This month STT interviews Brad Pantall.  Coach Pantall is the Head Speed, Strength, and Conditioning Coach for the Penn State University’s basketball programs. Before working with the basketball programs at PSU, Brad was an assistant with the Football program then moved to the Olympic sports side of the department. Coach Pantall has also worked with the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals throughout his career.

STT would like to thank Coach Pantall for taking the time to answer a few questions. Brad’s passion for training is obvious. Check out the Q&A between STT and Coach Pantall below!

STT: Please provide your educational background including undergrad, graduate experience and certifications.

B.S.:  Kinesiolgy / Exercise Sports Science;  The Pennsylvania State University

M.Ed.:  Counseling Education; The Pennsylvania State University

Certification:  USA Wt.Lifting Club Coach;  National Association Speed/Explosion

Member:  National Strength and Conditioning Association;  Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association

STT: How did you become involved in the industry?

Coach Pantall: Former Student-Athlete… I liked how/what my strength coach did and how that relationship influenced not only me but our team as a whole.

STT: What is your specialization? Feel free to expand upon your job responsibilities, interests or current project you are working on.

Coach Pantall: I would like to think getting the very most out of our student-athletes as a whole.  If I were to specify a ‘specialization’, I would say sport-specific energy system/conditioning training and enhance/optimal recovery tactics.  I have been fortunate to work with all sports and at all levels.

STT: What aspect of the field do you enjoy the most? Feel free to elaborate and provide multiple examples.

Coach Pantall: The day to day work, involvement and relationships with our student-athletes, seeing how they develop and seeing them have/take pride in the satisfaction and joy of growing and getting better. Not only in their relative sport but as a young adults in society.

STT: For today’s Strength & Conditioning specialist, what type of academic and professional training can optimize a young person’s chances for success in the field in the 21st century ?

Coach Pantall: I believe the key is spending time around great professionals.  If this is what you want to do (or in anything you want to do) start spending time in that particular industry/field.  Also, I think from an academic standpoint (outside of the norm) take as many counseling and nutrition classes you can.

STT: What recovery strategies after a hard workout do you recommend ?

Coach Pantall: Eat (correct foods and amounts) and sleep.

STT: Years ago, the stability ball was the hot trend in the fitness field…one year ago it was the kettlebell (and kinda still is). What current ‘trend’ do you see in the fitness field today ?

Coach Pantall: I feel like the TRX system, or ring type of modalities, have grown in popularity.

STT: Are there any common injuries you’ve seen athletes suffer from repeatedly? How could they have been addressed so they don’t occur in the future ?

Coach Pantall: Basic overuse stuff relative to each sport. My opinion is that this is from being too one-sport focused for too long. I still think young athletes should be/play multiple-sport athletes. Again, my opinion is this helps limit over-training, burnout and helps with balance as a whole; not only in sport but in life too.

STT: What characteristics of the athlete should be considered by anyone who is designing a program for youngsters, high school athletes, and/or college athletes ?

Coach Pantall: Age, interest, time available, physical limitations (all), sport demands/needs.

Keep in touch with STT for an interview with Billy Wunderlich from Parisi and LifeBridge Health and Fitness in Baltimore, MD.  For more information about upcoming interviews, and to keep in touch with STT, join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook by searching SMARTER Team Training.

I hope all is well.  Have a great day!