Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Health and Human Performance Internship: Ferrum College Football

By Anthony Konieczka

January 22, 2017: This week was a long week for me. It started out with my regular duties for the internship like recruiting and helping with the weight room for the fitness aspect of coaching. I also got the chance to meet with Ferrum’s Athletic Director Abe Naff as he prepared me for the importance of the trip I was about to take to Nashville, TN, as a Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for Ferrum College and the USA South Athletic Conference.

(L-R) Ferrum College seniors Anthony Konieczka and Jessica Turner attended the 2017 NCAA National Convention in Nashville. Also pictured are William Peace students Breanna Cary  and Tanner Brown.

Division III SAAC members with the Nashville Special Olympics.
The time I spent in Nashville for the NCAA National Convention showed me the world that coaches and AD’s live in. It gave me a glance at the broad world that is collegiate sports and how everything gets done. I always thought that we play with these guidelines just because that’s how the coach felt, but it is so much more than that. I got to sit and listen to legislation, and give my opinion on it as a part of the SAAC, that would allow a D3 coach recruit D1 and D2 graduate prospects which could have impacted the collegiate atmosphere. I gave my opinion on the new recommendations for football practice and official times and ways we can practice that were put out by the Sports Science Institute. I argued against and for different policies and proposals. I was able to attend a sexual violence prevention within collegiate sports forum, which gave me insight on how to approach this problem if I were to ever face it as a coach.

Anthony Konieczka with Rich, a participant
of the Special Olympics of Nashville. 
The best part of the trip was the experience of a lifetime, being able to participate in and help coach the Special Olympics event for the Division III conventions partnership with Unified Sports Experience, the Nashville Special Olympics. It was the best opportunity I have ever had to give back within the world of athletics. I have been able to help build houses for the needy, collect canned goods, collect pennies for a purpose, read to kids, but to see the brightest smiles that beamed from the faces of these individuals was something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was such a huge impact that I will be pushing for an event with the Roanoke Special Olympics every semester.

I also got to network, I picked up names, numbers, and emails for Athletics directors, Faculty Athletic Representatives, Coaches, NCAA presidents, and even the NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. This networking will hopefully land me a job somewhere. I was tasked with bringing back information and ideas for improvement for our school. I have accomplished that and will be meeting with our SAAC and AD’s to see where we can take this thing.

I truly enjoyed my time in Nashville meeting other SAAC members and being a part of this highly important convention.

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