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Conference helps coaches

The eighth annual National Coaching Educators Conference was held June 5-7 at the Canyons Resort in Park City. Hosted this year by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) along with the USA Coaching Coalition, the conference coaches with new techniques, current information on programming options, and speeches on a wide variety of related topics.

Over 90 people from around the U.S. attended the three day conference including college professors, NGB Coach Education Administrators, Youth Sport Administrators, and High School Administrators. David McCann, President of the National Council for Certification of Coaching Education and Director of Educational Services for the USSA, put together this year’s conference and deemed it a huge success. McCann said the conference serves as a place where different groups involved in coaching education can share ideas and developments in the field.

"We give coaches an opportunity to learn about the National Standards for Sport Coaches, and how to get accredited. People are able to develop partnerships at these conventions and it’s a chance to promote advocacy of coaching education in sports throughout the century," said McCann.

Attendees could visit the Polar booth to learn about new technologies in coaching, enhancing athletes and about recent regulation changes. Coaches from colleges all over the U.S. spoke on core conditioning and motivation.

Highlights included a speech by Cathy Sellers, Coaching Education Manager for the USOC, who gave a review of coaching in other countries, a vital topic with the Summer Beijing Olympics quickly approaching. She also described the USOC’s new initiative to develop, support, and promote coaches education in the U.S. Participants also learned how to get their programs accredited by NCACE (the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education).

They also were able to view a bit of the town that so many world class athletes call home. "The best part, outside of the great sessions was the tour of the Utah Olympic Sports Park, the reception at Doc’s was great too," said McCann.

The event culminated with keynote speaker Eric Heiden, Olympian, Orthopedic Surgeon, and Park City resident. Heiden knows a few things about great coaching, he has won five Olympic Gold medals in speed skating and even made a name for himself in cycling, all with help from those who inspired and motivated him along the way. Heiden’s speech touched on what it takes to go from being a good coach to a great coach by not only coaching the tactics and techniques of a sport but also providing coaching in sport physiology, motivation and leadership.

Dr. Larry Lauer, Director of Coaching Education and Development at Michigan State University, said that he found the conference to be an "excellent forum for discussing the latest practices in coaching education. As a group I feel the presentations and the informal conversations are advancing coaching education practices." He said that having the event in Park City was an added benefit, "It is such a scenic venue and fun place to gather with friends and colleagues."

The conference gave coaches of all varieties a chance to come together, be appreciated, and improve their skills.


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