Emily Schilling - NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Season 7 Episode 12

by Eric McMahon, MEd, CSCS, TSAC-F, RSCC*D and Emily Schilling, MS, CSCS, RSCC
Coaching Podcast October 2023


In this episode, we learn from Emily Schilling, an Associate Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Illinois Fighting Illini Volleyball team. She shares her needs analysis for the growing sport of volleyball with NSCA Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager, Eric McMahon, including thoughts for training team sports, different positions on the court, and the progression from first-year students through graduation. Another important topic covered is the professional pathways strength and conditioning coaches take to gain meaningful early-career coaching experiences and pursue higher-level director roles. Hear about beyond the weightroom demands placed on college student-athletes today, and how National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) “Name, Image, Likeness” (NIL) policies are a topic that strength and conditioning coaches should learn about.

You can connect with Emily via email at esselman@illinois.edu | Find Eric on Instagram: @ericmcmahoncscs or Twitter: @ericmcmahoncscs

Show Notes

“Again, getting paid a stipend, not a whole heck of a lot, living in a busy, very expensive city, but I was like, if I keep at this, if I keep my nose to the grindstone and I keep asking questions and I show up every day and I’m consistent with what I do, this is just a one-year gig, and it's going to lead me to something bigger.” 13:00

“Stay persistent about it. I think those are the best places to end up at is the places that give you coaching opportunities, and that actually take the time to mentor you. They actually take the time to sit down, answer your questions. They review you. They ask you questions. They challenge you, and as frustrating as it is and maybe scary as it is sometimes, to sit there with your mentor and have them challenge you and really get you to think. If you’re willing to be open minded and have a growth mindset, it always leads you to something better.” 13:47

“When they’re allowed to just take a step back and they understand and they know they’re not going to play, it’s almost like a weight off their shoulders. There’s no expectation for them in already a hard transition to college. In a hard transition already to a faster, more physical game, it just allows them to take a back seat and just watch, just to absorb everything, to be mentored.” 23:05

“As much as we say, embrace the grind, no days off, that’s not really how the human mind and body works. We’re not robots. We’re humans at the end of the day.” 31:40


[00:00:04.28] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast, Season 7, Episode 12.
[00:00:11.49] Again, getting paid a stipend not a whole heck of a lot, living in a busy, very expensive city. But was like, if I keep at this, if I keep my nose to the grindstone and I keep asking questions and I show up every day and I'm consistent with what I do, this is just a one-year gig, and it's going to lead me to something bigger.
[00:00:32.36] 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.
[00:00:43.44] This is the NSCA Coaching Podcast I'm Eric McMahon. Today, we're joined by Emily Schilling, an associate strength and conditioning coach at the University of Illinois. We're going to get to know her today. Emily, welcome.
[00:00:57.52] Hey, Eric, thanks for having me, man.
[00:00:59.38] Yeah, for sure. I'm excited to talk to you today. We ran into each other and got talking about volleyball strength and conditioning. This is the sport you're passionate about, the sport you work with at Illinois and wanted to give you a chance to open things up, tell us about your role there, and the sports you work with.
[00:01:19.28] Yeah, absolutely. So I've been here, oh, gosh, almost seven years now, coming up in September. How I got here, I'm originally from Wisconsin. I'm a Wisconsin kid. I'm a cheesehead at heart. I went to Wisconsin La Crosse, a D3 school. That's where I got my undergrad in exercise science. I believe the minor back then was fitness/strength and conditioning.
[00:01:45.61] After I left there, I guess going there, I wanted to be a physical therapist. I'll start there. I transferred to lacrosse from a community college because I wanted to be a physical therapist. I tore my ACL meniscus in high school, and I just had a really good experience in the physical therapy setting. So I was like, this is pretty cool working with athletes, almost failed by 105 at lacrosse. And so I was like, I don't know, almost failing this and struggling through that, if I could do chem and physics and all that coursework.
[00:02:18.92] So I was like what's something I'm also passionate about, but maybe doesn't require the rigorous coursework, and that's where found strength and conditioning. I just went to my advisor and was like, I'm lost don't know what to do. And he's like, well, you're already in the weight room. You're already in there a ton like and the weight room is shared between students and the student athletes because it's a D3 program, and you already see the student athletes and there. Why don't you just go help? Just approach the strength coach, just go help.
[00:02:46.86] And so I was like, that's not a bad idea. So walked in there. Hey, I want to help out. He's like, great, you got volleyball. And was like, no, no, no, no. I don't want volleyball. I just want to help you. And he's like, no, I'm the only strength coach. We got whatever it was, 20 sports. I need help. You have volleyball, it's the spring semester. We'll talk about the programming. I'll help you through it, but you're going to be in charge.
[00:03:12.06] And thought it was the coolest thing ever. Got great results. The girls loved it. The coach loved it. I loved it. I was like, this is what I want to do. And so when I graduated, I was like, I'm going to do this thing big time. Division 1, I knew that's where I wanted to be. And so I applied, like everyone, to any and all internships around the country, and I landed at Northern Colorado.
[00:03:35.79] Helped out with football, volleyball, both basketballs there that summer and absolutely just fell in love, with the culture, the State out there, the athletic department. And was like, you know what, again, I'm going to give this thing a run. I'm going to go back to grad school because that's what majority of job postings are saying is preferred, master's degree. Challenge myself more from an educational standpoint, and that's where I got my biomechanics degree. Was out there for three years at Northern Colorado.
[00:04:04.59] From there, I went to Villanova for one year. That was a stipend-paid, one-year position, and yeah, jeez, I helped with everyone there-- football, lacrosses, volleyball, the rowing teams, throwers, golf. I got my hands dirty with everything there. Got a lot of programming experience, and that's probably the place I grew the most very quickly.
[00:04:32.71] Your feet were to the fire, and you had to grow. You had no choice but to grow. It was sink or swim, but there was no choice. You had to swim. That's probably where I grew the most the fastest. Like I said that, was just a one-year gig. I knew that going into it, and then I landed at Hofstra up in Long Island, and I was there for two years.
[00:04:52.15] My teams were basketball, softball, soccer, tennises, and women's golf. So again, six teams, lot on your plate being at the mid-major. Teaches you a lot. Teaches you a lot very, very quickly. Two years, had the opportunity to come here to Illinois to come back home.
[00:05:11.64] Like I said, I'm from Wisconsin. I'm a Big Ten kid. I'm a Midwest kid. I always saw myself coming back to the Big Ten to some capacity. And Illinois, as much as was and still am, to some capacity a Badger fan at heart growing up in Wisconsin, Illinois was a no brainer, absolute no brainer to come home.
[00:05:31.44] And when I got hired here, it was for women's basketball and volleyball. Did that for a year, and obviously, there's a lot of challenges that come with having to premier women's revenue generating sports. You just can't be in two places at once, with two teams that really want to do it the right way and get it done. And so I had the choice between basketball and volleyball.
[00:05:57.63] Basketball, it's just going to be those 12 to 15 athletes any given year, in that same building, that one place. And even though basketball is my passion, that is what I grew up doing, that is my sport, I cannot see myself just being pigeonholed with one sport, being that I want to be a director someday. So volleyball, to me, was a no brainer. Even though I did not grow up playing volleyball, a little bit in grade school, where you had six people on the floor, and you just rotated in a circle.
[00:06:28.34] So volleyball, to any high-level capacity, I was just never around. But it made sense for me being a director. I got to keep both golfs by choosing volleyball as well. I got to work with a whole staff on the Olympic strength side here, and it just allowed me, I think, a little bit more freedom to challenge myself in many different capacities versus just like the basketball world.
[00:06:53.62] So yeah, like I said, I've been here almost seven years, and it eventually came full circle, back to home, back to the Big Ten.
[00:07:03.47] Yeah, like many coaches, you've been on a journey. You've had a lot of stops along the way. This profession has taken you all over the country to a number of different sized institutions, coming out of a D3 undergrad program, and really getting to experience a lot of different sports. And that's what I want to ask you.
[00:07:25.10] You mentioned looking at job descriptions, pursuing a master's degree because all the jobs in the field were requiring those, wanting to be a director one day. So making sure that you had experiences working in different sports, what value do you think that brings to a strength and conditioning coach? I know we'll talk volleyball and a little bit, but what value do you think it brings to have experience working in different sports? Why is that important to the director role?
[00:07:58.00] Right. I think, as a director, obviously, you were the leader of many different individuals. And it's quote unquote, "a young man's game." So you hire a lot of individuals as director that, perhaps, don't have a lot of experience, and it doesn't matter what level you are at. Does it matter what institution you at. You're going to have subordinates that don't have a lot of experience.
[00:08:26.05] So they're going to be coming to you asking a lot of questions, and you need to be able to provide appropriate guidance in helping them through the X's and O's of, not only just like the programming of the X's and O's, but how to deal with the culture of those sports as well. I think to my golf teams here. The culture between men's and women's golf, it's just different. It's the same sport, but it's just different.
[00:08:55.47] And it's not to say like one is superior over the other, it's just men's women's golf is just there in two different places, even from a professional standpoint down to the collegiate level right now. They're just different. And think back to even mid-major being with men's and women's basketball, you're helping train both of them, you're in the weight room with both of them, same sport, give or take same sport, but it's just different.
[00:09:23.77] And so understanding the culture at every different level as well, I think is important as a director as well in helping your subordinates, the people you are leading in your department, in helping them through, not only the good times, but the tough times as well.
[00:09:47.29] Yeah, I'm hearing there's a leadership element to it, but also, the X's and O's and the culture piece. But an interesting thing you said is that we get exposed to these leadership opportunities, maybe earlier than in other professions, just because, like you said, it's a young man's game. It's tough to say, but the finances of our profession sometimes dictate that for a lot of coaches, but it's a double-edged sword.
[00:10:22.32] As a field, we want to advance into these director-level roles. Sometimes that can be a pathway to higher salaries and more sustainability in our positions, and so we do fight for that at the NSCA. But it definitely got me thinking about when leadership opportunities happen within a strength and conditioning coach's career, the value of assistant coach roles in building that experience towards leadership roles.
[00:10:55.83] And you mentioned a few times having your foot to the fire, essentially, in seeking out opportunities in the field where you were going to get meaningful, springboard-type experiences to push you towards that next step in your progression. Is that something you encourage young coaches to seek out, opportunities where they're going to get hands-on coaching experience, actually get to oversee teams? There's a lot of different types of internships and junior experiences out there. What advice do you give young coaches?
[00:11:35.79] Yeah, it's a good point. One of the biggest reasons I stayed at Northern Colorado, not just for the experience of staying out in Colorado and experiencing the culture and the mountains and all of that fun stuff, because it's so different from Wisconsin. But as I was given the opportunity at a mid-major to lead swimming, diving, and all of track and field, so I'm 22, 23 years old. I'm getting paid nothing. Straight volunteer work, but had the opportunity to lead 3 teams-- swim, dive, track and field all by myself.
[00:12:13.25] And that's part of the reason I did not seek out a GA among others, but I was given so much responsibility, and I earned it, and I earned it, but I was given it so early and had the opportunity. I was like, this is cool. I don't know if I would get this somewhere else. I have a great relationship going here, just a good thing.
[00:12:37.65] I'm not going to just get up and go and leave because I'm chasing money or a stipend or another logo somewhere else. I had a really great opportunity, and I just wanted to see it through. And that was a big thing, going from Northern Colorado then to Villanova is yeah, I helped with football and both lacrosses, but then had five teams to myself at age 25. Again, getting paid a stipend, not a whole heck of a lot, living in a busy, very expensive city, but I was like, if I keep at this, if I keep my nose to the grindstone and I keep asking questions and I show up every day and I'm consistent with what I do, this is just a one-year gig, and it's going to lead me to something bigger.
[00:13:18.78] And I'm very thankful that I had support from family at the time, to help me through some of those hard financial times, but I think if you have the ability and the support to do it, seek places out that give you the opportunity to be on the floor and to have a mentor or mentors at those places, seek those out. Find out where they are, and get your foot in the door, no matter what it takes.
[00:13:47.17] Stay persistent about it. I think those are the best places to end up at is the places that give you coaching opportunities, and that actually take the time to mentor you, not just, hey, set up, tear down, squirt, wipe. OK, get out of here for the day. They actually take the time to sit down, answer your questions. They review you. They ask you questions. They challenge you, and as frustrating as it is and maybe scary as it is sometimes to sit there with your mentor and have them challenge you and really get you to think, if you're willing to be open minded and have a growth mindset, it always leads you to something, maybe not bigger, but guess better, more fulfilling to the place you want to be is, I guess, what I'm getting at.
[00:14:37.16] Yeah, there's a balancing in the amount of autonomy we want early in our career. We want to have that guidance. We want to have that support from-- and you keyed in on it, a mentor, essentially, someone to help guide you with the experience that you don't have yet, but also, the opportunity to practice what you're learning and having your own teams or a lot of responsibility in any given role is a way to do that.
[00:15:05.86] I want to ask you some volleyball questions. This is a sport you've worked with quite a bit, the sport you didn't really want to work with, initially, but from the last presentation I saw, you have a really in-depth program. And this is a sport that's gaining a lot of popularity right now at the college level, at the professional level, but also, at the youth level.
[00:15:27.84] And so how do you approach training for volleyball? Take us through your needs analysis and just some of the areas you key in on.
[00:15:35.72] Yeah. Volleyball is interesting from a lot of different perspectives. You have, essentially, one team, but you have four different positions or types of athlete that are all on the floor at once. You've got your setter, your pin, your middle blocker, and then your DSs are like your little guys running around in the back.
[00:15:55.40] So I've battled back and forth in my head a lot of, do I train all four of those positions differently? I had a lot of discussions back and forth with even the sport coaches to other strength coaches, and I think when you are-- for me, when we are talking about team, this is a true team sport. There is no, hey, just one player. It's changing the trajectory of your season, or one player is winning the game for you, maybe like a basketball team or a golf team or tennis team.
[00:16:27.84] You need all players on the floor firing in order to get the ball back over that to score points. If your pass is bad, your set is going to be bad, probably, maybe. And you know your hitters don't get a good crack at the ball either. So everyone has to be on point in the sequence of getting the ball back over the floor or back to the other side of the floor.
[00:16:52.33] So to me, when we were talking true team sport, I like to train the team as a team in the weight room. Everyone is doing the same thing. They all need strength-- upper, lower; they all need power-- upper, lower; and they all need to be conditioned. They just may be use it differently, depending on the position, but you need all those things. You need to be strong, you need to be powerful, you need to be in good shape, and we train as a team.
[00:17:19.39] Now, maybe in season is where I get a little bit more diverse in how I train different individuals and not necessarily per position, maybe depending on the day per position, if we're coming out of a tough match, you got six rotation pin hitters. Yeah, I'm going to maybe train them differently than the serve specialist or something like that.
[00:17:41.95] But yeah, in season, you have anywhere from-- oh, my gosh, I've had 16 athletes on a roster before, and I had six different programs happening. You got your fifth year who's got a lot of miles on their body. You got your fifth year, who's still sit in the bench. You got your young kids, your freshmen, maybe that are redshirting. You got your freshmen that are playing.
[00:18:07.44] Maybe you have a return-to-play kid. Maybe you have a kid that only plays three rotations. You have a kid that plays six rotations. You can have a lot of different things happening, and so I think in season is probably the most appropriate time to make those adjustments within the team from a training standpoint versus out of season. Like I said, we all have a common goal. We're all trying to get stronger to some capacity, maybe depending the kid, a little bit bigger, a little bit smaller, but that maybe is more of a nutrition talk at that point.
[00:18:40.20] We're all trying to get in better shape. We're all trying to get more powerful. And then from the X's and O's of what I put on paper, I have what I call my big rocks and my little rocks. So my big core movements, we got our jumping, we got our pushing, we got our pulling, we got our hinging, we got our squatting or lunging of some sort.
[00:19:03.16] Those are your big things like that. If we have block 1, that's going to be like the first thing I do in that block that day. Block 2, that's going to be the big thing that we're emphasizing in that block, and then have what I call my little rocks. What are the little things that complement the big rocks? What are the little rocks that complement the big rocks?
[00:19:25.15] And so in volleyball, that is our lower quarter-- our feet, our ankles, our shin-calf area. We have our hips. We like our ACLs, so we try to keep our hips really, really strong. Strong core. You have girls that can be upwards of 6' 3" to 6' 6", and there's a long way for force to travel from the time they push off the ground all the way till their hand smacks the ball, so you have to have a strong core, and then obviously, the shoulder.
[00:19:53.68] So those are my four little rocks that I always try to pair with my big rocks. So for example, if I'm squatting that day, that is my big rock, a little rock that's probably paired with it or two little rocks that are probably paired with it, some sort of core work, some sort of hip work. And that's how I approach my training.
[00:20:11.89] And then yeah, every single day, there's just emphasis to each day. Are we conditioning? Is more of a conditioning emphasis today? Is it a strength emphasis? Is it a power emphasis? Is it a speed emphasis, a change of direction emphasis? It just depends on the day, but that's how I approach and attack my programming, I guess, year round for volleyball. It just looks a little bit different in season versus out of season.
[00:20:35.28] That was awesome. No, there's jumping. There's landing. There's agility. There's, obviously, overhead elements. It's an overhead sport. And you're dealing-- and you mentioned this, you're working with taller, longer-lever athletes. Probably helps having that biomechanics background to be able to adapt training and think of modifications to programs to find exercises athletes do well and progress them through.
[00:21:02.53] I want to ask you about that progression over a four or five, maybe sometimes six year with the COVID year progression. Being a sport that is on the rise, where are freshmen first-year players coming in terms of their readiness for college athletics? How do you progress them through to be effective contributors on the court?
[00:21:27.01] Yeah. The Big Ten is a wild animal in terms of volleyball, so if you are-- at least in our program. I'm going to be fair and not speak for anyone else, any other teams in the Big Ten. If you are playing for us as a freshman, you're probably doing something well. You're probably doing something right. Maybe even you are plugging a hole for a position that just really needs a body there.
[00:21:56.33] I'm not saying, oh, you're just there to plug a hole. You're just a body, but we're in severe need of someone in that position to make an impact there. Yeah, so you are probably redshirting your freshman year here. What I've seen now and going into in season number 8 is that freshman year, we treat much, I guess the way football has done in the past, is they redshirt their freshmen, and they make that a true developmental year.
[00:22:27.71] And now, going into year 8, but year 7 with my current head coach and taking that route and that philosophy towards our freshmen is that that developmental year is so huge. They grow and learn so much because they are given the opportunity to just sit back and absorb and be a sponge, and they're allowed to fail. We encourage them to make mistakes.
[00:22:57.68] We train them hard, and like I said, we want them to fail. We want them we want them to learn as fast as possible, but be comfortable failing. And what I've also seen is, when they're allowed to just take a step back and they understand and they know they're not going to play, it's almost like a weight off their shoulders. There's no expectation for them in already a hard transition to college. In a hard transition already to a faster, more physical game, it just allows them to take a back seat and just watch, just to absorb everything, to be mentored.
[00:23:38.63] And then by the time they are sophomores, I guess, academically redshirt freshman then, from an athletic standpoint, they are so much better off that first year going in because they had that year to sit and just absorb and just relax and chill out a second and just be a sponge that first year. So yeah, circling back around is that first year is big time in terms of just allowing them to take a step back and calm down a second.
[00:24:14.49] But what we have been seeing though, too to answer your question, Eric, is, volleyball in juniors or club ball in high school, it's grueling. It's the amount of games and tournaments they play in such a short amount of time and then on the surfaces that they do, we've seen just weird, nasty, just like overuse injuries that are happening in kids 15, 16, 17 years old, that, OK, maybe you're specializing in your sport early. You're playing a lot of volleyball in a short amount of time, but it's also like the surfaces that they're playing on as well for athletes that are going through puberty and growing at a high rate.
[00:25:06.42] It's almost like coming in freshman year, we are trying to almost like rehab them, some of them coming in because they're coming in with, already, these wild injuries. And so from a freshman year standpoint, it is a straight, just developmental year. You aren't even doing what the returners or the older kids are doing. We are almost reverse engineering, like maybe the bad mechanics or the junk you were taught or just trying to get you healthy again.
[00:25:41.47] And it's sad because you're 17, 18 years old, and we're trying to get you healthy from playing a grueling few years of junior ball.
[00:25:51.23] Yeah, the one thing that stands out for me with that example-- and I'll make a connection to working in professional sports-- is we had players coming in from all over the country. They had tons of different training experiences and a lot of times our role in those first few years with minor league baseball players was rehabilitating their relationship with the weight room and making that a place where they can grow and really get to where they need to be physically.
[00:26:26.03] Because obviously, these families, these kids, they make a huge commitment to go play volleyball at the University of Illinois. They are planning this for years, going back to their middle school, elementary school years. They're working towards it. Sometimes whether the kids know or not, they're on that pathway, and there is a lot of really rigorous, physical demands.
[00:26:53.58] I think it's important know what you said and to bring that up of how we train our youth and that perspective from the college coach that's working with them and keeping them progressing in their sport. I think that's a really powerful thing to think about. I want to take it a little bit further outside the court, outside the weight room. Tell me about the other demands that are placed on college athletes today. How have you seen that change?
[00:27:24.79] I know you've had a few different stops along the way, different universities, different programs, and what are student athletes dealing with? What are some of the challenges they have that make their way to the weight room maybe that you're not planning to work on that day?
[00:27:45.04] Right. Yeah, excellent point. We get them 17, 18 to 22, 23 now years old. And what might not seem like a big deal to us, like some things that happened to them, it's a big deal to them. We've all been there at some point.
[00:28:05.14] Your grandparent dies or your family pet dies or your significant other broke up with you. We look at that now as older adults. We're like not giggling at it, but it just doesn't strike us as hard because we've been through that before. We've had to navigate that ourselves.
[00:28:26.57] And so that is one thing I actually do enjoy as a strength and conditioning coach is, they are willing to tell you a lot of things that they aren't willing to maybe tell the actual sport coaches. Because the sport coaches, they dictate playing time, and not saying that our sport coaches are unapproachable, by any means, but the kids are conscious of who they tell certain things to.
[00:28:49.04] And so as a strength coach, I'm the first one they see every day. And so I know right away when they walk through the door, because I see them every day, hey, our knuckles kind of dragging, our heads hanging, our heads up high, our chest is poked out a little. We're feeling it today.
[00:29:05.27] You can tell the way kids walk in a room, just their demeanor. And then you can kind of poke at, hey, what's going on today? You're good? And they'll drop some bombs on you, like, hey, my family pet died, and hey, what can you give me today?
[00:29:21.37] What are you feeling? I just feel like I'm at like 70% today. Give me 100% of your 70% today, girl. We can do this. We can work through hard things. I'm empathetic, but we can still work through hard things today.
[00:29:35.73] Other things I've seen is being at lacrosse and Northern Colorado versus then Villanova, Hofstra, Illinois, you're different types of academic institutions. Illinois is-- what is it, like top 10 or something in the country of business schools. We got a lot of girls in the business school. We've had girls that are pre-med before, engineers, architecture. Those are high-academic stress majors, and you'll have kids that are up till 2:00 3:00 in the morning working on projects, stuff that maybe couldn't get done while we were on the road because they had to go to lab, and they had to go get it done.
[00:30:16.56] So academically, this is a very hard institution, and I've seen that take a toll on kids before. And then, obviously, something that's popped up the last couple of years now is NIL. To me, off days really aren't off days anymore, because off days are now meant for, hey, I gotta go meet with this guy to talk about this contract, to talk about my NIL deal. Or I got to go do a video shoot or a photo shoot or hey, I have to go put in volunteer work because this group gave me some NIL money.
[00:30:49.38] So the exchange for that is I got to I have to go do some volunteer work, which is all good. Because the volunteer work, it's meaningful. It really is, but it's like, hey, then you're coming in after an off day, and it's like, oh, how was your off day? Oh, busy. Well, why was it? Why weren't you able to just slow down and reset? Well, the NIL stuff popped up again, which is good. I'm all for athletes getting paid and getting theirs, because they do make a lot of money for us for the University.
[00:31:24.63] And for them to finally get their share, I think, is pretty cool. But it's walking that fine line of is it taking away from rest, recovery, not just from a physical standpoint, but more from an emotional and mental standpoint as well. Do these kids ever get time off anymore? And as much as we say, embrace the grind, no days off, that's not really how the human mind and body works. We're not robots. We're humans at the end of the day.
[00:31:57.96] Yeah, the NIL conversation is interesting. I think early on, I remember a couple panels and conversations of what do strength and conditioning coaches need to know about NIL and how it's affecting the collegiate environment? I think you touched on some key points there.
[00:32:16.62] Those are things that we talk about a lot in the professional sports world of players going to meet with their agents or representatives, or like you said, photo shoots or different things outside of their normal sport. They're dealing with that earlier now. Are there any other areas you're seeing NIL enter the weight room or just areas that you think strength and conditioning coaches should be aware of in this new college landscape? Is that something you think about?
[00:32:56.23] I have actually seen it already. I'm trying to think of an example. Honestly, I could not tell you what this athlete's deal was or who it was with, but I mean, it was perceived something to be with something like physical, like the way you look. And this athlete was taking pictures in the way-- brought teammate in with them, was taking pictures in the mirror in the weight room.
[00:33:23.97] And it was kind of like one of those things, like it dawned on me, like, well, that's a weird thing to be taking pictures of, to put on that person's Instagram or Twitter or whatever. And then it dawned on me, oh, my god, that athlete is doing that for an NIL thing right now. To post something, to give a shout out, to promote their NIL deal, that product.
[00:33:52.49] And just approach the athlete and was like, hey, just I was super curious. Ooh, yeah. Hi, I'm promoting my thing, blah, blah, blah. And it just did not dawn on me that they can now, I guess, use our facilities. And not that that's a bad thing, I guess. I guess maybe more of a heads up to, hey, can I come in and do this? It just didn't dawn on me our facilities now are being used to help promote these athletes as well, which I guess is kind of cool in a way.
[00:34:25.43] I guess if it gets more athletes thinking that the weight room, to your point, is cool or restructuring the way they think about the weight room in a positive light, puts the weight room over in a positive light, this is part of the athlete's training regimen, I guess I'm all for. It's just more of like time and a place, I suppose and having those conversations with the athletes that like, hey, this is cool. I'm all for it. I support it. Let's just make sure it's not overshadowing anything else that we're doing or taking away from the other student athletes in the weight room.
[00:35:02.80] Yeah, I could imagine there's some coaches listening in that would hear this conversation and think instantly. I couldn't allow that to happen in my weight room, or that's just not the way we do our business here, that kind of thinking. But one thing that is interesting is, this is very new, NIL to NCAA. It's obviously very new to us, strength and conditioning, but it's new to the athletes and institutions as a whole.
[00:35:35.05] What are the exact rules and regulations around facilities and copyrights and legal, all this stuff, that's not our area of expertise, but we are learning a lot right now. I think it's really interesting to discuss this, and we're really at the stage where these conversations are powerful because we're hearing what coaches and what's happening on these colleges and universities. And you shared some things that I hadn't really thought of yet. So I think that's really cool.
[00:36:07.04] And no, I've enjoyed this conversation today and got to learn a little bit more about volleyball, your background. NIL, I didn't think we were going to touch on that one today, but that was a cool topic and just the overall demands that are placed on collegiate student athletes today. So I thought this was a great conversation.
[00:36:30.44] So Emily, thank you, and if you would, share how any of our listeners can reach out to you. What's the best way to connect?
[00:36:38.36] Yeah, best way by email. My email is on the fightingillini.com website, but I'll just spell it out for you here because-- my name is Emily Schilling, but my email is actually my maiden name, which is E-S-S-E-L-M-A-N, esselman@illinois.edu. So yeah, if you miss that, I guess just go to the website. It's on there under the staff directory.
[00:37:06.71] But email email is the best way, and love connecting, love talking shop, getting on a phone call and just talking, bantering back and forth, and trying to learn from everyone as well. Just finished year 13 myself, overall as a strength coach, and the longer I'm in it, the more I read, the more I listen to the dumber I think I am. So there's just so much out there, and I'm always wanting to learn and try to find new, different, better ways of how we do stuff here as well.
[00:37:41.10] So willing to talk to anyone and everyone. Please do not be afraid to reach out. Always welcome it.
[00:37:50.60] Awesome. We'll help everybody out. We'll add your email to the show notes. A lot of good takeaways in there about growth mindset and just always being open and realizing early in your profession that you're on a path and you don't have all the answers yet. And you might feel like you have less of those answers as you go and your world expands even more, but I really enjoyed this conversation today.
[00:38:15.92] Emily, thank you, and Thank you to everyone listening in. Special thanks to Sorinex Exercise Equipment. We appreciate their support.
[00:38:25.25] Hey, everyone, this is strength and conditioning coach, Scott Caulfield. You just listened to the NSCA Coaching Podcast, one of the best sources of information about the strength and conditioning profession. If you're new to this podcast and you want to learn more, subscribe now to always get the latest episodes delivered right to you.
[00:38:42.50] 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.

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.

Photo of Eric L. McMahon, MEd, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F,*D, RSCC*E
About the author

Eric L. McMahon, MEd, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F,*D, RSCC*E

NSCA Headquarters

Contact Eric McMahon

Contact Eric McMahon

Your first name is required.
Your last name is required.
Your email is required.
Your message is required.
Your reCaptcha is required.

Your email was successfully sent to Eric McMahon

Eric McMahon is the Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager at the NSCA Headquarters in Colorado Springs. He joined the NSCA Staff in 2020 with ove ...

View full biography
Photo of Emily M. Schilling, CSCS, RSCC
About the author

Emily M. Schilling, CSCS, RSCC

Contact Emily Schilling

Contact Emily Schilling

Your first name is required.
Your last name is required.
Your email is required.
Your message is required.
Your reCaptcha is required.

Your email was successfully sent to Emily Schilling

Emily Schilling has 13 years of collegiate strength and conditioning experience. She was hired at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Se ...

View full biography
#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

has been added to your shopping cart!

Continue Shopping Checkout Now