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Award Criteria

NSCA awards are governed by this following general criteria. Please visit the individual award's page for specific criteria.

Adopted: January 11, 2002
Current revision: January 4, 2017

Career Awards – determined by the Board of Directors
  
In December, an e-mail will be sent to the board requesting nominations for the four career awards. Nominees will be checked for qualifications and voted on at the January Board meeting. Winners will be contacted and travel arrangements made by the national office. Announcement of winners will be made in February to promote the attendance at the July National Conference. There may not be an honoree for each career award every year.
  • Boyd Epley Award for Lifetime Achievement 
  • Alvin Roy Award for Career Achievement
  • NSCA Impact Award
  • President’s Award

Career Awards Criteria
The National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Board of Directors deliberately and very carefully selects the recipients of the esteemed career awards. Selected honorees are presented with these awards at the July National Conference. Recipients are recognized for their honorable distinction and devotion to their work and service from one of the following categories:
  • Coaching: Instructing the fundamentals to improve the performance of their athletes with safe and effective science-based programs
  • Research: For exemplary research contributions and breakthroughs in the field of applied exercise and sport science
  • Athletic Training: Making contributions that have significantly impacted the field of sports medicine or rehabilitation for athletes
  • Personal Training: Recognized for excellence in service to the advancement of the personal training industry
  • Nutrition: For breakthroughs and contributions in the field of nutritional research for athletes
  • Education: For noteworthy contributions to teaching and clinical application in the field of strength and conditioning 

Boyd Epley Award for Lifetime Achievement 
The Boyd Epley Award honors individuals who exhibit historical impact, achievements, and dedication to the NSCA over the course of their career and is the most prestigious award a Member of the NSCA can receive. 

Alvin Roy Award for Career Achievement
This award for career achievement was created in honor of Alvin Roy. Roy was one of the first coaches to prove that lifting weights would improve both speed and power, and he helped debunk the myth that lifting weights made athletes slower. This esteemed award is given to an individual whose career achievements made a substantial contribution to the scientific understanding, methodologies, or practice of resistance training as a component of sports conditioning. The individual must be 70 years of age or older or can be awarded posthumously. (Does not need to be a member of the NSCA.) 

NSCA Impact Award

The NSCA Impact Award is given to an individual whose career has greatly contributed to the advancement or impact in the national or international strength and conditioning or fitness industry. Recipient is selected by the NSCA Board of Directors based on the estimated number of lives they have touched, the impact of their legacy and the span and scope of an individual’s career. (Does not need to be a member of the NSCA.)

President’s Award

This award is given to an individual in recognition of contributions to the field of strength and conditioning and to the NSCA. Recipient is selected by the NSCA President.

Annual Awards

Annual awards are available in each of the following categories:
Category  Description Number of Awards
Vocational Professional- or employment-related recognition 7
Research Research recognition and impact to the NSCA 4
Service Service to the NSCA 4
Editorial Editorial excellence for the JSCR and SCJ 2
Education Educational recognition and impact to the NSCA 1

Professional members in good standing are asked to nominate candidates online. Nominees are sent a criteria sheet to fill out. NSCA headquarters then determines if the nominees qualify as professional members in good standing of the National Strength and Conditioning Association for two consecutive years. Qualifying nominees are then evaluated using the criteria sheet to determine which three (3) candidates have generated the most points for the respective award.
  
Generally, individuals who volunteer for leadership positions on the Committees, SIGs, and Task Forces that determine award winners are not eligible to be nominated for that respective NSCA award while serving in that leadership role. However, this rule can be superseded by the Board-approved Policies and Procedures for any given Committee, SIG, or Task Force.

Awards Presented at the January Coaches Conference
  • Nominations are accepted online beginning in September of each year for awards to be presented in January.
  • The Coaching Task Force will determine the winner by November 15th 
  • Winners are contacted by the national office
  • Announcement of the January Coaches Conference award winners will be done by November 20th

o Vocational Awards
  •      Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach
  •     College Strength and Conditioning Coach
  •     Assistant College Strength and Conditioning Coach

Awards Presented at the TSAC Conference
  • Nominations are accepted online beginning in November.
  • TSAC Committee will determine the winner by March 1st
  • Winners are contacted by the national office
  • Announcement of the TSAC Facilitator & Practitioner award winners will be done by March 10th.
o Vocational Award
  •     Tactical Strength and Conditioning Practitioner
o Service Award
  •     Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator

Awards Presented at the July National Conference
  • Nominations are accepted online beginning in March for awards to be presented in July
  • High School Strength and Conditioning Coach nominees will be sent to the Coaching Task Force to determine the winner
  • Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation Specialist nominees and criteria sheets will be sent to the Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation SIG Chair to determine the winner. In the event that there is no identified SIG leadership, nominees and criteria sheets will be sent to the Membership Committee Chair to determine the winner
  • Personal Trainer of the Year nominees and criteria sheets will be sent to the Personal Trainers SIG Chair to determine the winner. In the event that there is no identified SIG leadership, nominees and criteria sheets will be sent to the Membership Committee Chair to determine the winner
  • William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist, Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator, and Nutritional Research nominees will be sent to the Research Committee Chair to determine winners
  • State/Provincial Director nominees and criteria sheets will be sent to the State Directors Committee Chair to determine the winner
  • Educator of the Year nominees will be sent to the Education Committee Chair to determine the winner
  •  Each committee must contact the National office by April 30th with their selections
  • Winners are contacted by the national office
  • Announcement of the July National Conference award winners will be done by May 20th

o Vocational Awards
  •     High School Strength and Conditioning Coach
  •     Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation Specialist
  •     Personal Trainer
o Research Awards
  •     William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist
  •     Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator
  •     Nutritional Research
  •     Student Research
o Service Awards
  •     Outgoing President
  •     Retiring Board of Directors
  •     State/Provincial Director of the Year
o Editorial Awards
  •     Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) Editorial Excellence
  •     Strength and Conditioning Journal (SCJ) Editorial Excellence
o Education Award
  •     Educator of the Year Award

Annual Awards Criteria

VOCATIONAL
Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year
The Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year is awarded to a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with RSCC distinction, for their dedication to improving performance of athletes with safe and effective science based programs. Beyond holding their current CSCS certifications, nominees must be current members of the NSCA for two consecutive years, a Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and qualify using an evaluation criteria format. 

College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year
The College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award is given to a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with RSCC distinction, for their dedication to improving performance of athletes with safe and effective science based programs. Beyond holding their current CSCS certification, nominees must be current members of the NSCA for two consecutive years and a Division I, II, III or NAIA Head/Director of Strength and Conditioning and qualify using an evaluation criteria format. 

Assistant College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year
This award is given to a college or university Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach in recognition of his or her efforts on behalf of assistant coaches and dedication to the strength and conditioning profession. Nominees must be CSCS certified, have RSCC distinction, and hold a position as a Division I, II, III, or NAIA Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. Candidates must be nominated by their supervising Head Strength Coach or Director of Strength and Conditioning.

TSAC Practitioner of the Year
This award is given to a TSAC educator and practitioner who has made noteworthy contributions to the teaching and practical application in the field of tactical strength training and conditioning. It should be apparent that this person meets all the requirements of leadership and contribution to the education of tactical strength training and conditioning, exercise and sport science, and enhancement of the discipline within the NSCA, as well as outside the NSCA. Nominees must be a current member for two consecutive years and hold CSCS and TSAC-F certifications.

TSAC Facilitator of the Year
This award is given to a TSAC-Facilitator who has made noteworthy contributions to the tactical field of strength and conditioning. This individual’s main job function (~75% of time) must be in an active role within military, law enforcement, or emergency services (firefighter/EMS) with a secondary job of leading strength and conditioning program for their agency/department. Nominees must be a current member for two consecutive years and hold the TSAC-F certification.

High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year
An outstanding, high school strength conditioning coach is recognized for their achievements and work on behalf of high school coaches and their dedication to the advancement of the strength and conditioning profession. A current CSCS and RSCC distinction are required. 
  
Personal Trainer of the Year
A recipient is recognized for excellence in service to the advancement of the personal training industry and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Current CSCS or NSCA-CPT is required. 

Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation Specialist
This award is given to an athletic trainer whose work and contributions have significantly impacted the field of Sports Medicine or Rehabilitation for athletes. 

RESEARCH

William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist
Recipients of the William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist award are recognized for exemplary contributions and breakthroughs in the field of applied exercise and sport science. 

The Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator of the Year Award
This award is given to a researcher who has been in the field seven years or less, in recognition of noteworthy contributions to the field of applied exercise and sport science. 

Nutritional Research
Annually, a nutritionist is recognized for their breakthroughs and contributions in field of nutritional research for athletes. 

Student Research
The NSCA recognizes outstanding research efforts by students through the NSCA Student Research Awards. Five awards are given each year, two for the outstanding podium abstract presentation awarded to one Doctoral student and one Master’s student and three awards for the poster presentations given to one Doctoral student, one Master’s student and one Undergraduate student at the NSCA National Conference. The judging criteria is overseen by the Research Committee and is based on the introduction, design, scientific impact and overall knowledge and professionalism of the presenter. 

SERVICE
Outgoing President
This award is given as needed to the outgoing president in recognition of his or her service to the association.

Retiring Board of Directors
This award is given to board members as they leave office in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the NSCA.

State/Provincial Director of the Year
This award is given to state/provincial directors who have accumulated the most points during the year from April 1 to March 31, using the Evaluation Criteria format. The Membership Department calculates the points and selects the award winner.

EDITORIAL
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) Editorial
This award is given to the editorial members on the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Board in recognition of their service to the association. This award is presented by the JSCR Editor.

Strength and Conditioning Journal (SCJ) Editorial
This award is given to the members of the Strength and Conditioning Journal editorial board in recognition of their service to the association. The award is presented by the SCJ Editor.

EDUCATION
Educator of the Year Award
This award is given to an educator who has made noteworthy contributions to the teaching and clinical application in the field of strength training and conditioning. This recipient meets all requirements of leadership and contribution to the education of general strength training and conditioning, exercise and sport science, and enhancement of the discipline with the NSCA. 

Special Recognition Awards

These awards are not voted on by the professional membership or the board of directors. They are determined by application or nomination by a specific party. A team coach who is a member of NSCA, may make a nomination in the event that a team does not have a regularly assigned strength coach.

Strength of America Award
The Strength of America Award recognizes high schools that represent the gold standard in strength and conditioning programs. High schools who earn this award have demonstrated excellence in their school’s athletic supervision, education, program, and facilities.
  • Applications are due by May 15th
  • Winners are announced immediately and certificates mailed out
  • Winners are posted online with the NSCA and with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year
The NSCA All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year program recognizes collegiate and High School athletes whose athletic accomplishments, in the opinion of the strength coach*, reflect their dedication to strength training and conditioning. These athletes are also recognized for their academic and personal accomplishments as well as their integrity as student athletes.
  • NSCA member collegiate and high school coaches may nominate one male and/or one female strength and conditioning athlete. All athletes submitted will be recognized. All athletes will receive a personalized certificate and an official NSCA press release for them to release to media.
  • Nominations are online between February 1st thru March 1st of each year
  • Mailing of Certificates are sent in April

General Guidelines
  • No annual awards are given to NSCA employees 
  • All annual awards limited to one winner per year unless there is a tie
  • No member shall receive the same annual award twice
  • All awards will be listed online explaining when and how to nominate
  • A display award will be presented at the award ceremony and an engraved award will be sent to the recipients to save shipping the actual award to the conference, back to headquarters then to the recipients.
  • All award nominees and recipients are to adhere to the NSCA Code of Ethics. Winning an NSCA award comes with an ethical obligation to act in such a manner that the trust and public confidence of the NSCA are enhanced, and without embarrassment to or adverse reflection or impact on the integrity of the NSCA. If at any time a winner is found in violation of the NSCA Code of Ethics after a review by the NSCA Ethics Committee, their award status can be revoked by vote of the Board of Directors. 
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