The Health & Kinesiology department at Texas A&M offers diverse programs and a wide range of opportunities for students. Whether you are interested in sports management, health education, sports physiology, dance, coaching or exercise science, just to name a few options, there is something for every student. The state-of-the-art facilities on campus provide students with everything they need for a well-rounded, research base education.
According to the university website, the mission of the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University is to contribute to the quality of life of the citizens of the state, nation and world, through the creation and dissemination of knowledge, training of educators and professionals, and service to the community and profession, with attention to equity and inclusion. Vital aspects of these efforts are to educate our students and the public in the science and benefits of health, human movement, sport, lifetime fitness activities, and wellness.
We spoke to Erinne Crouthers, a Texas A&M graduate, about her experience in the sports conditioning program. Here is what she had to say about her favorite professor, her dream job, and advice to current students.
What program were you in at Texas A&M and what degree did you graduate with?
I was in the Health & Kinesiology program at Texas A&M, my degree is in Sports Conditioning.
Did you always know that you wanted to major in sports conditioning? When did you realize it?
Quite the opposite actually, I started college as a psychology major and changed my major once more before ending up at A&M studying Sports Conditioning. After I transferred from CU Boulder to CSU to study Nutrition & Fitness it became clear that I loved the fitness world, but did not have a desire to pursue dietetics; this meant another transfer. While I was searching for a program to better fit my goals, Texas A&M started creating the Sports Conditioning program. I was honored to be among the first group of students to graduate from this program at A&M.
What was your favorite class at Texas A&M and why?
My favorite class at Texas A&M was SPMT 489 – Performance Psychology. This class was my favorite because it was the first college course I ever took that was application based instead of grade/exam focused. Content material was not only intriguing, but the concepts we discussed and applied have and will continue to prove useful outside of the classroom and post-grad.
Who was your favorite professor at Texas A&M and why?
My favorite professor was Dr. John Eliot. Doc was an unconventional professor – he didn’t grade on exam scores, but how we understood and applied concepts being discussed in class to real world situations. Doc changed the trajectory of my future with the first questions he posed day one of class: “What would you do for free for the rest of your life?” He followed this question up by saying if that’s not what you’re studying in school or currently pursuing then change directions and do anything it took to achieve that. He is one of the most driven, inspirational people I’ve ever had the privilege to learn under.
Did you have an internship or job in your field while you were in school? If so, where?
I had to complete a certain number of research and application hours in my field. My hands-on experience was spent working in the Player Development Center training A&M athletes. I got to work alongside coaches training and rehabbing athletes in volleyball, golf, equestrian, soccer and swimming. I completed my research hours in the leading Exercise & Sports Nutrition Lab at A&M.
What is your current job?
Currently, I do respite care work as a relief parent for full-time live-in house parents of the Restore Her program at Still Creek Ranch.
What is your dream job and why?
Whether it is in the sports industry, local church or other service avenue my dream job is to be in full-time ministry. I spent years working office jobs and was unfulfilled and unhappy, I went in to this field because it is relational and you have an opportunity to change lives for the better. My dream is to love and serve people in any capacity I am allowed, I want to make a difference and leave something better than I found it in this life. I want to work in full-time ministry because my various forms of service have been the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of my life. If I can meet people in the good and the bad of life and offer them a safe place to enjoy or wrestle with those things then I will consider myself successful.
Do you have any advice for sports conditioning students at Texas A&M?
My advice for Sports Conditioning students would be take every course Doc Eliot offers and to really invest in enjoying the courses you get to take. Sports Conditioning is so unique in the fact that a majority of upper division courses are very interactive, life applicable and hands-on; you will not get that experience or that ability to network and form relationships anywhere else.
According to the university website, this is what you need to complete a Sports Conditioning concentration from Texas A&M:
For the concentration, the coaching minor is required. The second minor may be chosen from one of the University-approved minors but must be from another college.
43-45 Texas A&M core curriculum courses
21-24 Primary area or concentration
15-18 Minor that may or may not be in the same college as the concentration
15-18 Minor that is not in the same college as the concentration
15-26 Electives or prerequisite requirements for required courses in the concentration or minors
120 Total hours
With a degree in sports conditioning, students can prepare for a career in coaching, personal training, and teaching. This degree can also be a good start for anyone looking to pursue a higher degree of education in physical therapy, training, sports management and other professional fields.
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