Featured on the latest segment of our Setanta Student Story series is Jade Byrne. Jade is a Personal Trainer, a Camogie player with Wicklow and a student on the Setanta College MSc in Performance Coaching.
Below, Jade provides an insight into transitioning from a business career to coaching, her approach with clients and balancing playing, coaching and studying.
“I’ve always considered myself passionate for sport and fitness throughout my life and can wholeheartedly say that it has shaped the person that I am today.”
While various sports have played a part in Jade’s life, the most constant and the one she has the most passion for is camogie – representing her club and county for “as long as I can remember”.
The lifelong dedication to the sport bore fruit this year, captaining the Wicklow camogie team to an historic victory in the Nancy Murray Cup for the first time ever.
“We knew that there were areas we needed to work on if we wanted a successful season, whether on an individual basis or within the team as a whole.
Both the gym and Camogie became a non-negotiable part of my life and acted as an escape to help balance the stresses of life as well as allowing me to gain skills and attributes that have been beneficial for both on and off the pitch.”
Transitioning from Business to Personal Training
With an inherent passion for sport and fitness, a career in personal training and coaching seems like an obvious fit. However, it was only while completing a degree in business that her desire to begin a career in the fitness industry became more apparent.
“After finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Business, I soon realised a traditional 9-5 desk job wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted for myself. My love for sports and fitness had always been a prominent part of my life, but during college, I particularly found a passion for strength and conditioning and this acted as a catalyst as a desire for a career in the fitness industry.
It was during this time that I came across the Setanta Diploma in Personal Training and S&C, and I was drawn to it for several reasons. I felt that regardless of my career path, the knowledge and skills gained from this programme wouldn’t be wasted. Setanta’s blended learning approach made it a perfect fit for my busy schedule, where I was juggling my business degree, work commitments, Camogie season, and now adding a diploma into the mix.”
Completing the diploma reinforced her feelings about a career change.
“When I completed the Diploma, I made the decision to leave my conventional 9-5 job behind and embark on a career in the fitness industry. Looking back, I can genuinely say it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The Diploma not only provided me with the expertise and credentials I needed but also bridged the gap between my undergraduate education and future aspirations.
Today, I am pursuing the MSc in Performance Coaching and have found a fulfilling career that allows me to showcase my strengths, abilities, and unwavering passion for fitness and strength and conditioning. The Setanta Diploma in PT and S&C served as a stepping stone toward creating a career that aligns with my lifelong interests and ambitions.”
Meeting People Where They’re At
Coaching in a gym that supports people with a wide range of health and fitness goals is something Jade emphasises has been an important experience.
“Since completing my Diploma, I was lucky enough to gain incredible experience in a gym that tailors toward semi-private small group personal training.
In this position, I’m fortunate enough to meet all walks of life on a daily basis and what I love about this is discovering what everyone’s trainable menu is and meeting them where they’re at. Everyone is different, with a variety of different mindsets, goals, strengths and weaknesses, whether its a performance athlete looking to shave a few seconds from their 5k time or a new mom wanting to gain back an hour for themselves.
I think the most important value I ensure to add to my coaching is taking all this in taking this in to consideration and providing people with high quality training sessions and knowledge that is unique to them and their level, ensuring they enjoy they progress and enjoy their own journey for whatever reason that motivates them.”
Looking to the Future
Along with education, there has been learnings from the camogie field and her role as captain that she feels have also been complementary to her coaching practice.
“There are certain attributes that I personally feel are highly valued when it comes to playing Camogie at inter-county level. The level of commitment, self-discipline, teamwork, loyalty, intensity, integrity and punctuality must be consistently met and I feel these attributes have positively influenced the type of coach I am today.”
Overall, Jade is overwhelmingly positive about the change in career direction and her future in the industry.
“What became such a relief for me is to finally find a career that I’m truly passionate about that before I didn’t think was possible. It can be an indescribable feeling knowing that you’re making a positive change on someone else’s life in some shape or form that has me feeling grateful on a daily basis.”
Today, I am pursuing the MSc in Performance Coaching and have found a fulfilling career that allows me to showcase my strengths, abilities, and unwavering passion for fitness and strength and conditioning. The Setanta Diploma in PT and S&C served as a stepping stone toward creating a career that aligns with my lifelong interests and ambitions.
If you’re thinking of it, just do it. It’s the type of knowledge that if you’ve any interest in health and fitness at all that you will gain something from it, whether it’s on a personal level or if you’re looking to enhance your career, it’s always worth it.
“At the moment I think the next step for me is to gain more experience by traveling abroad and seeing where it takes me from there.”
Studying with Setanta College
To learn more about studying strength & conditioning with Setanta, visit www.setantacollege.com/all-courses
Our Diploma in Personal Training and Strength & Conditioning is now enrolling students for our December 2023 intake with more information available here.