Happy New Year, everyone! (Yes, I think I am still within the time window to say that). I hope your holiday season was fantastic and filled with great times with friends and family. It is my hope that we all find 2022 to be a great year filled with positive experiences, and lots of self-investment and improvement.
Before I get into this month’s message, I want to take care of a little housekeeping. Firstly, I hope you all are making your plans to attend this year’s CSCCa National Conference in Oklahoma City, Okla., May 2-4.
As a reminder, this is a shift from our normal schedule. Traditionally the conference has ended on a Friday. This caused many of you to leave the conference early due to Mother’s Day activities, or weekend sporting events. We are “test driving” a new schedule this year in hopes we won’t be competing with any personal schedule conflicts.
This is our first trip to OKC. We are certain you are going to love it. The hotel and convention center are brand new and state of the art! We are only a few blocks away from the most vibrant and visitor-friendly part of the city known as “Bricktown.” There are many fantastic places to eat in Bricktown as well other amazing establishments within walking distance of our hotel, which in itself houses seven fantastic places to eat and imbibe.
We have heard from many of you, as well as many of our exhibitors, and we understand that everyone is ready to get back together for a national conference. Please take advantage of the Early Bird registration as registration fees will go up March 14, 2022. It will be here before you know it. Don’t let it sneak up on you.
I want to encourage you to make your hotel accommodations at the CSCCa host hotel, the Omni Oklahoma City Hotel. Take advantage of our special CSCCa rate while there are still rooms available. Please find all this information available on our website at https://cscca.org/nationalconference. We plan on this being our biggest conference in CSCCa history, so please make your plans to attend now!
Twenty years ago, the focus of the CSCCa was to “make a better life for the strength and conditioning coach.” That broad statement covers a lot of ground. In the last two decades, our profession, along with collegiate athletics as a whole, has changed drastically many times over.
We should start by bringing to light to what a better life is. I am sure everyone reading this has a different definition and expectation of what a better life actually entails. To start with, we have a better life now because we have an identity. In the last 20 years, the impact a strength coach has on an athletics department, as well as individual teams, is unquestionable. Our professional impact is now recognized. We are now being recognized as a group that can help improve the student athlete experience. We are being included in communications when decisions are being made to improve the student athlete experience.
Furthermore, there are more job opportunities for the collegiate strength coach than ever before. This increased number of jobs shows not just the importance of the value of the strength coach, but also the recognized value of the strength coach.
For some of us in the profession, there were many years where having a strength coach on staff was considered an anomaly. Think about that. Now, we are having to LIMIT the number of strength coaches for football, and many sports are employing their own strength coach just for that sport.
Not only do we have a greater number of strength coaches, but we also have an abundance of well-run strength and conditioning programs. Programs that have directors, assistant directors, educational enhancement programming, personal and professional growth, mission statements, and certainly well-run internships. There is no question this is a better life.
I know many of you will ask these questions: What about increased salaries? That has happened. Are they all high salaries? That is up to each institution. What about job security? There has never been job security in the coaching profession, and as the landscape of college athletics continues to change, it is likely that the level of insecurity will continue to rise.
The question now is, “What is the next chapter in building a better life for the strength coach?” It is the vision of the Executive Team to move forward and enhance our membership and our membership offerings in ways never seen before. Yes, that sounds grandiose, but we have lots of things on the horizon to help highlight our membership, enhance your membership experience, and promote fellowship and professional development among the membership not only at our conference, but outside the conference as well. We have, by far, the most talented membership in the world, we need to draw from these talents to ensure we collectively have the greatest collegiate training environment possible.
It is also the vision of CSCCa leadership to provide the greatest opportunity for the sharing of scientifically based training ideas in the country. One of the greatest assets we all have, collectively speaking, is the ability and willingness to share ideas. We see it all the time. We see it via online posts. We see it at our national conference – all the great ideas being shared between coaches and colleagues. We will have more information on this vision and initiatives as we get closer to our National Conference.
Let me close by saying that we have so many great things going on in the CSCCa right now. We have a change in leadership, a passing of the torch if you will. We have moved the national office. We are working toward enhancing our National Conference experience for you. All the great things we want to implement for you all are fantastic. However, we can’t execute these great ideas and initiatives without your feedback. We need to hear from you! What type of initiatives would you like to see? What improvements/changes can we make to the national conference? What can we do to serve you more during the regular year? What can we do with our social media that would enhance your CSCCa experience? We need to hear from you!
We hope to see you all in Oklahoma City, May 2-4. Please keep in mind the new schedule. You may want to stay an extra day in OKC. You will love it!
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