I spent this past weekend at the USTA Tennis Performance & Injury Prevention Conference. I always enjoy going to events like this and learning new things. I also think that listening to the perspectives of others helps to make your mind work. It forces you to rethink the way that you have always done things. Hopefully this makes me a better coach.
The presenters did an excellent job of giving info that was useful for all that were in attendance. This says a lot because the audience was made up of individuals with all types of backgrounds – MD’s, Athletic Trainers, Physical Therapists, Tennis Coaches, and Strength & Conditioning Coaches from a multitude of settings. Presentations covered the biomechanics of the tennis strokes, strength and conditioning, warm ups, and there were many sessions on injuries specific to tennis. While each speaker had their own experiences and point of view to share, many of the presenters ended up “on the same page” with some of their advice. There also didn’t seem to be any big egos present among the presenters or attendees. To top it all off, the USTA did a great job of making everything was run smoothly.
I learned a lot about that not only will help me when I train tennis players, but some of the info will help me to train other athletes also. Look for some of tidbits that I learned in my future blog posts and newsletters.
As a coach, I’m always looking for ideas and trying to get better. One thing that I’ve found useful is to go back and look at old handouts and notes from conferences that I have attended programs I have been given, etc. It seems like you never get to see every presentation that you want to (or need to) at conferences. Even if I do get to see a good one, I’m always trying to glance at the handouts, look at the slides, listen to the speaker, and somehow take notes. That’s why I look to look back at this info at some point later in time. I usually look at some of it in the days right after attending a conference but some of it waits until later. That’s the info that I like to pull out when I have a question that I want to answer. I might want to look for drill ideas, compare programs, or try to get better in an area that I want to improve in. That’s when I go to the presentation handouts. I know that some folks probably just toss most off this stuff out after a few years, but I view it as a valuable resource. I very much believe that you can’t just copy someones program or way of doing something and make it work just as well for yourself. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get some good bits of info from other people and add them to the knowledge that you already have. This is part of becoming a better coach. So, don’t just throw out those old notes – use them to get better!!!
I got to attend the National Strength & Conditioning Association National Conference last week in Orlando, FL. Fortunately for me it was only a short commute away. I always enjoy conferences and try to take a professional attitude towards them. While it is nice to run into old friends, I am there to make myself better. I really try to get something out of the sessions and view them as a chance to get the gears in my mind working. Sometimes you can’t use what you learn directly, but if it gives you a better picture of something or makes you think of something that you can use, then the conference was a success. Continue reading →