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Stephen Volek’ 10, Motor Control

My degree in Kinesiology helped set the foundation for my career as a sports performance professional by exposing me to the variety of challenges I experience in the profession daily.

Stephen Volek_1

Stephen has built an impressive career in sports performance and management. Currently, he serves as a North American Elite Account Manager for STATSports, a global leader in sports performance monitoring and analysis. His journey reflects a blend of academic excellence, professional growth, and personal passion for sports. 

Stephen felt instantly at home in the Kinesiology Department. The major allowed him to explore the different opportunities the degree offers, which included spending a summer volunteering at an in-patient physical therapy clinic, as well as completing his required internship as a strength and conditioning coach, working with many of Penn State’s intercollegiate athletic teams.  

One of his most pivotal experiences was attending the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) conference in Atlanta. This was his first real professional networking experience. He remembers it being a lot of fun and a great time to bond with fellow Kinesiology classmates. This trip also helped in developing his professional networking skills and showing him what it meant to meet and connect with other professionals in the field. 

Stephen Volek_2

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Stephen continued to advance his education and professional credentials. He obtained a Master of Science in Sports Management from Penn West University in 2012 and another Master of Science in Marketing from Saint Joseph's University in 2022. Additionally, he earned certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). 

Stephen's career spans various roles and achievements in the field of sports performance. His tenure includes working with collegiate and professional ice hockey teams, where he amassed significant accomplishments:

  • Part of the first-ever Big 10 Men's Ice Hockey regular season championship team in 2014 while working at the University of Minnesota.
  • Worked at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia as a member of the University of Minnesota team.
  • Participated in two NCAA tournaments working with men's ice hockey at Yale where they won two Ivy League championships.
  • Spent five years working in professional hockey, including four seasons with the New Jersey Devils and one season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, participating in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In addition to his roles with established teams, Stephen demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit by starting his own online training and consulting business, Stephen Volek Sports Science and High Performance, in March 2023.

Stephen attributes much of his professional success to his education at Penn State. His opportunities in the department helped him succeed in his career by setting the foundation for his role as a sports performance professional. His experience provided him with the knowledge of how to be a professional, network, and work in a Division 1 athletic environment.

Among his fondest memories of Penn State are attending football games, a tradition since he was three years old, tailgates, and the ACSM trip to Atlanta, which stands out for its impact on his professional growth and personal connections with classmates.

Stephen's career exemplifies the power of a strong educational foundation combined with continuous learning and diverse professional experiences. From his beginnings in Penn State's Kinesiology program to his current role at STATSports, Stephen has consistently demonstrated his expertise and passion for sports performance. His journey is a testament to the value of dedication, networking, and seizing opportunities across the sports industry.

This profile was published June, 2024.