Interview with a coach: Matt Sheehan
(Head Strength Coach at Germantown Friends’ School)
Devin Gage here, I hope you enjoy this series of interviews with Strength/Fitness and Sport coaches. These men and women are the best around. If you have questions, or want to contact them please let me know!
Oh, and if you’re looking for an Athlete Performance program for your athletes, click the button below to redeem 20% off your first month!
Q: What is your coaching position/experience?
I am currently the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Germantown Friends School. Prior to GFS, I was at LaSalle University as Director of Player Development and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Q: How long have you been coaching?
I have been coaching since 2012…8 years in.
Q: When it comes to either recruiting athletes, or reviewing athletes, what do you look for that is outside of skill in their sport?
Currently, I am looking for athletes that are willing to listen and eager to learn. When dealing with HS students, there are so many variables involved in setting up their training programs. My number one request is that they’re consistently training, even if it’s not with me.
Q: What do you look for when athletes are coming to the season from a break/Offseason?
I’m looking for students that really want to be there. In college, everything is mandatory. In HS, the summer workout sessions are where you can see which kids are really working to be the best player they can be.
If kids want to play at a higher level where training is mandatory, it’s good to develop the discipline and work ethic in High School so that they’re ready when they get to college.
Q: What qualities do the best athletes have (outside of skill)?
They show up on time (or early to put in that extra work) to prepare themselves for the session. This is an acquired trait that rolls into students’ academic and personal lives. They fuel their bodies to make sure they have enough energy to get better. How they prioritize sleep is what really separates athletes as they get into the collegiate and professional levels.
Q: As a coach, what is one thing you wish every athlete knew?
Your individual training is more important than going to random showcases. If you are consistent with your performance training AND your skill work, you have the physical preparation box checked off.
Q: What would you recommend ALL Athletes do before going into their next season?
Understand that food is fuel and you need it to perform at your optimum level. This goes in the classroom as well as in competition. Oh, and the most important aspect of all…sleep.
Q: For athletes that want to play at the next level, what do they need to do in order to succeed at a higher level? (Middle school to HS, HS to college, College to pro?)
Middle school to high school→ Consistently train. Don’t complain about playing time during this transition time. Even Michael Jordan got cut from his HS team (make sure you try out for sports you’re interested in. Sometimes it’s humble pie, but other times, you may learn what you’re really good at.)
HS to college→ there are kids that work harder than you all over the world. If you don’t have a qualified S&C or Performance coach yet, you better find one…quickly.
College to PRO→ consider yourself one of the lucky kids getting to living out your dream. Cherish it. Continue to build relationships with your trainers. At this point, they care about you as much as your parents and best friends.
Q: What is the most important factor for an athlete that is looking to get noticed by a coach at a higher level?
Train with good coaches in the offseason. A good coach puts an emphasis on proper performance training. We want to see our kids come in super fit and relatively strong on an individual level. One of the first things coaches can pick up is how fit an athlete is during drills.