Every day across the world coaches wake up with a mission of helping student athletes in sports and in life. Nearly 300 hundred coaches attended the National High School Strength and Conditioning Association (NHSSCA) National Conference this year in Noblesville, Indiana. The event, which was hosted at Noblesville High School, is special and a reflection of the spirit and dedication of the men and women who are helping our youth not only become great athletes but the leaders of tomorrow.
Over 35,000 high schools in the United States serve 17.5 million students with millions of these young people participating in sports. So, it is unquestionable how much of an impact sports and coaches have on our youth. The NHSSCA provides education, experience, resources, and the chance to build relationships with and among high school coaches who want to make a difference in the lives of their student-athletes.
This national event, led by top strength professionals, included more than just strength and conditioning topics, it provided coaches with the tools and wisdom to develop their programs and athletes. NHSSCA did a great job inviting outstanding speakers to share their experiences and knowledge.
The conference pre-con included Strength and Conditioning coach Micah Kurtz who is the Director of Sports Performance at Windermere Preparatory School and consultant coach to Oak Hill Academy basketball program. His 3 talks included “5 Reasons Why Every High School Should Have a Full-Time Strength & Conditioning Coach”, “5 Core Values and Philosophy”, and “Using Your Position to Not Only Maximize the Athletic Potential of Your Student-Athletes but Also Your Entire School Community”. Coach Kurtz’s demeanor was positive and inspiring. He made sure to thank and shake every vendor's hand for supporting the event. Coach Kurtz wasn’t there to just provide information, he was there to unify the strength coaches and reinforce the community of the NHSSCA.
Mike Boyle, the co-founder of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, led the event with the keynote address. With an extensive background in strength and conditioning and a track record serving the Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, and the US Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team, Coach Boyle has been a featured speaker at numerous events and the NHSSCA attendees were in for a treat. His keynote was titled “Success Secrets and Lessons from the Last 35 Years”. These secrets weren’t about physical training they were about life and character building. One of his very first lessons was advising everyone to read. Coach Boyle said, “Just read 10 pages a day, everyone has time to read 10 pages a day”. He even recommended a few books that should be a requirement for everyone. Now, this advice isn’t groundbreaking, but when coaches heard it from a such a successful trainer in their field, it had an impact. Great life advice like that shared by Coach Boyle is how the NHSSCA National Conference does more than just provide coaches with training information.
The NHSSCA National Conference had some other great presenters and speakers. John Garrish, Jr. spoke about “The Coach & Social Media”. Richard Burnett had a mini-session on “Developing an Internship Program”. Fred Eaves covered “Fundraising Ideas & Opportunities”. These coaches, as well as Mike Boyle and Micah Kurtz, are more than just strength and conditioning coaches providing information. They are leaders that are making a difference in people’s lives. They want to help high school coaches develop their programs and character. The NHSSCA did a fantastic job making sure the speakers shared their life experiences and lessons. That is what great coaches do and I highly recommend anyone who can attend the NHSSCA do so in the future. The next time you see a high school coach, shake their hand because these professionals are dedicated to make a difference in the lives of our young people every day.