by Dr. Toby J. Brooks, PhD, ATC, CSCS, YCS-2, PES
Hopefully you were able to attend the recent Second Annual IYCA International Summit in Louisville, Kentucky in person. If not, then perhaps you were able to catch the live streaming video or the soon-to-be-released DVDs. At any rate, just prior to my presentation, IYCA founder and CEO Brian Grasso introduced me to the attendees. Now Brian is certainly a wordsmith, but something he mentioned really resonated with me and got me thinking. It was the simple power of the offer.
Brian briefly told the audience about our chance encounter in May of 2006. At the time, I was working as an athletic trainer and developing plans to launch an athletic development business near my hometown. As an athletic trainer and strength & conditioning specialist, I had been well versed in injury prevention, orthopedic assessment, and strength training. What I lacked was any type of business training. I registered to attend the event because it was equal parts programming and business/finance topics. Reading through the materials, I noticed that Brian Grasso, founder of the International Youth Conditioning Association, would be presenting on youth conditioning programs. Having never heard of the IYCA, I did a bit of research. And I liked what I found.
The IYCA was quite literally in its formative steps at that point. After hearing Brian’s presentation, I felt compelled to introduce myself. I was also relatively certain of two things. First, the IYCA mission and goals were on point and completely congruent with where I tended to fall philosophically. Second, as a new organization, the IYCA could probably use all the help it could get. In introducing myself, I told Brian that I would love the opportunity to become involved. Having been a member of other professional organizations, serving on committees, and regularly availing myself to such service activities, my perception was that the formative stage of the IYCA’s development would afford me a unique opportunity to get involved “ground floor” with an organization committed to making a difference in the world. And man, was I right.
Brian didn’t call me the next day. He didn’t even call me the next week. However, eventually, he did call. Over time, I have gradually been able to increase my involvement with the organization, and I can honestly point to that chance encounter and a simple offer to help as the one moment that precipitated it all.
Thankfully, the IYCA has grown tremendously during that time. We now enjoy membership from individuals from remarkably varied experience levels, skill sets, and geographic locales. What is more, becoming involved in the IYCA doesn’t require contact with just one person. While Brian maintains a level of contact with members that, for my money, is unprecedented for an organization of this size and importance, there are countless other ways to get involved as well.
In life, there are watchers and there are doers. The IYCA provides a unique opportunity to become actively involved in the youth conditioning and fitness movement, and it all starts with your simple offer to lend a hand.
Dr. Toby J. Brooks, PhD, ATC, CSCS, YCS-2, PES