Apr 11, 2023
Mentor Spotlight Program | Megan Rottler Hattori

What goes into a mentor program?

Megan Rottler Hattori

Megan Rottler Hattori has over a decade of experience as a strength coach. She is currently at Duke University as the sports performance coach for the women’s soccer, volleyball, softball, and rowing teams.

Rottler Hattori is a part of the CSCCa-approved mentor program. She has helped four coaches reach their goals of passing the SCCC exam. We sat down with Rottler Hattori to investigate how she runs her program.

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

I have been in this field for 10 awesome years, but I continue to be challenged and learn every year. I honestly was not familiar with the profession of sports performance/strength and conditioning until I was introduced to strength and conditioning as a student-athlete at college. I completed some observation hours my junior year at SEMO and knew that this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Shout to Coach Ryan Johnson for giving me a start on my career!

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

  1. My first pearl is to be a lifelong learner as I firmly believe that you can learn something from everyone. It’s OK to make mistakes but learn and adjust as you move forward. Being able to learn from mistakes or being receptive to constructive feedback will help you become the best coach that you can.
  2. Do the basics well no matter how small of a thing it may be. Showing up early, asking questions, training the way you coach your athletes, or taking initiative is the foundation to developing trust from your athletes and colleagues.
  3. Be the same person for your teams every day. Leave the outside drama or issues outside and give your athletes the best you have every day.

CSCCa – What do you feel is the key to motivating athletes?

Showing your athletes that you believe in them is a key to motivation. I show my excitement when my athletes succeed that fuels their motivation and excitement them as well. Often times, athletes just need to hear someone say, “you can do it! or “you’re crushing it!” to push themselves one step further.

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

My mentor taught me that he could help me become a good strength and conditioning coach, but can’t make me a good person – a concept I wholeheartedly believe in. Success of our interns start with the individual and their eagerness and motivation to work hard. We then provide as many repetitions leading groups, demonstrating movements, and creating programs to prepare them for the SCCC exam. Practice and repetition help interns become more comfortable and confident in the coaching role.

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

 Our original internship curriculum was written based off the CSCCa’s curriculum, but now I modify the program to what each intern class needs to acknowledging difference in experience and education.

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

We prefer that applicants have at least one coaching internship or experience prior to applying for our CSCCa position, but we also value individual character. We are constantly looking for candidates that are passionate about the profession of strength and conditioning/sports performance and that will be a great addition to our current staff.

CSCCa – 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?

We accept 2-4 candidates in our internship program which allows us to really focus on individualizing their learning needs and creating more opportunities for coaching responsibilities. We task our interns with responsibilities that they earn over the course of their internship.

CSCCa – How many candidates have you had sat for the exam and how many have passed?

Since I have been an approved mentor, we have had 6 coaching assistants take the SCCC exam and 4 have passed.

Rottler Hattori’s mentor program shows that practice and repetition can help interns become more comfortable and confident in the coaching role. We appreciate Rottler Hattori for taking the time to talk with us and we hope her story motivates our mentors to push candidates toward success.

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