LISTEN: Ron McKeefery Gives a "Chalk Talk" All Coaches Need to Hear

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Ron McKeefery cares about the strength and conditioning field almost as much as his own athletes. It's hard to imagine any other coaches who has done as much as McKeefery when it comes to providing real-world knowledge to strength coaches. McKeefery's approach has been to provide the most pertinent information for coaches to better themselves in all aspects of the profession. However, the information McKeefery dispenses is just as valuable for business owners, educators, and students as well as coaches.

McKeefery has been on the forefront of strength and conditioning coach education for his entire career. From his extensive intern program to his website, McKeeferey has given coaches the opportunity to develop as practitioners, mentors, and people. McKeefery hosts his own podcast, The Iron Game Chalk Talk, presents at multiple conferences, and still educates his own staff at eastern Michigan University. Listening to the interview will give you a much more clearer insight on the profession and what it takes to succeed in it.

Topics in the Podcast

1. His Presentation at the 2014 NSCA Coaches Conference
"Only if you sacrifice for a cause will you truly love it"

2. The "How to" of relationship building.
"We are in this instant gratification society"

3. The 3 Roles of being a Strength Coach (Technician, Manager, Entrepreneur)

4. Paying your dues in the field.
"Seventeen years in this profession and I am just learning how to ask the right questions."

5 The Internship Program and Hiring Assistants
"I try to hire what I'm not."
"Hire slow and fire fast."

6. Coach McKeefery's Biggest Influences

7. The first things that need to happen when taking over a program.
"Get the right thought into the player's head instead of their own."

8. How the weight room relates to the field

9. The importance of the lifting partner

10. The Iron Game Chalk Talk, Strength on Demand, and his transparent view on why he started his website.

11. Coach's Future Speaking Engagements

Ron McKeefery is in his first year as a member of the Eastern Michigan University athletics department. The 2008 Under Armour Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year, McKeefery has served as a strength and conditioning coach at both the professional and collegiate level.

McKeefery spent the 2013 season working with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals after serving as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of South Florida and the University of Tennessee. In total, he has coached 27 NFL Draft Picks, including First Round Draft Pick and Pro Bowlers Mike Jenkins and Jason Pierre-Paul, along with Cordarrelle Patterson. Additionally, he has coached numerous all-conference, All-Americans and NFL free agents selections.

"I had the honor of coaching Ron in his senior year of college and watched him lead a team from 1-8 to 9-1," said EMU Head Football Coach Chris Creighton. "He was special then and he is special now. He is an expert at his craft but what separates him from so many are his intangibles. Our team already knows that he cares about them and he is already making us better."

Before heading to Cincinnati, McKeefery was the football head strength and conditioning coach at Tennessee for three seasons. He was also the human performance coordinator for the United States Army Special Forces, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, in Fort Campbell, Ky.

McKeefery got his collegiate start at the University of South Florida, where he served as assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning and the head strength and conditioning coach from 2000-10.

A key member of the South Florida coaching staff, McKeefery's tenure with the Bulls coincided with that program's rise from Division I-AA to perennial Big East Conference contender. In addition to six consecutive bowl games and 16 NFL draft picks, the success of his strength and conditioning program is best exemplified by the fact that South Florida was 10-0 in overtime during his tenure.

The Missouri native owns a bachelor of arts in biology from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan., and a master of arts in adult education from South Florida. McKeefery earned all-conference honors in both football and track at Ottawa and was also a two-time Academic All-American.

After spending one season as a coach with Ottawa, McKeefery worked as an intern with the Kansas City Royals in Major League Baseball. He also worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 1999 season, a year in which the Bucs played in the NFC Championship Game. McKeefery also spent the 2000 season as the head strength and conditioning coach with the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe.

In addition, he has lectured for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association, and numerous major universities. McKeefery has been published in the National Strength and Conditioning Journal, American Football Monthly and Stack Magazine.

He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist w/Distinction (CSCS*D) and Coach Practitioner under the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as well as a Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) under the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA). He also served as the state NSCA Director for Florida (North) and is certified by both the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA).

Coaching Experience
2013 Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) Strength and Conditioning Coach
2011-13 University of Tennessee Director of Strength & Conditioning-Football
2001-10 University of South Florida Asst. AD/Head Strength & Conditioning Coach
2000-01 University of South Florida Asst. Strength & Conditioning Coach
2000 Berlin Thunder Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
1999-00 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Part-Time Asst. Strength and Conditioning Coach
1998-99 Kansas City Royals Intern Strength and Conditioning Coach
1998-99 Ottawa University Assistant Defensive Backs/Strength Coach

Coaching Honors
2013 Master Strength and Conditioning Coach Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association
2008 Under Armour Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year
2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl Champions
2010 International Bowl Champions
2008 St. Petersburg Bowl Champions
2007 Brut Sun Bowl
2006 Bowl Champions
2005 Meineke Car Care Bowl

Courtesy of Eastern Michigan University

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