A few weeks ago I was working with a few of our alumni as they prepared for college football (hopefully) this fall. This particular day there was another gentleman walking the track and happened to notice my NHSSCA NatCon 2020 tee shirt. He quickly flagged me down to tell me he is a member as well and only lives a few miles from me. We spoke about the association and what we both did within our respective jobs and finally we discussed NatCon and the online format. Obviously, I was curious as to how a Zoom based NatCon would turn out, but after attending and learning from the presenters and fellow coaches in the chat, I can firmly say the NHSSCA knocked NatCon out of the park.
For the sake of time I will limit recaps and takeaways, but I will tell you if you can get your hands on the brochure start working through each speaker listed because they are all incredible coaches and I took something away from every coach that spoke during NatCon. I do have a few that really hit home with me and I wanted to share with you.
First of all, congratulations to our very own Coach Adam Attallah for winning coach of the year! I have had the opportunity to interact with Adam via zoom and during meet ups and he is a very genuine and well spoken person. I would also like to congratulate Coach Cash on winning national coach of the year and commend him for one of the best acceptance speeches I have heard to date.
I was also about to attend Coach Brokaw’s presentation about the small school strength coach. Coach Brokaw obviously loves his job as his enthusiasm was apparent during his talk. The strategies he uses while working with his kids as well as his unique path into strength and conditioning was fun to hear and inspiring. When we first went on lockdown a goal I set for myself was to learn more about sprint mechanics and programming for speed work. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on books and seminars since then and I think I learned more during Coach Garrish’s presentation on linear speed than I did all of quarantine. Coach Garish had videos demonstrating the specific drill he was teaching along with slow motion break downs. He really did an exceptional job and I am looking forward to the video replay of that one.
To wrap everything up Coach Boone gave the keynote speech and as always he did not disappoint. I’ve only had the opportunity to hear Coach Boone speak on two occasions, but each time I find myself frantically writing notes as he continues to hit me with leadership nuggets while challenging me to improve. This time was no different and when he said “What you tolerate, you promote.” I made sure to write that down and underline it several times. I found myself thinking about my daily interactions with other coaches, students, educators, and administrators. I asked myself what were the small seemingly trivial things that I tolerate but go against my standards and what were the consequences of my actions and more importantly what kind of clues am I leaving for my students and athletes by “tolerating” certain things, because like Coach Boone says, “Leadership leaves clues.” Coach Boone's keynote was worth the price of admission alone and I have definitely focused on my daily actions and interactions more so since listening to his speech.
NatCon Reloaded was outstanding. Our leadership showed up and made sure even though we couldn’t congregate in person we were still able to connect and learn from one another. I am still disappointed I couldn’t make the pilgrimage to Minnesota as this would have been my first time at the conference. I am proud to be associated with a group that was able to adapt and overcome for its members.