I am a member of USA Triathlon, American Swim Coaches Association, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. All of these organizations offer me continuing education courses on various subjects all the time. Some of the subject matter looks pretty interesting and I would like to sign up. There have been some good speakers/presenters, real SMEs (subject matter experts).
But then I look at the price tag. For instance. USAT offers a lot of continuing education courses online, from some of the bright stars in our little industry. But these are online courses and they charge $34.99 per class for 1 CEU. The value of the CEU is meaningless for purposes of this discussion, there is great value in continuing education. What they are doing is gouging out more profit from us folks that find it beneficial to be certified through this agency. $35 bucks for an online webinar? How about you send me an autographed book with that?
Not to be undone, the NSCA, which has been around longer, has an even better and more insidious business model. They contract with skilled independent speakers who set up clinics around the country. Most of these speakers are blessed to offer CEUs for several different agencies (PTs, athletic trainers, strength coaches, etc etc etc), thus multiplying their target audience.
My most recent offering: "Evaluation, Rehabilitation, and Performance Enhancement of Runners." Sounds good, right? It's even going to be here in Raleigh, my new hometown. I would like to go. Opened the brochure and everything. Clinic lasts from 8:30 to 3PM.
COST IS $189 if you register 10 days, out, $209 otherwise.
LUNCH IS ON YOUR OWN FROM 1130-1230.
So they want me to pay $200 for a 6 hour clinic, and they're not even gonna feed me? AT LEAST I FEED MY PEEPS AT OSB CAMPS AND CLINICS, WINK WINK WINK.
The ASCA has a similar racket working. They have 5 levels of "coaching certification," the highest 2 which you have to be in the swimming world for about 25 years, have a $100,000 program (not to mention, fast swimmers) under your belt, and shake all the right hands. These guys charge $500+ for weekend clinics, room and board not included. I've stopped looking at their offerings because it is too specific to age group swimming.
There are plenty of work places that cover these continuing education classes, which is how the organizations get away with charging high fees, but OSB Headquarters has to pick and choose when and where we deploy our limited resources.
That is my rant for the day. I wish these were cheaper so I could take more of them.