By Convention Education Committee | Thursday, September 14, 2017Jessica Cooper
I happily began my Wednesday staffing the Happy2Help desk with Jayne and Jamie. From there, I jumped right into my schedule for the day (using the handy dandy Sched platform, of course). As you know, there are useful sessions for most every LSC position at Convention. Unfortunately, we can't bring all of our LSC Chairs with us so we try to cover every type of session to bring information back to the LSC. That being said, I found myself in the Let’s Talk: Opening Up the D&I Conversation session. The session actually covered fundraising outside of the box and how to seek out funding opportunities outside of your typical fundraisers and membership fees to bring in revenue. As a nonprofit professional, the information wasn't new to me but it did remind me that there's a wealth of information I could be sharing with our nonprofit clubs to increase revenue. I sometimes forget the overlap between your typical nonprofit organization and nonprofit sport organizations. Bonus: I got to see one of our past athlete representatives, Naomy Grand'Pierre, help lead the D&I session. She's kind of a big deal (seriously...look her up!)
The other two sessions I attended were the First Timers session as a representative of the Convention Ed. Committee, and the LSC Development Committee Business Meeting. First Timers was fun to observe - it was a beautifully chaotic session watching adults race to win unknown prizes while learning the basic ins and outs of Convention. The LSC Development Committee covered a lot of topics that will impact me the most as the leader of Georgia Swimming. We just completed LEAP 3 last quad, so I learned some new information about what's coming down the pipeline for the next quad of LEAP. Fun fact about the LSC Development group: They love the term "task force".
I have to admit, overall my favorite parts of the day included time spent with our LSC representatives over dinner and creating non-swimming moments with our extended USA Swimming family. Yes, swimming brings us all together, but the sport doesn't define us and I love getting to know the other side of our LSC representatives and other coaching friends across the country. Our daily schedules don't always allow us to create quality moments with those we often work closely with. If I can convince our LSC Coaches Chair, John, to have a two hour lunch with me to learn more about his family and life story, including some amazing throwback photos, I'm going to take advantage of that opportunity while I'm here. I'm definitely in my happy place surrounded by my swimming family this week.
Today was a fully packed convention day! My morning started with the first athlete meeting. Here I met up with more of new athlete reps and saw a few more familiar faces. Once everyone finished getting breakfast, we found our seats and investigated the swag on the tables. From there the AEC introduced themselves and went over some basic convention information and announcements.
Afterward, we tried a new leadership system! Some of the members of the AEC selected some veteran convention attendees to be “athlete rep leaders” and assigned them to a group of newer reps. I led the “Super Silly Swimming Seals” with one of the other National Athlete Reps. In this breakout session, we discussed more convention basics and answered any questions the new reps had. This was a great learning experience for the newer reps and a productive leadership opportunity for the older ones.
After this meeting, I went to the “First Rodeo? First Timers Coral” to help the Convention Education Committee run the meeting smoothly. I provided sufficient moral support for the facilitators and the participants. Although I played an extremely passive role in this particular meeting, I was happy to be there.
At the end of this meeting, I rushed over to the Happy2Help desk for my tabling shift. Here Tim (the other athlete rep on this committee) and I, created a mini dance party in the vendor hall in hopes of attracting some lost and confused convention attendees; however, it remained a dance party of two for most of the time I was at the desk. Next, I had a SafeSport meeting, where we discussed Safe Sport at meets. Finally after an other athlete meeting with various guest speakers, we attended the athlete social and raced some go carts! Overall, it was a pretty great day!
What up! Happy Wednesday!
This morning’s meeting was totally different than usual. Rather than being bored out of our minds, we were assigned to a group of 10-12 other athletes with 2-3 experienced team leaders. After a short intro and lecture by the speaker, we then separated into our teams having our own intro and question sets based on what was just lectured on. Having an opportunity to break down into our teams allowed us to get introduced to new people and rebound ideas in an opened forum. The main topic was regarding athlete committees and how different LSCs run or plan to operate them. Lots of different LSCs are at different stages with their athlete committees but a goal for us all is to have an committee up and operational in each one.
Later that day, WADA gave an entertaining presentation on doping and how the process works, as well as types of drugs/enhancers that are prohibited. We were then given a great presentation by Matt Farrell, regarding the promotion of swimming as the best sport EVER.
What stood out to me the most about his presentation was the “10 lessons no one will tell you in school” which were:
- GPA matters in your first job and to your mom
- Do an internship (better investment over a job)
- Master’s degree is only needed in certain areas of study/work
- Ask for an informational interview from people in your field of interest (10 minutes)
- “It's not what you know it's who you know” (build personal network)
- Changing jobs is good in moderation
- Social media can be a carrier and can also kill your carrier
- 3 classes to take in college: public speaking, writing, typing
- Play up swimming experience
- Write a handwritten thank you note
We ended this long day with a bang, getting everyone together for go-karting, arcade games, and milkshakes late until midnight… I know lots of us are VERY excited for morning practice 4 ½ hours from now…