Hello everyone! I hope everyone is well, summer workouts are in full swing, and you all had a great holiday weekend! As we in the CSCCa national office have had a chance to decompress and absorb all the things that went on at the 2022 CSCCa National Conference, I want to take some time to share some ideas with you and ask you for feedback.
As with any National Conference, the CSCCa goes into it thinking we have put together a fantastic event with great speaker lineups, amazing exhibit hall experiences and great activities for our attendees to enjoy. This year was no different as we feel like our 2022 National Conference was a great success! We had 87 percent of our largest attendance in the history of our conference, which is a great accomplishment as this was our very first live post-COVID 19 event. Congratulations to you, our membership, for making this one of the best events in our history.
As we all know, every strength coach in attendance is loaded with opinions and advice on how to make our conference even better. There is NEVER a shortage of opinions and suggestions and “I wish you woulds.” I promise you one thing, we listen!
After the conference we sent out surveys to the membership to hear your likes and dislikes and we heard you loud and clear! If you haven’t completed the survey, we encourage you to submit it so that we can be inclusive with our solutions. Be on the lookout for more communications from the CSCCa for opportunities to be involved with the conference and various behind-the-scenes committees. We have a very talented group of coaches in our membership. We can all work together to make our conference and our association bigger, better and more powerful. We will work to make the 2023 National Conference in Orlando great and enhance our conference experience. Keep the great ideas rolling into the national office. We value the feedback.
One thing we think would be helpful is to not only give us your thoughts on topics that can be covered, but also on any changes in the format that you think will make our conference more user friendly. Do you like more breakout sessions, more round tables, more hands-on sessions, smaller more intimate sessions with a singular coach or group of coaches that cover a very pointed topic? Would you like more free time on the schedule? Would you like more speakers in the exhibit hall? You tell us! It is our mission to make sure you have the greatest 72-hour experience we can provide. However, we must know what you want in order to provide it. Let us know!!!
As all campuses have different schedules, some of you probably have student-athletes that have been on campus for a while, whereas some of you may have them arriving now. Please follow the return-to-play guidelines as your student athletes return. They can be found on our website at CSCCA.org. It is of great importance that we reintroduce our student-athletes to workouts at a slow and gradual pace. These best practices and recommendations can help guide you through return to training during a transition period.
In addition, make sure you are communicating AND practicing your Emergency Action Plans with your staff as well as your Sports Medicine Team. You are the caretaker of the people you train. We MUST make sure we do all things in a safe manner. Please contact the national office if you have any questions with regards to topics related to HEALTH AND SAFETY.
As a holder of the SCCC credential or even the coveted MSCC title of distinction, you have a great responsibility to showcase our profession and advocate for our profession every day. How can you do this? I can share many mantras I have heard throughout the years that sound simple, mildly entertaining, yet effective if you think about it.
“Show up. Show up on time. Show up on time with your game face on.”
As much as we all are sticklers for time, I would be shocked if we had strength coaches that either don’t show up or show up late. But let’s talk a little bit about showing up with your game face on. What does that game face look like? Are you dressed for success? If someone walked into your facility and watched your workouts, would they know without a shadow of a doubt that YOU are the most highly trained strength and conditioning professional on campus? I surely hope so.
Present yourself in a manner that commands respect from the athletes, the coaches, and all with whom you come into contact. Treat people the way you want to be treated. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again… Coach your athletes the way you would want your own children coached. Coach them as if their families are in the room watching you coach them. Take on the responsibility to impact their life in a positive manner. Find a way to teach life lessons along the way. Let them know you are more concerned about life after athletics, not just how much bigger, faster and stronger they can become in the short time you have them.
Another great mantra is one I picked up from legendary strength coach Dr. Mike Gentry. He once told me that one of the secrets to being successful was to “Do right. Work hard. Don’t be a pain in the neck.” As fun as that one can be to repeat, there is a lot of depth to that statement.
Do right. Do the right thing. Make the right decisions. Treat people with respect. Be the best strength coach you can be by giving your athletes the best possible workout you can write for them. Not the hardest workout they can endure, but the best one that fits their needs.
Work hard. That does not mean you put in more hours than anyone else. That does not mean you come in earlier and stay later than anyone (although sometimes our schedules command that). It means work hard to be the most educated, well-versed coach you can be. With days come months. With months come years. With years comes experience. With experience comes wisdom. Work hard to fill your toolbox with as many different tools as you possibly can in order to build the best workout you can to fulfill the needs of your student-athletes. You owe it to them.
Don’t be a pain in the neck. In this case, instead of focusing on what NOT to do, let’s focus on what you CAN do. Be a positive person in your department. Always have a kind word and a smile for those around you. Be the person people come to for solutions, rather than being a source of negativity and constant complaining. Trust me, every single job is going to have its share of obstacles, people that make your day difficult, budgetary restraints, scheduling conflicts, etc. They say that negative people have a problem for every solution. Most likely, if you put your mind to it, you can come up with multiple solutions to a singular problem. Be the person that adds VALUE to your department rather than the one that points out every problem. If you can manage to do these things, you will be a great advocate for our profession and show everyone in your department what it means to be an SCCC or MSCC.
The time has come for the CSCCa to strengthen how we advocate for our profession with as many people of influence as possible. Conference commissioners, athletic directors, professional stakeholders, and others will soon hear, from me, what it means to be a member of the CSCCa and the credibility that comes from holding the most robust strength and conditioning certification in the world. Now more than ever, it is important that the agents hiring strength coaches across the country understand the importance of hiring those who hold our credential and uphold the high level of professionalism that the CSCCa stands for.
I hope everyone will have a great and safe summer. The Fall semester will be here before we know it and we will have a chance to see the fruits of our summer labor in the form of a brand-new competitive season. Best of luck!