As part of our celebration of Women in Sport, we caught up with our expert women authors to ask them what their top career tips are for other women working in sport, health and fitness. Our authors boast a wealth of knowledge and experience in their given fields, from sports nutrition to personal training, coaching and beyond.
Here are their top tips:
Desi Bartlett’s top career tip
“My best career tip is to find a niche that you are passionate about and become the “go-to,” expert in that area. Whether it is prenatal yoga, HIIT training for teenage athletes, or nutritional counseling for new mothers, there are literally thousands of paths to choose from. When you specialise in what you are most passionate about, it is easier for clients to find you, and you have the added bonus of doing something that you love everyday. This will help with career longevity, as well as open up opportunities for writing, speaking, and becoming a presenter in your chosen field.”
Desi Bartlett has been teaching health and wellness for over 25 years. Over the years, her roster of private clients has included Alicia Silverstone, Adam Levine, Kate Hudson, Shailene Woodley, Emma Roberts, Ashley Tisdale, Yael Braun, and many more high profile executives. She is the author of Total Body Beautiful and Your Strong, Sexy Pregnancy.
Nancy Clark’s top career tip
“The following two quotes have been the underpinning of my career as a sports nutritionist and author:
• If you don’t exist in the media, for all practical purposes, you don’t exist. As a book author, I quickly learned that writing a book is a small part of an author’s job. Marketing it and keeping the book alive is the bigger and relentless part. Authors have to exist in the media in order to spread the word about their books. Otherwise, the book sits on the shelf, collecting dust.
• Coca-Cola never stops advertising. Everyone knows about Coca-Cola — but Coca-Cola never stops advertising. I have worked hard to keep myself in the media, both social media and print media. Relentless but needed to stay present in people’s minds, so they hopefully get motivated to read my Sports Nutrition Guidebook.
This quote from Steve Jobs is also important to me personally: “For the past 33 years, I have look in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
When the answer has been “no” too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
I have yet to say “no” too many times in a row!”
Nancy Clark is an internationally respected and trusted sports nutritionist specializing in nutrition for performance, wellness, and weight management, including helping athletes with eating disorders. At her private practice she counsels active people of all ages and athletic abilities—from high school athletes to Olympians—by giving one-on-one, personalised advice. Nancy is also the author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.
Melody Schoenfeld’s top career tip
“Whatever your career goal is, never stop learning. As soon as you feel like you “know it all,” you’ve stagnated yourself. The science and landscape of health and fitness is always growing. Stay on top of it through reliable sources. And most importantly, support others who want to walk your path. We all do better when we help each other.”
Melody Schoenfeld has well over 27 years of personal training experience and was named National Strength and Conditioning Association’s 2019 Personal Trainer of the Year. She has held US state and national records in all three lifts in powerlifting (squat, bench press, and deadlift) has been published and quoted in popular media such as My Fitness Pal, Men’s Fitness, and Men’s Health. Melody s also the author of Diet Lies and Weight Loss Truths and co-author of Strength Training for All Body Types.
Neely Spence Gracey’s top career tip
“The best advice I can give aspiring pro athletes—especially in an individual sport like running—is to think long and hard about the setup that will work best for you and your whole life. Do you prefer to train alone or with a group? Can you handle a long-distance coaching relationship, or do you need someone there in person? Where will you be happy living, and what other activities will make your life fulfilling while you pursue big athletic goals?”
Neely Spence Gracey signed her first pro contract as a runner in 2012. She’s then gone on to work with hundreds of runners all over the world to help them achieve their breakthroughs, from the mile to the marathon. On the roads, she’s a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier, was the top American at the 2016 Boston Marathon, and is the 11th American female ever to break 70 minutes in the half marathon. Neely Spence Gracey is also the co-author of Breakthrough Women’s Running.
Cecile Reynaud’s top career tip
“Women that are in coaching or want to get into coaching need to invest in themselves. They need to know themselves and be comfortable and authentic in their coaching styles. Coaches don’t coach sports, they coach people and that means having strong relationships with athletes, their parents, their staff, their administrators, the fans, officials, and the media. Coaches can learn the X’s and O’s easily, but they need to study how they coach by watching themselves on film during a practice or game, listening to what they are saying and how they are saying it. Then develop a strategy on becoming a better coach before they spend time developing a strategy on how to beat an opponent. Get a successful coaching mentor outside their sport to get advice on how to get better in those relationships.”
Cecile Raynaud is was the head coach of the Florida State University (FSU) volleyball team from 1976 until her retirement in 2001, compiling an impressive 635 wins and seven conference championships in her 26 years at the helm. She was twice named Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year (1992, 2000) and has been inducted into the halls of fame of numerous sport organizations, including the USA Volleyball (USAV) Hall of Fame (2020). Cecile is author of Winning Ways of Women Coaches.
Header image by Jessica Lewis Creative.