Meeting of the Minds Conference 2015 – A Summary

Meeting of the Minds 2015 is one of a few strength and conditioning conferences establishing itself in the UK. Now that I've had a chance to review and digest the events, I thought I would expand a little on my thoughts of the conference format and content.

The format

This is the second time I’ve had a change to tune in to the online conferences run by @sandceducation and in many ways they work really well. The ability to gain access to professionals from across the globe is a big draw. I like my tech, and I am always thinking how might I be able to utilise technology to improve what I do and this is a great example. To be anywhere and have the ability to tune into such a breadth of speakers within this industry is just something that would not be possible without great expense or impracticality. Technology is moving at such a rate, I think I’ve even started to take the idea of a virtual conference for granted. I have already started to look into developing my own online material using similar technologies to interact with clients and engage with them in different ways.

Using reasonably novel communication techniques such as a webinar is of course a double edged sword. While I was able to tether my tablet to my mobile and watch at work in the evenings (very smugly too), the gotowebinar app on android is not entirely bug free. I was literally plunged back into the dark ages when I ended up having to dial in to a section of Nick Winkelman’s talk from my mobile – oh the horror!

I would urge speakers not to include too much video, unless they know they have a lightning fast connection and system. Obviously if a picture can be worth a thousand words etc, then a video….etc. But a lagging disjointed video can also completely disengage the viewer. What a webinar gains in global connectivity, it loses in closeness and rapport development. There is certainly a fine line to be trod, and I think the format is one that would test even the most experienced of speakers when it comes to delivering a truly engaging talk. I am happy to say that most of the speakers were however pretty much there or thereabouts in this regard.

The content

Over the past week I have been mulling over how I would summarise my thoughts of the conference. One theme that I felt appeared again and again, was that of integration. Whether it is seamlessly integrating the role as an S&C coach into the broader environment, or the knowledge of others into one’s everyday practice, it is clearly something that as an S&C coach one needs to be aware of. So in that vein, I’ve made a rough and ready attempt to integrate the themes and topics of the talk into one place. To do this I’ve tested out (and integrated into my own skill set) coggle, a free piece of software I came across during the talks, used by Mladen Jovanovic. Hopefully it will summarise some of the over-arching themes covered by the speakers, and show some of the similarities in their philosophies, thoughts and processes. It’s by no means exhaustive and obviously specific to my perspective, but hopefully it still presents a more engaging piece of content than you would get from me blithering on for a few more paragraphs. Please enjoy and share!