Faculty Spotlight: Strength and Conditioning Coach Chan Cho

Throughout his tenure at Sidwell, Strength & Conditioning Coach Chan Cho has supported many students as they have worked to achieve their athletic goals.

While he was studying at James Madison University, one of his coaches inspired him to pursue a career in athletic training.

“[My coach] let me sit in and volunteer, so it was easy to get into athletics, and it [became] something I wanted to be involved in for my future,” Cho said.

Cho went on to earn a master’s degree in Sports Science from Gardner-Webb University before continuing his career at Sidwell, where he has been working for over 10 years. In the time since Cho came to Sidwell in 2009, the athletic programs have changed substantially and overcome several challenges.

“Our programs generally [weren’t] what they are now,” Cho said. “We were still developing, and the demands were different,” he added.

Many of Cho’s students have observed his more intense coaching style, but overall, they have learned a great deal from him.

“I think I learned to really trust the process with lifting and with many things in life,” senior Jake Kang said. “Coach Cho has always emphasized the importance of establishing a solid foundation in lifting and skipping no steps in your development. There are no ways to get stronger overnight, no shortcuts and no easy way out.”

Cho highlighted the importance of training properly: “You can hit thousands of balls, you can kick thousands of balls, but your body is a tool that you need to train and address in order to do those things efficiently and get way better,” he said. Cho said the Sidwell environment and his relationship with his students and faculty in the community are some of the reasons he has stayed at Sidwell.

Even though “it’s been a while…[my colleagues] certainly understand why I do the things that I do,” Cho said.

Throughout his tenure at Sidwell, Cho has inspired many young athletes to take strength and conditioning more seriously.

“Coach Cho has impacted me through leading by example,” sophomore Wasson Burns said.

Burns credits Cho with teaching him lessons that apply even outside the weightroom, including the importance of routine and attitude.

“He has driven me to implement things I’ve learned from him physically in the weight room into my own regiment, while at the same time teaching me to also implement new mental strength when it comes to perseverance,” he added.