Michael Boyle- Banned by the NSCA

I received word a few months ago that I have been uninvited as speaker  by the NSCA for this summers national conference. I struggled with whether or not to make this public but, after much thought I have decided to post it here. Unofficial word is that I am too controversial. It’s funny that I could speak effectively for free, be one of the highest rated speakers at a number of different NSCA conferences, draw a large audience and suddenly find out that I am no longer qualified. The reason I have decided to make my situation public is that it appears the NSCA is  in the censorship business these days.

Suddenly I’m too controversial. Seems strange to me. NSCA Executive Director Robert Jursnick had this to say in response to my email questions about my “ban”

“The NSCA Conference Committee has the right and obligation to select qualified presenters and content to present at all NSCA Conferences… The decision made regarding your not presenting at the 2010 National Conference followed all the correct processes and procedures.”

Strange but sources have told me the conference committe doesn’t meet at mid year. It’s even more strange that suddenly my qualifications and content are deemed inadequate for the NSCA. Why did this happen you ask? Here are the reasons I have gathered. However,for some reason no one from the NSCA wants to go on the record beyond the quote above. I have spoken to people with NSCA ties who have even asked that I not even make this ban public.

1- My views on lower body training and aerobic conditioning are frowned on by members of the selection committee. I really hope this is not the reason. This would be the highest degree of censorship.

2- I have openly criticized the NSCA on my website. Guilty as charged. I did write a strengthcoach.com forum post critical of the certification processs and I stand by what I said. ” the NSCA certification test is the opinion of certain members of the NSCA committee. If you want to pass, simply study the answers in the book”. The NSCA certification also lacks any practical experience component allowing anyone to be a CSCS with no actual on-the-floor experience. I have said that before and I will say it again as it is true. I also stated “The NSCA’s primary method of revenue generation is through the selling of certification”. Does the NSCA have another major revenue method I am unaware of?

3- I have been unprofessional in my criticism of other practitioners. I think this part is clearly unjustified. I have openly criticised concepts and ideas espoused by other professionals. I have often done it while the people whose ideas were being discussed were in the room. Anyone who has seen me speak knows that I always make the point of distinguishing between disagree and dislike. I don’t think it is healthy to adopt an attitude of never criticising another speaker or writer. We are all big boys. If we choose to write articles, speak at conferneces and sell educational products then we should expect critques.

Just for the record, has anyone looked at an NSCA speaker contract.  An NSCA speaker is entitled to a $150 dollar honorarium for their talk as well as coach airfare not to exceed $300 dollars. In addition, the NSCA picks up one nights hotel stay. The truth is it actually costs money for most speakers to present at the NSCA if they are not sponsored. We speak because we want to educate, not for money or fame. Education appears to be no longer in style. I guess you need to be careful not to question any other theorists or theories. Seems that any attempt at innovation or advancement of learning is deemed a crime unless accompanied by university research. Coaching innovation is no longer desired or encouraged. The wisdom that made the NSCA was the information gleaned from presentations by coaches working in the field. What the NSCA appears to desire now at NSCA meetings are presenters who will echo the feelings of the association while taking into account the feelings of fellow presenters.

PS- make sure you don’t question anything that the NSCA believes to be true. It appears that dissent will not be tolerated. Any of those failing to carry the party line will be swiftly punished by exclusion. If you think this is unfair, please let your NSCA Board Members know. There emails are below.

President Jay Hoffman  – hoffmanj@tcnj.edu

Vice President Greg Haff- ghaff@hsc.wvu.edu

Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Stout- jrstout@ou.edu

Board Member Jill Bush- jillbushphd@yahoo.com

Board Member Mike Nitka- mnitka@mnsd.k12.wi.us

Board Member Juan Carlos Santana- jcs@ihpfit.com

Board Member John McCarthy- mccarthy@uab.edu

Board Member Chat Williams- chat@oklahomastrength.com

Public Member- Karen Ballek- kballek@comcast.net

56 Responses to “Michael Boyle- Banned by the NSCA”

  1. […] The busiest day of the year was April 5th with over 2000 views. The most popular post that day was Michael Boyle- Banned by the NSCA. […]

  2. Thanks Tom,

    I think we share a similar philosophy – it is possible to have different opinions without a right or wrong and without disrespecting. Have a great summer.


  3. Thanks Maria for your comments. You have your opinion and I have my opinion…the great thing about America is, we can agree to disagree. After a 20yr military career, being in combat, led thousands of troops, teaching military style boot camps, teaching college, I have come to realize one thing…..it’s OK to not agree with folks and they don’t have to agree with me.

    Mr. Boyle is great at what he does and I just wanted to give my opinion and relay what Dr. Hoffman wrote his colleagues last year on where he sees taking the NSCA with regarding to science and sports and who they are going to allow at seminars or speaking engagments.

    If they don’t let Mr. Boyle back, he still has a life without them and I guess it’s their loss or gain depending on whose opinions you believe.

    As far as attending seminars, it’s not my cup of tea at this point and being an older dog, I am stuck in my own way of business and teaching military style fitness camps.

    It works for me and not for others, so be it.

    Have a great Day!

  4. Again Tom, I am going to have to respectfully offer another perspective here. I don’t think the goal of a S&C coach should be to gain acceptance from the NSCA. The goal is to help athletes perform better and reduce their risk of injury. The proof is in the pudding and if the NSCA needs that typed up in 12-point arial font and submitted in triplicate before it believes you, then here’s an idea…go to the Perform Better Summits.

    While there evaluate what you are hearing and decide if it makes sense based on science. Then if you have questions, go up to the presenter and ask them about it. Then if you like their info, go ahead and buy their DVD so you can review it anytime you want. If someone helps me be a better S&C coach, then I am more than happy to give them a few bucks while investing in myself.

    Like any profession, you will come across some coaches who are awesome, some who are awful and some who are greedy. You will also find researchers across the same spectrum. I have read peer-reviewed published articles that I know I would have failed my thesis if I had submitted such flawed experimental design. Like anything it is buyer beware, but I think you should definitely take Mike up on his offer to attend a Perform Better Summit where you are free to interact with the speakers, discuss and yes, disagree with their perspectives.


  5. Mike:

    I meant no disrespect and never wanted to come off like you are not an EXPERT….you definately have the 10,000+ hours in your profession as you alluded to your audiences before.

    What Maria said was where I was going with NSCA……when folks go to conferences like NSCA, NASM, or ACSM, the big three certs….the speakers for the most part are PhD or MS published journal folks…..

    The practioners, if invited, I believe Dr. Hoffman wants to make sure the information or scientific data they are conveying to the audience is reputable and backed up by research.

    If you folks read that link that I previously added to my lengthy dissertation, ha ha ha….I know I kind of rambled last time, sorry about that…..Dr. Hoffman wants the NSCA to get back to the way they use to be with their speakers and conferences:

    Here is what Dr. Hoffman mentions at the end of that link:

    “I promise the membership that we will not stray
    from our ‘bridging the gap between science and sport’ mission that is
    the crux of who we are. I want to see a return to the sport science
    aspect of the NSCA. We will accomplish this without reducing our
    mission to any other focus group.”

    So Mike, I think this is why they uninvited you, not banned you. It’s a new President who wants to get NSCA back to what it use to be according to his philosophy….it’s no different if the Boston Univ. president decided to make a change with where the athletic program was headed and dropped the Hockey program and then folks are wondering what the hell happened and get no answer.

    I think this is what NSCA did to you because of your unique ideas on functional movement….i.e. your thoughts on back loaded squats to single-leg. Also, if any part of your speech or CEU’s included the business aspects of fitness, similiar to what Mr. Cosgrove does, I believe NSCA is trying to get not just you, but all other speakers who are doing this, passed over from speaking again or not giving credit for their class as a CEU any longer.

    Once again, just my thouths or opinions. In the long run, who gives a rats ass what the NCSA feels and if your vision of changing the Strength and Conditioning community keeps folks thinking, then who knows, maybe you publish your ideas in one of the Applied Science Journals I mentioned, then the NSCA gets off their high horse and invites you back because you proved them wrong and backed it up with science which seems what Dr. Hoffman wants to make sure happens.

    At the end of the day, everyone has an opinion and you know what that’s like.

    As far as coming to one of your seminars, I made my mind up a long time ago, that I will only go to a seminar as a CEU and I don’t want to be part of the whole MASTERMIND GROUP or so-called Fitness Marketing gurus….not saying that is what you do, but you have an association with guys who do this and are part of the whole Fitness Marketing Seminar circuit. It’s just not for me. Too many seminars out there where folks try and peddle their books, CD’s, coaching, mentoring…..see where I am going with this? That is what is happening in the fitness industry….folks trying to sell e-Books and yes, I have heard you talk about this. You have guys are legitimate strenth and conditioning experts, physiologists, trainers, etc….who then get enticed into the MASTERMIND GROUP and going from one seminar to the next, get coaching, mentorship programs, trying to learn a crash course in basic personal selling from lead generation to closing the deal………….it gets really pathetic to see coming from me, a former University Marketing instructor.

    Anyway Mike, I am rambling on again, but I agree with you and what Maria stated, so I hope you do convince the NSCA someday that you are and have always been worthy to be part of their conferences. Right now, it seems they want the PhD who has proven scientific data versus the practitioner who is cutting edge and may be on to something new in the world of strength and conditioning, but they don’t agree with it.

    Who knows man. Like I said, it’s only my opinion and at times, that ain’t worth crap, LOL….take care.

  6. Thanks Maria. Sounds much better coming from someone else. However I do think the NSCA wants to get away from practitioners. Sad but true.

  7. Tom,

    I think you are not seeing the relationship between the academic and the practitioner. Getting a PhD is a process that people who want to do research or teach at the University level complete. Some do a PhD, just because they want to call themselves a ‘doctor’.

    Practitioners are the actual coaches and there should be a synergy between the two. If I need heart surgery, I don’t want the PhD who researches the causes of heart disease cracking open my chest – I want the heart surgeon (the practitioner). Coaches in the NHL, NFL, etc are not PhDs in sport psychology, strategy and tactics or motor control, they are practitioners who apply the info and often drive the research direction of the scientists.

    Coach Boyle does not need a PhD to legitimize the quality of training he provides – his results speak to that. You are well entitled to your opinion and I hope that you are not speaking on behalf of the NSCA when you suggest that they are trying to remove the practitioners from their conferences. That would be very sad – if the only legitimate presenters are those who hold a PhD, then that means no Mark Verstegen, no Gray Cook and no Coach Boyle.

  8. mboyle1959 Says:

    Tom- thanks for your thoughts. Just a few points. I have never delivered a “how to make money talk” in my career. Perform Better generally features one business talk at each event. Possibly two or three out of forty at a Summit. Have you ever attended one of these? I think you should come. You can be my guest. Your opinion might change.



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