About me

Hi – I’m a New Zealand based academic, teaching and researching in the areas of exercise prescription and strength and conditioning. I’m a proud physical educator – I know that will mean different things to you – but here it is; basically anything to do with sport, exercise or physical activity floats my boat. I care about health, aesthetics, play, fun, the social aspects of activity, the benefits for mental health, the thrill of competition, connecting with the outdoors, connecting with others, running into others, running over others…. but I can’t manage to care about any one of those things to the detriment of the others – so it’s a complicated relationship. It’s been a 45-year passion (so far) that has given me the opportunity to do a mess of different and interesting things. I’ve loved my work and the freedom it’s given me. Last night I supervised a student running a circuit training class for a 60s plus group, today I’ve been transcribing interviews with rugby referees about concussion, and tomorrow I’m helping with the fitness testing of a professional rugby team.

I’ve been a rugby strength and conditioning coach (North Harbour Union, NZ Rugby Union and the All Blacks), I’ve worked in a Sports Medicine Clinic as an exercise rehabilitation specialist, I’ve done the Corporate Fitness thing and I’ve been an academic. I mainly teach exercise prescription, strength and conditioning and mentored many students through practicums and internships. I’ve researched concussion, I’ve written a couple of fitness testing books, I’ve consulted with the New Zealand Police on their fitness testing and I’ve presented my research at various international conferences. I’m interested in the professional development of exercise professionals and I like critical thinking. Recently my career has taken a different and exciting path with a move to Otago Polytechnic and the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health – continuing my passion for teaching exercise and strength and conditioning, and supervising research students. I look forward to sharing some of my experiences and thoughts with those of you with similar interests. See the menu link Projects in progress for projects that I’m currently working on.
Best, Phil

Phil Handcock (BPhEd, MSc, PhD)