Delaware Sports Blitz is excited to announce a new series we will be doing called Behind the Sports.
The Behind the Sports series is looking at men and women who prepare athletes for their best on and off the court ( SIDs, AD, educators, trainers and etc.). The series will also be looking at different careers in the sports field from media, operating an arena, tickets sales, public relations and etc.
This week we will be featuring Christina Rasnake who is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at University of Delaware. At UD, Rasnake works with Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Track & Field and Softball. Rasnake started her journey in the Strength and Conditioning field in 2005 as a student intern at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Besides Lock Haven and University of Delaware, Rasnake has also worked at LaSalle University, Dartmouth College and Missouri State University. The veteran strength and conditioning coach is definitely passionate about giving student-athletes the tools to reduce injuries and help them shine in their specific sport.
Name the job and a brief summary of what it entails?
Rasnake: I am a Strength and Conditioning Coach at University of Delaware. I work specifically with Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Track & Field, and Softball. A Strength and Conditioning Coach main duties are to improve athletic performance and reduce injuries through communication with the coaching staff, athletic trainers, and sports doctors. Our main responsibility is to create workouts for lifting, conditioning, speed, agility, power, and flexibility. We periodize workouts according to practices and games to give the student-athlete the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.
How long have you been in this area of work?
Rasnake: I have been in the strength and conditioning field since 2005. I started as a student intern at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. I took a short hiatus prior to my graduate school studies and have been working steadily in the field since 2010. I have worked at Lock Haven University, LaSalle University, Dartmouth College, Missouri State University, and now University of Delaware.
What interested you to get in this area of work?
Rasnake: I have always been involved in athletics since I was young and played field hockey in college. I majored in Athletic Training at Lock Haven University but became frustrated since the only time I worked with athletes was when they became injured. I wanted to find a field/career where I could help keep athletes on the field and reduce the chance of them becoming injured. I switched my major to Recreation Management with a concentration in Fitness Management and never looked back.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
Rasnake: It is the best of all worlds. I get to watch student-athletes compete, train them to get stronger, more powerful and keep them healthy. Although winning is a lot of fun, watching athletes develop during their four years in college and enter the workforce is the best part of the field. You know you have made an influence on a student-athlete’s life not by the win-loss column or championship rings but by the number of holiday cards or wedding invitations. I still hear from a multitude of my past athletes still asking for workouts. Whether it is to continue to train in the weight room or compete in Cross-Fit, marathons, or becoming professional athletes.
What are some of the challenges of the job?
Rasnake: The biggest challenge in strength and conditioning is maintaining a work-life balance. We work long hours and sometimes we will not see our families all day. Working from 6am to 7pm every day and supervising the team’s warm up prior to games on the weekend is very tough. Finding a way to intertwine time with family and perform your job correctly is like a chess match; sometimes you have to sacrifice a pawn in order to win the game.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in this job or field?
Rasnake: My advice to someone interested in strength and conditioning is to talk to as many people in the field as possible and to ask questions and learn by doing. No one learns by doing things right all the time, you learn the most by making mistakes and learning from them.
Follow Christina Rasnake on Twitter at @Coach_Raz26