Becoming a MASTER of Science

After over 18 consecutive years of schooling, I’m happy to say that I recently finished my Master’s degree in Kinesiology at UMass Amherst. I’ve been fortunate over the last several years to learn from some of the smartest students and faculty members in the country, and to have the opportunity to teach myself.

Students with an interest in pursuing strength and conditioning, physical therapy, or other movement/fitness related careers often ask me how I’ve learned what I know now. They’re often disappointed to here that the majority of my application-based knowledge didn’t come from the classroom. I was fortunate to have come across good advice at a young age. I was watching Michael Boyle’s Functional Strength Coach DVD set, which I think is a must-have for any athlete or coach. At the end of it, he recommended a number of books that he thought people should be familiar with. I immediately bought all of them and got to work.

Take a look at the collection I’ve put together in the last four years.

Book Collection


Other than the stack of books on the left, which I use as references, I’ve read every page of every book and article in this picture. Piling this on top of my coursework over the last four years has been exceptionally difficult, but worth it. I laugh on the inside when students ask what they should read. The best answer is probably “EVERYTHING!”. The truth is that this isn’t even close to everything I’ve read in the last few years. I have countless articles and audio programs saved on my computer that I’ve also worked my way through.

Some may say I have an unhealthy addiction with human movement. I wouldn’t disagree. The majority of my birthday and Christmas presents over the last several years have been physical therapy textbooks or books on personal development. I think it’d be more appropriate to say I have an unhealthy addiction to learning. Stagnancy (mental or physical) is my worst enemy.

I’m lucky to work in an industry that I’m passionate about. I think that’s key to living a truly happy life. For all the students out there with questions about how to be successful, I have two recommendations:

1) Pursue a career that you love

2) Never stop learning

Following these rules has been good to me. Hopefully you’ll find the same.

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