is devoted to informative articles and news itmes about exercise physiology.
It is a monthly magazine of news, opinions, exercise physiology professionals,
and events that shape exercise physiology. We welcome interested
practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail the Publisher their
thoughts and ideas or respond directly online via the
The staff and Board of Directors
of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists wish you a safe, healthy,
and happy holiday season. We share your pride in the exercise physiology
profession, and appreciate your continued commitment and support. You have
helped ASEP to make great strides in the recent advancement of certification,
accreditation, research, and education. Thank you for being a member.
Your support is greatly appreciated.
What are the current issues?
Clearly, there are many important issues faced by ASEP members. As editor
ASEPNewsletter, I believe our
most pressing need is a Standards of Professional
Practice document. What do you think?
You Matt" -- Going the Extra Mile!
Several days ago I emailed
G. Wattles, MS, the President of the Idaho Association
of Exercise Physiologist to see how things were going. Having
been involved in different aspects of developing ASEP, it occurred to me
that he may feel a bit unappreciated. I didn't want him to think
that he was all by himself and, no matter how slow change takes place,
we have each other for support. His email assured me that everything
is O.K. I was glad to hear it.
Later, when talking with
a student about ASEP, the student asked me why did Matt start the Idaho
state association? The short answer is because he wanted something
better for exercise physiologists. Other answers are obvious in his
well-developed Internet pages. He has posted several articles written
in question and answer format. They are very specific and informative.
Why did he do it? Or, stated different, "What makes a person decide
to take a risk and to create more work for him- or herself?" From
the exercise physiologist's point of view, what makes an exercise physiologist
great? What does it take to lead an organization?
Matt would say he founded
the state organization for exercise physiologists because "it made sense."
The belief that the centrally controlled, diversely managed, conglomerate
approach to organizational design has exercise crippling control over exercise
physiology has gone unchallenged for too long. Matt believed that
something needed to be done. It made sense to him that exercise physiologists
needed their own professional organization.
Aside from the time and work
it took to get the state organization on the Internet, he realized that
it was possible to do something positive now rather than later. After
all, it didn't have to copy any particular mandate. Matt was encouraged
to create an affiliation with ASEP to find new solutions. Working
together is logical and should ensure the highest level of quality among
professionals. The results that we had hoped for, membership in particular,
have been slow in coming, but successful leadership understands that many
factors weigh into the equation.
A person has to have the
guts to make a decision. There was no press conferences, no speeches,
and no special meetings with top leaders in the field. Ultimately,
it was Matt's decision to take the risk to found the organization.
The force behind it was his vision that exercise physiology is a
profession that the healthcare community can buy into and believe in.
Instead of being pushed to the side, he wanted to facilitate communication
and create possibilities. His efforts have helped to define exercise
physiology in Idaho. He had to go on the offensive even when some
colleagues kept their distance. In my view, what Matt did took courage.
It takes courage to say to
the world, "This is what I believe, and this is what I'm doing to get there."
There's no way around it. Exercise physiologists have got to stand
up for what they believe is important, just has Matt has done. You've
got to lead by example. Maybe it is time that more exercise physiologists
take the lead that Matt has demonstrated. There are risks, of course,
but there are benefits, too. In this age of unreason, what we witnessed
in Idaho is an uncommon alignment of ideas and beliefs with the ASEP model.
Increasingly, more exercise physiologists realize that ASEP and the state
organizations like Idaho and Indiana show a maturity befitting the nature
of professionals with complex problems that need answers.
The other thing that is needed
is passion. It's essential to have. An exercise physiologist
with passion and a vision will walk the extra mile. So, when I'm
told that ASEP is weak on leadership, I know they haven't any idea of the
passion in the hearts of the like of Matt. He and others like him
within ASEP can be trusted. Their integrity speaks for them because
their vision is embedded in their actions. The net result is going
to be greater interest in ASEP; an organization with an attitude of sincerity,
honesty, and passion for genuine success of all exercise physiologists.
These are the underpinnings of our organization and, in a large way, a
legacy of the scientific efforts and vision of the physical educators who
came before us.
Hence, why did Matt do what
he did? The answer is because he cares about exercise physiology.
He has demonstrated that by creating a way to market the profession through
the Internet. It is the measure of importance to a much underappreciated
occupation of professionals, especially as it globalizes the strategy to
manage the emerging profession.
There was a time when the
cause was different with emphasis on diversity in membership and, ultimately
the struggle to develop research and publishing skills. Today, the
cause (i.e., the vision) is different. It is about creating a common
language among exercise physiologists that expands their collective thinking.
It is no longer an emphasis on conglomerate professionals who collectively
reason through their challenges. Instead, it about professionals
in one organization who are accountable directly to each other for the
development of exercise physiology. This doesn't mean that the same
professionals must give up their interests in other organizations, but
it sure means that they take a second look at the issues and concerns within
Beyond that, the key to building
an enduring new medium in Idaho is believing that a single person can make
a difference. Matt has persevered. That is critical.
He hasn't given up, and he is willing to take the steps necessary to get
from here to there. His efforts have the set the stage to create
unprecendented opportunities for non-PhD exercise physiologists as leaders
in the health, fitness, rehabilitation, and sports training. And
why not? Don't exercise physiologists want to be leaders; people
who help others get to the place they believe is impossible?
You've got to respect the
other person's ideas, especially when the ideas come from the heart.
There really is no going back to the sports medicine model of thinking.
Everything is so much different from just a few years ago that, once you
think you can do it own your own, the thinking makes the reality.
There is no going back. Not now with energized and incredibly talented
professionals who are working on behalf of ASEP and its members.
Leaders, like Matt, are attuned with the times. It will take some
effort, but then all you can do is the best you can given your time and
Equally important is the
fact that a person's leadership can be simple and right, too. Matt's
work is about setting the ASEP goal up for everyone to see, develop a plan
to get there, check and recheck on the progress towards the goal, and keeping
communication open. "Progress" is both defined as having finalized
a document, and the implementation of the document. Only then is
it possible to quatify the commitment of the members and their part in
the management process. The test is how the members benefit from
the new information or, for example, certification. As long as the
vision and goals are organized around the members' needs and core beliefs,
it is possible for the organization to be a great one.
The ASEP organization like
the Idaho association is about sharing success. The new exercise
physiology is about giving all exercise physiologists the opportunity to
engage in the advancement of the profession. Hence, the essence of
what exercise physiology becomes in the next several years can be traced
to shared decisions where, at the end of the day, everybody wins. "This
means, yes, I understand you have a doctorate degree and that you are an
exercise physiologist. But, do you know that I'm an exercise physiologist
too? I am a non-PhD exercise physiologist. You said what? I'm not!
Well, maybe you should join the 21st Century way of thinking. If non-PhD
exercise physiologists feel valued, then all exercise physiologists have
a much stronger profession. Failure in not thinking beyond the sports medicine
model is to continue the process of decline and decay."
The question is "What's good
for all exercise physiologists?" The answer is an organization that
values all its members. It is not about "I'm an exercise physiologist
and you are an exercise specialist." Also, it isn't about created
a certification for non-PhD professionals who, then, by default are captured
by the restrictive title. It is known that in most other professionals,
members do not need the doctorate degree to be a chief executive officer
or a professional. Implicit in the academic degree is the expectation
of professional work and title.
What Matt has done, therefore,
is to open the door of possibility thinking. Now is the time to decide
our own future. We don't need to continue mimicking other models
of success. Also, we should keep our eye on the moral compass of
expanding job opportunities in all areas of health, fitness, rehabilitation,
and sports training. Success is the effort consistent with the vision
that all exercise physiologists benefit from selling themselves by building
individual state organizations, such as Matt in Idaho. The issue
is simple. Matt has done today what should have been years ago.
Ironically, the heart of
the problem lies in the hands of the PhDs but it is the non-PhDs who created
the first state affiliations with ASEP. They alone have moved to
create change and the possibility of a better future for the members of
the exercise physiology profession. Hence, it would probably be enough
to not say anything about the academic exercise physiologists. But
that would surely be a mistake. Professors also, at different times
and different situations, have undermined the capacity of all exercise
physiologists to compete in the public sector. Universities and their
faculty must get on the right track; one that is in touch with the needs
of the alumni.
Kinesiology programs, human
performance, or whatever they may be called at a given institution must
adjust their thinking to the needs of the graduates more so than their
own. Too many graduates are simply not prepared to be competitive
in the public sector. There are interpersonal issues. Leadership
concerns that haven't been met, and few have any idea of the teamwork that
is necessary for successful employment. These criticisms are appropriate,
and they do have some validity. Professors must take the time, for
example as in Idaho, and study Matt's website and get on board. For
too many years, professors have been out of touch with the career experiences
of their alumni. In the simplest terms possible, they have
been too inwardly focused on their own issues of tenure and research.
On the positive side, however.
Thank you Matt for an example of a young professional working to make a
for the Accreditation of
Programs in Exercise Physiology
Adopted by the
of Exercise Physiologists
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