In this weeks installment of the coaches series we talk to Physical Therapist & Strength Coach Joe Young of “Young Performance”. I met Joe while at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning and we have developed our bromance ever since then. Joe is super intelligent, a great coach and also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever come across. We are both Uber connoisseurs thanks to a recent trip to Indianaplois for a conditioning seminar. Here’s what he had to say on who has had the biggest influence on his coaching career, business ownership, internships, continuing education as well as his funniest coaching memory to date.
Joe, thank you for being part of the “Coaches Series”. For those who may not be familiar with your work can you give a rundown of where you went to school, what you specialize in/coach and what type of clients you work with?
John, thank you so much for including me in your Coaches Series. Currently I work as a performance coach working with athletes and general population to help them achieve their goals. I implement the methods and skills I learned while acquiring my degrees in Exercise Physiology at UMass Lowell and my doctorate in Physical Therapy. That takes up most of my time, however, I also coach for a local high school in my “free time” for the Junior Varsity lacrosse team.
Growing up, what sports did you play and did they influence what you wanted to do later in life?
Growing up, I played in every organized sport that was available, I loved it. As the years went on and I was forced to specialize, I resisted a bit but ultimately chose to keep with soccer playing a couple of seasons amateur. I loved sport to a degree that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up other than stay involved in sport. I had an injury that sent me to physical therapy, and like an epiphany, my decision was made. No one told me that I needed to achieve my doctorate though.
Regards school and education, what advice would you have for people who are looking to become strength coaches? Would you follow the same route over if you could do it all again?
Personally I wouldn’t change a thing about my path. It has been a long road, but the connections and information that I have learned has been so valuable to who I have become. I would advise any new aspiring strength coaches to take internships, learn from people who have a foothold in the community. Be prepared to work a lot of unpaid hours and put your time in, it will pay off in the end.
Tell me about your facility and how it came about?
My facility is a shared 6,000 square foot bay in the Chelmsford, MA area. It began with me in school still trying to cater to my already existing clients. I was working at a million different locations I felt. One of my connections had opened a facility and was more than willing to allow me to come in and share the space as our times really don’t conflict. One of the perks is having my own office which has proven invaluable on 14 hour days.
What is your ideal professional scenario to be in 5 years from now?
In 5 years, I would enjoy continuing to grow the business. If I was able to work at a much higher level in the sports I specialize with, that would be a huge milestone accomplished (on either the strength or physical therapy side).
What book are you currently reading?
I’m actually reading a few which is probably not recommended. I am a few chapters into “Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers” which has been an awesome read so far. I am also buried in my NPTE prep book for the physical therapy board exam. I have also started in the Precision Nutrition text, among the countless other texts and websites that I reference regularly.
What forms of continuing education do you call on weekly?
I have really enjoyed the Physical Preparation Podcast that Mike Robertson has put out. Coach Robertson always puts out great information. I routinely look at a number of websites including Eric Cressey, Mike Boyle, Movement as Medicine, Mike Robertson, Kevin Neeld, and of course this one. I like to reference my Certified Conditioning Coach manual, Advances in Functional Training, and if I’m feeling really ambitious Supertraining.
— Joe Young (@JYoungSC) May 16, 2015
As a small business owner, do you have any advice for those thinking about getting out on their own?
Be prepared to not have a social life! Seriously though, you will be working long hours so find a protein supplement that you like, and read “How to Make Friends and Influence People”.
What have been the biggest learning moments for you in your career so far?
My time working for UMass Lowell Sports Performance was absolutely invaluable and Coach McConnell was and remains a great mentor. Travelling for continuing education proved that I need an Uber app on my mobile phone.
Internship or School? Which one delivers more bang for the buck in your opinion?
School for me was the theory behind the programs. The internships were all the working parts. It proved to me that I need to be a human being first, once you can demonstrate a level of understanding and compassion with you clients/patients, the compliance will happen. If I didn’t take an internship I would be working in a commercial gym absolutely miserable.
What is your Training Philosophy and who have been your biggest influences?
Safety first! If someone is hurt, they’re not performing. My biggest influences have been Coach Carr at MBSC and Coach McConnell at UMass Lowell.
Great time learning down at the training room symposium today and great to catch up with some amazing coaches pic.twitter.com/53j5tijToD
— Joe Young (@JYoungSC) July 25, 2015
What is the funniest coaching memory you have to date that still makes you laugh to this day?
This one is kind of crude and very recent, but I was laughing when I started to type it so I suppose it fits. I was running a 1 v 1 drill in lacrosse practice a few weeks ago. An attackman took a low percentage shot, missed the goal, and absolutely smoked a defender in the helmet. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the defender was in a line far enough back that it sounded much worse than it was. But the defenders reaction was priceless.
Here’s how to find Joe on social media.