Jags to Jobs: Coach Joey Charon
Posted on February 24, 2017 by Sarah Richardson
Jags to Jobs is a LinkedIn series that features University of South Alabama alumni, their careers and how they got to where they are today.
Coach Joey Choron, a 2002 business administration and management graduate of the University of South Alabama, works as the head strength and conditioning coach for South’s baseball and women’s soccer teams. He lives in Mobile with his dog, Samson.
How did you end up where you are now?
I landed my first job at South by being in the right place at the right time. I was a trainer/sales manager at a local gym and our Senior Woman Administrator was also a member. She said that a couple of teams were looking for a part-time strength and conditioning coach and wondered if I knew anyone that would be interested. Well, I said that I would be, and I interviewed and got the job. I worked with volleyball and soccer and quickly volunteered to work with softball and men’s tennis. Once football started, I was asked if I’d be interested in being full-time, and I jumped at the chance.
Tell us about your job. What is typical day like?
I am a strength and conditioning coach and my job in a nut shell is just that, but it involves more than just running and getting stronger. Proper movement mechanics, body awareness, mobility, flexibility and nutrition are all part of it as well. I do tend to also be an ear for athletes to talk to. My office door is always open and I let them know that they can come and talk to me any time.
A typical day for me is up at 5-5:15 a.m. and at work by 6 a.m. for soccer starting at 6:30. After soccer I am in the weight room helping with track until around 9. The next couple hours are office work, and I get a work out and lunch from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. At 1:45 football workouts start, and they workout in two groups that last until 5:15, and from there I go straight into baseball workouts at 5:30 until 6:30-6:45. Finish clean up and get ready for the next day and head home about 7:30-8.
How did South prepare you for your career and life after college?
I was one that was not sure what I wanted to do after college other than play baseball. Yes, I was one of those athletes. My playing career was cut short due to a severe knee injury, and the aspirations of my youth were pretty much gone. So my time at South helped me grow up. I was away from family and my comfort zone. I had to learn to be an adult. This University and the people that are associated with it got me through tough times and helped me finish what was the main goal, to earn my degree.
What is it like working for your alma mater? Do you see the University through a different lens?
I love working for my alma mater and my teams are great to be around. The Administration is doing a lot to keep this Athletic Department moving in the right direction, and I am proud to be a part of it. Obviously being a coach now, as opposed to a student-athlete, my view is different and I love to help athletes grow and mature through their years here. It’s the main thing that I love about my job. The relationships that I build with athletes keep me motivated on a daily basis. With that being said, anytime that I am on campus or at Stanky Field, I see myself at the plate just waiting to drive in the runners on base.
How do you stay focused on what is important in your career?
It’s easy to stay focused when you love what you do. I want to give the best to my athletes and keep them injury-free as best that I can. When you work with athletes that listen, work hard, and understand the purpose of what I’m trying to get them to accomplish, staying focused is easy. I also love the coaches that I work with, they allow me to do my job and support me 100 percent.
What advice would you give someone who is entering the same job market?
Advice that I would give to anyone that is trying to enter this field is that you better have passion and patience. This is a thankless job and praise isn’t always sent in your direction. For me the best thing about this field is seeing my athletes staying healthy and my teams winning.
What is the hardest workout you have endured?
The hardest workout I have personally endured was a challenge workout called the 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge. It consisted of 500 swings a day, 4 days a week with some other exercises mixed in. It was more of a mental challenge than it was physical, but nonetheless it was definitely difficult.
What would you tell someone beginning a fitness routine?
Advice I would give someone starting a fitness routine is to set small attainable goals. A lot of times people go into something with an end goal but don’t know the right way to reach that goal. Setting smaller goals that lead to the ultimate goal will have a better effect than just saying “I want to get to this” or “I want to lift X amount of weight” with no path to get there.
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