotherapy. Then through more exposure in the high performance arena, I became very interested in parallel fields such as strength and conditioning and sports psychology. This led me to go and study S&C through the NSCA CSCS qualification.
My key bit of advice would be to have an outline of where you would like to work. This should include how you would work there and why you want to. The ‘why’ is important and is likely to overlap with your own personal values. You may of course have various ‘where’ to works on your list and this diversity is a positive thing.
For most of my career I kept a balance between clinic work, gym work, elite sports work and teaching. This variety certainly helped maintain my passion for health and fitness. I have known many practitioners to get stuck in one place which has obvious disadvantages in my opinion.
From there you can specify where you strengthen your CV and how you will get closer to your ‘ideal’ place of work. Patrick will be listing a helpful overview of key post graduate courses in his next blog. If your place of work is with boxers or fighters then you will probably want to spend a lot of time getting good at the upper extremity and spine! You may of course want to be more specialist or remain more generalist.
I have known and been lucky to work with many excellent specialists such as Dr Jeremy Lewis who I admire and has had a fantastic career around all things shoulder. I naturally developed strong areas of interest however remained quite generalist in my practice. I really enjoy the S&C coaching side as well as personal training clients in a gym space. Nowadays, if I was to just see injury back to back all day I tend to get bored but that is just me! Others I know have loved it for decades and I have great respect for them!
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