COD Offers Sports Performance Training Certificate
By Jennifer Duda
Beginning this fall, College of DuPage will offer a new certificate program in Sports Performance Training. The Illinois Community College Board approved the program in May.
This 42-credit hour program provides hands-on experience in implementing and designing sports performance training protocols for both individuals and groups. Courses focus on specialized fitness training, in particular one-on-one training for athletes and other avid sports enthusiasts looking to maximize their performance, said Associate Dean for Physical Education and Athletic Director Paul Zakowski.
"There's a growing trend to get students in to give them an edge for scholarships and competition," he said. "Sports performance trainers have a bit more knowledge about specific areas that could increase an athlete's speed and agility."
The Sport Performance Training certificate, which includes a 300-hour internship, provides cross-functional job opportunities for graduates who are qualified to work in health and fitness clubs that provide travel sport teams and exercise programs for children, teenagers and adults. The certificate also offers specialized training for current physical educators.
"The College plans to renovate our existing Physical Education Center this academic year, allowing us to add four new aerobic teaching areas," Zakowski said. "This could open doors for internships here on campus, giving our students immediate hands-on experience."
In addition to the new Sports Performance Training certificate, the College also currently offers a Fitness Training certificate. While similar, students enrolled in the Fitness Training program don't receive training in designing sports performance training protocols, but focus instead on skills needed to work at fitness clubs and park districts leading exercise classes.
Jobs for fitness workers are expected to increase and the sports performance training profession is expected to rise 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the 2012-2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. As people become more aware of sports-related injuries at a young age, demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase, most significantly in schools and youth leagues.
"There are many businesses out there that have cornered the market on this type of training and we want to give our students every opportunity to enter this growing field," Zakowski said.
For more information on the Sports Performance Training Certificate program, call (630) 942-8331, or visit: http://www.cod.edu/programs/pdf/career/physical-education-certificate.pdf.
2012 College of DuPage