Thursday, April 16, 2015

NSCA Upper North Central Regional Conference Recap

This past weekend the National Strength & Conditioning Association hosted their annual Upper North Central Regional Conference.  It was a great conference covering a wide variety of topics ranging from historic tales from the founder of the NSCA himself, Boyd Epley to cutting-edge youth sport performance programs with a little dose of Division I sport nutrition practices mixed in.  The conference was in Bloomington, MN and I highly recommend checking it out next year.

As was mentioned, Boyd Epley was the keynote speaker and discussed his journey from his days of being a collegiate athlete himself to becoming one of the most successful strength coaches of all time during his tenure with Nebraska.  He shared the struggles of changing the the climate of sports training from one that shunned weight lifting as it was thought that it would just make athletes big, bulky and slow to one that embraced the concept of strength training once everyone saw how dominant Nebraska's football team had become.

Dr. Matt Asuma, DPT, SCS who is a physical therapist at the Institute for Athletic Medicine in Blain, MN gave a great talk on some practical strategies for functional rehab following ACL reconstruction surgery. Dr. Asuma did an outstanding job covering the progressions of rehab-based exercises for those individuals coming back from knee surgery.

It was especially interesting to watch his video demonstrations of the exercises as he was the demonstrator in the videos and was an excellent example of someone who practices what they preach.

The conference then shifted gears a bit when Brittany Francis, who is the head Sports Dietician with the University of Minnesota Football team, spoke about fueling strategies for strength & power athletes throughout the year.

She did a great job providing a quick recap of the importance of sport nutrition strategies in general and moved into how to actually determine caloric and macronutrient needs for athletes during different times throughout the competitive season.

Dr.'s Robin Lund, Ben Meyer and Travis Ficklin, gave a great lecture on some of the biomechanical issues relating to the back squat and how simple variations in rack position (low bar vs high bar), squat stance and depth can influence the different torques generated at the hips and knees.

They also discussed differences in techniques between power lifters and regular back squatters and again how they influenced squat mechanics.

Scott Moody of spoke on the AthleteFit philosophy which is:

"Bridging the gap, between the physical aspects of sport and the technical skills associated with sport, in order to elevate the confidence and competitiveness of each player we mentor."

He did an amazing job breaking down some video clips of some of their athletes and walking us through some key things to focus on through training and various "do's" and "don'ts" of sport-specific movement mechanics.  He also provided some great hands-on tips for exercise progressions that focus on sport skills & movement patterns.  All in all it was a great conference and I'm already looking forward to next year!

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