Being a mentor, especially in the strength and conditioning coaching profession, means a lot. Sometimes, we must answer the call of duty to help those coaches who look up to us. They look to us for solutions. They need our knowledge and experience to help them solve problems they have never faced and avoid pitfalls they didn’t know were there.
But sometimes, being a mentor means even more than this. It means more than solutions. It means support. It means being there. It means picking up the phone. It means saying, “I don’t have a great answer for you right now, but I’ve been through it too. I’m here for you. We are going to get through this, together.”
This can be even more powerful. It speaks to what’s at the core of what makes this profession, and the CSCCa specifically, such an awesome family. We have shared experiences here no other professionals will ever know, and with those experiences, we form bonds that last a lifetime.
Last year, when I stood on the stage at the Master Strength And Conditioning Coach (MSCC) Dinner to present coach Elaine Deppe with her MSCC jacket, I was so honored. We haven’t had an opportunity to work on the same staff, or spend a tremendous amount of time together, but she saw something in me that made her ask me to stand in when her first choice wasn’t able. I’d like to think a huge part of that is the shared experience we have as strength and conditioning coaches, and a recognition of the work and sacrifice that has gone into paving the way for the next generation of phenomenal young coaches like Elaine.
It’s not only a tremendous honor to drape that MSCC jacket on her deserving shoulders, but to think back to when I received my jacket and see how far we’ve come since I was the first female to be receive that honor, fills me with a surreal sense of pride. As females in this profession, and as a professional community as a whole, we have come so far. Every year, you see people from all walks of life representing the MSCC community on that stage, and every year, more and more coaches will see someone just like them achieving the pinnacle of the profession. That matters.
It’s also important to remember — as mentors — this process is a two-way street. Every coach that I present an MSCC jacket to, they have been my mentor too. I learn something from every coach I work with or mentor. From graduate assistants all the way to directors at Power Five programs, we would be remiss if we didn’t try and share with and learn from one another. At the National Conference in particular, I relish the opportunity to engage in this perpetual process of mentoring and being mentored.
The MSCC Dinner gives a new MSCC a moment in time to recognize over a decade of hard work and professionalism. It also gives them membership into one of the most prestigious groups of professionals in the world. The time we spend together at the dinner is always special but having such a close-knit group to support you and share in your struggles and triumphs enhances the entire national conference experience, and has helped to give me a close circle of friends who I cherish and admire. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
This article was written by Stacey Torman, MSCC, CSCCa Vice President
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