NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Episode 66: Mike Hill

by Scott Caulfield, MA, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D and Michael Hill, CSCS, RSCC*D
Coaching Podcast November 2019


Mike Hill, Associate Athletics Director of Sports Performance at Georgetown University, talks to the former NSCA Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Scott Caulfield, about his journey from volunteer intern to director at Georgetown. Topics under discussion include being an integral, “off the bench” part of a team, what he looks for in new interns or new hires, and continuing education through reading and being a part of the NSCA’s Exam Development Committee.

Find Mike on Instagram: @license_2_hill

Show Notes

“But a lot of the—it’s sports. A lot of the athletes now, they just want the outcome. They don't want to understand the cliché term of the process. But really, the process is how you weed out the ones that are worthy of the outcome, really.” 12:18

“Make sure you know their name and understand who they are as a person, understanding their sport rather than just understanding the programs that you would like to put them through.” 13:16

“Knowing the science,knowing the practicality, knowing your job, and being competent at that said job, for me, that’s the price of admission. You walk in the door, and that’s supposed to be expected of you.” 24:34

“And more and more, the adaptability aspect of it, the adaptability is huge for us. I guess, too, it’s also doing the right things when no one’s looking. Did we give you a task, or can you take tasks and do those mundane tasks daily without having someone to follow up on it, you know? I can’t remember who said the quote, but it’s like company and fish start to stink after three days. So after three days, are you going to start to stink? So, yeah, it’s kind of the small, little intangible things are what’s more important than where are you from, or what name do you have attached to you. Are you willing to work?” 25:20

“Dress for the job that you want, not the job you have.” 28:04


[00:00:00.75] Welcome to NSCA's Coaching Podcast, episode 66.

[00:00:05.25] But a lot of-- it's sports. A lot of the athletes now, they just want the outcome. They don't want to understand the cliche term of the process, you know. But really, the process is how you weed out the ones that are worthy of the outcome.

[00:00:20.83] This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, where we talk to strength and conditioning coaches about what you really need to know, but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

[00:00:32.64] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast. I am Scott Caulfield. Here with me today in the nation's capital, Mike Hill, director of sports performance at Georgetown. Coach, welcome to the show.

[00:00:43.93] Thank you. It's an honor to be here.

[00:00:45.18] Appreciate you taking time out of your schedule. I know summer session is kind of in full go here. So you guys are pretty busy.

[00:00:52.56] Yeah. Yeah, we are in week six of our intensification phase of our basketball program. So it's intense.

[00:01:00.60] Yeah, you say guys are getting after it. And being at the level you're at, everybody's here for the summer?

[00:01:08.04] Yes. We just got five new guys, and then nine returners with one transfer who is now eligible to play, so 14 total guys. And I think we may get one more-- maybe not, I'm not sure. But 14 guys riding the roster right now.

[00:01:24.49] Awesome. And you've been checking out the conference. We're here at the national conference in DC. Any great sessions that you've attended, or people you've seen that you enjoyed?

[00:01:34.92] I guess I'm looking forward to, honestly, Dave Terry, Coach Dave Terry, who is working on my staff. And we've kind of been in and out of a lot of them, and just looking-- I guess, really looking forward to-- looking forward to his.

[00:01:49.59] Yeah, we appreciate Coach Terry too, because he was kind of the last minute add. So appreciate you hooking me up with him. We're trying to fill that final kind of coaching track roster for Saturday. And I know you guys are busy. You've got a USA weightlifting course that he's going to take some time out of to come and present.

[00:02:06.96] Yeah, tomorrow. Yep, tomorrow, USA weightlifting tomorrow and Sunday. So busy, even on the back end. Busy with the athletes, and then busy on the other end.

[00:02:16.21] That's cool. So you're in charge, mainly, with basketball, director of sports performance. Maybe tell us a little bit about all of your duties and responsibilities, though, as a director at Georgetown.

[00:02:29.46] So, yeah, I oversee the whole department. But I really am in an associate athletic director position. Because I really just do men's basketball. I fill in where need be. But Dave is really the true director, because he is in the main weight room. He oversees the whole-- he's got the thumb on the pulse of the athletes, really.

[00:02:50.97] He does football. He does track, fills in where he needs to go. And being at Georgetown, we only have three full time. Then we have four full time interns and one part time position. So we're building upon that staff. And so me being gone with basketball a lot, I have to rely on the other two staff members and the rest of the internship positions. So it's worked well throughout the years.

[00:03:17.79] Me being from Georgetown, or coming to Georgetown in 2004, I was kind of the first intern. So when Coach Morelli was there and he wanted me to create the internship program, I created it really from nothing. And how do you take nothing and create something? I had no direction. I had no compass, per se. And so we created three different levels, a full time level, a college level, and then a volunteer level.

[00:03:45.06] And being in DC, once we opened up our doors, I mean, we found great talent within our own 15 mile radius. And a lot of them are here. A lot of them are here at the conference. They're still doing personal training at different colleges, at private facilities. And so it's grown. And it still has a lot of potential to grow. But it's in a very good place.

[00:04:09.78] You know, I always said that I could stay at Georgetown for the rest of my life. I could also leave tomorrow, knowing that we have built it. And for the next person, it's on the path to success.

[00:04:21.47] So when you first started there in 2004, what was your actual position?

[00:04:27.57] I was a volunteer internship. So I had to volunteer for almost a year. And I was going around training at different high schools within the area. I went to Catholic University as well. I drove up to Johns Hopkins. I went over to Howard once. And yeah, having so many colleges within the area, I was exposed to all the strength coaches. Jason Riddell Beardmen at GW Hammer.

[00:05:00.96] But yeah, it was a good little group of strength coaches. And obviously, they all were NSCA members. And me being a member since 2003, this conference was here, I believe, in 2006.

[00:05:14.35] It sounds right.

[00:05:15.52] 2006. So that was kind of my first conference coming here being a member, being a part of a staff. And so it's kind of bittersweet now being here.

[00:05:25.29] Yeah. And I guess backtrack again from that, where'd you get the first kind of itch or inclination that you could go down this career path?

[00:05:39.02] So after leaving, growing up in Iowa, I went to the University of Northern Iowa. And then after college, I went out in California. I was working as a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness, kind of like where most people get their programs and learn how to communicate with other people, wear different hats and things. And I really enjoyed it. I relished that opportunity to do that. And it actually helped me with a lot of different things. Because I thought I knew the science. I thought I knew all this. But when it came to human-to-human contact, teaching a 14-year-old kid all the way up to a geriatric 90-year-old patient, or client, will help you kind of fine tune those skills to teach an 18 to 24-year-old athlete how to move and manipulate themselves. So it was a good opportunity.

[00:06:32.09] I also-- I was very fortunate at the Oakland Raiders. Coach Chris Pearson gave me a sit-down. And he was like, Mike, if you would like to do this, these are the things that you would need to do. And at that time, I had one certification. And he said, you need to get your NSCA. You need to do this next, and then this next.

[00:06:54.38] So I went online, found it, found a spot at San Jose, and took it literally six months later.

[00:07:02.09] No, that's cool. It's interesting to me, too. A lot of us, a lot of people get their kind of initial fix, like you said, in personal training or working with different people by different backgrounds and ages. And then you get that experience to be-- you know, you hear about training athletes. Or you train a couple athletes and then you're like, oh, wait. This is a thing, you know?

[00:07:31.64] And that was the same for me. And I had a different personal training certification. And people were telling, no, no. If you want to train athletes, you need to check out this thing, this NSCA thing. It's called CSCS. And then once I started reading about it and I was like, oh, I need to find out more. And I didn't even-- I mean, living in Vermont, I joke around that they're always like three to five years behind the times. I was just like, we're in the middle of nowhere. So it takes stuff a little longer to get out there. And by the time after that fact, you know, I ended up searching out the guy who was at the University of Vermont, and trying to find out, all right, what do these guys actually do?

[00:08:10.06] Yeah.

[00:08:10.51] So it was pretty neat. So you did that kind of volunteer internship. How long did it take to turn into a paying gig for you?

[00:08:22.66] At about the nine month period, the conversation started to happen. And then it was about at the 12 month mark, a full year, was I got the go-ahead and started. And it was basically like, all right, Mike. Here you go. Hit the ground running, and you have 15 teams. And your day starts at 6:00 AM. And you can't leave until 7:00. And after that, I need you to go do this on Saturdays, and do this on Sundays.

[00:08:48.07] And so it taught me a lot. It taught me how to be very efficient, disciplined, how to control a room, and more-- literally, and I say this-- more about the whole program than it was about the actual program on the piece of paper, how to control 60 swimmers-- swimming divers-- in a room at once when it's just myself. Because it was just myself and Coach Morelli until we got the third position, Coach Dawon Dicks. And then he came in, and then we dumped him with a load. So there's 29 sports at Georgetown.

[00:09:23.32] And so if you split them all up, we all were helping with football. We all were helping with basketball, the men's lacrosse, the women's lecrosse. And so there are certain sports where we called all hands on deck. And so those made for some serious long days, but you look back, and it taught us a lot. It taught us how to work together. It taught us, like I said, discipline, efficiency. You know, safety protocols have to be in place, otherwise, somebody is going to get hurt.

[00:09:52.87] So now we're moved into a 10,000 square foot facility with two different other weight rooms that are 2,000 square feet each. So men's and women's basketball, then we have the main weightroom. So now it's a little bit different. Now we have kind of other challenges, but they're still good challenges.

[00:10:11.63] And you've worked to that-- at Georgetown, you were able to get your master's degree while you were there, while you're working.

[00:10:21.64] Yeah. Yeah, in 2010, they created a sports industry management program master's program. And so I was the first class to go in there to get admitted to-- well, they called it the SIM program, but it's the school of continuing education. And so I got admitted to that, and then I graduated in 2012. And so, yeah, it was really nice.

[00:10:49.60] I was looking to actually do some ATC, some athletic training. And so I had gone over to GW. And that wasn't going to work after a couple of years. I had to do my clinical staff. And so it just kind of popped up at Georgetown. And I decided to take it.

[00:11:03.28] Yeah. I think going back to what you said a little bit earlier, about the crazy hours or whatever, not that this needs to be like some sort of crazy initiation or something that everybody has to go through. And I think you hear people say, oh, it's so hard to get a job, blah, blah. But, like, we were willing to do those kind of crazy things and work all these hours and do stuff on Saturday and Sunday because we wanted to get to where we hope to get where we saw down the road.

[00:11:39.18] And at that time, you're in a point in your life where you can do those things. And I think that's the big-- I think that's the piece that I see people kind of, today, trying to-- I don't know if they're trying to cut it short, or just understanding, younger people not understanding-- like, not that you just have to do your time. We're not saying you have to do this badge of honor because it's initiation. But like, are you really willing to get to that level?

[00:12:06.67] Yeah. I guess now, all the business development and self-help stuff is coming out. And you need to grind. You need to work. And sleep when you're dead, all that type of stuff. But a lot of the-- it's sports. A lot of the athletes now, they just want the outcome. They don't want to understand the cliche term of the process. But really, the process is how you weed out the ones that are worthy of the outcome, really.

[00:12:33.66] And so it's-- yeah, not that, yeah, it doesn't need to be an initiation phase. But I guess, I think we put ourselves in that position because we love it so much. And it does weed out the people who aren't worthy. And yeah, I do see nowadays, you get a young strength coach coming in, is right away, they want to implement their programs with a group of athletes right away. They want to see if it's going to work.

[00:13:04.62] And I like that, and I appreciate that. But at the same time, seeing how the room works, seeing how everything around the program-- checking athletes off, making sure you understand their-- make sure you know their name and understand who they are as a person, understanding their sport rather than just understanding the programs that you would like to put them through.

[00:13:25.52] So I think that's-- talking about the topic-- that's a missing piece in the young strength coaches coming up. And I, myself, was a prime example of that. I came in. And the first question I asked Coach Morelli is, you know, what's your program? What are you percentages on? What's your numbers? And he was like, we don't have time for that. I am one strength coach with 29 sports. I'm just trying to get them all in Georgetown gear.

[00:13:51.75] Yep. Yeah, no, that's a great point. I think it was Ramsey Nijem from the Kings that said, you know, before you try and fix someone's squat, learn their name.

[00:14:01.98] Learn their name, yeah. Yeah, that's great.

[00:14:03.81] No, that was awesome. And again, you know, I've worked with people that were like, well, I had to do this, so the intern should have to do it. And you know, I feel great about saying that, like, we at our internship program at headquarters, our interns get paid overtime if they work over 40 hours. They don't work. from open to close anymore, you know? And I get in trouble if they get too many overtime hours because I tend to not care if they get overtime, sorry.

[00:14:34.09] Yeah.

[00:14:34.89] Sorry, but not sorry.

[00:14:35.10] It's easier to get forgiveness than permission is also my other mantra.

[00:14:38.85] [LAUGHS]

[00:14:40.13] Yeah.

[00:14:40.62] Hopefully, my boss doesn't listen to this. But you've also-- really cool. I mean, I was joking around, but I'd be awestruck working where you work, because of the sport coaches that you've had a chance to work with, you know. And that probably is also-- can be an extreme challenge, I suppose. Or, maybe not an extreme challenge, but you have somebody-- John Thompson, storied, legendary coach-- and then Patrick Ewing, one of the greatest players ever to play in the NBA. What has that been like with people like that? You know, how have your interactions with those guys gone?

[00:15:20.97] I guess, so coming to Georgetown, obviously, you're aware of the history of Coach Thompson. And the basketball, and the lineage of everyone from Coach Ewing, and people before Coach Ewing, all the way up till the now, the auto porters and everybody else-- Jeff Green and in between, Allen Iverson. And so understanding all of that-- and it was kind of like, OK, I need to-- in terms of just making my own name, my own self in front of all these great legends within the basketball realm.

[00:15:58.42] And so I remember when it was my first kind of official practice. And I've been around. You know, I've been working with Coach Morelli and being around the basketball program and whatnot. But it wasn't like I was their head strength coach. And I wasn't at practice those many years beforehand.

[00:16:20.90] But there was one practice I came in, and I noticed that there was only three people that were sitting down at practice. One of them was Ms. Lori Michaels, who was their athletic trainer for 20 plus years. Another one was Coach Thompson's security guard, Greg Roberts, who's been over there for 20 years. And the other was Big Coach Thompson.

[00:16:40.17] And so immediately, just seeing my surroundings and observing and learning what I call the old method-- observing, learning, and develop myself-- is I observed that. And I watched everybody. I learned kind of like-- I shouldn't say this. You know, like being around a pack of animals. It's like, you've got to work your way kind of in that.

[00:17:00.78] So you know, I didn't say anything for quite some time. I just grabbed a towel, wiped sweat up off. You know, did the dynamic warmup, everything-- just stayed there. Whatever you need, I'm going to get you water bottles. I'm going to help out the managers.

[00:17:11.88] And after a while-- it was quite a while, it was a year and a half-- Big Coach is like, hey, son. Come here. And he was like, I notice you don't sit down. And I was like, yeah. And he's like, looked at the security guard, and he said, well, Greg, it took Greg two years to sit down. And I was like, well, I'm going to stand up for four then, Coach. And I have yet to sit down at practice, which is-- I mean, that shouldn't say anything. But just, me, I want to be involved. I want to be in practice and be there, and be on the court, helping out the managers, picking guys up.

[00:17:47.62] When guys fall down, I run out there and I pick them up. And that may sound corny, but it's really big. It's big to the guys, and it shows that I'll literally do anything. I'll wipe the floor. I'll get you water, wipe your sweat, whatever you need help. Athletic trainer needs something? I'll go run and do it. Like, I will mow your yard, if you need it. If that's going to make us great and move us to the next level, I'll do it.

[00:18:11.35] Well, and I think that it tell a lot about you. But, like, also, it gives you more to do, right? You're more involved. You aren't just sitting there the whole time. And then, you might just end up kind of moping around like, oh, I don't do anything at practice. Well, why don't you do anything at practice? Because you choose not to do anything, right?

[00:18:33.56] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we do-- there's stuff, obviously, just like any sports performance strength coach. There's stuff to do before. There's stuff to do after. But in between, if you're collecting data, if you're not collecting data, there's not much. You just watch practice. Just trying to stay literally involved as much as I possibly can, because I think it's important for the kids. I think they gain camaraderie by seeing me do that.

[00:19:02.41] We gain camaraderie by them seeing me do that. So, yeah. Yeah, I think it's kind of one of those intangible things that it's like on your resume. What do you do here? You know, what do you do here for us?

[00:19:14.42] Well, and talking to a lot-- some of the pro strength coaches we've had on this, all of them talk about being on the road. And yeah, most often, you're not doing your actual job. You're helping out with bags. You're helping with whatever else. And obviously, that all lends to whatever-- if you want to call it culture, the team, the big picture-- you know, being more useful than just, well, I'm just the strength coach.

[00:19:43.27] Yeah. Yeah, you hit it with the-- you hit it with the culture thing. You know, that was one thing, when I came-- in talking about the Georgetown basketball-- is they called it the Hoya paranoia. And once you get inside it-- and you know, I've been inside it now for 15 years, and 10 years as the head. And now I understand it. Now I understand why it's that.

[00:20:10.48] You know, when we travel, we travel with our managers. When we get off the bus, everybody helps grab a bag. There's players, coaches, everything. We have a system in the bus where you have your spot. Once you jump on a bus quick, you know who's not here, who is here, who's not here. Little things like that, saying please and thank you, picking up your stuff, making sure you take your hat off when you walk inside the door, taking your hood off-- little things, not wearing headphones at dinner when you're talking to people, or when you're at dinner, or when you're talking to people. And all the little things, the small things that you can see other teams do-- pro and college-- other teams do, just, that's what I love about Georgetown, the little, small things. The culture aspect of it.

[00:21:02.67] And the underlying factor too there, right? Like, it's teaching young men life lessons, not just how to be good people, right?

[00:21:11.64] Yeah. And that was a Big Coach thing. That was a Big Coach Thompson thing. And then it came down to his son, Coach John Thompson III, and Coach Ewing was a product of it. And so that's how-- I've been very fortunate to have Coach Morelli, who gave me the opportunity, and who taught me all of the strength coach things. Brought me in as a little brother, because I never had a big brother, taught me all that stuff. And I still talk to him today. He's still a mentor of mine today.

[00:21:37.96] And then having Big Coach Thompson there as, you know, kind of a grandfather figure, mentor, just listening to him. I rarely ask him a question, just listening. And then, Coach Thompson, and now having him, Coach Thompson, for 13 years, and then now Coach Ewing for three. So I've been very fortunate-- very fortunate.

[00:22:01.34] And has Coach Ewing given-- I'm assuming, and maybe I'm wrong. But being, probably, in the weightroom himself more, is he more of a proponent of what you do and guys being in the gym?

[00:22:18.15] Yeah, he lifts himself. He gets it in. He does his morning conditioning every morning, gets up and does his morning routine. And then he comes in and lifts. He usually tries to get two to three times a week. So he comes in and lifts on the Sorinex racks. He loves them.

[00:22:32.88] Yeah.

[00:22:33.01] Yeah, big fan.

[00:22:33.65] And are you right in his program now? Or does he do whatever he--

[00:22:37.84] No, he works-- yeah, I make him-- he gives me the look every once in a while. But it's good, you know? He's one of the probably top five, if not the best of centers and big men in the game--

[00:22:52.40] --ever, ever to play.

[00:22:53.83] And he's still agile. He's still strong. He still moves well.

[00:23:01.04] Does he ever jump in the drills and show guys what's up?

[00:23:04.26] No, he doesn't. He could. He could. He definitely could.

[00:23:07.04] Yeah, I'm sure he's got a few more pounds to move people around now. I think guys would have a tough time stopping him.

[00:23:14.68] Yeah.

[00:23:17.39] I should have asked this at the beginning, but do you know off the top of your head how many pair of Jordans you own?

[00:23:25.00] A staggering amount. I actually have-- I had to get a rack for them. Me, being from Iowa, I grew up-- I had a farm, but I didn't grow up on a farm. I had to work on that farm. So you got your work boots. You got your summer sandals-ish, and you got your sports shoes. And that's really-- maybe you have one other pair of school shoes. But sometimes, my school shoes were my basketball shoes.

[00:23:51.83] And so I don't run through them as much as, say, the guys do. But I do have quite a large amount of them in size 11. So if anybody needs size 11s, I do have them.

[00:24:05.24] Damn you, Vernon Griffith.

[00:24:07.62] Yeah. Yep.

[00:24:09.47] That's awesome. When you guys hire interns and stuff like that too now, obviously, you've been doing that for a while. Are there kind of key traits or things that you're looking for? And even assistants, you know? When you have positions open, like, what are the biggest things that you guys are looking for for people that you want to work with or to add to your staff?

[00:24:33.23] I guess, so knowing the science, knowing the practicality, knowing your job and being competent at that said job, for me, that's the price of admission. You walk in the door, and that's supposed to be expected of you.

[00:24:53.63] Are you reading the latest research? What books are you reading? What outside books are you reading? Those are to be expected. What we kind of look for is, one, are you adaptable? Are you going to come in here and make us go into your-- make our round peg go into your triangle hole?

[00:25:20.27] And more and more, the adaptability aspect of it, the adaptability is huge for us. I guess, too, it's also doing the right things when no one's looking. Did we give you a task, or can you take tasks and do those mundane tasks daily without having someone to follow up on it, you know?

[00:25:48.89] I can't remember who said the quote, but it's like company and fish start to stink after three days. So after three days, are you going to start to stink? So, yeah, it's kind of the small, little intangible things are what's more important than where are you from, or what name do you have attached to you. Are you willing to work?

[00:26:12.82] Yeah, and I think Loren Landow said it on one of the first episodes that we did with him. You know, he was talking about, like, are you going to, like, wipe the water up that's sitting on the edge of the sink in the restroom? Or are you just going to walk by it? And I notice little things like that, like when I'm walking in from the parking lot, right? And there's a Gatorade wrapper or something on the turf, or an empty bottle sitting somewhere.

[00:26:42.79] And you know, I grab it and I wonder sometimes, like, how many people walked by this, right?

[00:26:48.86] Yeah, character-- character. Put a camera in the bathroom and find out who washes their hands, you know? And see-- that's a little creepy. But see, you know, who does the little things, literally, when no one's looking. Yeah, those are-- I guess it's not one thing. You kind of-- nowadays, you can't hire, obviously, a good strength coach just by getting their resume and getting a call from someone.

[00:27:12.75] You've got to have them in front of you see how they move within the room. See how they react. Are they dressed appropriately for the job? You know, I had-- a long time ago, I had an internship candidate come in eating a granola bar. He was 15 minutes late. He had cargo shorts on. And I am a huge cargo short fan. However, this guy was 15 minutes late eating a granola bar. And he was like, is Coach Hill around?

[00:27:44.47] And I said, nope. He left for the day. And he said he had an interview. And I said, yeah, I don't know. He left for the day. And kid turn around and left. Pretty interesting. Hopefully, he's listening, but not listening. I don't know. Maybe not. But he had the cargo shorts thing going for him once, but if he would've showed up early-- but yeah, dress for the job that you want, not the job you have.

[00:28:08.26] Well, and a good point too, in a day and age of-- not even that. There's a website with your picture on it, I'm sure, right?

[00:28:14.62] Exactly. Do your due diligence.

[00:28:15.82] Do some homework, you know what you're about to do. No, I had the same thing. Actually, we interviewed a-- I think when I was at SC. I had worked at a private sports performance club back in the day. I was actually, like, I won an award by your peers at that club for trainer of the year. It was literally on the wall in the gym. And I saw this kid's resume and was like, oh, we're going to give this kid an interview. He was from RVC. And talked to him, talked to him-- had no clue that I had ever worked there.

[00:28:50.65] And I was like, wow. Like, situational awareness, dude. Like, it's in my bio too. You could ask one person and made yourself-- at least had a plus one.

[00:29:03.87] Yeah. Wow.

[00:29:07.60] Baffling, sometimes. I know you read a ton of books. It always impresses me because I buy a lot of books, and then they sit in stacks. And I don't read as many as I should. So you make me feel bad.

[00:29:22.45] When you sleep, you learn them by osmosis, right?

[00:29:24.37] I try. I do.

[00:29:25.28] It's like absorbing those words off the pages, right?

[00:29:28.51] Anything that you've read lately that's super interesting, or that you recommend?

[00:29:35.11] I guess, during the day, I have different-- I guess, I listen to podcasts in the car and kind of when I'm doing-- I listen to too many podcasts. It kind of ruins my life. And then I have to-- like a drug addict. I've got to shut myself off, go to rehab, and then I come back, right?

[00:29:53.71] So right now, I kind of have three revolving books. And I have not started my-- I have a relevant strength book that I have at work that I'll read a couple of pages at least, or a chapter in the morning time.

[00:30:10.02] I have a bathroom reading book that I just finished, Patton's one minute speeches, which is really good. So when you're sitting down and going through documents in the bathroom, I read just a little one pagers. You know, like 100 deadly skills, stuff like that, which was really good. The Patton's speech is really good.

[00:30:28.66] Then I'm reading the book called The Field. It's kind of just energy around and whatnot-- the force. Should be called The Force, but it's called The Field. Yeah, I go in phases of, for me, I think it's important to want to read relevant information within your field.

[00:30:47.14] You know, I've always read-- I always read the NSCA journal. Augie used to give it to me and be like, hey, read all these and then give me a summary. So I would just go through, highlight all this stuff, and then give him a summary. And he'd be like, oh, thanks, you know?

[00:30:59.47] It was quite funny and I hope he listens to this and says that. Because he used to give me stacks of them, like, oh, give him to Hill. Hill reads it. Mikey likes it, right? So I would read them all and be like, you know, it's inconclusive. Or you know, we need to do more hamstring work. Or, this says that we need to do more unilateral work-- whatever. And so yeah, Augie got a plus with me with that.

[00:31:21.64] So I think it's relevant to read that. I also think being a sports performance coach, a strength coach, I think you need to have your own internal motivations. That's why I like the little motivational stuff.

[00:31:35.68] I think every strength coach now does a daily quote on the board. And I actually make that relevant. I speak at the end of practice-- or not at the end of practice, at the end of each lift. I kind of have my lesson plans like, hey, what are we going to talk about today after the lift? And it's like, your internal voice or nutrition or sleep. And I have that written down so I don't kind of pepper them just with random information at the end of a lift.

[00:31:58.09] And then I talk about the quote that's up on the board and how it's relevant to them, just to kind of-- you know, I'm all over the place. And so just kind of, one, direct my thoughts towards the athletes and make it relevant to them to see if maybe something will resonate at some point. But to also maybe inspire them. Maybe one quote hits home and they just remember that. And so each lift has a quote.

[00:32:23.12] But I also think it's important too, for me, I found that just reading something totally outside the box-- and because that's where-- going back to the personal training thing is, you're here. You're working out. You're doing this stuff. But everyone has different likes. And everyone has different triggers.

[00:32:43.31] I know if we want to talk about hiking and skiing, if I read a book about that and that would trigger with-- resonate with-- yourself. And obviously, Jordan shoes with me, it's like, on the side. So just reading all kinds of crazy stuff right now. I'm kind of reading like, The Field, the book about just what's out there, what's in between the space between us, and dark matter and all that stuff.

[00:33:09.48] Yeah. No, I think that's cool. I think it's definitely-- especially, we can be so-- you know, we're so A-type. Strength and conditioning coach is A-type, super focused, dedicated. Like, we just get too in the weeds of reading every strength and conditioning book under the sun too, you're not kind of tapping into some of those other needs that you really probably should get outside of the box every now and then and spend more time.

[00:33:37.11] And I actually think Ron McKeefer talks about reading whatever. It's like a strength training book, it's like a book that he really enjoys, and a business book or whatever. And he kind of rotates through those.

[00:33:47.88] Yeah, my strength book is Hester's, Coach Hester's book, Diary of MADstrength Coach. So I can't wait for that.

[00:33:54.76] Yeah, did you start that one yet?

[00:33:56.30] I have not started it yet.

[00:33:57.85] Yeah. We've got an episode with him coming up soon. He definitely teed the book up a little. So I can't wait. I haven't dug into it yet either. I know going back to, like, the education stuff, kind of tailing off reading, you're on the NSCA's exam development committee for the CSCS exam. And that was new for you, had never done that. But maybe-- I know you can't tell us everything about it, not that it's that top secret. But what you guys do or help develop the exam and make it better and more practical, but please talk a little bit about what you can about that experience overall, and what you guys do on that committee.

[00:34:38.84] Yeah. I thought, going through, everything was interesting, just seeing how everything unfolded, how the exam is made. And taking one question, and how did that one question come about? How did the thought process come from that? And then, you know, to use a power athlete, reverse engineering-- reverse engineering everything. Reverse engineer and look back. You take it to the outlined forum, and then you take it to an even bigger forum which we were talking about and swirling topics and conversations, and dialing things back.

[00:35:16.45] And I think, not talking to too top secret, I think we actually identified some spots that were relevant but wedged in some more relevant things. And I think the psychology piece is huge. What's driving these athletes? And to recognize, I shouldn't say the mental health aspect of it, but the markers for it. And just kind of glazing over-- so glazing over that. So you're aware of that.

[00:35:47.57] I thought it was more important and to dial back in a couple of different areas. And so just taking those topics and then dialing down, OK, what's the relevant information that you need to know? Give me five points, or three bullet points, or how many bullet points you do need. OK, then going from there, what is the information or the two sentences that you need that are broad scope? And then dialing a question or pulling out a question from those few phrases.

[00:36:13.97] And so, I think, going back into reverse and seeing it again, and seeing, will this asking this question make you more aware of that topic, or make the examer know if the examee knows that topic? So it's interesting.

[00:36:36.08] You know, I like bringing that up so people can hear it too. Because a lot of times, you know, you'll hear people say, well, the NSCA this, or the NSCA that. And like, you know, we being the NSCA-- I'm speaking for everyone at headquarters-- often don't make-- we don't make laws or rulings. Or we're not the ones writing this test. So actually, it's a committee of 12 to 15 of your peers who are full time, in-the-trenches strength and conditioning coaches like yourself, and like the people that were on that. And these are the people. And for you listening, this could be you someday. You know, this is when you have an opportunity to step up and get involved, you're going to be the ones to be the Mike Hills and the Ron McKeefers and Maura Bergans of the world, you know?

[00:37:30.05] It was-- I shouldn't say it was exhausting because it was-- you know, it's stuff that we're all passionate about. But the whole process, we exhausted everything. We went around. Everybody spoke. We looked at every different avenue and brought up topics. And then we re-went through it again. And so, yeah, it was interesting, fun, and-- yeah. It opened up-- I didn't know any of that stuff happened on the back end. And you know, bringing the committee together and the broad committee that we had of all these people and subject matter experts who knew the subject at hand, and putting it together, it's like, wow-- one, I looked around and thought, what am I doing here? Because I'm definitely the least smartest person in this room.

[00:38:26.69] Welcome to my life.

[00:38:27.54] Yeah, did somebody not show up and I'm the alternate? Or what's going on here? But no, it was a great process. And I'm very confident that the exam coming out of the topics-- or coming out of the outline, and the topics that we made, and the things that we discussed will be a better exam-- always getting better for the next year and the next year, for the next five years.

[00:38:52.85] That's really cool. Now I'm glad you're a part of that. And it's great to have people like you involved with the organization and giving back like that. This has been awesome. I know people are going to want to reach out and follow you, and follow up with you. You want to give out any social media or contact, whatever you want? We'll obviously put in the show notes too. But if you're listening and you don't know who Michael Hill is and you want to check him out, what's the best way to reach out?

[00:39:20.96] You could email on the GU Hoyas website as mdh42@georgetown.edu. But my Instagram is probably the best way, which is @license_2_hill, license to Hill. So yeah, my dad was a huge 007 fan. And I was a huge Beastie Boys fan. So "License to Ill". There we go.

[00:39:43.58] That's great. Yeah, you put out some great stuff on Instagram. So definitely, follow him, check out the stories. You're always keeping it fresh.

[00:39:53.63] Trying to keep not too boring, but kind of not too great either. I mean, whatever.

[00:40:00.31] No, man, it's been a pleasure. I appreciate you taking the time.

[00:40:03.53] Absolutely.

[00:40:04.22] It's great to be here in your city. So thanks again for being on the show.

[00:40:08.15] Thank you for having me, yep. It's an honor.

[00:40:10.17] And a big thanks to our sponsor, Sorinex exercise equipment. We appreciate their support. And to all of you listening, we appreciate your support. Again, if you like the podcast, make sure that you subscribe wherever you download your podcasts from. Write us a review and keep listening in. Look forward to talking with you all soon. Thanks.

[00:40:30.15] And if you're new to this podcast and want to learn more about NSCA's strength and conditioning certifications, you can get all the details at nsca.com/certification.

[00:40:40.29] This was the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure to join us next time.

[00:40:59.07] [MUSIC PLAYING]

Reporting Errors: To report errors in a podcast episode requiring correction or clarification, email the editor at publications@nsca.com or write to NSCA, attn: Publications Dept., 1885 Bob Johnson Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Your letter should be clearly marked as a letter of complaint. Please (a) identify in writing the precise factual errors in the published podcast episode (every false, factual assertion allegedly contained therein), (b) explain with specificity what the true facts are, and (c) include your full name and contact information.

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Michael D. Hill, CSCS

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Michael Hill, a native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, has been with the Georgetown University Athletic Department since 2004 and is currently the Associate Athl ...

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