Coaching Principles

From theory to practice

Applying exercise science and evidence-based practices in clinical, healthy and sporting populations.

Last year we delivered our inaugural ‘Coaching Foundations Program’ that covered pre-screening assessments, exercise prescription and periodisation methods for athletes and the ‘Average Joe’. This year we are going one step further by delivering a ‘Hammer Athletic Coaching Principles’ program.


This course is suitable for clinicians, exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers and current exercise science students. The aim of this course is to provide a greater understanding of exercise science principles, completely derived by coaches at Hammer Athletic, which allow you to succeed in your industry.

Course Content

This is a 6-week course that will cover the two main career pathways in the health and fitness industry, exercise physiology and strength and conditioning. The aim of this course is to provide coaches, clinicians, exercise physiologists, and exercise science students with more knowledge and practical skills which they can implement with their clientele. The level of expertise in the health and fitness industry ranges from certificate 3 and 4 qualified trainers to coaches and practitioners with bachelor and postgraduate degree qualifications. Typically, most tertiary level qualified professionals to further their study to specialise in a multiple area(s), such as; rehabilitation and/or high performance. During this course, we will cover the scope of practice for both clinical and healthy populations, possible career pathways, the bells and whistles of the exercise physiology and strength and conditioning industries, and provide a greater pathway for how to make it as an exercise physiologist and strength and conditioning coach.

This 6-week course will cover:

  • Exercise Physiology
    • Clinical vs healthy populations
    • Pre-screening assessments and tests
  • Strength and conditioning
    • Testing battery and program design
    • Long-term athlete development
    • Levels of scientific evidence
  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation
    • Human physiology
    • Exercise selection and training interventions
    • Load management

A major downfall of the health and fitness industry is how loosely the scope-of-practice guidelines, developed primarily by Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) and Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA), are actually enforced. The scope-of-practice guidelines provide a strict outline to what type of services you are able to provide and what type of clientele you are able to work with. These services can be somewhat blurred in the eyes of individuals, which can result in health care ‘professionals’ providing services that they are not qualified to.

Exercise Physiology

Accredited exercise physiologists (AEP) have completed a 4-5 year bachelors or equivalent degree in exercise physiology and specialise in clinical interventions for a broad range of pathological populations. They may provide services to persons at risk of developing, or already have existing medical conditions. Your aim as an AEP is to prevent or manage their condition while trying to restore optimal function, health or wellness. As you can see, this definition is quite broad and relies heavily on the AEP to identify the needs and aims of each individual patient. AEP’s can work with populations suffering from conditions such as; cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, mental health disorders, metabolic disorders, musculoskeletal conditions, and neurological/neuromuscular conditions. Your role as an AEP however, is not to diagnose medical conditions. You may identify possible conditions and refer to the appropriate specialist, but clinical patients should have been diagnosed upon referral.

Strength and Conditioning

The scope-of-practice of a strength and conditioning can be quiet broad, as there is no legal qualifications required to call yourself a strength and conditioning coach. Recently, ASCA and ESSA provided clarification with the Australian Sports Commission of the required qualifications to be employed as a strength and conditioning coach with a professional sporting team. As of 2019, it will be a requirement that any teams receiving funding by the Australian Sports Commission can only employ strength and conditioning staff who have an ASCA level 1-3 (level required depends on level of athletes) qualification, or ESSA sports science accreditation. The ASCA has also defined a strength and conditioning coach as an accredited ASCA coach who develops the physical capabilities of competitive populations. Commonly with an ASCA qualification, coaches will also have the appropriate qualifications to work with the healthy population, who are not athletes.

Career pathways

If you ask almost anyone undergoing study in this industry, they will say they want to work with athletes in high performance and are usually well on their way to completing a Masters in High Performance (or equivalent). This usually occurs in conjunction with little to zero experience in coaching even with general populations, let alone athletes or sporting teams. The ability to gain employment in a high-performance role doesn’t happen overnight and may take years of volunteering or interning.

A career as an exercise physiologist may not offer the sort after title of high-performance coach, however, it opens up your ability to take on both healthy and clinical populations, expanding your possible client base and providable services. It can also lead to work in hospitals, workplace rehabilitation or in a private studio where you may diversify your patient base to athletes and return-to-sport.


Mackenzie S

When it comes to personal training and coaching there are loads of options out there but Hammer Athletic really are the best. The highly credentialed coaching team was the main reason I chose to attend the 2017 Hammer coaching program. Their training programs have not only allowed me to improve my knowledge and abilities as an athlete but also as a coach. Training at Hammer is always motivating and there is never a dull moment. I would definitely recommend to anyone!

Mackenzie S Rackley Swimming
Brandon B

The Hammer Athletic Coaching Clinic was an invaluable practical and theoretical experience. During the 6-week clinic, I improved my knowledge around exercise prescription and periodisation which were areas I lacked in after my completion of my Physiotherapy course. Now I have the confidence to apply these principles to all my patients. The coaching clinic is practical, evidence based and a bit of fun. Anyone coach wanting to further knowledge about strength and conditioning and sport science should get involved.

Brandon B All Care Physiotherapy

Dates and Details

The 6-week course will run from the 9th April to the 20th of May. The cost is $66 per week (for 6 weeks) and this will provide you with 2 x 1-hour sessions per week, Hammer Athletic Coaching Principles workbook and certificate of course completion (no affiliation with ESSA or ASCA). Total cost of the course over 6 weeks = $396


eg. QUT, ACU, UQ, ASCA, ESSA, etc.
eg. Bachelor of Exercise Science, Level 1, Level 2, Masters of Strength & Conditioning, etc.

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