This month STT interviews Colin Quay.  Coach Quay is the Owner/President of Elite Athlete Training Services (EATS) DC Metro Area.  EATS is the DC Metro area’s premier athletic performance training company.  EATS specializes in the strength & conditioning of athletes of all sports, ages and levels.  EATS programs are designed to maximize their client’s athletic ability.

STT would like to thank Coach Quay for taking the time to answer a few questions.  Colin’s passion and work ethic have helped make him one of the top up and coming young strength coaches in the country.  Check out the Q&A between STT and Coach Palumbo below!

STT: Please provide you educational background including undergrad, graduate experience and certifications.

Coach Quay: I have my degree in xercise Science from Western Maryland College now McDaniel College.  I have my CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) from NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association) and my CCS (Certified Conditioning Specialist) from NSPA (National Strength Professionals Association).

STT: How did you become involved in the industry?

Coach Quay: I grew up playing sports and exercising.  I played football in high school and college.  Strength and conditioning went hand and hand with athletics.  I was always passionate about sports and exercise and worked as a personal trainer and assistant physical therapist through college.  When I could no longer play organized athletics I still wanted to be around sports and athletes so I changed my major to exercise science with a focus on strength and conditioning.  After college I got a job with EATS where I got the opportunity to learn from and work with many of the top strength coaches in the country.

STT: What is your specialization? Feel free to expand upon your job responsibilities, interests or current project you are working on.

Coach Quay: At EATS we work with youth, high school, college, and professional athletes from a wide verity of sports.  What we are most passionate about is the training of the youth and high school athlete because it is at this level that proper athletic performance training is so important and it is here that we can have the greatest amount of impact in influencing our athlete’s lives.

STT: What aspect of the field do you enjoy the most?  Feel free to elaborate and provide multiple examples.

Coach Quay: I most enjoy working with our athletes and teams day in and out in the “trenches” to help them maximize their strength, speed and conditioning.  It is so rewarding to watch them develop in front of your eyes and help them to attain their goals whether it is a starting position or a college scholarship.

STT: Why are your teams/athletes going to be better than they were last season?

Coach Quay: Because they were willing to push through that extra rep and run that extra drill that their competition would not.  They trained while the competition rested.  Their competition prepared to compete, and we prepared to dominate!

STT: What are the positives of being a Strength and Conditioning Coach / Trainer? What are the negatives?

Coach Quay: The positives are the ability to have a physically active career working with a wide verity of athletes and teams.  Every day is different and it is extremely rewarding to be able to influence the lives of your athletes in a positive manner and help them to be successful in their goals.  The only negative is the hours you must work to be successful in this industry.  This is not a 9-5 job!

STT: What advice would you have for those wishing to become a part of the industry?

Coach Quay: For any young coach trying to find their way in this industry I would tell them to always stay positive and hungry and to never stop learning.  Each day is a test and in order to pass that test they must do something every day to challenge themselves to get better.

STT: What is your favorite exercise?

Coach Quay: Anything that is mentally and physically challenging.  It’s not as much about what you do, but how you do it.  Intensity is key.  Also anything that I have not done in a while.  Variety is so important for continued progression!

STT: Do you have other tips to help players maintain performance (or delay fatigue) throughout a game?

Coach Quay: Proper pre-game nutrition and hydration are extremely important.  On a more long term basis we make sure that our training programs are physically and mentally more challenging than the requirements of our athletes sport.  This way game day will be a breeze!

STT: Favorite piece of equipment you have in your gym?

Coach Quay: For our training programs we use a very wide array of equipment.  There is not one piece of equipment or exercise that we feel is superior to another.  In order to ensure continual progression and muscular balance in our athletes it is important to challenge their bodies in multiple positions and angles and with a variety of equipment.  We incorporate any exercise or piece of equipment that we feel is safe, intense, and productive.  This includes all of the standard pieces of strength equipment (free weights, machines, and cables) in conjunction with functional equipment (medicine, stability and BOSU balls, bands, kettle bells, etc), speed equipment (bungees, sleds, parachutes, ladders, etc), strong man equipment (prowler, logs, chains, ropes, kegs, sand bags, etc) and body weight exercises.

STT: For today’s Strength & Conditioning specialist, what type of academic and professional training can optimize a young person’s chances for success in the field in the 21st century?

Coach Quay: A degree in the sports medicine/performance field, and an upper level certification is a good start.  Experience working with both the fitness and athletic population is very important.  An understanding of strength and speed training along with physical therapy and corrective exercise will make you a more balanced and versatile coach.  Lastly some business and computer experience is also very important especially if you plan on working in the private sector.

Keep in touch with STT for an interview with Beth Byron, Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at West Virginia University.  For more information about upcoming interviews, and to keep in touch with STT, join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook by searching SMARTER Team Training.

I hope all is well.  Have a great day!