Toward Professionalization of the Strength and Conditioning Field Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACT Collectively, strength and conditioning (S&C) as an industry has experienced immense growth since its emergence, both as an occupation and as an applied science. As a result, coaches continue to lend their expertise to new contexts, encourage empirical research, and persistently engage in the processes of professionalization to improve S&C credentialing and expertise. Despite tremendous progress, the authors encourage industry leaders (professional associations and individuals) to reflect on the industry's origins and infrastructure dynamics concerning the accreditation, education, credentials, and overall professional development of S&C practitioners. As a field, S&C is in a prime position to develop and implement an effective regulatory system toward increased professionalism and effective practice. Thus, this article introduces conceptual tools from organizational behavior to better support S&C professionalization efforts. First, the topic of professions and institutional work is introduced and defined. Second, the relationship between professionals (individual and collective) and institutions during professionalization is illustrated. Third, a reflexive overview of research concerning contemporary issues and trends in the field (i.e., field disparity, credentialing, negligence and injury, and social capital) related to professionalism is highlighted. Finally, precise institutional work strategies and their applications are offered to support the industry's maturation as a profession.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Altiner, B., Dixon, M. A., Nite, C., & Stock, M. S.

complete list of authors

  • Altiner, Baykal ML||Dixon, Marlene A||Nite, Calvin||Stock, Matt S

publication date

  • December 2023