First off, a huge thanks to Adrian, the XIP team, and all of the athletes and clients I had the pleasure of meeting and working with. This
summer internship was an incredible experience and one that has
definitely prepared me to begin my journey into the world of strength and conditioning and performance training. The focus of this post is to explain several valuable take-away lessons from my internship and how XIP prepared me for success in the future.
Hands down, the most important lesson I took away from this internship was the foundation of successful coaching is interpersonal communication skills. Whether that be communicating with a client in a one on one setting, a group training session, with athletes during a performance camp, or even with other coaches and employees, it is absolutely critical to be an effective communicator. You could be the most intelligent, hard-working individual, but without the ability to interact on a personal level with another human being, you are destined for failure. Fortunately, I was able to gain some experience in many different coaching scenarios throughout the summer and met amazing people at the same time.
Another lesson that I believe will have a positive impact on my career down the road, is the necessity to develop a coaching philosophy. The programming at XIP is top notch in terms of effectiveness and practicability. This is due in large part because of the expertise and extensive knowledge that Adrian has obtained over the years, but also because he has developed his own coaching philosophy. He is able to explain why he does things the way he does. As my strength and conditioning career progresses, I will need to develop my own philosophy, just like the staff at XIP has done. Anybody can go online and look up a training program, but being able to convey your rationale and approach about various aspects of training within a coaching philosophy is what sets great coaches apart from the rest. That is ultimately what gives quality and effectiveness to the coaching being provided.
How XIP Prepared Me For Success
• Authentic training and coaching scenarios – In my personal opinion, there is no substitute for experiential learning. Jumping in and getting my hands dirty is how I learn best. XIP provides the intern structure in terms of expectations, but allows for an individualized style of hands-on learning. I appreciate that Adrian gave me the freedom to make mistakes. Yet another great way to learn and progress.
• XIP holds their employees and interns to high standards – Not only does XIP set high standards for their employees, but they also set high standards for their interns. This stimulates professional and team
growth and promotes a positive work place/training environment.
• XIP makes coaching fun – Not a day passed this entire summer where I felt like I had to “go to work”. They truly care about providing the clients with a high quality experience, which is refreshing. It was genuinely exciting to show up at XIP each day to coach, learn, communicate, experiment, train, and reflect.
Thanks again to Adrian, the XIP team, and everyone who trains at XIP. I am inspired and motivated by all the great work that you do. Keep it up!