Graduate certificate programs in strength and conditioning are meant to expose individuals to the fundamentals of sports performance as it relates to the human body. Some of these programs are specialized and delve into information about fitness coaching. Certain graduate certificate programs will also pair individual students with a mentor so they can get personalized assistance where needed.
Typical Courses in Graduate Certificate Programs in Strength and Conditioning
Strength and conditioning graduate certificate programs can require between 12 and 18 credit hours worth of coursework. While many of the programs are available online, there are a few that have a hybrid format so students can receive hands-on training as well.
Nutrition in Sports
A sports nutrition course could introduce students to the importance of nutrition in athletics and sports. In some cases, students may learn how the concepts of sporting nutrition have evolved over time. They could also learn how specific nutritional regimens can affect athletic performance as well as the athlete's recovery.
Performance and Conditioning Methods
A course on performance and conditioning methods could cover the different types of training approaches that can be used when working with athletes. This course may deal with sporting activities of varying intensities and how the training can be adjusted accordingly. Students may also learn about physical conditioning as it relates to training models.
Physiology and Performance
A physiology and performance course could focus on areas of fitness, exercise, and performance as they relate to conditioning. In some cases, students may learn how environmental factors such as altitude can affect an athlete's fitness and performance. Other topics that may be covered include physical stress as well as respiratory and nervous adaptations.
Human Performance Program Design
A course of this nature are might teach students how to design and implement an effective athletic performance program. This course could also discuss the scientific and theoretical basics of injury prevention. Students may also learn about the national bodies that govern athlete safety as well as exams from the National Strength and Conditioning Association's (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Psychology in Sports
In a sports psychology course, students might learn about the importance of psychology in an athletic setting. Some courses may delve into mental skills such as motivation, goal-setting, and team cohesion. A few of the topics that could be covered include anxiety, intervention strategies, and exercise psychology.
General Admission Requirements for Graduate Certificate Programs in Strength and Conditioning
Graduate certificate programs in strength and conditioning are only open to persons with an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Some of these programs may require a minimum GPA of 2.5. In some cases, applicants may need to pass a background check. When submitting their application, prospective students may also need to submit school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a current resume.
Graduate certificate programs in strength and conditioning can involve up to 18 credit hours of coursework and are available completely online or in a hybrid format. These programs are meant for persons with an undergraduate degree and can cover topics such as psychology in sports, nutrition in sports, and human performance program design.