• From the Field with Nick Barringer
    Major Nick Barringer, MS, CSCS, is an active duty officer in the United States Army. Barringer is currently studying under Dr. Richard Kreider and is pursuing a Doctorate in Exercise Physiology at Texas A&M University. Barringer’s previous assignment was at the 75th Ranger Regiment where he served as the Regimental Dietitian for 5 years.
  • comment 
    Tell us what you think of this article in the new
    "comments" section below.
     
  • From the Field BannerFrom the Field | Nick BarringerNick Barringer, MS, RD, LD, CSCS, CSSD    Major Nick Barringer is an active duty officer in the United States Army. Barringer is currently studying under Dr. Richard Kreider and is pursuing a Doctorate in Exercise Physiology at Texas A&M University. Barringer’s previous assignment was at the 75th Ranger Regiment where he served as the Regimental Dietitian for 5 years.

    1. What tactical population do you currently work with?
    I am currently pursuing a Doctorate degree but my work is with active duty U.S. Army Soldiers.

    2. How did you get started in the TSAC (Tactical Strength and Conditioning) field?
    At one point wanted to be a collegiate strength coach in college but ended up doing Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and joining the military. When I was hired by Danny McMillian I joined the 75th Ranger Regiment as part of the Ranger Athlete Warrior (RAW) program and that is when I got heavily involved in the field.

    3. What resources do you utilize for continuing education? Are there any sources you recommend staying away from?
    The NSCA is the big one. When I started at the regiment, TSAC did not yet exist, so the fact that TSAC now has conferences is AWESOME. Besides great presentations, you learn a lot just by networking with the other participants. [I recommend staying away from] anything involving a Shake Weight.

    4. If you where hiring someone in your field, what would you look for?
    As a sports dietitian, I would look for someone with the appropriate education and credentials like Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®), and Tactical Strength and Conditioning-Facilitator (TSAC-F). But just as important is the ability to connect with the population you are going to work with. You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if your tactical athletes don’t trust you then you will not be effective. I am an examples type of person so I think that sports dietitians like Paul Goldberg, Rob Skinner, Christi Logan, and Karen Daigle, who are currently working in the TSAC profession, are great people to emulate. Heck, I would hope they would hire me!

    5. Please describe the regular duties included in your position?
    My main job is to handle the sports nutrition component to include working with the dining facility about the menu, giving classes on nutrition, providing individual counseling, and body composition assessments. Depending on what organization you are in, you also might be responsible for writing policies concerning nutrition and supplementation for the command.

    6. What are the two most important things you have learned; that you wish you knew when you were starting your career?
    1. To do thorough analyses of current operations before you ever consider changing anything. I think the temptation to immediately make changes when entering a new organization is always present. However, most things were originally done for a reason, so it is best to understand the history before you decide to change anything. 2. People come and go, but systems last. I learned this from Colonel Russ Kotwal, as he was a master at creating systems that last long after he has left an organization. I recommend taking a look at your current systems of doing things and honestly assess if that system would fail if you were not present. If the answer is yes, and the system is important: you need to figure out a way to ensure the system continues to run even if you are gone. This is easier said than done and I am still in the “crawl” phase on this one.

    7. What recommendations would you give someone who is looking to start a career in TSAC?

    Get involved with the NSCA TSAC program and network, network, network. All the experts are in the organization and many of them regularly attend the TSAC Conferences and are extremely approachable and helpful. Also, volunteering to help with the population you are looking to work with is always a great start.

    8. What do you believe are the top three physical requirements for this population that must be addressed in a proper TSAC program?
    I think that can vary depending on mission sets but, as with most military, the ability to move effectively under load is paramount.

    9. What steps do you go through when writing a program for the population you work with?
     
    I think, just like any other athlete, you should do a needs assessment in terms of mission or job requirements to find out the individuals weakness. The real challenge with the military is working around the training calendar. Time is a precious commodity and things like marksmanship and other tactical proficiencies are always going to take precedence. This is not my specific area of expertise, so people like Ray Bear, Jon Carlock, Travis Harvey, and Jeff Caroll are some of the brains I would pick.

    10. What are some critical factors in getting tactical athletes to buy into a strength and conditioning program?
    I think, just like getting them to buy into a nutrition program, the key is getting out of the office and understanding that what you are telling them can apply specifically to their job. The more you understand the culture and can “speak the language,” the more buy-in you are going to have.
  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
  • Add Comment

    Text Only 2000 character limit

    0 Comments

    Page 1 of 1