Jun 21, 2023
Mentor Spotlight July | Nicholas Higgins

Nicholas Higgins

How did you get started in the strength and conditioning profession? How long have you been in the field?

I have been working in the field of strength and conditioning for over 10 years with different opportunities as volunteer intern, part-time assistant, and full-time strength and conditioning coach. I have been fortunate for experiences at University of Minnesota, University Wisconsin-La Crosse, University of Texas, University of Washington, and my current role as director of athletic performance at the University of Memphis. I was interested into the field of strength and conditioning during my undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and completed my first experience my junior summer assisting the University of Minnesota Olympic Strength and Conditioning Department.

What are three pearls of wisdom you can share with a young strength coach just starting in the profession?

With each opportunity and experience, learn from all situations and continue to evolve your mindset of where you ultimately believe is best for you.

Understand that we are just one area of total performance, and we must develop relationships, balance, and look to create trusted workflow with all other areas of performance. Challenge yourself to branch out into those other areas and learn from them and reflect upon on you can make it trusted workflow.

Learn to be effective and efficient with your time at work. Create times that are set aside for your own development, space, and invest in yourself.

What do you feel is the key to motivating athletes?

It takes time to build a relationship with athletes and to help motivate athletes it’s vital to learn more about their background, experiences, and drivers in all areas of their lives. From there you can help by leaning on those conversations to find the best methods or sources of motivation.

What’s your formula for success in helping your interns prepare for the SCCC exam?

Taking our time to building out a curriculum that is both practical and educational and given experience and situations in which they can learn in preparation for the SCCC. Becoming a well-versed and well-rounded performance coach in both the practical and educational piece of coaching.

How much do you rely on the CSCCa internship curriculum in preparing your candidates?

As we outline our curriculum for the semester or year, we want to make sure it’s designed for the individual/class and best for their development and growth. We will have cornerstones which we complete each curriculum and blend it from the CSCCa and our experiences with performance to provide an internship that is best for that individual/group. Understanding and meeting them where they currently are and provide a framework for improvement and growth.

What goes into the decision-making process when considering candidates for your mentor program?

There are many levels to this but ultimately it comes to select an individual who seeks to better themselves and looks for an experience to grow both personally and professionally. We understand it is our commitment to time and effort to help prepare candidates for their next experience in the performance field. We hope that the time, energy, and effort we put in will be match and create an opportunity that candidates find valuable.

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?

With the diverse experiences of our staff, we believe we have connected with others and learned from our internships experience to design, develop, and create sustainability in our internship program. As we hope that all staffs are taking their time and effort with their internship program, we are deliberate with our course work, assignments, and projects, and follow our main mission which is creating an experience to help better and learn about the performance industry.

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A | P.O. Box 128 | Sparta, MI 49345
[email protected] | 616.520.2137