Landing a job with a professional sport team isn’t easy – but with a little hard work, and the knowledge to impress potential employers, it’s certainly possible. Roger Takahashi (Kin ’91) put these principles into practice, and secured a dream job as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Vancouver Canucks.
Roger's rise to the NHL didn’t happen overnight - he landed the job after long hours working for a Junior A hockey team. His days consisted of riding buses, loading gear, training players, and even mopping dressing room floors. It was tough work, but he says it proved to be a great opportunity. “I gained practical experience and an insider’s look into the operation of a hockey team.” A year later, Roger was working in the NHL with the top hockey players in the world.
He is now responsible for conducting physical testing, for developing conditioning and nutrition programs, and for creating recovery programs for injured players to ensure they return to the Canucks line-up in top form. If you ask Roger to describe the best part of the job, he explains, “I enjoy the challenge of analyzing the sport and sport specific movements and using this to develop training protocols that suit individual player roles.”
His ability to effectively evaluate human movement was developed during his time as a Kinesiology student. Whether testing players or evaluating draft choices, Roger uses the information he gained in Kinesiology every day. “I really enjoyed the functional anatomy and exercise physiology courses and labs, especially the exercise physiology labs – they gave me a lot of practical information that I still find extremely useful.”
Roger’s advice for others with the goal of working with professional sport? “Get as much practical experience as you can in the sport that you enjoy.” You just never know where it could lead you!