Sunday, July 16, 2006

Thoughts from the NSCA

Back from the NSCA meeting in DC. For me personally, this was a great experience. I met and spoke with, for the first time, many wonderful people. I found a great friend and mentor in Meg Stone. I reconnected with many others and facilitated a great meeting of the minds with Scott Moody of the CAP program (www.capprogram.com) in Overland Park, KS and Dr. Jerry Mayhew of Truman State. These people will generate some great new data on real world athletic development. They will contribute to the betterment of all coaches and athletes with their work.

But, my bullshitake meter has also been more finely tuned—just sit in the main hotel bar for a few evenings and you’ll get an eye and earful of schmooze—and then head to the exhibit hall for some additional tuning.
These types of meetings are good to learn to wade through the BS and see what is genuine.

I found no earth-shattering new thoughts or products. But, I also did not get to as many talks as I wanted. I spent more time in the exhibit hall than I thought I would. Here are some my thoughts:

1. The BS meter went off in front of the ALL THAT (yes, it is ALL THAT and you will be ALL THAT if you drink this) recovery drink booth. Looked much like the “GO JUICE” of several years ago. These people are playing on the new ‘milk is a great recovery aid” popular press and research. As for me, most of you know what I think of dairy. I did not taste it, but this stuff has CREAM listed in the first few ingredients. Did a brief Google but could not find any info on the company or who is backing it. A prominent M-F speaker seemed to be in the booth promoting this product.

2. Many of my physical therapy colleagues are still in the dark. I had several discussions with people who were frustrated by PT speakers who focus on “magic muscles” and “drawing in” and continuing to promote the “squatting is bad for your knees if you go to low” mantra. This is one of my pet peeves, professionally. Most PTs have never, ever worked with athletes and they do not normally work with healthy people. The are fixated upon FEAR of TOO MUCH and they have a completely absurd idea of what type of INTENSITY, OVERLOAD, PROGRESSION can/should be safely and effectively used in all types of humans. They FEAR full human ROM, overhead and with the lower extremity. It is completely absurd and by doing all of this “prehab” crap, they actually feed into the problems they believe they are preventing.

3. The NSCA’s focus on growth—they now claim over 30,000 members—has severely diluted the quality of the presenters and derailed focus on athletic development. Attendance at this show was LOW; it was expensive for attendees and exhibitors. Personal trainers, PTs, ATCs and PhDs dominated the majority of the crowd, the awards and the board. There are more women on the board, but they are from these fields; women who truly work in athletic development are MIA. It will be interesting to see how the hiring of Boyd Epley affects things, if at all. Lee Brown is the new President. He promises good things. We’ll see if anything changes.

More as I have the chance.

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