Cebuano strength and conditioning coach Roger Justine Potot. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines—While athletes always take credit for their success, there are those working behind the scenes who deserve praise.

One of them is the strength and conditioning trainer.

Roger Justine Potot is one of Cebu’s most hired strength and conditioning coaches.

Guys like Potot specialize in building athletes’ overall physique and helping them achieve peak strength and performance through science-backed programs.

The 35-year-old Mandaue City native, founder of Cebu-based NXT LVL Conditioning, shares valuable insights into being a strength and conditioning coach.

As an expert in his craft for five years, Potot is not your typical strength and conditioning coach.

He is one of the most requested coaches in Manila and Cebu. He is the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Visayas Green Lancers men’s basketball team.

He also coaches the ARQ Sports boxing team and its professional basketball teams.

Potot has also trained several Gilas Pilipinas players such as Dwight Ramos, CJ Oftana, Matt Nieto, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte and Kevin Quiambao.

PBA cagers JR Quiñahan of NLEX and Shaun Ildefonso of Rain or Shine are also under his watch.

In Cebu, he is one of the favorite coaches of Cesafi and pro players.

Potot also coached newly crowned Binibining Pilipinas International Nicole Borromeo from Cebu.

“Strength and conditioning training is very important because when athletes are in top form, whether in esports – S&C Training is also in esports – or in physical sports like basketball or boxing, they can maintain their performance and showcase their skills better because they are stronger, faster and more resilient,” Potot explained.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

But being a good strength and conditioning coach hasn’t been easy. Potot had to overcome several challenges.

One of them is the collaboration with other trainers, which is crucial to maintain the general condition of the athlete, without affecting the latter’s progress in training.

“It’s challenging because you have to collaborate with athletic trainers and properly plan strength and conditioning training so it doesn’t affect the athlete’s athletic training,” Potot said.

Another challenge he had to overcome is continuous learning in his profession. Strength and conditioning training requires ongoing education to keep abreast of the latest developments in its profession.

“I keep up to date with continuing education every month with online training, certifications and conferences as well as reading books, research papers, articles and podcasts,” Potot added.

Potot revealed that the pandemic has also presented him with a challenge in supervising his athletes. Most of the time, Potot and his athletes and clients are limited to virtual workouts due to health restrictions.

STRENGTHENING AWARENESS

Despite advances in technology and the availability of information online, many athletes, not just in Cebu, are still unaware of the importance of strength and conditioning training.

In this spirit, Potot has also made it his mission to raise awareness of the importance of his profession and his role with an athlete.

Many athletes and coaches still follow the “old school” method of training, which often results in poor performance and, even worse, injury.

“I can’t say it’s neglected because I believe that sports training is also important because you have to have sports skills to play this sport. But for these athletes to better build their bodies and physical attributes for their sport, they need to work on their strength and conditioning,” Potot explained.

“Knowledge of it is very broad for most athletes. Some will be content to sign up at their neighborhood gym and follow the generic program posted on the wall of the gym. It can help, but in order for you to be better prepared for your athletic training, you need to apply strength and conditioning to your routine.

Potot encourages athletes to explore science-based strength and conditioning training programs to unlock their full potential.

Potot guarantees that with proper guidance and a proper training program using the methods of a strength and conditioning coach, athletes would notice noticeable improvements in their overall performance.

Currently, Potot continues to develop professional and amateur athletes. At the same time, it is also aimed at non-sporting customers who wish to develop their overall performance in their chosen field.

/bmjo