UAB School of Health Professions Current News
- Created on August 11, 2011
University of Alabama at Birmingham Physical Therapy professor John McCarthy, Ph.D., PT, had less than a two weeks’ notice to renew his passport before heading to China. The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) – Shanghai asked McCarthy, who just rolled off the NSCA Board of Directors, to come teach a five-day exam preparation class for 31 sports scientists from various universities and professional sports coaches. These candidates were recently registered as new members of NSCA-Shanghai and were being prepped to take the international exam to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
“I was just invited to teach the classes in Shanghai at the NSCA National Conference in Las Vegas in mid-July,” said McCarthy. “They knew I’ve been a board member for years as well as an expert in strength and conditioning.”
McCarthy was just one of two American professors asked to teach the course. This is the second year Shanghai has offered the certification. The experience was new for McCarthy. Everything he said had to be translated into Chinese.
“There were just a few students who could speak English,” said McCarthy. “There were several times the translator couldn’t understand my words so I had to restate it in a different way.”
The classes were taught at one of the three campuses of the prestigious Shanghai Sports Institute.
“This particular campus is home to more than 130 professional Chinese athletes in various sports ranging in age from four to 30,” said McCarthy. “Their facilities are impressive with state-of-the-art equipment.”
McCarthy learned how the Chinese system works in athletics. The athletes are paid to live and train at the Shanghai Sports Institute. They eat very well with a buffet to choose from 20 different options. And he learned a lot of their professional athletes eventually turn into coaches.
Despite the long trip to travel there and back, McCarthy enjoyed his first time in China.
“It was a learning experience for me even though I was teaching the class,” he said. “I hope to have the opportunity to come back to teach again.”