Baseball is everywhere! There is nothing more indicative of the spring and summer seasons than baseball. The fresh smell of the ballpark and the chants with the organ are traditions passed down through every generation. The game of baseball is lost on some, and there are some who think it’s boring – but the game is actually a complex web of plays and players. It reminds me of our industry, which is also complex (and misunderstood by those just watching it and not “playing” in it).
In baseball, you have pitchers, hitters, fielders, and managers. Every player has a specific role to play, but we’ll keep it simple for this analogy. In our industry, we have manufacturers, distributors, integrators, and, of course, NSCA. Manufacturers are hitters, distributors are fielders, integrators are managers, and NSCA is the pitcher.
Manufacturers are constantly designing and testing new products. This industry demands innovation, and these companies work tirelessly to keep up and stay relevant. When something is ready, it’s launched. Manufacturers take the product and hit it out of the batter’s box and into the field, hoping it goes farther and longer than their last hit. Every once in a while, there is a grand slam and the crowd goes wild.
Distributors have a team of people at the ready to field that product. It’s caught, and a plan of action is put into place to execute the cleanest play possible. They want to make sure they hit their mark without dropping it or, heaven forbid, make an error. Distributors work within their framework to get that “ball” where it needs to be. It needs to get to the people in charge of making it all work together.
Integrators are in charge of making the whole thing work. They are able to manage what the team has delivered, and get systems designed and put together. They are calling plays on their jobsites and putting up big numbers when it all comes together. The team is rounded out as a unit, and all of the moving parts are accounted for.
To help the team get the ball out there, the role of the pitcher as a standalone is important: NSCA has many tools to help industry businesses grow. We pitch leadership at the BLC; throughout the year, we pitch education and tools that can help industry leaders. NSCA is able to pitch legislative alerts and a library of documents and research to our members. While pitchers usually don’t want to get hit on, when one of our members hits a grand slam, NSCA goes wild.
Lastly, no game is played without a set of rules. Rules are generally agreed upon, but don’t put it past a player or manager to argue them. Legislation serves to meet those rules in our industry, and is fought and debated all the time. When a rule could be a game-changer, NSCA works with its partners, members, and state advocacy leaders to make sure the voice of our industry is heard. This is, and always will be, a team effort to ensure full representation when it comes to your business and livelihood. –Rachel Rayman, Industry Outreach & Events Manager
Photo: Idea go