If you are just joining me, I welcome you with open arms. As I have mentioned before I currently work as a strength coach for Villanova University but dig deeper and there is much more.
Let’s take a dive.
Before I was Colin Masterson, sports performance coach, I was an anxiety ridden senior trying to figure out what was next in life. I was on the verge of graduation with an accounting degree and zero internship/work experience. I had a few loose end jobs throughout college, but now it was time to become a professional. Immediately after graduation my mom connected me with a friend who owned her own Engineering company. After a few conversations and a very informal interview I was hired. Quickly I thought to myself….this is it….I’ve done it….40 more years and I can retire.
My first job wasn’t it, and I knew that very early on. The pay was sufficient, the company was great and the people were even better….BUT I was unfulfilled. Throughout my time there I was constantly thinking to myself there has to be more to life. I was searching for things that for the past 21 years I had….camaraderie, learning, opportunity and competition. To supplement for this, I filled my time outside of work coaching high school football and competing in CrossFit. At this point I felt better because I had checked off a few of the things I was searching for. Where was the opportunity tho? How was I going to continue to learn? Like many I sat on indeed and would search top paying jobs, accounting jobs…etc.
A few piqued my interest. I thought maybe I could be a Special Agent in the FBI, but that required 6 months of training in Quantico, Virginia. Another thought was to go back to school to get my science prerequisites so I could become a Physical Therapist since I had an interest in the human body. Before long I was back in school at Delaware County Community College taking evening classes checking off the necessary prerequisites for Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. As I worked through night classes I finally had a feeling I was on the right track. Almost a year and a half in it was time to apply to DPT programs and I was puttering out with that unsettling feeling again. Did I really want to do a three-year program and be damn close to 30 years old before having another job?
Decision time again. After a handful of discussion, I put that idea on the back burner and decided to make the switch (a more comfortable switch) from my smaller engineering firm to a larger firm. The idea behind it being there would be more employees to interact with and more opportunity for vertical mobility in the company. This transition led me to be another siloed cubicle as a financial analyst.
Entering my first few days of work I had some excitement. New office vibes, people, and opportunities. Each day I greeted the janitor at the door at 6:00am sharp ready to attack the day. My new schedule had me working four 10 hour shifts a week allowing me to have every Friday off. As the weeks came and went, I found myself playing a lot of golf on those Fridays – Sundays still questioning myself is this what life consist of? It can’t be. I knew I had a bigger purpose. It was time to analyze myself again. What were the things I wake up each morning and are thinking of? What are the things that are missing that I enjoyed for so many years of my life? So, I started making that list
I am a sports fanatic
I love being around teams
I love competing
I enjoy the process of learning
I am passionate about my own health and wellness
I enjoy coaching
I need to get back into sports.
7 shorts months (a cup of coffee) after my first day as a Financial Analyst I had put my 2 weeks in. It was time to bet on myself. I was headed back into the sports world. I had used a reference from one of my ex-college football buddies to break into the strength and conditions realm. With lots of uncertainty about my future I figured I had nothing to lose. I wasn’t married. I had saved a decent amount of money from my time working in the corporate world. Was I ready to make the jump? Hell no! But – if not now then when? I knew in the wayyyyy back of my mind I could always default back to a desk job knowing I gave this opportunity a shot. What I couldn’t do was live with the idea of not going for it.
January 1st, 2018, I arrived in College Park, Maryland as an intern for the University of Maryland Terrapins. From the time I stepped foot on that campus and met the staff and the other inters I would be spending the winter workouts with I was hooked! I had my own locker, free gear, and three meals a day (this was more that I received as a D3 football player). What else did I really need? It was me and six other interns at the time of arrival. Guys who I thought I would be competing against to land my first job as a power 5 college football strength coach. Things don’t always work out the way we envision them. I ended up spending 8 months (unpaid) down at Maryland. During my time there I went from a motivated, clueless intern who was willing to do whatever was asked to a coach who was accepted for my intense, funny, and loving style of coaching. I met some of the best people that I am still in contact with to this day and consider some of my best friends/mentors. During that internship we did some crazy shit, but God damn did we have fun doing it. I FELT ALIVE. I FELT LIKE MYSELF. The days were long arriving at the facility around 4:30am each day leaving around 6:00pm or later. Most weeks were six to seven day a week. The environment was demanding but for some reason I found bliss with all it entailed. For the first time since college, I was learning. I was around a locker room. I was apart of something bigger than myself, and I was competing with and against others.
Before leaving Maryland, I was presented with a few opportunities to be a full-time strength coach at a few places. My first opportunity was at the University of Florida with their softball team. Not the dream job I had envisioned but none the less an opportunity to make some money at a very well-respected university. I had my first interview over the phone and basically had the job secured all I had to do was pass my CSCS exam. Contrary to belief I failed the CSCS exam. With no cert meant no job. As much as I was bummed out it just wasn’t meant to be. Again, not everything will go as planned. My second opportunity was at Maryland working with a few Olympic sports teams, but with no cert there was no job.
Shortly after my I accepted another internship at Villanova University….I know what a lot of you are thinking…ANOTHER internship. Yup! Another opportunity to learn from new coaches. My internship quickly tuned into a paid internship. Finally, I was making some money again. As my paid internship ended at Villanova there was more uncertainty ahead. There had been whispers of creating a new full-time position that I would likely fill, but as you all are aware of these things don’t happen over night. Sure, enough end of April/early May my paid intern stipend had run out. I decided to stay at Villanova as summer approached. Unpaid again, I worked at Villanova for close to a month before getting hired full time in June of 2019.
Why do I tell this story? Not to be an inspiration. To tell you that if you have something you feel passionate about and can financially make the switch…make it. Are there any regrets? Hell no! I found people that became family. I learned exponentially. I grew as a human. I discovered that I love being able to help others. This job has put me in a position to surround myself with those who have similar interest. I have traveled to many new cities. I have been in more hotel rooms in 4 years than I was in the previous 26. I missed out on weddings, family gathering and much more, but I have an obsessive drive and this profession has allowed me to embrace that drive.
Finally, I will leave you with this. I am now 30 years old. I have narrowed my scope on what I would like to be doing with my career, but if you were to ask me, do I have it all figured out? I would tell you no shot. I have an idea of the destination, but currently I am just enjoying the journey.