If I had a penny for every time someone asked me why I came to Wales for my master’s degree, I’d have my tuition covered! One of the main draws for me coming here was the rugby. With Wales being one of the top nations for the love of the game, not only was it the top of my list; it was my list.
It was Cardiff Met for my masters in strength and conditioning or not at all. With that in mind, I knew I had to get an internship at one of the professional teams in the country, fully understanding I needed a great internship and involvement in the professional world to make my move count.
Although strength and conditioning in the US is one of the most respected fields in the world, rugby is just beginning to scratch the surface there. With that in mind, there was no way I could come to a rugby country and not grow my rugby S & C experience by being a part of something so significant.
Little did I know, many masters students already had internships lined up, or had already began working for teams this past summer, so I was already at a slight disadvantage. However, I used my rugby connections and spruced up my resume to land the perfect gig at the Newport Dragons rugby team within the PRO14 League. After starting in October, my responsibilities and expectations grew ten-fold.
Now on my sixth month with the team, I’ve been given the reins to one of the senior players for programming and implementation. This means I get to fully create a resistance program that targets his main goals as a scrumhalf, and to coach him through each of his workouts.
The internship at the Newport Dragons has not only bolstered my competence in working with elite, male athletes but it’s also given me the opportunity to learn from some of the top rugby coaching staff and athletes in the world.
Before coming to Wales, I had the privilege to work with a division one men’s team in San Diego as their strength and conditioning coach; however, we didn’t have the extensive staff nor the resources as professional teams have. These considerations will help me with my career in understanding what it takes to work together as a team, within a team.
Read more about Cardiff Met students learning on the job with our work placement blogs.