StudioPass - The Critical Incident

StudioPass allows Strength and Conditioning Coaches to… well, Coach. For those unfamiliar with the Strength and Conditioning industry, it is high demand with limited ‘full-time’ job opportunities. The average coach takes 7 years of work-experience and smaller ‘sub-professional’ contracts to gain a higher full-time paying position within a sporting organisation. How do I know about this? Because I was in this position.

Studying a Sports and Exercise Science (Human Movements) degree, I was like most others in my cohort at Uni — interested in the course content but little idea where-to afterwards. Graduating my four year degree I set off to Europe with mates for 8 weeks to delay the thought of having to find employment. Unfortunately time passed on this occasion and before I knew it I was back home to Mum and Dad’s question of, so Sean… what are you going to do with your degree? Not able to answer I found myself working back in the bottle shop position I had before starting my degree 4 years earlier. It didn’t quite feel ‘rock bottom’ until I had the regular customers come in asking, ‘haven’t you graduated from Uni? Why are you still working here?’

For the next 6 months I toyed with the idea of working in a commercial gym. I went to 2 different ones and had interviews but what was the problem? Although separate franchises they both had 12 week loading periods that lead to weekly rent in-excess of $300. I didn’t study Uni because I wanted to work full-time in a commercial gym respectively training every-day clients — I studied to work with athletes in a physical performance environment. Eventually, the four year degree lead me to gaining casual work at UQ Sport Academy training casual athletes 1–2 hours some mornings and afternoons. It wasn’t much money, but it didn’t require weekly rent and most importantly not a bottle of alcohol in site. However it was difficult to live off and spent a couple of years trying to supplement income and build my practical ‘hands-on’ strength and conditioning experience.

Now I’m fortunate to have a full-time Strength and Conditioning position at a school in Brisbane. It’s not a professional sporting environment but I’m very lucky to be able to coach kids full-time across the different sports provided by the College.

Why give this background? Because during this 5 years period where I wasn’t working full-time after my degree, I believe this was my ‘Critical Incident’ that lead to StudioPass.

‘Thoughtbot’ a software design and development agency, talks of The critical incident method as being especially useful for exploratory interviews: “Ask users to recall specific instances in which they faced a particularly difficult case” (In my case, it was this 5 year period of time). These extreme cases are often more vivid in users’ minds, and will give you the details needed to come up with useful features.

Due to having this 5 year ‘Critical Incident’, outside of coaching kids at my school I spend time developing StudioPass for other young coaches about to enter their own ‘Critical Incident’ post study or simply mid journey on their way to full-time employment in Strength and Conditioning.

StudioPass is for Strength and Conditioning coaches who want more work and practical experience. Unlike regular gyms that charge full-time weekly rent to access their facilities, StudioPass offers a casual alternative for those coaches wanting to develop their ‘hands-on’ experience in a performance oriented gym.

Best of luck if this resonates with you. Feel free to get in touch if I can help you along the way.