NSCA President Greg Haff shares the key takeaways from recent strategic plan meetings and outlines the organization’s commitment to advancing the strength and conditioning profession.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association recently drafted a new strategic plan that is designed to promote the strength and conditioning profession. As we think about our organization’s future we must always realize that the NSCA is a multi-faceted international organization that needs to strive to work with all of the strength and conditioning professionals within the membership. The analogy I like to use is that the NSCA is much like the wheel of a bicycle with each spoke representing various aspects of the membership. If one spoke is too long, or gets too much focus, then the wheel doesn't role along very smoothly. As such, the organization must strive to remain balanced in its approach making sure that all aspects of the membership are developed.
We have to remember that all of us are a part of a global community of people who have a passion for the strength and conditioning profession. As such, one of our strategic goals is to foster a stronger sense of community within the organization. An important part of our community is our grass-roots initiatives, specifically the Regional, State and Provincial events, as this is where so many of us were first introduced to many aspects of the strength and conditioning profession. It is also important that we remember that we must foster an organizational environment which recognizes and advocates for its diverse membership. In terms of diversity, I must emphasize that improving diversity within the organization is of central importance as we move forward.
If we think about how we are going to develop a sense of community as we move forward the most important thing that springs to mind is communication. As with any organization, the NSCA needs to improve the quality of communication amongst the various leaders and more importantly the organization’s membership. We intend to increase the organization’s transparency and increase the flow of information to the membership. While getting information to the membership is an important step in improving communication an often overlooked part of communication is listening to the membership. The membership are the people on the coalface of the industry and their perspective is essential to overall ability of the NSCA to continue to grow and improve in its ability to achieve excellence in everything we do. The strategic plan highlights the need to better collaborate with one another and allow for the exchange of ideas in an open and frank dialogue.
Overall, many of us joined the NSCA to further develop our professional knowledge. Our strategic plan recognizes the importance of developing resources that underpin and support an evidence based practice model for our membership. It was clearly noted that the promotion of research and the increase of available funding to promote research are necessary in order to allow the collective knowledge base to continue to grow.
While the ability to drive research is important, it is even more important to communicate that research to the membership. Increasing the quality and availability of educational materials for our ERP Schools and developing programs that further support the development of the next generation of strength and conditioning professionals is needed. However, we must still continue to educate all of our membership through continued improvement of all our educational initiatives including both publication and conference initiatives. Overall we must strive to improve all our educational programs so that we can continue to deliver on our memberships demand for high quality information so that they may continue to expand their knowledge.
Ultimately with the development of a more knowledgeable inclusive and expansive community the NSCA will be in a much stronger position to advocate for the further advancement of the strength and conditioning profession. Central to our ability to advocate will be establishing working relationships with strategically aligned groups. For example, the NSCA has begun to develop educational resources and programs that relate to long-term athletic development. This initiative will need to be promoted with strategic partners with in school districts in order to increase the availability of high quality strength and conditioning methods for young people.
In closing, the NSCA is now on a united path to nurture our community, communicate more effectively, allow our members to continue their professional development, and advocate for further legitimacy of our profession. The future is now and the national office is already taking action on the strategic plan; it won’t be long before we reap the benefits of our vision.
G. Gregory Haff