We are thrilled to announce Justin Lima as our April Mentor Spotlight! Justin is a dedicated mentor who is passionate about helping others develop their skills and reach their goals. He has worked with many individuals, and is excited to share his knowledge and experience within the field.
Justin Lima is in his fifth year as the Director of Football performance with Towson University and is responsible for the design and implementation of all phases of strength and conditioning for the football team as well as the track & field throwers. He began working with the Tigers in January 2018.
Lima comes to Towson from the University of Iowa where he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Hawkeye’s football staff for five years. The Hawkeyes made bowl game appearances in every season during Lima’s tenure including a perfect 12-0 regular season record in 2015 and a Rose Bowl in 2016.
Lima ran the analytics program at the University of Iowa handling HRV and GPS data. Additionally, he mentored and instructed professional interns and coordinated the refueling station.
Lima joined the Iowa staff from the University of Maryland, where he worked with the Terrapin football team and cross-country team for two seasons, assisting the Terrapins football team to a bowl game appearance during his final year.
We had the chance to chat with Lima to investigate the inner workings of this incredible program.
CSCCa: How did you get started in the strength and conditioning profession? How long have you been in the field?
Justin Lima: My offensive line coach was my first strength coach. I got bigger, faster, stronger from the weight room. Wanted to do the same for athletes. Been a coach since 2009
CSCCa: What are three pearls of wisdom you can share with a young strength coach just starting in the profession?
Justin Lima: Go out and intern as early as you can – the classroom is limited in teaching you what it means to be a strength coach. Learn the “soft” skills – they are not soft. You need to learn how to communicate with athletes, coaches, support staff and that is not taught in school.
CSCCa: What do you feel is the key to motivating athletes?
Justin Lima: Motivation is fake. Don’t believe in it. Use discipline. Discipline Equals Freedom.
CSCCa: What’s your formula for success in helping your interns prepare for the SCCC exam?
Justin Lima: Study the material on a schedule. Stick to the schedule.
CSCCa: How much do you rely on the CSCCa internship curriculum in preparing your candidates?
Justin Lima: Use as much of the resources as possible to prepare. You want to be over-prepared going into the exam.
CSCCa: What goes into the decision-making process when considering candidates for your mentor program?
Justin Lima: They need to be a good person who can communicate – then you can teach that type of person how to be a strength coach. It is hard to teach someone who likes to work out how to be a good person
CSCCa: What do you feel is a key component of your internship program that sets you apart from others and sets your test candidates up for success?
Justin Lima: Bring them to as much in-person meetings as possible. Have structured curriculum time, but also learn that impromptu meetings work well too
CSCCa: How many candidates have you had sat for the exam and how many have passed?
Justin Lima: 1 candidate. He passed.
Lima’s mentor program shows that being prepared in every aspect is the key to success for the SCCC exam. We appreciate Lima for taking the time to talk with us and we hope his words of wisdom encourage our mentors to push candidates toward success.