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Team Conditioning Systems:
How I Spent My Summer - Part I

Monday, August 21, 2006

By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Physical Fitness Advisor

Professionally, this was probably the best the summer I have ever had! This piece is broken up into two parts, the first part is about the knowledge I have acquired. I spent this summer talking to old friends in the game who helped me revise some of the old concepts that I was working with, let me tell you, being on the other side of the educational model of this business can be pretty painful. The guys I know don’t like people to come and observe, these guys want you to go through the process just like the athletes I will be putting through these things, and truth be told, this is what makes me a more compassionate coach.

I spent some time at the National Strength and Conditioning Coach’s Association’s national convention in Washington D.C., was surprised to notice that I didn’t see many people in the business from South Jersey, which kind of surprised me. I know that there are people who may be against organizations like the NSCA, I was one of them for awhile, but the value they bring to a conditioning coach is immeasurable. As a member you have access to some of the greatest minds in the business, and not taking advantage of that is doing your athletes a disservice. Meeting with the vendors, people who can help fill in some of the holes that may arise in your athletic programs, is also a great thing. One of the more common thoughts in this business is that “it’s all about relationships” and if that’s the case then how can you create them if you aren’t where the vendors are?

While I was there had the chance to catch up with a couple of guys who were instrumental in my development, guys like Boyd Epley, former Director of Performance Enhancement at the University of Nebraska, who in 1992 explained to me pretty much all that I needed to know. And for that I will be forever grateful, the other guy is a beast! His name is Juan Carlos Santana, let me tell me you, this guy is one of the greatest minds in the business, he has the ability to get people to buy into a system and do amazing things in the sport of their choice.

This guy is a proponent of “Body weight” exercises; know that the things this guy talks about are tough. People who know me I don’t scare easily, listening to this guy fully got my attention. This was not the first time I heard him speak; I had a chance to meet him when he came to New Jersey a couple of years ago. “JC” is a guy who is makes himself available to people who want to make athletes better, he isn’t one of those guys who shows up in a suit and talks a bunch of “theories” this guy has been and still is in the trenches getting his hands dirty and does what he does well.

The conference on the whole was informative, and I can’t stress enough, that if you want to be involved with the preparation of athletes then getting involved with the NSCA is a great place to start.

Photos by Nancy Pope

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