For this month’s Mentor Spotlight, we spoke with Scott Hintz about his strength and conditioning profession, his key to motivating athletes and more.
Q: How did you get started in the strength and conditioning profession? How long have you been in the field?
A: It all started in my parent’s basement when I started lifting weights from my dad’s tractors when I was a teenager but my l knowledge really expanded during my practicum class at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Then I had a great experience at my first internship at Marquette University and knew this is what I wanted to do and I’ve been doing it for 15 years now.
Q: What are three pearls of wisdom you can share with a young strength coach just starting in the profession?
A: First, get your Master’s and actively pursue GA position. Secondly, network, network, network! Introduce yourself to people because you never know where it will lead. Third, coach a variety of people, sports, in different facilities, using different equipment, and using no equipment at all. This field will test your creativity and your ability to adapt.
Q: What do you feel is the key to motivating athletes?
A: Creating great relationships, finding out what drives each athlete and correlating what we do in the weight room with what they do in their sport. I like to get the athletes I work with to visualize some aspect of their sport when we are working on drills or exercises. Don’t just run during a sprint but visualize running to the endzone, to first base, etc.
Q: What’s your formula for success in helping your interns prepare for the SCCC exam?
A: It’s been really helpful to reach out to my network and CSCCa Mentors that have prepared other interns for the SCCC. They have been great at giving me tips and info to focus on with my interns. I’ve also relied on my experience taking the exam even though that was 12 years ago.
Q: How much do you rely on the CSCCa internship curriculum in preparing your candidates?
A: I’ve really leaned on the CSCCa internship curriculum a lot and all the resources that are on their website.
Q: What goes into the decision-making process when considering candidates for your mentor program?
A: To start in our internship program, they need to have or working toward their Bachelor’s degree in a related field and basic knowledge of strength and conditioning. The biggest piece is probably their drive to be in the strength and conditioning field. They need to understand what it’s about and I’d like to see how they handle lifting groups. Can they get their point across and will a bunch of 18-22 year old’s follow their instruction?
Q: What do you feel is a key component of your internship program which sets you apart from others and sets your test candidates up for success?
A: Macalester College is a small college that has one fitness center for the whole campus and we’re in St. Paul, MN so all winter we are fighting for indoor space. With that being said, we have to be real creative sometimes when it comes to getting through our workouts. We’ve warmed up in hallways and ran stairwells for conditioning. Our interns have been exposed to a variety of ways to get things done.
Q: How many candidates have you had sat for the exam and how many have passed?
A: This year will be my first 2 candidates. So, working towards 100% but TBD.