To help bridge the gap between science and education, Carroll University’s Sport Performance Institute hosted the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Great Lakes Regional Clinic in April. The NSCA is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the strength and conditioning and related sport science professions around the world.
Dr. Tim Suchomel, director for Carroll’s Sport Performance Institute, has served as the NSCA Wisconsin state director since 2017. Suchomel is also an associate professor exercise science and program director for the master’s program in sport physiology and performance coaching at Carroll.
Carroll has hosted a statewide clinic in the past, but this was the first year that it has hosted a regional clinic. Suchomel attributes this to the top quality NSCA conferences Carroll has hosted in the past. Suchomel said this year’s clinic was top quality for a myriad of reasons, especially paying tribute to all the hardworking faculty at Carroll.
“The turnout was just outstanding,” said Suchomel. “It gave professionals an opportunity to make connections with others they wouldn’t normally.”
The clinic, which covered more than six hours’ worth of a variety of topics right in Hastad Hall on campus, was rated as a “world class event,” based on a Net Promoter Score from the survey results. Participants ranged from undergraduate and graduate exercise science students to personal trainers, coaches, high school and college strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists and more.
The clinic provided a networking opportunity for working professionals in the field – a way for students to present their research, and a platform for all involved to discuss current industry topics.
“The format really allows for students and professionals to be in the same place at the same time and learn from each other,” said Suchomel.
One of those students was Conor Cantwell ‘23, a graduate assistant in Carroll’s Sport Performance Institute. At the clinic, Cantwell had the opportunity to connect with national and international researchers about exercise-centric strength conditioning coaching, which is his emphasis. With the event featuring speakers from Kentucky to California, Cantwell said the experience was invaluable.
“To have such great speakers right on our doorstep here at Carroll was just excellent,” said Cantwell. “The networking opportunities for students and coaches between talks was brilliant. It really set students up for success.”
Suchomel said one of the most valuable parts of the NSCA Great Lakes Regional Clinic was that it allowed students to apply the theory of sports performance topics directly to their coaching.
Carroll has hosted the state-wide clinic for the last 11 years and there is talk of the university hosting regionally again in 2023.
To learn more about Carroll’s Sport Performance Institute, visit www.carrollu.edu/academics/health-sciences/sport-performance-institute.