Eighteen years ago, I passed on an opportunity to take the NSCA CSCS Exam because I didn't think I had the money to do so. I always regretted that decision as the certification became more expensive to obtain then it became further out of reach for me. I didn't think I would ever get another chance to be able to afford to take it. I belong to the American Association of Educators and found out 7-8 years ago that they provide professional development grants for $500. I investigated the cost of the CSCS Exam at that time and figured out that I could pay for the test and the textbook to study from for $495. I decided then and there to follow through with it this time. I submitted my grant application and it was approved! I used the grant money to purchase the exam and study materials and received my NSCA CSCS designation almost 6 years ago this month. The best decision I made was to take that first step and pursue my dream.
That little decision has opened so many doors for me. I only wish now I would have done so 18 years ago! After obtaining my CSCS, I worked hard to maintain it by accumulating CEUs. That pursuit of CEUs lead me to the NSCA National Conference lead me to meet up with some legends in the high school strength coaching world: Kevin Vanderbush, Fred Eaves, and Gary Schofield. Those men who I served on the NSCA High School Coaches' Special Interest Group with ended up being the founders of the National High School Strength Coaches Association! Joining the NHSCCA and being the NHSSCA-KS State Director has been an unbelievable experience and unparalleled opportunity for growth for me as a coach. I am a much-improved strength coach now than I was 18 years ago or even 1 year ago. I was also able to connect with Hewitt Tomlin from TeamBuildr and Ron McKeefery from PLAE who have been valuable resources for my programs since the day I met them. I also firmly believe that the last three jobs I have had I got in part because of my certification. I also believe that I have been able to interview for several of the most premier jobs in Kansas coaching football because of my CSCS certification. That certification put me out in front of all the other applicants.
It all started with a decision to better myself, to believe in myself, and to invest in myself. If you can find ways to do the same, then you will be blown away by the opportunities that will come your way.