I have had a few days to reflect about the United Soccer Coaches annual convention this past weekend in Philadelphia, PA and as I look back, I thoroughly believe that after attending the convention for the last 15 years, the 2018 version was one of the greatest professional experiences of my life. Three impactful events happened this weekend that made the convention unforgettable.
Impactful Event 1: Friendships – I had fun with great friends. My two roommates for the weekend each played a significant role in my life at different times. To spend more days with them at the convention than I have over the last five years created memories that will last a lifetime. Scrapple sandwiches at the Reading Terminal, attending sessions of presenters that are personal friends, running into each others friends between sessions which leads to new friendships, story telling in the Marriott bar, and finally meeting your uniform guy after years of quality service…Each morning we woke up, rehashed the previous day and decided these amazing days only happen when you are getting #Conventioned.
Two other friends attended the event for the first time as coaches. I have the most pleasure when introducing the world of #Conventioned to first time attendees and what a positive effect it is on their professional and personal lives. The energy and passion growth is unmatched and they have both left the convention more enthusiastic about being soccer coaches and furthering their careers .
Impactful Event 2: Altered Perspective – At other United Soccer Coaches conventions, I selected the presenters I planned to watch ahead of time and during these sessions I would take extensive notes. I had a thirst for knowledge and wanted to fill my bucket with activities to take back to the teams I coached. This year, I moved around the exhibit hall and class sessions without a plan in mind often running into a friend or future friend. After chatting, I would ask “Where are you heading” and that would be the presentation we would attend. During the presentation I would attempt to think deeply about the topic and recognize the important information relevant to my situation without taking notes. Building a deeper friendship, watching a quality presenter, and further discussing the views of the speaker became a win/win/win situation for us both on our journey to experience #Conventioned.
Impactful Event 3: Speaking – My first opportunity to speak at the United Soccer Coaches convention happened this past weekend and it was about the conclusions made from my Doctoral dissertation. The title of the presentation was Life Success Within a Profession of Work-Family Conflict and featured a full 55 minutes of personal observations, analyzed data, and recommendations to limit work-family conflict. With about 50 attendees, 5 questions, and 30 minutes of personal discussion about the topic following the presentation, I consider this moment to be a success. This is one of the professional highlights of my life and I fully appreciate the opportunity given to me by the United Soccer Coaches organization. Becoming #Conventioned happens when you are part of the event in a way once only imagined.
Four days, every January, has become the optimal amount of time to become #Conventioned. I urge you to attend the convention sponsored by your sport of choice as the experience when done properly, can be transformational and will set you off on a journey of personal growth and development. Chicago 2019 – Looking forward to another amazing experience with the United Soccer Coaches.
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