College athletics is all about lifelong learning and the constant pursuit of improvement and that counts doubly for the Timberwolves staff. January is a busy time for professional development and convention attendance with many of the nation's professional development organizations hosting events across the country. Two of those events are the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention and the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association Convention of which several of the Timberwolves staffers are members and were in attendance.
The American Baseball Coaches Association has been running since 1945 and brings baseball and softball coaches from across the country together to improve and learn from each other. Timberwolves Head Baseball Coach Casey Job took his two assistants, Max Keado and Cameron LaBarge to experience this melting pot of coaching philosophies, drill engineering and player development strategy despite one of the worst weather events in recent memory. Through the sub zero temperatures and heavily accumulating snow they enjoyed guest speakers, work shops, a trade show and presentations in Indianapolis. The Convention ran from January 4th through 7th and featured Hall of Famer Augie Garrido and Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch.
Coach Job had this to say about the event: "The ABCA Convention was a great event that exposed our coaching staff to a lot of different practice drills, coaching philosophies, and new baseball technology. This event is an unofficial starting point to the spring baseball season and has our coaching staff back in complete baseball mode."
The Eastern Athletic Trainers Association has been in existence since 1949 and currently encompasses all of the National Athletic Trainers Association members from District 1 and District 2. The Convention was held in Boston and Timberwolves Athletic Trainer Dan Dennett attended. The event ran from January 5th through the 8th and featured Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer Mark Smaha who survived the Marshall tragedy and uses his story to help others in similar situations, work shops, trainings and conferences.
Dennett had this to say about the opportunity:
"I have been a NATA Board Certified Athletic Trainer going on 26 years. In order to maintain certification and state licensure Athletic Trainers attend annual conferences such as the National Athletic Trainers Association Conference & Symposia and the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association. These conferences provide up to date Evidence Based Design research and current best practices in the field of Athletic Training. In addition, workshops and clinical lab activities are also available along with Athletic Training & Sportsmedicine exhibits. It showcases all the new products used in the high schools, colleges and professional settings. Many college students enrolled in an accredited Athletic Training Programs also attend. The EATA was in Boston this year and although very cold it offered an opportunity to learn and network with over 7,000 fellow Athletic Trainers some Hall of Famers, Orthopedic Physicians, PHD in Athletic Training, Professional Team ATC's, Major D1 ATC's, High School and Clinical setting Athletic Trainers. "No better way to learn and motivate yourself in this profession than sharing what we do and how we do it to help our athletes become better."
Head Women's Soccer Coach, Zack Votra, attended his Coaches Conference and learned a great deal from many of the world's top coaches and organizational leaders. He is pictured above with Bruce Arena who has both played for and managed the USA Men's National Soccer Team and is in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.