Spring 2022 - 24

injuries are frequent in the tactical athlete
populations, and a graduated return to play
process helps to prevent morbidity. Management
of musculoskeletal injuries in tactical athletes
requires consideration of operational schedules
and adequate reconditioning, in addition to
traditional injury evaluation.
Tactical athletes are generally not on a
structured schedule like athletes with a preseason,
regular season, and offseason to
consider. They always have to be prepared
physically and psychologically to perform their
work, oftentimes with little notice.
So, the important thing is to do your research
and learn about what it takes to train a tactical
athlete.
Wes Kennedy, an ex-Special Forces Operator
and founder of Elite Training Programs,
suggests reaching out to local police, fire, and
military units and offering your services as a
volunteer - whether it be assisting with the
required fitness testing or another area.
Continuing education is another key
component of finding success in the tactical
training field. Kennedy points to established
associations that aid strength coaches in
continuing education, networking, and offer
certifications like the National Strength and
Conditioning Association (NCSA).
" The NSCA has an established tactical clinic
that takes place annually in the spring. Their
annual conference is a great opportunity to gain
additional tactical strength and conditioning
knowledge, and network within the tactical
community, " Kennedy said. " They also hold a
tactical strength and conditioning specialist
certification exam that coaches can take. "
Ingrid Marcum, CSCS, TSCA-F, agreed with
Kennedy's sentiment on the NSCA's tactical
program, which was established in 2005 to
24 | Tactical Training & Conditioning | Spring 2022
provide fitness professionals with evidencebased
education and specialized certification to
better support the training needs of the tactical
personnel population.
" The TSAC-F program focuses on the unique
needs of tactical athletes. [They] evaluate the
individual and occupational needs of tactical
athletes and use science-based, proven
training methods to design safe and effective
training programs to improve overall health and
wellness, job performance and readiness, and
decrease injury risk, " Marcum said.
While you don't need to have prior fitness
certifications or a bachelor's degree to earn
the TSAC-F certification through the NSCA, it
is important to establish, Marcum says, a solid
base of knowledge in the domains that will be
assessed on the exam.
In addition, she added it's important to
become familiar with some of the unique needs,
risks, and challenges that apply to the different
tactical professions.
Functional Movement Screen (FMS), USA
Weightlifting (USAW), Dragondoor Kettlebells,
TRX, and other companies and organizations
offer educational opportunities that may
assist you in moving on to that next position.
Additionally, if you have had experience
working with one tactical group, Kennedy
added you may want to volunteer or work parttime
for another group to make yourself more
diverse as a candidate.
" If you are a current sports strength coach,
transitioning into the tactical realm might be
intimidating. If you are a new strength coach,
you might be just as nervous, " Kennedy said.
" Either way, know that there are peers and
organizations who are eager to help you by
providing support and advice as you move into
the tactical community. " n

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