Why is writing in strength and conditioning important? Why does it matter if you or your staff writes or not?
Rewind. We’re going back to September 2012. I had just been offered an assistant position at the National Strength and Conditioning Association, while I was currently an intern at the University of Michigan. Great, right?! Yeah, not 100%, though. Usually to get something, you have to make sacrifices. For me, this sacrifice was that I had to give up both of my blogs. This might not be a big to do for most, but it was for me. HUGE.
Writing is one of the ways I learn best. It involves a process of constant research, while forming your own ideas. At least that is the way I go about it. This whole process brings research findings and ideas full-circle until you can place a value on the content and make a decision on how best to present the material to the readers. How do you use that information in a practical way? Certainly that is one way to present the material. However, once I took the job at the NSCA, I had to stop this process.
At first I thought that this wasn’t such a big deal. I was a little bummed, but thought that I was embarking on a new journey. This is true, I am on a new journey and love the work I do, but I felt something was amiss. There was a void and I knew exactly what was wrong. I felt as if I wasn’t caught up enough on my research and my coaching skills were not what they used to be. Obviously this was probably not the case in reality, but this was the way I felt. As a strength coach, you absolutely have to be confident in your abilities or your athletes will see right through you. There will be less “buy-in” to your program and you will lose the respect of your athletes.
I am happy to say that I am allowed to blog again (obviously, you’re reading this right now :)). Starting the process back up has been a little strange; like putting pants on with BOTH legs at the same time. However, I feel after a few posts I’ll be back in fine form.
So, back to the original questions: Why is writing in strength and conditioning important? Why does it matter if you or your staff writes or not?
As I described, it is a worthwhile process. As one goes through the process, not only are they learning more about a topic, but they are also improving their grammar/writing skills (subconsciously) and forming their own opinions on how to best use the information. As this process goes on, like anything, it is reformed and improved until it is simple for the author to put a new post/article out almost on request. Did I mention the improvement gained in critical thinking skills?
After all, that is what it comes down to, right? How does a good strength coach adapt? By way of critical thinking! The only difference with writing is that the author has time to decide how to formulate the use of the information…into phrases and sentences! Also, when you ask for research assignments from interns on a chosen topic, the papers will not be hard to read and will actually make sense! Win for everybody! You get quality information and they learn and improve!
Obtain the new information -> Process the information -> Decide how to act with the information obtained -> Act!
In a future post, I will go over the steps of the writing process and how to apply them to strength and conditioning for practical use.
The ideas, comments and materials presented herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion or otherwise.