BCAK 20 Year Anniversary Event

A review of the BCAK 20 Year Anniversary Event

I drove up the mountain like I had done many times before.

I had done it on a daily basis 20 years ago.  Every morning, I would head up the mountain to Simon Fraser University.

Tonight I was at SFU because there was a 20 year celebration for the British Columbia Association of Kinesiolgists (BCAK).  I was also there to see an instructor, Craig Asmundson, and co-op coordinator, Nancy Johnson, who played a big part while I was at university.  Plus strength coach, Roger Takahashi of the Vancouver Canucks was there to share his journey from kinesiology student to kinesiology professional.

BCAK Celebration

The evening started off with a celebration of Craig Asmundson and Nancy Johnson on their contribution to the BCAK.  Both helped start the BCAK, 20 years ago, and were early presidents of the association.

The association has grown to be a voice and advocate for kinesiologists in British Columbia.

The next part of the evening was a presentation of Roger Takahashi.  It was great to hear Roger Takahashi share his journey.  I remember when I worked at a physical therapy clinic, I loved hearing about other people’s professions.  It is fascinating to hear what people do, the skills they have and the journey they have taken to get where they are.

Let me go through some of the highlights of Roger’s presentation.

Roger highlighted the importance of volunteer work and how it was a key thing to him getting his job.

Roger’s Interview with the Canucks

A great story he told is the job interview he had with the Canucks in 2003.  He described sitting in a chair and on the other side of the room was a long table with every member of the Canucks.  All the management, coaching and medical staff.  He described the interview like a shooting drill of questions.  He had no idea on how the interview went, but looking back he feels his volunteer work gave him the understanding of  the day to day operations of hockey which set him apart from other candidates.  In the interview he was able to show he understood the process around hockey but also understood hockey training.

Hockey Combine

He talked about the hockey combine and the role a strength coach plays in it.  Roger shared how he evaluates the prospects and then meets with coaching staff to rank the players.  He downplayed the importance of the combine and highlighted the importance of focusing on the anaerobic tests and lower body power test but also commented on the limitations of the testing.

He talked about how the physical aspect of a hockey player is a small part of an athlete.  Bigger components are their attitude, work ethic, how they handle disappointment and how they have developed over the years.

Roger also talked about what he does in a day.  He said as an NHL strength coach there is a lot more than supervising programs and shouting out things.  He also works on gym maintenance, gym cleaning,  researching on training and supplements, individual player injury needs, travel, planning periodization programs, preparing for games and wrapping up after a game.

3 Future Trends of Hockey Training

  1. One last thing that Roger talked about is the area that will change training in the future.  Maximal gains have been made with exercises and program design.
  2. Supplementation companies are always creating new products but it is important to understand if the product will help or hinder the athlete.
  3. He feels breathing and training is probably where more of the focus will go with training over the next few years.

Mmmm, Cake

Then the event wrapped up with a social and cake to celebrate 20 years of BCAK.

It was great to see the support from the students of the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology and the student association.  About 150 students attended the event.

Darleen Bemister and Cheri Fiedler of the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Co-op did a great job organizing things and running a smooth and successful event.

Lastly, it has been great to see where the BCAK is now.  I spent a lot of years on the executive board.  I think I was on the board from 1996 to 2000.  Those were some good and fun times.  It is great to see that it is still going strong.

Few Highlights of the Event

Before I wrap up, I want to highlight a few things that stood out that might help you grow as an individual or professional.

  • Craig remembered me even though I graduated in 1997.  He said what was different with me is I stood out from the crowd.  With what you do, do you stand out from the crowd or do you just blend in.
  • Nancy remembered me as well.  She commented on my spelling.  It has been my Achilles heel but I am working on improving it.
  • Lastly, Roger talked about what was his key to success as a strength coach.  He said, “passion.”  Passion fuels what he does, pushes growth, encourages learning, attracts people and leads to people supporting you.

The three things above I think are important things to remember.

Thank you very much to the BCAK, Roger and the BPK (department, students and co-op).

Until next time.

Rick Kaselj, MS