The University of Iowa Strength & Conditioning

Hawkeyes In the Field

Check out where former Hawkeye Olympic Strength & Conditioning interns have moved on to and hear about their experience at Iowa.

Lowe

Chris Lowe: Director of Strength & Conditioning, University of Illinois-Springfield

“There are no words to describe my gratitude to Coach Maxwell and the University of Iowa’s Olympic Strength and Conditioning Department. The experience from the internship program is unlike any other in the country. Their multi-disciplined approach develops interns not only into great coaches, but future leaders in the strength and conditioning world. I was fortunate enough to develop a strong relationship with my fellow interns, as well as the coaching staff. It is rare to have a position where you are excited to go to work everyday. My passion for becoming a collegiate strength and conditioning coach grew everyday because I was surrounded by those who had the same passion as me. I would recommend this program for anyone who is looking to grow their career to their fullest abilities. By far, the University of Iowa’s Olympic Strength and Conditioning is the best thing to ever happen to me and my career.” 

Ferate

Bryant Ferate: Assistant Director of Sports Performance, University of Portland

"The University of Iowa’s Olympic Sports Strength and Conditioning internship has provided me with experiences that have molded and assisted me in my growth as a professional. Not only did this experience support me in becoming a better coach; I was blessed to be mentored by five Strength and Conditioning professionals that truly care about the intern’s development, not only as a coach but as a person.”

Kloss

A.J. Kloss: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Kansas State University

"I consider my experience working as an intern for the University of Iowa Olympic Strength and Conditioning program to be invaluable. Before entering the internship, I had minimal experience coaching and lacked confidence in my abilities. I was given a great opportunity to grow and progress as a coach while being continually challenged by the staff. I was mentored and educated in multiple facets of strength and conditioning, from training theory and programming to professional development and presentation. I was given chances to lead groups, develop interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and develop a "presence" on the floor while coaching various sized groups. I was also able to work with advanced sports performance technology and learn about its proper implementation. This internship program provided me the training, tools and confidence needed to take my career to the next level. It also allowed me to develop relationships with several coaches, strength and sport, to create a network I will carry throughout my career. I could not have asked for a better experience."

Kant-Hull

Daniel Kant-Hull: Assistant Director of Sports Performance, Marquette University

"I consider my internship at the University of Iowa to be the corner stone to my career in strength & conditioning. I learned the necessary skills that bridged a gap between classroom and practical world applications of working with athletes and teams. Starting day one the standards were set high with an expectation of excellence in every category of the internship. One of the first tasks was coaching progressions where we used other interns as mock athletes and would teach them how to perform various exercises while the coaching staff would critique how we taught. This was an invaluable experience as it allowed whoever was teaching to learn more about their own individual coaching style, how to control a room, where the best place was to view everything, and how to be a more effective coach while doing it at an appropriate pace. Many mistakes were made during this process but each time areas of improvement were addressed and further practiced again until the tasks could be performed to a standard that was befitting of working with the student-athletes. Next task was educational readings with at least one of the staff members. During this process, research articles would be read and their contents discussed. This was an opportunity to bridge the gap between what research is saying and how to make it applicable in a training environment.

Towards the end of the internship came the development of a resume/cover letter, portfolio creation, mock interviews, and ultimately placement. Items covered in the resume/cover letter where based on what was being looked for in a position, how to come across as positive, and how to best represent yourself when displaying a body of work to someone else. In addition, there were mock interviews that were performed whether by phone calls or in person. These were performed with the utmost attention to detail. At the end of the process we were again critiqued and given ways to represent ourselves to the maximum of our abilities and experiences. The final task was placement, at which the staff worked tirelessly to make sure that each intern was placed in an area where they could further develop or continue on with their career. Countless phone calls and emails where sent with the purpose of helping interns continue on their path.

I credit my internship at the University of Iowa as the reason I was job ready and did indeed receive a full time job upon completion of my time there. The learning, guidance, exposure to different styles and systems ensure that anyone who applies themselves while interning there will bring excellence to wherever they end up. To this day I still consider the staff at the University of Iowa to be some of the best mentors available. I continue to converse with them whenever possible whether it be to ask advice or just to simple talk shop." 

Jamison

Mark Jamison: Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

“My internship with the University of Iowa Olympic Strength & Conditioning department was a truly great experience and significantly impacted my career in many ways. The staff is dedicated and determined to help each intern learn and develop the skills necessary to be successful in the field. They provide a great example of what it takes to be a strength coach from passion and work ethic to knowledge and leadership. There are high standards set on the internship program that challenge you each and every day. The program entails all aspects of strength and conditioning beginning with coaching progressions, developing your coaching style, and becoming comfortable and confident on the floor. Along with this is the educational process where you research and discuss relevant principles and philosophies.  It is through this that you develop the practical knowledge between scientific reasoning and experienced based programming culminating in the development of a specific program.

Where I think this internship separates itself from others are the opportunities and resources available to you throughout the program. You receive hands on experience in order to enhance your learned skills of coaching and programming as well as preparing you for the next step in your career. The staff is invested in you and your future and helps you to develop your portfolio, interview skills and locating your next destination. By the end you have learned what it takes to be successful in this field by example and through experience and are truly prepared for your next step. I credit my internship with the University of Iowa for my professional development and for where I am at today. The staff continues to be a great resource for me, and my experience was truly invaluable.”

Brasch

Michael Brasch: Assistant Director of Sports Performance, Northern Illinois University

My internship with Coach Maxwell and the University of Iowa’s Olympic Strength & Conditioning staff was without a doubt the most valuable experience I have had thus far in my career. I was placed in leadership roles and situations that challenged me to adapt and develop into a confident coach and teacher while building relationships with the student-athletes and coaches. My passion, coaching style, and knowledge about the field grew tremendously throughout my time at the University of Iowa. In addition, I learned firsthand about sport performance technology, interpersonal skills, programming and training theory, resume building, networking and professional development. The relationships I built with not only the coaches, but my fellow interns still holds strong to this day.

Above all else, the coaches truly care about you as a person and treat you as an integral part of the Strength and Conditioning staff. They hold you to an exceptionally high standard and will go out of their way to help you achieve your goals. I would absolutely recommend this internship to anyone who is serious about their personal and professional development in Strength and Conditioning. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a Hawkeye and everything that they have done and continue to do to help me take the next step in my career. I could not have asked for a better experience.

Dessart

Mark Dessart: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Webber International University

The University of Iowa’s Olympic Strength and Conditioning internship program is unlike many programs across the country. This program was intelligently designed by passionate coaches who want to inspire young coaches and prepare them for a life in strength and conditioning. It bridges the gap from the classroom to a real-world practical setting in strategic ways. This internship offered me more than the traditional setup, clean up, and on floor coaching that many internships offer. Outside of these typical internship requirements, it provided me professional development in the forms of programming, teaching Olympic and other exercise progressions, staff meetings, staff presentations and discussions, personal evaluations, experience with top end technology, and so much more. I was challenged daily to improve professionally as well as personally by coaches who truly cared about my success. I am truly honored and thankful to have worked with five coaches who desired to mentor me and push me to the next step in my career.

MacDonald

Brenna MacDonald: Strength & Condtioning Graduate Assistant, University of Kentucky

 

I could not have asked for a better internship experience than participating in  the University of Iowa Internship Program. The internship is extremely organized with a well-rounded curriculum that prepares interns in several areas such as: professional development, coaching ability both on and off the floor, programming, athlete monitoring and the use of performance enhancing technology.  The staff ensures interns are challenged both individually and in group settings and that they gain the confidence and skill to lead full sized group training sessions. The University of Iowa has an elite staff of high quality mentors who encourage interns to have a growth mindset and to question them often. I have never been a part of a culture that emphasizes continued learning as much as this staff does. The staff continues to stay on top of new research, particularly where athlete monitoring is concerned, which fosters a learning environment that is truly unique.  Alongside the weekly curriculum lessons, interns are tasked with creating and presenting their own lifting progressions, which give the interns a better understanding of several key movements, and improve the intern’s coaching ability on the floor. Finally, interns in this program will have first-hand access to select technological resources  that many programs are not fortunate enough to have access to. This internship is extremely hands-on and prepares interns to be successful in the field of strength and conditioning. I left the Iowa program with the confidence, knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the next level of this field and I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in improving themselves as a coach.

 

Harmer

Alex Harmer: Strength & Conditioning Graduate Assistant, Minnestota State Univeristy Mankato

 

My internship experience with the University of Iowa Olympic Strength and Conditioning staff was by far the most beneficial internship I have been a part of. The hands-on experience and coaching progressions allowed me to strengthen my coaching abilities while also addressing my weaknesses. The curriculums and presentations challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and grow in my knowledge and application of the profession. I feel the biggest impact the internship had on me was actually outside of the weight room. I observed, learned, and demonstrated how to be a professional in all aspects of coaching on a daily basis. The connections I was fortunate enough to make during my time at Iowa are invaluable. I am extremely grateful that the coaching staff continues to assist me even after my time at Iowa is over.  I would highly recommend this internship to any young coach who wants to continue taking the right steps toward becoming a successful coach and make an impact in this industry.

 

Davey

Joey Davey: Graduate Assistant Sports Perfromance Coach, Univeristy of Wyoming

 

As a young Strength & Conditioning Coach, the University of Iowa provided me with the opportunity to develop, grow, and hone my skill sets while opening my eyes to a different train of thought in regards to athletic performance. Coach Maxwell and the rest of the staff were not only incredible mentors for me, but they served as a model for who I wanted to become as a Coach. As a result, I can honestly say that every single day of my internship I was challenged to learn. The established curriculum provides structure and guidance for developing coaching expertise and knowledge. Specifically, going through teaching progressions of lifts not only taught me so much about cueing and technique development, but at understanding movement better. In addition, the curriculums regarding technology, periodization, speed development, and professional development provided me with the type of knowledge that you simply cannot learn as effectively or at all in a textbook.

While I could go on and on about how influential my time as a Hawkeye was, I will say that the thing I took away most was my desire for learning increased tenfold. The sum of experiences and philosophies of the staff along with their transparency led to unlimited opportunities for professional growth. The way I was challenged to approach situations differently and think critically gave me confidence in my abilities and the belief that there is always more to learn. I am forever appreciative and indebted to the University of Iowa Olympic Sports Strength & Conditioning staff for their patience, mentorship, and truly just being great people.

 

Lorenzo

Lorenzo Tomasiello: Strength & Conditioning Graduate Assistant, Missouri State University

 

Being a part of Iowa’s Olympic Strength and Conditioning internship program was a rewarding experience in terms of both my professional and personal growth. The internship not only provided valuable time in coaching student-athletes on the floor, but also constant opportunities to learn and develop skills important to my career.

Coach Maxwell, along with his phenomenal and caring staff, created an environment that provides the appropriate tools to help foster one’s growth as a not only a coach, but as an individual. They offer an extensive curriculum, on various subjects such as exercise progressions, periodization, athlete monitoring, resume building, and so much more. 

This internship has taught me valuable lessons, such as the importance of discipline, consistency, and accountability; all of which I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I am extremely grateful for everything they have done for me, and continue to do, even now that my time with the program has ended. I can honestly say that without this opportunity, I would not be where I am today. It was a true privilege to be a part of this internship program.

 

Torres

Max Torres: Minor League Physical Performance Coach, Colorado Rockies

 

The University of Iowa Olympic Sports strength and conditioning internship has played a major role in my success and development as a strength and conditioning coach.  I was challenged professionally and intellectually over the course of the internship. Creating and teaching progressions for the squat, clean, snatch, and jerk made me more confident in my ability to teach the individual lifts and their variations. Presenting in front of the staff under a time limit also allowed me to streamline and economize my coaching. The informal discussions and formal internship curriculum fueled my passion for the field and drive to learn. Having the opportunity to work with multiple coaches and teams opened my mind to a multitude of thought processes within the field of strength and conditioning. The staff expected interns to ask questions and were always available to share their experiences and knowledge. Since my internship, I have implemented concepts in my current and past roles that were inspired by my experience learning from the Iowa staff. Coach Maxwell and the staff have provided invaluable support, guidance, and advice on my career as a strength and conditioning coach. I am grateful to Coach Maxwell and the University of Iowa Olympic sports strength and conditioning staff.