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Episode 003 – Western Oregon University Director of Sports Performance Cori Metzgar

Posted on Sep 12, 2016 by in Podcast Episode | 0 comments

I ask Cori what it takes to earn the trust of student-athletes and coaches, communicating with Millennials and more!


Current: Director of Sports Performance  at Western Oregon University where she oversees the strength, conditioning, nutrition and all-around well-being of over 400 student athletes in 13 sports.

Past: Spent five years at Washington State University in addition to stops at Colorado State, Ohio State and Western Michigan.

In the spring of 2015 she achieved the distinction of Master Strength and Conditioning Coach, one of only 160 in the nation, less than 20 of whom are female.

Interview Notes

  1. Cori I know I left a lot out of your journey to WOU, so tells us a bit about where you’re from and how you got to where you are now.
    1. Active family
    2. Dad was a coach
    3. From Juneau, AK and became a competitive skier and soccer player
    4. Broke two vertebrae in her back while competing in college (Fort Lewis College); let to an interest in strength/conditioning
    5. Coach Dale Lloyd approached her about pursuing strength/conditioning as a career; set her on the path to where she is now
      1. Long-lost Facebook message from Coach Lloyd to her saying how proud he was of her highlights the impact of a mentor’s word
  2. What was your dad like as a coach, and what did you learn from him about how to lead a team?
    1. Consistency
    2. High standards
    3. Long-lasting relationships with his athletes
    4. How to stay strong in the face of circumstances
  3. Talk about the importance of developing trust in order to impact and influence
    1. the student-athletes you lead; and
      1. won’t give 100% until they know you know what you’re talking about; need to have confidence in yourself without being cocky
      2. consistency – senior with a good relationship with her faces the same consequences for mistakes as a freshman
      3. fairness
    2. the head coaches who are your colleagues
      1. harder road than the athletes
      2. this is their livelihood
      3. will follow their lead as long as within my philosophies
      4. Get some quick wins; show progress early
  4. What would you want the men in the audience to know or understand about what it is like for a female working in the strength/conditioning profession?
    1. Always healthy to put yourself in other people’s shoes
    2. Always having to prove myself
    3. Three females in the country overseeing strength/conditioning for football, all Division II
    4. Can’t internalize critical comments/conduct; let it roll off; realize it says more about them than you
    5. Must find a way to move on/forward from criticism
  5. What have you found to be the best techniques to communicate with today’s young adults?
    1. Don’t take yourself too seriously
    2. Must be approachable. In the past, wouldn’t let student-athletes in to personal life.  That won’t work now.
    3. They need to know that you’re not perfect; that you have had failures.
  6. You get to observe other coaches interact with their teams every single day; what sticks out to you as something that the great leaders do or have in common?
    1. Sonny Lubick – Colorado State football coach – organized, consistent, cared for you, gave her a chance to lead football summer training
    2. Fear of disappointing a person more powerful that fear of the person
  7. Can you help us sift through the various popular exercise programs (e.g. P90X, cross-fit) and what should those of us just trying to lead healthy lifestyles should be doing?
    1. Moderation and consistency
    2. Find what works for you
    3. Think carefully about the training/background of who is leading the training
  8. What habits have been key to your success?
    1. Eat in the morning; same thing each day
    2. Have a routine, whatever it is that works for you
  9. How do you approach balancing success at work and success at home?
    1. Incorporate kids into your work if you can
    2. Don’t wast
  10. Where can people go to learn more about you or I?
    2. @corisuemetzgar on Twitter
    3. Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association

Thank Yous/Acknowledgements:

  1. Antioch Live/Clear Day Media Group – music
    1. More here.
  2. Jonathan Davis – production
  3. Clint Musslewhite – voice over

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