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    • From the Field with Austin Latour
      Austin Latour is an Aerospace/Operational Physiologist in the United States Navy as a lieutenant commander. He currently serves as the Exercise Physiologist and Command Fitness Leader (CFL) Program Manager for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations N17 in Millington, TN.
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    • From the Field BannerFrom the Field | Austin LatourAustin Latour, CSCS, TSAC-F    Austin Latour is an Aerospace/Operational Physiologist in the United States Navy as a lieutenant commander. He currently serves as the Exercise Physiologist and Command Fitness Leader (CFL) Program Manager for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations N17 in Millington, TN. He graduated from Texas Lutheran University with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2001 and graduated from Texas A&M University with a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology in 2002.

      1. What tactical population do you currently work with?  
      I work with all active and reserve United States Navy Sailors.

      2. How did you get started in the TSAC (Tactical Strength and Conditioning) field?  
      I have always maintained my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and it was a natural transition about a year ago when I received orders to be the Command Fitness Leader (CFL) Program Manager.  

      3. What resources do you utilize for continuing education? Are there any resources your recommend staying away from?  
      I prefer to use any continuing education that is associated with the NSCA or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). I feel that they are the premier organizations when it comes to fitness.

      I do not have any specific sources to list, but I do stay away from any anecdotal research or evidence. Peer-reviewed articles and texts are the best way to learn about the industry.
       

      4. If you where hiring someone in your field, what would you look for?   
      I always look at their credentials and what experience they have. Credentials from highly respected organizations are very important. I know what it takes to obtain certain credentials; thus, it would help in making a decision when hiring an employee.
       
      5. Please describe the regular duties included in your position?  
      I manage the CFL program for the U.S. Navy. I am responsible for the education and training of all our CFLs and Assistant CFLs. I am continually researching new ways to encourage Navy Sailors to stay fit and ways to test their fitness level.  
       
      6. What are the two most important things you have learned; that you wish you knew when you were starting your career?  
      Anything can be accomplished through persistent efforts and being willing to try new things. You never know what will surprise you.  

      7. What recommendations would you give someone who is looking to start a career in TSAC?   
      Get involved with a program and volunteer if you need to. Experience is key to understanding any program.  
       
      8. What do you believe are the top three physical requirements for this population that must be addressed in a proper TSAC program? 
      1) Stamina; 2) Speed; and 3) Coordination. 

      9. What steps do you go through when writing a program for the population you work with?   
      Most important step is safety; for instance, if Sailors are injured, then that puts a strain on the command because other sailors have to absorb the workload. I also focus on programs that will assist them at work and at home. This encourages an overall healthy lifestyle.

      Next most important is specificity. Developing programs that utilize exercises that will improve work habits will allow Sailors to understand why workouts are performed they way they are. Both of these steps will help when trying to encourage the Navy Sailor to workout. 
       

      10. What are some critical factors in getting tactical athletes to buy into a strength and conditioning program?
      They have to understand why we train a certain way. As a trainer, you have to take the time to explain it to them. Merely telling them to do something because “it is good for you,” just will not be enough for them to “buy in” to the program. 
    • 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. 
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