By Danielle Burkhart
Do you like sports? Steven Clister does. But Clister enjoys sports from a completely different perspective. He spent his summer working with Penn State University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams off of the court.
Clister is a senior at Lock Haven University, majoring in recreation management with a concentration in fitness.
For 10 to 12 hours per day, Clister would work with the head strength and conditioning coach, as well as the assistant strength and condition coach, as they helped get the teams ready for competition.
Clister would come to work at Penn State University in the morning and concentrate on the team’s hydration and nutrition for that day. He would restock all of the refrigerators with protein drinks, Gatorades, and health snacks for the teams to eat throughout the day.
During the day, Clister would work on speed and agility drills with the head and assistant strength and conditioning coaches. It was Clister’s responsibility to set up and learn the drills. Early in his internship he was instructed to shadow the drills then run through them on his own. Eventually Clister created his own drills for both the men’s and women’s teams.
Clister’s most memorable moment while interning with the Penn State University Strength and Conditioning department was when the athletes started to refer to him by name.
“I was no longer ‘that guy’ or ‘the new guy,’” said Clister. “The players were no longer shy around me and I was no longer shy around them. They began to come to me with their stretches and accepted me as one of the conditioning coaches.”
One thing that Clister learned about himself during his internship was that he was able to multi-task quite well. One situation where Clister learned of his multi-tasking ability was when he started his own weight training sessions. He would be in charge of five or six people at a time where he would have to keep track of when they had to rotate and who was in his group. While doing this, Clister also had to coach all of the athletes at the same time as well as coach them individually when needed, keep the workout at an upbeat pace, and keep control of the overall workout.
While interning, Clister had the opportunity to work with and learn from many of the strength and conditioning staff, but one coach in particular made a difference in his internship. The Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach, Ben, really showed Clister respect during those eight weeks and trained him well.
Another helping hand in Clister’s success at Penn State University was the classes that he took at Lock Haven University prior to the internship. “Pretty much all of the recreation classes that I had already taken helped me during my internship,” said Clister. Some classes that Clister mentioned were kinesiology, anatomy and physiology, and physiology of exercise.
Only required to work five weeks for his internship, Clister decided that he wanted to continue with Penn State University for three more weeks. Clister continues to travel to Penn State to work with the teams every Sunday.
Clister’s internship has furthered him in his field because Clister now knows what fitness is all about. “Now I might want to get a new view on things and go into personal training just to widen and build on my experience,” said Clister.
“Don’t go for an internship that is easy; don’t look for one just because it’s paid or close to home. Get out of your comfort zone,” advises Clister. “You only think on your feet when you are in these types of situations. Also…be friendly!”
Steven Clister found his internship with Penn State University by speaking with his advisor and making new contacts; however, the Career Services office is a great place to start your internship search. back to top