[John Evans is a Exercise Science major at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and is an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab]

When it comes to strength and conditioning, there is little that says more about a coach than the experiences that that coach has had. That’s why I felt it would be good to elaborate on MY experience as an intern at Athletic Lab.

Prior to coming to Athletic Lab, I was terrified, anxious, nervous and excited (talk about a mix of emotions). I was about to drive 600 miles, spend all of my money, and leave all of the comfortability I had in Pennsylvania. Since I was in 9th grade, I had dreamed about having the opportunity to meet some of the coaches that I had been following on websites like EliteTrack.

Some people may not realize it, but the coaching you receive at Athletic Lab is amazing. Point blank. I would not have driven all the way to North Carolina to spend an entire summer around complete strangers, if I didn’t completely believe in what they are doing. If you don’t believe me, do some research on your coaches. I don’t understand how there isn’t a line of athletes waiting out the door, and around the sidewalk.

When I walked in the first day, I was star struck. I was standing in the facility that I had watched grow since it’s infancy. I walked into Mike’s office for the first time, and stood silently waiting to introduce myself.

Since then, I have developed so much as a coach, and person. Regardless of how much cleaning I do, or the number of times I was made fun of, I have loved every second spent at Athletic Lab. It is by far the greatest experience of my life. Here are 12 things I had the privilege of doing that most people didn’t get to see:

  1. See an effective servant-leadership business model. Mike pours everything into Athletic Lab.
  2. Professional development meetings. Mike would lecture us every Tuesday on a topic of our choosing. They were extremely beneficial.
  3. Blogs! I get to write and share my ideas with the world on a credible platform.
  4. Coach. Hopefully some of you worked with me at some point.
  5. Large group management. I learned how to work with 10-20 people at a time effectively.
  6. Practice programming. Whether it was on myself or other people, I got to practice putting together programs.
  7. Watch and learn, boys. Every coach at Athletic Lab has strengths that I was able to absorb. I watched very closely.
  8. Ask questions. Let’s be honest, if you were around when Mike was training, I was asking questions.
  9. Continuing education. I took full advantage of the library of books, dvds and articles at Athletic Lab.
  10.  Teach new movements. Too much teaching too fast and it turns into a motor learning mess.
  11. Player monitoring. I got to learn about what Mike did with the Whitecaps in Vancouver with his player monitoring system. In my opinion, it’s cutting edge information.
  12. Lastly, I discovered that I want to coach more than anything else. I once heard that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. It couldn’t be more true. I spent an average of 60 hours a week at Athletic Lab. How many people can say they worked that much, and loved every second.

As I shoot back to Pennsylvania in a week, I will never forget my experience at Athletic Lab. It has been a life changing experience. If your a student of fitness, I highly encourage you to consider Athletic Lab for an internship.

[For information on Athletic Lab internship opportunities please contact us]