Updates After #N4A17

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Before we get into this installment of the #LiveMaas blog, I strongly encourage you to participate in this weeks #SAthleteDevChat through the 🐦 @SAthleteDevChat 🐦 account.  Although this is not an N4A account, there will be great interaction and content from all across our higher education platform from all Divisions and Conferences.

Lets start with some feedback on the National Convention itself.  It is my belief that the N4A National Convention is one of the finest of its kind running right now.  A huge amount of its success has to be accredited to the N4A Board of Directors, but also to Katie Newman (Manager, NACDA) and Bob Vecchione (NACDA).  Everything is superior, from the layout of the event space to the rooms themselves.  What a special area to host this amount of people.  Clearly one of the hits for the weekend was not only the pool with its massive TV’s where members could relax and catch up on the NCAA Regionals…. but at night – the new ⚡️⚡️Laser Show ⚡️⚡️that the resort puts on.  My SnapChat was bombarded with light shows and EDM each night.

If you missed Judy Foudy, then you truly missed something special.  Her presentation was truly phenomenal.  I highly recommend that if you have an opportunity to see her present that you take advantage of it.

The competition for attendee’s attention at the National Convention is extremely difficult.  I can admit I was slightly concerned to see a half empty room as my Assistant Director (Shirley Caballero – you can find her on Instagram as @Taimah) and I were preparing for our presentation, “Be Well, Do Well – Invest in Your Team”.  We ended up having a wonderful crowd by the time the presentation started.  If you attended the presentation, I would 💙 to get your feedback in the comments area below, or you can direct them to any one of my communication channels.  If for any reason you would like a copy of our presentation, I would be more than happy to send it out to you!

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Several key areas from the convention.  Felicia Martin is now firmly in her role as President of our N4A.  I am confident our Leadership has never been stronger, or more focused, than it is right now.  From Kim, to Jean to Ken and now to Felicia, our future is extremely bright.  The membership elected Mike Meade (http://www.soonersports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=31000&ATCLID=208803407) as our Present, Elect.  I have been fortunate to get to know Mike well over the past few years.  His experience with N4A are second to none and his resume reads like a wikipedia page on higher education.  We also voted on, and secured, a new name for our Organization.  If you missed it, I’m happy to provide it here for you…

💠💠THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ACADEMIC AND STUDENT-ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS💠💠

Hopefully the Convention was a success for you as well.  Networking, fellowship, mentoring – I hope you found whatever it was you came in search of.  If you were not able to attend, please do not hesitate to reach out to me for additional information, presentations, etc.  I will do my best to assist you!

So, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?  You attended a National Convention this summer, whether it be #N4A17, CoSIDA, FOAD, NAAC, NAATSO, NACMA, NATYCAA, etc.

Network.  You made contacts.  Exchanged business cards.  Perhaps even took in the EDM show by the pool.  Now, interact with those new peers.  Reach out to them and say hello.  Introduce new ideas or help other staff members with the concepts they are working on.  Don’t waste this incredible opportunity to grow your network and expand upon your department, or even your personal, brand.

Implement.  At every National Convention I come back with a minimum of three to four ideas that can change how we work with our student-athletes.  Please, I implore you, Do NOT lose your momentum.  You are back on campus now.  Orientations are in full swing and your freshman are either HERE or they arrive soon.  Keep the momentum you started in Orlando going and implement those new ideas on your campus.

Evaluate.  Did you accomplish the goals you set out with when you left for Orlando?  Did you meet those three to four key people that can help you, your department or your students grow?  Did you have a chance to present and build upon your professional development opportunities?  Evaluate the entire experience and see where you can improve next year in D.C.

Please 🙏🏻🙏🏻 do me a HUGE favor.  Leave me feedback, including which convention you attended, in the comments area down below.

  • What were your Goals heading into the Convention?
  • What was your FAVORITE Session, and Why?
  • What Event is next for you?  Are you considering a Regional or Drive-In convention?

Finally, a special Thank You to the N4A Board of Directors for tapping me as the Director at Large for Strategic Communications.  It is truly an honor to serve on the Board of Directors and I look forward to our work together.

To everyone I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time this year, THANK YOU for your time!  For those who have been there since day one, it is always tremendous to catch up.  As always, if I can ever be of service to you – you can easily reach me:

  • 📱307-223-6429
  • 🐤@Wesdmaas
  • 💻Wmaas@fiu.edu

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