HOW important is a strength and conditioning coach?
Paolo Rivero, who’s been an expert in the field for nine years, explains that every team, athlete or even just a normal guy, who wants to improve his fitness needs a strength and conditioning coach.
According to us.humankinetics.com, “Like personal trainers and group exercise instructors, strength and conditioning coaches help others improve their fitness. But strength and conditioning coaches differ from the others in one very important way—the clients they work with are focused on improving their performance or skill in a sport.”
Rivero, who’s currently the strength and conditioning coach for Petro Gazz, simplified the importance of his role in the team. “Ito [strength and conditioning] ‘yung pinaka backbone ng strength ng team,” he says.
“Normally ang part ko talaga is sa offseason, so mga 70 percent sa pag-build up sa players is during the offseason so ako ‘yung in charge sa team [during off season],” explains Rivero. “We focus on the muscle, the core of the player. During season, may program ako na dinesign for maintenance na lang.”
As for the specific program, Rivero explains that it depends on the needs of the player. What’s effective for one player may not be effective for others, so he has a specific program for each.
“Actually, flexible ako kasi may ibang players kami [sa Petro Gazz] galing din sila sa ibang teams na may sariling program so hinahayaan ko lang sila,” he says.
“Pero nagsa-suggest din ako kung ano ang pwede nilang gawin,” he adds. “Kasi nagkaroon kami ng tests ng strength and speed nila so kapag may nakita akong weakness ng player, nagsa-suggest ako, ayaw ko naman kasi makipag-compete sa mga ibang coaches nila.”
Rivero points out that his role is vital especially when games, like in volleyball, goes the distance. “Sa volleyball, minsan umaabot ng four or five sets, kailangan yung players mo kundisyon pa rin, meaning enough pa rin yung energy nila na tatagal hanggang pang five sets,” he says.
Rivero started his career as a strength and conditioning coach in 2009 with the National University juniors basketball team. He has handled La Salle Greenhills, the Arellano University men’s basketball team, Blackwater in the PBA D-League, Barako Bull and Phoenix in the PBA, and also the men’s national team that saw action in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.