Each year our athletes are challenged to run faster and jump higher. The physical demands required of them continue to escalate. The need for a person who is certified in the proper exercises to attain these goals while ensuring safety and preventing injuries is vital.
Division II strives for “life in the balance” for our student-athletes, and it is imperative that we ensure their well-being and reduce the chance of injury while training. At the 2016 NCAA Convention in January, Division II members will vote on legislation that would require any person designated as a school’s strength and conditioning coach to be nationally certified. If a school does not designate such a coach, this certification would be required of any individual who conducts strength and conditioning workouts (excluding individuals who conduct conditioning activities related to practice).
These conversations began in 2012, when the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports recommended all three divisions require national certification of anyone designing, conducting or monitoring such workouts. The Division II Presidents Council and Management Council decided to sponsor this proposal, which was supported by the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. SAAC thought it would be an important step toward safety and injury prevention.
A certified professional provides a safe environment in which student-athletes can develop and optimize their potential. More importantly, the certified individual has the ability to decrease competitive injuries. I believe the cost of the national certification is a relatively small investment for huge returns.
Here at the University of North Georgia, as a result of hiring a certified strength and conditioning coach, we saw a 58.32 percent reduction in injuries last season and a huge cost savings with our secondary insurance provider.
This requirement will foster a quality collegiate experience while providing a safe and healthy environment in which to learn and train. Our vital mission is to provide every resource to assist in the total development of the student-athlete. I strongly encourage you to support this proposal at the Convention.
University of North Georgia Athletics Director Lindsay Reeves is on the Division II Management Council.