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3 Expert Tips for Excelling at the 2019 National Athletic Directors Conference

What Is the National Athletic Directors Conference?

The NADC is America’s premier annual conference for interscholastic sports administrators. This year, more than 2,000 ADs are expected to attend the event on Dec. 13–17, 2019, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

The conference has something for everyone—with tons of NIAAA Leadership Training Institute (LTI) classes, workshops, general sessions, exhibitors, and NIAAA meetings to choose from, you’ll have no problem filling your schedule.

How to Get the Most Out of the NADC

The more you put into the NADC, the more you’ll get out of it. With that in mind, we have three expert tips that can help you maximize your conference experience.

1. Plan ahead! 

First thing’s first: What are your goals for attending the NADC? Think about what you want to accomplish, study the NADC schedule, and choose the classes, sessions, and workshops that can help you reach those goals. 

For example, if you’re struggling to keep up with the legal side of athletics, this conference has you covered with several LTI athletic administration professional development courses (scroll down a bit!) on the evolving legal issues in interscholastic sports, including:

  • LTC 504: Liability for Sports Injuries and Risk Management (Legal Issues I)
  • LTC 506: Title IX and Sexual Harassment (Legal Issues II)
  • LTC 508: Hazing, Constitutional Law, Disabilities Law, and Employment and Labor Law (Legal Issues III)
  • LTC 510: Social Media, Transgender Participation, Event Management and Security, Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes, and Intellectual Property (Legal Issues IV)

You may also be interested in operations and management courses such as:

  • Creating Your Athletic Handbook
  • Athletic Field Management
  • Current Issues in American Sports (Dealing with Parents, AD Burnout, Ethics and Media Relations, Retaining Coaches, Technology)
  • Current Issues in American Sports (Booster Clubs, Home Schooling, Hazing, Specialization, Performance-Enhancing Substances, Equity Issues)
  • Appropriate Professional Boundaries: Identifying, Implementing, and Maintaining

You’ll also want to sprinkle in a healthy dose of workshops, which are shorter sessions designed to give you an overview of topics. Our recommendations include:

  • Understanding Useful Apps for Our Role
  • How You Can Promote Participation
  • Building the Athletic Budget
  • Understanding the Mind of the 21st Century Athlete
  • Athletic Codes of Conduct and Legal Rights of Students

You’ll also want to identify trade show exhibitors—including potential technology and compliance partners—who can help you achieve your goals. 

2. Network like it's your job

One of the major draws of any conference is the chance to catch up with old colleagues, but you also want to meet other ADs who understand what it’s like to be in your shoes. How great would it be to meet a colleague who turns into a lifelong friend that you can troubleshoot problems and celebrate successes with? 

Although you’ll have plenty of opportunities to schmooze with other ADs in between sessions, the National Athletic Directors Conference has some special events just for networking, including: 

  • NIAAA “Talking & Trading” Key Issues Networking on Dec. 14
  • Congregate & Collaborate: Issues Networking on Dec. 16
  • Lunch & Learn: Forum Networking on Dec. 1


3. Keep up the momentum after the conference 

After attending a conference, you’re going to be brimming with ideas and excitement. So don’t lose that momentum—be ready to bring everything back with you and implement it in your day-to-day. 

Start by reviewing your NADC goals and sharing what you’ve learned with colleagues who couldn’t attend the conference. Then, get everyone on board with your ideas by working collaboratively on a plan for rolling out new strategies and technologies. 

Ready to make the most out of NADC 2019?

One last thing: When you’re at the National Athletic Directors Conference, keep your eyes open for special offers, including these three you don’t want to miss:

  • If an AD refers another AD to FinalForms and that AD becomes a client, the referring AD will get a $25 gift card.
  • Anyone who schedules a FinalForms demo before the conference and shows up will get a $25 gift card.
  • Stop by the FinalForms booth and play our in-booth game for a chance to win up to $500.

Executive Directors, we're excited to see you at the NADC/Liaison Breakfast Meeting, which kicks off bright and early on Monday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 a.m. Our CEO, Clay Burnett, will share a few words about what FinalForms is all about. We hope to see you there!

In the meantime, learn how you can increase compliance, improve student safety, and reduce risk by scheduling a demo with FinalForms.

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