Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Graduation- Jacob Martin

Jacob Martin will be graduating this semester, Fall 2012, with a Masters in Kinesiology. He plans on staying at Tarleton State University and plans on continuing to help with the football team.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NEWS FLASH: Athletic Trainers are on Twitter!

In the field of Athletic Training, we have grown leaps and bounds in the use of today’s technology. It allows us to perform more advanced rehabilitation and treatment methods for athletes or patients who are not responding to traditional methods.  Athletic Trainers rely on other professionals to share advice concerning issues in various rehab programs, about trends in new equipment, or even to get feedback on their research efforts.
Technology today has made communicating with others so much easier. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association (N.A.T.A.) has made efforts to provide more communication options for Athletic Trainers. There is a national conference held every year for Athletic Trainers across the country to come together and learn about new rehab or treatment options, meet vendors and learn about their products, and to interact with other Athletic Trainers. This conference is where many Athletic Trainers can present their research projects and discoveries. N.A.T.A. also has a website where Athletic Trainers can login as members in the organization. This member only site allows employers to post job openings and for prospective employees to view the various job opportunities in the world of Athletic Training.
Other social media sites that have become very popular with Athletic Training organizations, programs and individuals are Facebook and Twitter. In particular, Twitter has become a place where organizations can post upcoming events, recognize professionals in the field, and showcase research efforts.  Lately, concussions have been highlighted; the passage of new laws and establishment of new protocols has increased the awareness about concussions with professionals, athletes, and even parents.
As an Athletic Trainer, I have found the social media networks (Twitter, Career Athletes, LinkedIn, etc.) extremely beneficial for my present and future job choice. This allows me to network with more people in the field and to make my name in the field of Athletic Training. As the world is changing and moving faster, our profession is learning to change with it. Social networking sites help to bring awareness to the rest of the community related to the efforts that Athletic Trainers are making in not only athletics, but also the world!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dr. Joe Gillespie Receives the Regents Professor Award from the Texas A&M University System

     Dr. Joe W. Gillespie has been named a Regents Professor for exemplary service to The Texas A&M University System. Since 1997, only seven professors from Tarleton State University have received this prestigious award.   
     Dr. Gillespie came to Tarleton State University in 1973 as head track coach and assistant football coach. Since his arrival on campus he has served as chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education, Athletic Director and Dean of Education.  A strong leader, Dr. Gillespie possesses a can-do spirit, solid work ethic, and no-nonsense attitude that motivates those around him to  aspire to be their very best.     
     Dr. Gillespie, you are indeed worthy of this honor!  Congratulations!  We all love you!!!

Share Your Thoughts, Please!

Please feel free to share your thoughts about the various posts on this blog.  We truly value your opinions and want our readers to be active participants in discussions related to the Kinesiology discipline.   You may post a REPLY anonymously or you may become a FOLLOWER of this blog and post a REPLY with your name.   Whichever method you choose, please get involved.  

I envision a future where there will be 300 million reporters, where anyone from anywhere can report for any reason.  It's freedom of participation absolutely realized.    --- Matt Drudge

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Social Media: Strength & Conditioning

     Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and several more social media sites are an absolute staple in staying current with what is evolving in Strength and Conditioning (S&C).  Blogs about a new S&C profession, information about  upcoming S&C events such as seminars or conferences, or  posts about what training methods another university is implementing  are all ways other coaches can develop new and better ways to train athletes.  Social media in S&C profession allows for Strength and Conditioning coaches to keep in touch; when it comes to finding a job, it is all about who you know and networking.  Staying connected with other strength coaches is crucial to this process of your professional development.
     Female Strength Coaches and Social Media.   As a female in this profession, it is understood that we are a minority in a male-dominated field.  It is important that we stay connected and support each other, because most of us at some point have experienced stress dealing with male colleagues. One way to find support and assurance is through an organization called the Young Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (YSCCA).  This organization has a social media site that provides opportunities for blogging, sharing experiences, and learning wisdom from the veteran female strength coaches who have made it big. This has been one of the more empowering social media tools that has helped me stay confident in myself and in my training.  It is nice to know I am not alone and people are willing to help me become a better professional.
     Social Media and Untrained Athletes.  YouTube has been one of the most used social media tools for training and coaching development.  College S&C coaches utilize YouTube to demonstrate exercise techniques for incoming freshman as well as upper classman.  The majority of freshman are untrained and may not have heard of some of the exercises prescribed to them, so the video instructions give them a place to go and so they can learn the movement properly and come to the season prepared physically and mentally.   The same principle holds true for returning athletes who may return home during the summer months; the YouTube video instruction provides a source of guidance for those athletes who are unsupervised while training. 
     Final Thoughts.  If you want to pursue the S&C profession, then it is highly suggested that you get involved and stay connected in as many ways as possible.  Get your name out there.  The more a potential employer sees your name and the more you interact, the better chances you have at getting a job down the road.  Social media is a free and an easily accessible way to help you grow as a coach. One day you might be the coach that everyone wants to learn from; put your name out there and promote yourself so that you are not easily forgotten!

The Impact of Social Networking on Employment

When applying for a job, employers often check potential applicants’ profiles on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter to see if a person is worthy of employment. Job seekers with social network profiles should double check their social media sites to make sure they do not have any negative information that would hurt their chances  of landing a job.  According to Greysen, Kind, & Chretien (2010) “The Internet has changed many interactions between professionals and the public. The recent development of Web 2.0 applications (also known as “social media”) has created particular hazards for public views of certain professions. School teachers and lawyers across the country have been sanctioned or fired for online indiscretions felt to violate societal expectations for how they represent their personal lives in the public sphere” (p. 1227).
Social media can have a tremendous impact on a professional career. As I apply for coaching and teaching jobs, I know there is a good chance that the school districts who are interested in me will probably take a glance at my Facebook and Twitter. It is my duty to make sure that my Facebook and Twitter pages are professional. If my future employers decide to review my social network profiles, I want my pages to be the determining factor for me actually getting the job. I do not blame employers for viewing future or current employees’ social network profiles, because the people that they hire to work for them will ultimately represent the company’s image. My social networking sites are clean, professional, and present me in a positive light. I encourage all coaches to check their social networking sites before applying for a job.
Greysen, S., Kind, T., & Chretien, K. (2010). Online professionalism and the mirror of social media. Journal Of General Internal Medicine, 25(11), 1227-1229.

College Athletes and Twitter

     Twitter has taken the world by storm and has had a tremendous impact in the sports world. A question that is frequently being asked and discussed among head coaches around the NCAA is "Should college athletes be allowed to use twitter during in-season competition?".   The answer to this question can be addressed by simply pointing to the techniques used by professional scouts who often monitor tweets of potential recruits to get a better understanding of their character and maturity. As it relates to the future career of these athletes, 'trash tweets' may result in contracts not being offered or offers made that with significantly lower salaries.
     Controversy can erupt when athletes post something vulgar or offensive to their Twitter of Facebook accounts. This controversy can have immediate or future consequences. For example, the athlete is linked with the university therefore the university is automatically affiliated with that comment. That alone may hurt the affiliated school’s reputation and possibly cause the loss of future recruits.
     If you want to make a statement and you want it to be noticed Twitter is definitely the place. Athletes tweet their thoughts at any particular time on any subject.  However, Twitter can be the place to make a deplorable mistake; your feelings about a certain topic may change after you've had time to 'cool off', but once you post a tweet you cannot take it back. The backlash you might receive will make you regret the tweet.  The concerns are that these tweets come directly from the athlete; it’s their own words, their own thoughts. Their words cannot get twisted or misconstrued because it’s exactly what they wrote.
     On a personal note, I do not think it’s right to ban athletes from using social media while in-season because this is the way most young people communicate. Corporations and government officials tweet their opinions but they do so in appropriate professional manner. Athletes should be able to voice their opinions as well but they must understand the possible consequences that come with hasty tweets. Twitter might not be the ideal place to discuss your thoughts about all topics or air your dirty laundry but it can get you rapid attention.  Final Thought:  If you do not want your mother to see it or hear it, then I don't recommend tweeting it!

Personal Training Certification

     If you are wondering if it is necessary to become certified in personal training then look no further. If two people were in the running for a personal training job and one was certified and one wasn’t, who would you hire? Did you know that physicians are checking the experience and qualifications of personal trainers before making patient referrals? Communication skills, leadership traits, and a good personality are important but on paper (the resume) it’s all about certifications.
     Choosing the organization that provides the best certification can be frustrating because there are many things to consider. You need to determine how the certification will be used, whether it’s for working with a special population, in a particular environment, or to demonstrate marketability. You also need to determine what is expected from the certifying organization, such as networking, continuing education, and requirement regarding liability insurance. Ask your potential employers what certifications they prefer or require. Survey other professionals in positions related to yours and ask what certifications they have obtained. Finally, contact the actual professional organization and ask about their certifications and what they can do for you. The benefits of having a certification include:  verifies your level of knowledge, skills, and abilities; recognizes your commitment to being a professional; aids employers in hiring the best person; assures participants that they will receive safe and effective guidance; facilitates marketing; and requires a continuing education system which requires a commitment to maintaining knowledge and skills.
     Each fitness director will have different certification preferences. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is universally recognized as a leader in the fitness industry; however, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is also among the top providers of certifications. The ACE Personal Trainer Certification is now being recommended for college credit by the College Credit Recommendation Service and it is currently the first and only organization to have this academic recognition for fitness certification exams. ACE has lobbied against any licensure of fitness professionals because the majority of their certifications are held by people who do not have college degrees. There are four minimum requirements to sit for the ACE certification exam:
1. You have to be at least 18 years of age.
2. Have current adult CPR.
3. Have 300 hours of work experience designing and implementing exercise programs for apparently healthy individuals and/or high risk individuals, to be documented by a qualified professional (e.g., allied health professional, fitness director, club manager, professor, etc.)
4. (a) You must have a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education (courses in: exercise physiology, programming, and leadership), Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Adapted Physical Education, Athletic Training, or Physical Therapy. OR (b) have current certification as an ACE-certified Personal Trainer, ACSM Exercise Test Technologist, ACSM Exercise Specialist, ACSM Health/Fitness Director, ACSM Program Director, or NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.
     Becoming certified can be very beneficial to your clients, employers, and to yourself.  If personal training is the job for you, then becoming certified is your next step.

Social Media in Sport

      Social media has a major influence on the world today and has provided a way for people in it to connect like never before. Perhaps the biggest influence of social media today is in the world of sport. From Facebook to Twitter, social media allows fans and critics to connect with their favorite teams, athletes, and coaches. Mainstream sports are driven by social media and the rapid attention it can bring to a team, player, or specific issue within the sports culture.  
     Communicating with high profile athletes used to be something that was very rare but is now an everyday experience thanks to social media. Sports fans have always dreamed of being close with their idols and social media provides opportunities for them to connect with their favorite players. Fans can gain more information and insight about their favorite players and teams by following them on Twitter or Facebook. These social networking sites also provide fans opportunities to meet their favorite athletes as well as win prizes such as tickets and memorabilia through various competitions on Twitter and Facebook.
     Social media has had many positive effects on the sports world, but it has also provided some negative experiences for some athletes and organizations. Because social media is such a big part of the sports world today, it is constantly seen by anyone who uses Twitter or Facebook.  High profile athletes are already watched through a magnifying glass and exploited when they say or do anything wrong; social media has enhanced that scrutiny. For example - when athletes give their two cents on issues regarding NFL president Roger Goodell, they are at risk of getting fined and having their words exposed on every sports show out there. Athletes have to be careful about what they say on social media outlets because they are constantly viewed and criticized by the media and sports analyst. Although social media is a great way for athletes to show their passion and appreciation for the fans, it is also just another way they are constantly being watched and ridiculed for things they might say or do.

The Sports Connection

     Social media has completely changed the way in which the world communicates on a daily basis. Individuals can instantly “post” something on the web through social networks and spread their thoughts to the world about any and everything imaginable. Many people have used social networks such as mySpace, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as blogs and other social mediums to become wealthy and famous individuals. So what has this world sharing and connecting with each other via the web done to the sports world and careers of some individuals?
     Sports fans dream about being close to their favorite athletes and communicating with them on a daily basis; social media sites have allowed this dream to come true. With networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the average person can befriend and follow their favorite athletes on these social networks and feel even closer than just watching them during their games or on the news. In return, the athletes can interact freely and from a safe distance with their fans on a regular, laid-back basis. Athletes can show their gratitude towards fans on a more personal level and really connect with the people who support them in their careers. Fans can follow these stars in their daily activities and express their feelings, bad or good, to the athlete in ways that otherwise would not be possible without social networks.
     However with the power of social networks comes responsibility. As in all jobs and professions, individuals must be held accountable for their actions and in today’s world they must be held responsible for their words. With social media networks, the ability to vent and let your frustrations be known is just a quick touch or click away from being distributed for the entire world to see. Athletes must be cautious of what they post to their personal accounts and to whom they direct their comments or rants. Many instances have occurred where a few words sent during vulnerable times have cost these individuals thousands of dollars and sometimes playing time. The New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire was fined $50k by the NBA in June of this year for using a homophobic slur in a post.
     The world of social media is ever evolving but it is here to stay. It is an amazing resource for information and connections in our internet driven world. The possibilities are endless in what one can accomplish through these networks. But with all things, it must be used in a responsible manner. 

Coaching: Using Social Media to Get Ahead

     Social media has become a large part of today’s society; 850 million people have a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account.  In the world of coaching, there are positives and negatives to players being able to express themselves as openly as they want, whenever they want through social media.  There are two main social media websites, Hudl and Facebook, which have had a major impact on coaching.
     Hudl is a web-based video editing program that is used by almost every high school, and some colleges, in the nation.  It allows coaches to upload game, practice or opponent video to their personal website and share it with players and other coaches.  Coaches can watch film, breakdown an opponent, and communicate with their players through this website.  Hudl allows coaches to spend less time in the office and more time at home with their families by allowing them to have access to everything that they need to make a game plan and study their opponent.  Praise or corrections can now be shared instantly from coach to player by using the voice recording and drawing feature.  Instead of driving all night to meet another coach half way between schools, Hudl allows coaches to exchange video instantly.
     Hudl has also affected recruiting by allowing players to instantly create their own highlight films that can be “Googled” by a college coach.  This feature has made recruiting easier, because now a college coach does not have to wait on the high school coach to make the highlight film, put it on tape or DVD, and send it to the college via FedEx.  High school coaches can share the film featuring multiple players with college coaches as well as through the traditional email route.  Hudl has revolutionized the sport of football; video editing and sharing are as simple as a ‘click of the mouse’ enabling high school and college coaches to effectively and efficiently coach and recruit players.
     Facebook has changed the way people communicate and stay in touch.  Friends who haven’t seen each other in years are able to keep up with one another through messaging and posting on one’s “wall”.  Facebook has had both a negative and positive impact on sports.  A coach should be aware of how instantaneously a Facebook post can ignite controversy or shed a negative light on a program.  Coaches need to constantly monitor their players’ Facebook pages to ensure that these players are not sharing information or pictures that could potentially hurt the athlete or the program.  Conversely, with the new NCAA rules college coaches can use Facebook to their advantage.  Contacting potential recruits and being able to find information about them, such as a phone number or their behavior outside of sports, is vital to building a quality program.  Facebook is also allowing coaches and players to connect without the trouble of going through third parties.
     Social media is changing the way our world communicates and shares information.  It has aided in many aspects of coaching, such as video and information sharing. However, coaches should be aware of the positive and negative aspects of online information, know what to expect, and how to protect their players and program.

Let's Hudl Up!

In today’s society, communication has moved from a personal, face-to-face interaction to electronic forms of communication by way of mobile phones, computers and other wireless devices. This has transformed our society into an instant “I need it right now” society. Social media comes with its positives and negative. The social media site that will have a positive impact on my career and profession is Hudl.
Hudl, a lifeline for coaches at all levels, was started by a group of guys who were astonished that in today’s age of information and technology there was so much time and effort spent dubbing DVDs, recording/editing film and creating massive  playbooks for their players. So they created a network that would make things easier for everyone. How will Hudl impact me? Coaches can login to Hudl from anywhere. The site allows coaches to breakdown film and stats, give analysis on the actual film which they can share directly with their athletes, create tendency reports, or simply package a highlight film. That’s a major advantage for coaches and athletes in game planning from week to week.
Prior to Hudl, coach and athletes would have to meet before school, maybe during lunch, before practice and after practice just to watch film. Now those times can be reduced since players have access to film study from home or anywhere as long as there is internet access. Coaches no longer have to mail or meet their next opponent at the half-way point just to exchange game film; with one click of a button coaches can upload the game film directly to their opponent through Hudl. Instead of creating several DVD’s to send to hundreds of colleges during the recruiting process, now time and effort is saved by one site.  These are only a few examples and benefits of Hudl.  In the world of coaching, time management is everything; Hudl allows the coaches to productively use their time. The simplicity and effectiveness of the Hudl social network has just begun to scratch the surface of the sports world as coaches realize the potential for improving their profession.

Twitter: New Era of Score Reporting

     The social media outlet Twitter was created in 2006 and has since evolved to change the way people communicate with each other, express their opinions, and provide up to the minute information on just about every topic imagined. One change that the growth of Twitter has caused is how quickly and easily scores can be discovered and shared by via Twitter. The Internet as a whole greatly changed the way that scores and statistics are shared and greatly improved the speed in which results could be shared and discovered. The emergence of Twitter has taken score reporting to a whole new level, much easier and faster than using the basic Internet tools and resources. Scores of all sports and leagues are shared and discussed on Twitter every day. Great games played on live TV will often be trending topics on Twitter as the games are played or as the games end. The Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA Finals are often trending and being discussed for days after the end of the contests.
     Twitter is also useful for keeping up with non-professional sports teams. High school football reporting has seen a great change since Twitter came into existence. Prior to the Internet, scores were reported the day after a game in a local newspaper. Scores reported to a newspaper would likely be scores from that area and be reported at least one day late. The Internet improved the speed in which scores were reported and also allowed people from all over the world to search for the scores that they are interested in. Newspaper websites and websites devoted specifically to covering high school sports are the leading ways to discover scores online. Scores are generally posted online at the conclusion of the game and are normally all available the morning after a game is played.
     Twitter has taken high school football score reporting to a higher level. Scores are now updated and posted during a game. People interested in just about any game can search and look up how their team is doing and keep up with the score of the game as it is being played. Newspapers and radio stations will often Tweet scores and updates of games in their area. Fans also Tweet score updates during and following football games each week. Scores can be discovered as they happen by simply searching for the desired teams and using the correct key words in order to find a score. 
     Twitter connects the world. High school football scores are shared and reported each weekend and are available to the entire network of Twitter users. Over 50 million users have jumped on board and have access to the great wealth of knowledge that Twitter presents on any variety of topics. Twitter can be used as a fun way to communicate with friends and it can also be a way to keep up with your favorite sports team!

The Impact of Social Media on Careers

In the advanced world of technology that we live in, most people are using at least one form of social media.  Facebook is possibly the most popular and the one that is commonly known among social media users and non-users alike.  Many people are using social media to share their life with others, but lately social media has been commonly used for job searches and career advertisement.  The impact of a social media site on your career can either be positive or negative … you are the one in charge of determining that.  Students can look for a job using social media to gather information about organizations and job offers.  On the flip side, recruiters of organizations can look for information about future candidates who may apply for jobs with their company. 
The most common purpose of social media to use it to share one’s personal life and post pictures or status updates all of which usually express the person’s personality and emotions.  However, this can be dangerous when applying for a job.  With the current economic state of our country, positions for jobs are extremely competitive and recruiters want to gather as much information about candidates as they can.  Social media is the easiest way to do this.  Reasons that you may be turned down from job as it relates to social media include: inappropriate photos or information; photos of drinking or drug use; status updates speaking poorly about previous employers, co-workers, or clients; poor communication skills; discriminatory comments; crude language; or lying about qualifications.   The simplest way to avoid any of these misfortunes is to be very careful about what you post on your social media site.  Once something is posted on the Internet it is on there forever.  Even if you think you delete it.  It is no question that the right connections can land you a great job, so don’t be afraid to use social media.  Just be sure to use it wisely, carefully, and purposefully!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Social Media Does Work!

     In today's society, how prevalent is the role of social media?  In your specific field of expertise, has social media changed how things are done? Whether it be interactions between friends, marketing purposes, or networking with colleagues, social media has affected the world in such a significant way that it is difficult  to believe that we ever lived without Blogs, Twitter, or Facebook. It seems that social media has become second nature to people of all ages.
     In the world of Kinesiology, specifically baseball, social media has opened up a wealth of opportunities for me that I was previously unaware of. Before this semester, I had never blogged or even looked at Twitter. The only form of social media I had experienced was Facebook (Myspace as well but that was in the eighth grade). Once I was acquainted with Twitter and blogging at the beginning of this semester, I realized what huge opportunities they both provide for my professional career. Not only does everyone in our class have a Twitter account but the majority of the players/coaches in minor league baseball have one as well. This allows me to interact with them constantly throughout the year, allowing for potential new opportunities within the game. I will be aware of any and all activity that comes about throughout the off-season. 
     I have also come to realize that almost every company that exists in the entire world is active on Twitter. There have been many instances where I have followed companies in hopes to get in contact with them and possibly land a job with them one day.
     Social media today has become a cornerstone for marketing and networking, it will surely be an important part of the workforce for many years to come.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gangnam Style: Social Media & Athletic Recruiting

    The distribution of information made possible by social media can be highly influential in aiding in the course of a person’s professional career, especially as an amateur athlete. Instantaneous transmission of visual information may be the means by which many athletic opportunities arise.  Exposure creates the highest possibility in landing a place to play at the next level whether it be at the collegiate or professional level.  Social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have created unobstructed pathways for providing vital visual information to scouts and professional organizations looking for quality athletes. 
    My athletic career may have been very different if Social Media had been available.  In my personal experience, the downfall to attending a small 2A high school in Texas was the lack of exposure.  If you were good and made the daily newspaper week-to-week during season, your success was visible to everyone in the town who read the paper; in my case, approximately 4,000 people.  Yet, when searching for a place to play collegiate ball, the coaches would ask for a highlight video so that they could see you in action.  Providing video to the college coaches required making a disc with a compilation of playing time and “snail-mailing” it, instead of simply recording an adequate amount of good performance and pushing the “upload” button.  The social networks were not as prevalent then as they are today. If smart-phones had been readily available and synced with Social Media networks during my stint in high school, I feel that my collegiate career would have been greatly enhanced.    
    Although my collegiate baseball career is coming to an end, a crucial turning point regarding my professional career is right around the corner.  Baseball is a cut-throat business; utilizing social networks will optimize my chances of landing a position on a professional roster.  If scouts are able to see consistency in my athletic performance then they may be more likely to make me a part of their program. Uploading my highlight videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks may have a tremendous positive impact on my future; however, nothing will replace the necessity to perform with excellence on a daily basis.
    Technology has made it possible for many athletes to achieve desired goals via ease of information through social networks.  With the right information in front of the right individual, the possibilities of career advancement may become endless.  May this blog topic be a reminder to use the tools that are readily available to assist you in your ongoing pursuit of excellence. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Twitter Fans --- FOLLOW US!!!

Do you Tweet?   If so, join our Social Media efforts by FOLLOWING US on Twitter.   What a great way to get a quick daily dose of interesting Kinesiology facts!!!   We would love to FOLLOW YOU as well...let's TWEET UP all things Kinesiology...join the team and show your STRENGTH WITHIN!!!

LIKE US on Facebook

Please support our Social Media efforts ... LIKE US on Facebook!   This is a great way to follow our day to day posts about all of the happenings in the Kinesiology Graduate Program at Tarleton State University.

Digital Storytelling

The Kinesiology graduate students at Tarleton State University are incredibly creative and excel when asked to think 'outside the box'. Tasked with developing a fresh way to showcase the leadership qualities that our program embraces and expects resulted in this powerful video. Thanks to Colt Molloy & Miguel Ramirez for demonstrating their STRENGTH WITHIN ... these gentlemen are outstanding leaders!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Success Story --- Clinical Exercise Physiology

Kyle Armstrong, Clinical Exercise Physiologist / Research Associate, received his B.S. in Kinesiology at Tarleton State University and then moved to Pennsylvania to study Exercise Physiology at East Stroudsburg University where he completed his M.S. degree. Kyle is employed at the Cerebrovascular Function Laboratory with the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital – Dallas). An avid learner, Kyle will be graduating with his M.Ed. in Kinesiology at Tarleton State University in December 2012. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


Kolin Styles (TSU '12) is the Track & Cross Country Coach at Pantego Christian Academy in Arlington.   Coach Styles has been actively involved in coaching athletes for many years and regularly competes in road races and marathons.  He will serve as an excellent role model as he recently won the Cowtown Marathon and qualified for the New York City Marathon.  Coach Styles is a true professional who displays his STRENGTH WITHIN while going the distance!   Way to go, Kolin ... the TSU Kinesiology Graduate Program is proud of your accomplishments!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Elite Class --- Obtaining the Master's Degree

Did You Know --- In 2009, the United States Census Bureau reported that less than 8% of Texans (and less than 9% of Americans) have obtained an Advanced Degree such as a Master's or Doctoral degree.   That is a strong indicator that our KINE Graduate Students are LEADERS in their profession.   These students are among the elite class of individuals who have worked so diligently to become the very best!    As Michelangelo, the famous Renaissance sculptor and painter, so eloquently stated The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

Hats off to our Kinesiology Graduate Students for always aiming high AND hitting the mark!   There is STRENGTH WITHIN that fuels the professional passion and drive of our Tarleton students. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Success Story

Will Kaing (TSU '11) has just accepted a job as an Outreach Specialist at Tarleton State University's Metroplex Center in Fort Worth.   A fitness fanatic, Will conducted research on herbal supplements and completed a thesis titled: Tribulus Terrestris: A Study of Its Effects on Strength, Body Composition, and Cardiovascular Health.    Fitness, health, wellness, and reaching out to future TSU students ... now that is Strength Within!   

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Excuses, Excuses, EXCUSES!

I’m certain we’ve all heard it before, if not said it a hundred times ourselves, I’ve fallen off the ‘workout wagon’. It’s our job to help motivate people to get back on the wagon whether it’s through sports, fitness, physical therapy, or any other physical activity, right?

Whenever there are millions, trillions, gazillions of excuses how are we supposed to combat them all? I’m so busyYou don’t live in the same town … The class times are always opposite of my scheduleI don’t know what to doI don’t like working outI need someone there with meI don’t like working out with other people. Stop already! If it’s important to you…you will make time for it.

So, that’s the query, the conundrum, the giant elephant of a question – how do we help them make it important? There is a part of me that responds by overworking myself. I offer classes whenever I can through Live Online classes (where they can workout AT HOME with me right there guiding them), free online videos on YouTube, and offering classes in 3 (count ‘em) three different cities. Really there isn’t room for excuses anymore, yet people don’t do it – they’ll still gripe and complain – but nevertheless don’t do it. How do we ‘the professionals’ reach through the excuses and really grab hold of their hearts…then keep them coming back for more?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Instant Replay: A Game Changer

Over the last decade, instant replay in sports has evolved greatly and has become a normal part of most sports, especially football and basketball. Instant replay has changed the way games are watched, played, and most importantly, officiated. Sports can now be viewed from a variety of different angles, speeds and zoom, allowing officials and viewers watching television an unparalleled perspective of true in game action frame by frame. Instant replay has slowed game play down in sports like football where every scoring play is reviewed. Coaches can now challenge an official’s ruling on the field with instant replay and get a call overturned. What happened to the idea of sport officials and referees being the judges of a game in which their calls during competition are made from their own personal decision? Is this not the point of having referees in a game? With instant replay becoming the ultimate judge and jury during competition, there have been strong arguments for both sides of instant replay.
With the recent emergence of instant replay in baseball, there has been much controversy over what and how much instant replay should be used. The game of baseball is known as “America’s Pastime” and for over a century the game has seen little change to its rules. Baseball games have always been called by an umpire’s judgment and never been allowed to be overturned --- until now. Instant replay has now allowed umpire’s to look at close calls during a game and overturn them with substantial evidence from replay. A homerun, or a bang-bang play at first base or home plate, can all now be seen and called one hundred percent correctly through the all-seeing eye of instant replay. In my opinion, the idea of taking away an umpire’s authority and their judgment call during a game takes away from the excitement and passion of the game. The reason umpires are on the field is to call the game fairly…as they see it…no matter if it is the right call or not…that is their job.
Baseball is “Americas Pastime” for a reason --- the tradition and consistency it has held for over a century. Baseball has seen the least amount of rule change within the sport out of all mainstream sports and bringing instant replay into baseball is neither needed nor necessary for making baseball better. 

Why do Top High Black Athletes go to Predominantly White Institutions over Historically Black Colleges and Universities

October is an exciting month for football and with it comes one of the largest athletic events in Texas to the State Fair --- the Grambling State University versus Prairie View A&M University football rivalry. This football game is one of the biggest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) classics in the nation. As a black man (and future coach), I started pondering the question as to “why don’t more top high school black athletes attend HBCUs”.
     I believe there are many factors that high school athletes consider when they are being recruited by college athletic programs. For the top high school African American athletes, they must choose between prominently white institutions (PWI) and HBCUs. After researching and discussing the topic with many others, I formed the following opinion on the matter.
     I think that coaches from PWIs do a better job recruiting top black high school athletes than coaches at HBCUs. I’m convinced that some black student athletes view college as an opportunity to better their life especially the ones from low income families. Most black student athletes want to play professional sports so they can provide for their family. Another example of top black high school recruit choosing PWIs is most likely due to the fact that most are higher ranking Division I colleges and as such receive national television exposure each week. It’s not often that you see HBCUs playing any kind of sports on national television. These young men go off to colleges with high expectations about their athletic abilities. I feel like they choose to go to prominently white institutions in order to have a better opportunity of achieve their goals.            
     Top African American recruits prefer to go to higher ranking Division I colleges because they have a better chance of making it to the NFL. When I started playing football at a young age I use to have dreams of playing in the NFL. Almost every guy who has played organization football has dreamed of making it to the NFL. Yet, athletes that play for the HBCUs are often overlooked by the NFL scouts. How often have you seen televised games from the SWAC or MEAC Conferences?
     Athletic facilities are another factor in the decision making process. Most PWIs have state-of-the-art athletic facilities. According to research conducted by Joseph (2008), “What has hurt HBCUs in recruiting is the lack of premier athletic facilities, which has in part been one of the most noticeable funding disparities greatly affecting their football programs”. It is simplistic but true - more top black athletes go to PWIs over HBCU because their athletic facilities are simply better.
     Top black athletes should choose the colleges that are going to help them succeed in life. When comparing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to Primarily White Institutions (PWI), I truly believe that PWIs give top black athletes a greater chance of fulfilling their goals and aspirations.
Joseph, J. (2008). Black Students Athletes Changing Football at HBCUs.

Show Me the Proof Or Give Me the Titles

     Around the beginning of March 2012, the story of Lance Armstrong’s fight against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and their accusations of doping throughout his seven Tour de France victories was released. With this, Armstrong basically relinquished his seven titles and permanently stained the Live Strong reputation that he had worked for many years to create.
     Now whether a person is on the side of “he did it” or “he is innocent” is not the point of this commentary. I completely support the sporting world in its efforts to punished cheaters to the fullest extent of the law, whether it is federal or within their specific sport. However, what I cannot support are the cases of allegation have begun because of a “he said/she said” situation instead of having hard evidence to back the accusations.
     Armstrong has never refused to participate in drug testing; in fact he has passed hundreds of drug test over the years. He has faced claims of cheating ever since he began to have success in the cycling world back in 1999. A fierce competitor and defender of his integrity, Armstrong has never backed down from the doping accusations and has fought them any way he could. And now, at this point in his life he feels it is not worth the fight anymore.
     The way I see it, I know he won those seven Tour de France titles.  The people he raced against know they were watching the back of his jersey as he crossed the finish line. If he cheated to accomplish these victories, then he should be persecuted for his actions. Yet, there are no records of failed drug tests throughout his entire career. If there is solid evidence of doping then his accusers should present the proof and he will have to face the consequences. But the bottom line is that the American judicial system is based on the premise of innocent until proven guilty. It does not sit well with me that Lance Armstrong’s legacy is being tarnished when there is absolutely no solid evidence.  

Meal Replacement Shakes – The Latest Rage

     We all probably know someone who has experimented with the latest rage of meal replacement shakes.  Perhaps you have tried one yourself.  Many people have had success losing weight by using shakes instead of meals.  Some of the more popular brands are ViSalus (Body by Vi) or Advocare.  Most people love them because they don’t have to think about food, plan meals in advance, or buy expensive products.  Meal replacement shakes may be a great start for someone who is trying to lose weight and is intimidated by thinking about calories and making healthy choices.  Breakfast is a meal that lots of people skip simply because they think they don’t have time.  But a breakfast alternative is the meal replacement shake --- how easy to grab a shake on the way out the door!
     Some people believe they can start on meal replacement shakes and then once the weight is lost, they can go back to their normal eating habits.  This is a sure-fire plan for disaster as all of the lost weight is usually packed back on rather quickly.  Most people do not intend to strictly consume only meal replacement shakes for the rest of their life.  Consumers want a quick and easy fix for losing weight; meal replacement shakes may just give them that.  But, chances are these people will not be able to maintain their weight loss results after the meal replacement shake regimen ends.
     My personal opinion is that weight loss can be achieved by simple eating healthy and exercising regularly.  Yes, it may take more time and effort to change your diet and exercise, but I promise you that your results will last longer if not forever.  Meal replacements are best utilized as an addition to a well-balanced nutritional regimen - not as a substitute for natural foods. They fill a specific dietary niche, but by no means are a complete source of nutrition. Hence, their overuse can lead to a disparity in dietary ratios as well as a deficiency in vital nutrients. Combining meal replacements with natural foods is the best way to satisfy all of your nutritional requirements, ensuring an optimal intake of nutrients (Women's Fitness, 2012).


Women's Fitness. (2012, July 31). Meal Replacement Shakes: How Practical are They? Retrieved September 17, 2012, from Business & Health:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Anatomy of a Successful Baseball Program

     Finding the greatest, most efficient way of doing things in order to increase productivity or success rate is of fundamental value for any baseball program.  How coaches approach the details during the process of building a baseball team will determine efficiency and achievement. This is my personal account of playing collegiate baseball in two very different yet successful programs.
     A four-year letterman at Texas Wesleyan University, I was introduced to a winning program that encompassed my idea of collegiate baseball.  The coach handled discipline issues on an individual basis. Regardless of who showed up late to practice or how often this occurred was irrelevant to anyone but the guilty player and the coach.  Only under extreme acts of insubordination was the team punished as a whole.  This type of leadership by the coach created an atmosphere of relaxed, heart-felt competition amongst teammates and encouraged individuality on the team.  The coaches would often times instruct, encourage, and say things to get desired reactions out of players with the hopes of ultimately increasing performance level.  All of this was done pertaining to the targeted individual.  Players with different mindsets and personalities proved to need encouragement tailored specifically to the player from coaches or fellow teammates.
     The coaching philosophy at Texas Wesleyan University appears to have been successful.  Over three 40+ win seasons, the Rams came within five games of three NAIA College World Series, making the regional championship game twice and ending up in third place in the regional tournament once.
     Now for the polar opposite, Tarleton State University’s baseball program was extremely strict in nature.  All players treated equally were also punished equally as a team.  The person who was guilty of the crime matters not, the team was responsible, both on and off the field.  Players were to be where they were supposed to be, dressed appropriately, on time (which means early), without any off-field complaints, and ready to put forth 100% effort.   It seemed as if an individual was not to sleep without the permission of the coach at times.  There were mandatory weekly team meetings in a classroom setting, 6:00 a.m. weight workout three times a week, daily practice from 1-5, and daily team conditioning at 6:00 p.m. 
     Having only spent a year and a half in the program, and coming from the aforementioned loosely coached program, TSU Baseball was an eye-opening experience that taught me that there are various ways to build a program. During the 2012 season, Tarleton posted a winning season for the second year in a row and also made an appearance in the conference championship game after being picked as the last seed in the tournament.  Quite impressive considering that all of this took place after losing key players due to infractions of team policy.
     It is for the player to decide which program suits him the best and pursue excellence in their desired atmosphere.   Neither program is a “one size fits all” environment.  Success comes when the majority of individuals buy into the type of program they participate in.

The Low Down

     Professional baseball provides many different levels of playing and coaching opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in the sport.  In the United States, there are five professional independent baseball leagues.  Each independent league has its own unique characteristics ranging from budget, level of quality, and realistic opportunity for the players to make it to the Major Leagues. Ranked in order goes from best to worst, the Independent Baseball Leagues consist of: the Atlantic League, the American Association, the Frontier League, the North American League, and the Can-Am League. 
     The Atlantic League is strides ahead of the other leagues as related to talent.  This league is based on the East coast and is geared toward giving players with a great deal of experience a second chance after being released from a Major League organization.  Generally, the majority of the players in this league have had major league playing experience.   The minimum salary for this league is $1,100 a month. The League also provides player amenities ranging from housing to outstanding practice and playing facilitie. Located in the United States and Canada, the American Association, a watered down version of the Atlantic League as far as talent goes, but facilities and fan involvement are quite comparable.  Across the board, stadiums are well-kept and many fans attend each baseball game.  The minimum salary for first-year rookies is $800 a month with experienced players receiving considerably higher salaries. 
     The Frontier League is quite similar to the American Association in terms of talent, but it is geared toward the development of younger players. The Frontier League focuses on providing former collegiate players a chance to play professional baseball.  The minimum salary for Frontier players is $600 a month.  Many of the young men are quite content with the salary because it is the first time they have ever been paid to play baseball.
     The North American League has a vast geographical spread from Texas to Hawaii and as far north as Canada.  The league has a minimum salary of $600 a month and focuses on giving rookies a chance to play baseball.  The difference between this league and the Frontier League is the overall financial stability of each individual team.  Stadium quality as well as the overall maintenance of the playing surface is minimal.  Fan attendance is generally low which creates an unmotivating playing environment.  Players are not always given a place to live, and must often pay their own way.  In many cases, players spend over half of their monthly salary on living expenses.  
     The bottom of the barrel is the Can-Am League which, at one point in time, was a quality league, but as of recently has met its downfall and is on the verge of folding.
     Although salaries and overall quality of Independent Baseball Leagues vary, there are still many opportunities for players to pursue or continue a professional baseball career.  Players should stay informed about the pros and cons of each league.     

Fantasy Football: Fun for all

The first ever fantasy football league began in 1963 in Oakland, California by a group of west coast football guru’s and avid Oakland Raider fans who were looking to make the AFL a little bit more interesting that season.  Since that first league, Fantasy Football has been played by over 30 million people.
What is Fantasy Football?  Fantasy football leagues are often made up of groups of friends, co-workers, classmates, or just people from the same area that get together and create a league. Websites such as ESPN, YAHOO, and CBS offer free fantasy football for users to join as either a private group or you can join and play in a league with random people from across the country. Most leagues are on-line; however, leagues can function without the aid of the internet though this is a less popular option.
Fantasy football leagues are made up of 6-24 teams that generally consist of a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, a tight end, a kicker, and a defense. Fantasy teams draft their players prior to the start of the NFL season and manage their team throughout the year by determining which players to start each week, which free agents to pick up, and making trades with other teams in the league. Points are awarded to each team based on how well each player performs in their game each week. Points are awarded to offensive position players based on touchdowns and yards gained. Kickers gain points by making their field goals and extra points with more points being awarded for making longer kicks.  The defense scores points by getting turnovers as well as performing well on special teams.
Fantasy teams are given a schedule and play a different opponent each week. The team that scores the most points during the week is the winner of the game. Just like any other sporting league the top teams go on to make the playoffs and compete in a bracket leading up to the fantasy football Super Bowl usually held during the final week of the NFL season.  
Go Play!  Whether you are a huge fan of the NFL or you have never even seen a football game you should give fantasy football a shot. Fantasy football can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Avid football fans love to compete with fantasy football and it allows them to study and keep up with teams and players throughout the season all while enjoying a friendly competition with friends. People with little to no knowledge of the NFL play along with friends just for fun as well as use it as a tool to learn the game. Try something new this season, create a team and manage your group of NFL stars to a fantasy league victory!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Success Story

PictureCongratulations to Katie Brian (M.S. '12) for becoming the newest member of the Kinesiology Department at Tarleton State University.  An Instructor, Katie is excited to share her passion for fitness and wellness with a new group of young undergraduates. Katie also serves as the Director for the Office of Professional Development & Health-Related Fitness.

As a dedicated professional, Katie embraces the Kinesiology philosophy of STRENGTH WITHIN!  

Workplace Wellness Programs

According to researchers for BMC Public Health, "Workforce Wellness Programs represent one of the most significant strategies for enhancing the productivity of workers.” Specifically, workplace wellness programs offer three major benefits to support the company’s bottom line.

1 – Implementation of a workforce wellness program provides the chance for employees to work together towards a common goal. These opportunities allow for the collaboration of ideas and prompt strong relationships between co-workers. For example, putting in place a program where employees are able to work towards a common goal, such as a team weight loss competition, will present the opportunity for everyone to work together as they try to reach their goal. This will also allow for a team environment, where everyone will be able to receive encouragement from the rest of the team if they ever run into a situation where they could use a little help. Not only in the competition, but also, it can carry over into their daily lives.
2 – Research suggests that when people are more active, they experience a higher level of brain function as compared to their non-active counterparts. Allowing employees the opportunity to participate in a program where they can be active at work will enhance their creativity and productivity. This will present opportunities for the employee to simply relax, and allow them the chance to approach an issue or project from a different angle or a new perspective.
3 – When people are active and participate in wellness programs, the employer is more likely to notice a decrease in the number of employees taking sick days and a decrease in injuries. Employees who stay healthy and workout on a constant basis are less likely to become ill. “Illness at the workplace can result in lost productivity” according to the researchers at BMC Public Health. This is not only a benefit to the employer, but will also benefit the employee as they will be able to use those ‘missed work days’ on vacation and spend time with family and friends outside work.
Creating a workplace wellness program is a winning strategy for developing a strong employee bond, enhancing on-the-job productivity, and lowering absenteeism. The costs associated with creating such a program are well worth the investment.

            Cancelliere C, Cassidy J, Ammendolia C, Côté P.  (2011, January). Are workplace health promotion programs effective at improving presenteeism in workers? A systematic review and best evidence synthesis of the literature. BMC Public Health [serial online]. (Suppl 4):395-405. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 26, 2012.

Moral Compass

For all the coaches that are in the profession today, please be advised that YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT GO WAY BEYOND YOURSELF. In today’s world of coaching, there are far too many incidents happening where a coach’s moral compass goes astray and embarrasses a profession that many take pride in and have given their lives to. The dictionary defines a coach as “a person who trains an athlete or group of athletes.” But as we all know, the actual scope of coaching goes way beyond that. A coach is an individual that is in a position to change lives. To make a difference in a young person that could potentially save them from themselves or the environment they are in. A coach has no choice in this matter; a coach has the responsibility to change lives.
There are many stories in the news, whether it be national or a small town paper, that depicts a coach involved in disgraceful acts that do not in any way benefit the young person involved. The most common instance is “inappropriate communication” with a student of the opposite sex. Just last month I learned of one of my former coaches “resigning” because of this type of inappropriate communication. A head coach for over 20 years, a husband with a wife and two kids, a man that I have looked up to as a role model and previously thought of as a great individual to model my coaching style after, my mentor made an egregious mistake; he failed to follow his moral compass.  Inappropriate communication, whether face-to-face or through the use of technology (texting or social media), is an absolute wrong regardless of intention.
Coaching is a tough yet noble profession. There is no room for any type of acts that will embarrass and crucify this sacred family that many of us have chosen to join. Get back to true definition of the word coach --- to be a role model and help kids become the best they can be on and off the field of play. As coaches, we must always follow our moral compass so that we can lead in the right direction.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Faith & Fitness

Many fitness and exercise instructors are changing the status quo of working out by incorporating a holistic approach to strengthen the mind, body and spirit. Specifically, instructors are adding a spiritual element for those who are searching for a fuller, more meaningful workout routine. Being healthy requires not only physical fitness, but also an intentional focus on the mind and spirit.

In my personal experience, including the spiritual aspect into my fitness regime has definitely had a positive effect on my life. When I work out I am able to let go of any stress and frustrations that I have endured during my day. I love the feeling that I get when I include a time to pray and meditate to my God while completing my daily yoga routine. I utilize my  routine to become fit spiritually as well as fit physically. By concentrating on my whole being I am able to successfully go about my day without letting daily obstacles get in my way.

Back in my hometown of Katy, Texas, my yoga instructor, who also happens to be a very good friend, incorporated praying and scriptures into our routines. The scripture was meant to be uplifting for the middle of the week or “hump day”. Scriptures such as Jeremiah 29:11 were used (For I know the plans for you,  says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future.). This is one of my absolute favorite verses because it reassures me of the faith I have in my God. One of my favorite parts of the routine is meditating and praying. She begins the routine with breathing exercises to release the negative and absorb the positive. We then end the session with praying to God. Along with praying we send love and light to people in our lives. These could just be loved ones or someone that you know is struggling. This helps other people to also feel God’s love and light. This type of yoga seems more relaxing and calming than just doing the poses. I feel I get more and feel healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

There are many different religious views out there and many people hear the title “faith and fitness” and shy away because they think it is based on mainstream religion. Fitness instructors are not solely tied to one religious type, but can put their own faith into the class. The world of fitness has transformed from only having spin classes and yoga to being faith-friendly to all walks of life.

How to Become A Great Strength Coach

     Athletic performance coaches are a hot commodity in the sports industry today mainly because this particular type of coach specializes in the development of sport training that will turn a team from good to great.  As high schools and universities buy into and understand the importance of proper training for sport, it becomes more crucial for Strength & Conditioning coaches to enhance their knowledge through certifications, experience, and research. 
     One path that can be taken in order to advance in the athletic performance profession, as mentioned before, is to become certified. According to Schultz (2005), 86.3% of the employers surveyed agreed that earning the National Strength & Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential or the Strength & Conditioning Collegiate Coaches Association (SCCC) certificate greatly increases the individual’s chances of being hired.  These certifications demonstrate professionalism, commitment, and integrity that will separate you from competition.
     As an aspiring strength and conditioning coach, you should strive to become an intern and work toward a graduate assistant position at the university of your choice.  As an intern, this is where you show your head coach how dedicated and committed you are to wanting to be in a higher position.  You will be laboring at an intensive pace, work long hours and learn at the same time throughout your internship; however, in the end it will pay off  if you go above and beyond to impress your head coach.  The graduate assistant job should be your next goal.  At this point you should have a developed resume, program designs, coaching and training philosophies plus whatever you feel will highlight your skills and talents as compared to other potential competitors.  Having internships and Graduate Assistantships are all a part of your professional experience that will help you become a great strength coach.
     Another way to refine your athletic performance skills is to research other athletic performance programs and learn about other coach’s philosophies regarding their athletes. Kim Pinske, assistant strength and conditioning coach at the United States Air Force Academy stated, I believe that the most effective way to advance your knowledge and ability as a coach and educator is to visit and observe other programs and to communicate with other practitioners.  Today, when I find myself busy with the daily routine and grind, I remember the time and patience that other coaches gave to me when I am put in the position to reciprocate with younger professionals (Greener, Peterson & Pinske, 2012).  In addition to this statement, it is essential to keep in good contact with the coaches that you meet and learn from, because in the future they could potentially need someone to hire.   In the athletic performance profession, it is all about who you know --- networking is key.
     Athletic performance is a growing profession that requires potential practitioners to always to study and stay up-to-date with the most current trends to in order to produce better athletes.  For those wanting to become a Strength & Conditioning coach it is imperative that you take advantage of certifications and networking opportunities to enhance your awareness of the athletic performance industry.  Stay informed to continue developing as a coach and to create better athletes.