Monday, December 18, 2006

Stone City: SPEC Coaches College 2006

Finally back from the ETSU Coaches College put on by Meg Stone and her husband Dr. Mike Stone. They had a great mix of high-powered speakers (including me!) for coaches of all levels. Loren Seagrave raised more than a few eyebrows with his ideas on top-speed running physiology. Dr. Jeff McBride had some interesting research and thoughts on developing max power and strength. Dr. Bill Sands spoke twice and had some great information on fatigue and the implementation of a new recovery center at the OTC in Colorado Springs. Meg did a fabulous talk on the responsibilities of being a coach and Dr. Stone spoke on training principles and theory behind strength for team and individual sports.

My favorite speakers were Clive Brewer, from SportScotland and Dr. Kyle Pierce, from LSU-Shreveport. I've known Kyle for several years now, but have never seen him give a talk. His knowledge and passion for working with young people (generosity) in weightlifting, regardless of their abilities, was great to see. Clive did a great talk on long-term athletic development and some of the methods they are trying to implement within SportScotland. Several speakers used the term "physical literacy" over the weekend. That is something I'll expand on in the blog and other work over the next year.

I also met Professor Hiroshi Hasagawa from Kyoto, Japan. It was interesting to hear about the barriers he faces in Japan trying to implement an American system of strength and conditioning. As a result, he has developed a new organization (different from the NSCA Japan)to meet the needs of the Japanese sport and coaching culture.

I want to thank them and their terrific gaggle of graduate students (Ann, the super mascot and Jenna, future pole vaulter) who did a great job of taking care of us. And I cannot forget Dr. Mike Ramsey who carted us around and spoke on implementing testing (power/strength/endurance)! We stayed at the beautiful Carnegie Hotel and never wanted for anything. I cannot wait for next year's clinic--hope to speak on more than just video in sport. It will be bigger and better as East Tennessee State has promised more financial support. The athletic community at ETSU is very lucky to have Meg and Mike. They will raise the bar as far as athletics is concerned, and they will bring a mix of theory/application of training principles and coaching education to the academic side, and share that with coaches in this country and around the world through future SPEC conferences.

Save the second weekend in December on your calender for this event! If you gotta get some silly CEUs for NSCA or USA Cycling or whomever, you won't be disappointed with this event. It is a great opportunity to learn from some of the best in the field, from all over the world.

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