Safety and Technical Standards | M.S. in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching

Successful participation in the Carroll University Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching (SPPC) program requires that a candidate possesses the ability to meet the requirements of the program. Though the program will make appropriate accommodations to provide a person with a disability an equivalent opportunity to achieve results equal to those of a person without a disability, there are no substitutes for the following essential skills.

In preparation for professional roles, Sport Physiology students are expected to demonstrate the ability to meet the demands encountered within the career field. Certain functional abilities are essential for the delivery of safe and effective interventions. An applicant to the SPPC program must meet and maintain the following safety and technical standards for progression throughout the program. Students unable to meet these technical standards will not be able to complete the program. Students shall notify the program in a timely manner of any change in their ability to meet technical standards.

Technical Standards

The safety and technical standards include, but are not limited to, the following:

Physical Ability

The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to provide safe and effective assessments and interventions for clients/patients across the lifespan. The student is expected to possess the psychomotor skills and physical abilities necessary to safely and correctly perform a wide variety of health/fitness screenings, assessments, exercise tests, and exercise demonstrations. Examples of assessments include, but are not limited to, resting vitals and other biometrics, cardiopulmonary tests, anaerobic testing, musculoskeletal fitness, range of motion (ROM), body composition, balance, and functional abilities. Interventions include, but are not limited to, athlete education, cardiovascular fitness training, endurance training, resistance training, performance training, flexibility and ROM, neuromuscular training, and functional training.

The student must have sufficient levels of physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving and physical exertion required for safe athlete care. Students must be able to bend, squat, reach, kneel and balance. The curriculum might require students to carry and lift loads from the floor, from 12 inches from the floor, to shoulder height and overhead. The student must be able to occasionally lift 65 pounds from the floor to the waist, frequently lift or carry 25 pounds for distances up to 100 feet, and constantly lift up to 10 pounds. The student is expected to possess sufficient static and dynamic balance as well as agility to perform satisfactorily in performance settings.

Communication Ability

The student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to obtain important information and to clearly explain information to others as well as to facilitate communication among the patient, family members and other professionals. Each student must have the ability to speak and comprehend the English language as well as be able to read and write in a manner that meets the standards for literacy in higher education. Students must be able to actively listen and possess basic interviewing skills. The student must be able to document and maintain accurate records, and present information in a professional and appropriate manner to the target audience.

Intellectual/Cognitive Ability

The student must demonstrate the ability to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential to the field of sport physiology. Problem solving skills include the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and judge objective and subjective data, and to make decisions in a timely manner that reflect thoughtful deliberation and sound judgment. The student must also possess the ability to comprehend, retain, retrieve and incorporate prior knowledge with new information from multiple sources including, but not limited to self, peers, instructors and related literature to formulate sound decisions for competent athlete management, practice management and scholarship.

Interpersonal Attributes

The student is expected to demonstrate sufficient stable emotional behavior to effectively work with others, perform assessment, and perform intervention activities. Empathy, integrity, motivation, honesty, and caring are personal attributes required of those in the SPPC program. The student must have the ability to establish rapport and maintain respectful interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, groups and professionals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds and to collaborate effectively. Each student must be able to adapt to changing environments, displaying flexibility and a positive demeanor as well as to accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and professional settings. In addition, the student must demonstrate personal responsibility and accountability for their actions and reactions to individuals, groups, and situations to include the prompt completion of all responsibilities and tasks in the classroom and professional settings. Students must demonstrate continuous self-assess to improve as a professional.

Ability to Manage Stressful Situations

The student must be able to adapt to, and function effectively in relation to, stressful situations encountered in both the classroom and professional settings, including emergency situations. Students will encounter multiple stressors while in the Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching program, and must effectively manage these stressors on an ongoing basis. These stressors might be related to (but are not limited to) personal issues, family, peers, supervisors/faculty, and athletes.

Health Screening and Background Check

The student is required to have completed a health screening, updated immunizations and tuberculosis screening according to current Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)recommendations for health professionals, criminal background investigation and drug screening as required by internship placement sites. Exceptions to the immunization requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis where, for example, a student has an allergy to a vaccine or one of its components. If an exception to the immunization requirements is approved, the University cannot guarantee that its affiliated internships will allow the student to work with the athletes, which is a fundamental requirement of the hands-on component of the program. 


An applicant/candidate with a handicap shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap, except those that would preclude the essential skills outlined above, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the program. Carroll University may require that the applicant/student undergo a physical examination and/or an occupational skills evaluation.

All Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching students must be able to perform the essential functions of a student sport physiologist. Reasonable accommodations will be afforded to students with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A student who can no longer perform the essential functions of a student performance coach must report this to his/her program adviser. If reasonable accommodations cannot be made, the student will not be able to remain in the Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching program.

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