FTDO Scott Bennett

Unity, Education And Respect: A Foundation For All

Hello CSCCa members, and Happy April! I trust you all are having a great spring, and your teams are doing well. As we get closer to the 2022 CSCCa National Conference, I want to touch on a few points. We have put together a fantastic speaker line up this year.  The goal of the Executive Team for the 2022 National Conference was to cover as many critical areas as possible. We will have speakers that will cover sport-specific and movement-specific programming, linear-power development, game-speed development, recovery for enhanced performance, as well as our continued concepts on mental toughness.

In addition to great programming and workout ideas, we also are opening the book on administrative tactics and how to best make an impact when seated at the administrative table. Speaking of tables, we continue to receive great feedback on our round table discussions. We will have three round table opportunities this year for three spotlight groups. We hope you will take part in these always robust discussions and presentations. In addition to these great topics, we also will be covering our professional enhancement areas. Not only will we cover our important topics on health and safety, but we will also begin covering the topic of student athlete mental health, as well as strength coach mental health. As you all know, this is an ever-growing topic in collegiate athletics, and we want to be proactive in the way we handle our approach to a positive mental health culture. This year we will be featuring a professional enhancement speaker. We want to address not only the idea of increased professionalism, but also how we as major influencers on the stage of collegiate athletics, can make a more robust impact on those around us.

This year at our National Conference, we want to make a big push to help bond our membership more closely. We want to rebuild the connectivity that has made this association so unique. This association was built on Unity, Education and Respect. As we move forward into a new era, we need to maintain those values and embrace what they mean to this membership both internally and externally.


One thing we need to keep in mind is we are all collectively and individually representatives of this profession. At your school, you are THE ONLY impression your administration, student athletes and parents have to our profession. Sport coaches at your school have probably been around other strength coaches where they gained an impression of our profession, as well as the impression you make on them. We need to be unified in the way we conduct ourselves in our coaching world. We need to show professionalism in our presentation, we need to conduct ourselves in a professional manner, and create a landscape and culture of positivity on our workouts as to never be the cause of any ire or the cause of someone’s mental health emergency. We also need to be united on our biggest task of all, which is taking care of the health and safety of our student athletes while also making a positive change in their performance metrics. We need to make them better and we need to keep them safe. That is our job!


I think it goes without saying that staying up to date on the latest training trends and cutting-edge programming techniques is a must in today’s training world. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are a critical part of our certification. Part of that education is the sharing of ideas and anecdotal concepts. This also promotes unity, don’t you think? There is no doubt that the fundamental educational concepts of exercise physiology, biomechanics, etc. are critical to building the foundation of strength and conditioning programming. However, how we use that knowledge is where the gold lies. Educational concepts merged with the talented strength coaches program writing skills are the pinnacle of what a strength coach does on a programmatic level.


Last and certainly not least, we come to respect. We need to respect each other and those around us. You don’t always have to agree with someone’s programming flavor, nor do you have to agree with their training philosophy. Some coaches choose a powerlifting foundation to work from while others may function from a high intensity circuit training philosophy. As long as a coach is not putting student-athletes in danger, it is important to respect what others are doing. You never know, you may even learn from them.

It is also important to respect the profession as well as other professions. It is often said that respect is earned, not given, or asked for. As coaches, we can earn respect by our actions and the way we treat others. That is a very important point. The more we treat others with respect, the more respect we will earn.  As a strength coach, we can earn respect by creating positive training environments and by taking a GENUINE interest in the student-athletes you coach. How can you take a genuine interest in others? Find something you like about that person. Some people make it very easy to like them, while others make it very difficult. However, there is always SOMETHING you can find in others to like.

I shared that notion with a women’s basketball team one day after a workout. One of the players asked, “What do you like about me?” I responded immediately with my answer, I never blinked, I never missed a beat, I answered her almost as fast as a reflex. How was I able to respond so quickly? I identified things I liked about that young lady on the very first day I met her. Once you identify things you like about a student, you will take a genuine interest in them and want to work harder to make them better. It is also a fact that it is IMPOSSIBLE for someone to dislike you if you genuinely like them.

As we head into our National Conference, I want to leave you all with a few thoughts. This conference will be a great celebration, a gathering of friends and colleagues that is 2 years overdue! It will be amazing to see so many great coaches, friends, and colleagues all under one roof for the first time in a long time. We should make it our goal to invest in each other, which in turn is also an investment in our profession. We will be doing things at the conference to help promote socializing and the sharing of ideas with each other. I hope we all can take advantage of this time by investing in each other, unifying our profession, and garnering the respect of others when you are around them.  Enhance your educational experience. If we can do all those things while at our conference, I would say we will have a full and successful week.

See you in OKC!