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UP CLOSE WITH THE PT

Joel Mc Guire


Sports Performance Coach
B. Sports Sc. (Hons) Uni. Malaya.,
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (NSCA)

1. What was your drive to be a Strength & Conditioning Coach? What was your
background?

Originally coming from a relatively nonathletic childhood, my passion for sport, in particular rugby started after watching the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur. I started training with the COBRA’s and about a year later I was accepted into the Malaysian Rugby Union’s development program in Bukit Jalil Sports School.

This then carried over to my passion in training that started me with personal training in a commercialized gym before taking a break from work and pursuing a current Bachelors Degree in Sports Science at the University of Malaya. In my last semester, I managed to land an internship program at Athletes Performance Institute in California. This was where the decision was made to start Strength & Conditioning for the local (Malaysian) sports/athletic industry.

2. Why is strength and conditioning necessary for an athlete?

To perform at a high level an athlete would need a team of professionals to help support and manage their development. A Strength & Conditioning Coach, one amongst a skills coach, dietitian, physical therapist and sports doctor to name a few.

The role of a Strength & Conditioning coach would be to strategically plan training sessions to allow optimal gains in physical development while keeping detrimental overtraining symptoms & syndromes at bay. This ensures constant, progressive performance gains without physical and mental breakdowns that can cause injury.

Regardless of what sport you participate or specialize in, strength and conditioning has its place in your training time!

3. What is your training Philosophy?

This is something that constantly evolves for me personally, if anything, at this point my philosophy of training would be to focus in the fundamental movement patterns of the human body. This would then transfer to sport specific skills and drills that tend to overpower/overshadow the fundamentals.

I’m not a huge advocate of fancy equipment and/or exercises, I’m about doing the least for the most gains. Athletes train all day everyday, there’s really no need for 110% effort in every single session!

4. Any words of advice to the local/aspiring athletes?

Yes, if you have not started doing strength training, I would highly recommend you do so. The human body is constantly able to adapt to stimulus so its never too late. The idea of trying to improve your running time jus tby trying to run a little faster, or a little longer is old news, and potentially a threat to your career and passion as an athlete.

For those young athletes, the sooner you start strength training, the higher your potential will be. Always look to push your limits!

5. If the readers have any other questions, how can they contact you?

You can drop me an e-mail with your question at joel@getactive.com.my and I will be sure to try my very best to answer them.