Life and Lifting Lessons Part 1: Birthday Edition

November 20th marked my 27th birthday so today’s post marks some life and lifting/coaching lessons…enjoy.

1. Friendships: I had the opportunity to attend two of my friends weddings this past year and looking back I start to realize how most of my closest friends are the ones you make when your younger.  Whether it be in elementary, middle, or high school, it seems that these friends always have a place in your life regardless of whether they move, have a family, or a job far away.  Even if you don’t keep in constant contact, if I saw them at a bar one night, it would feel like they never even left. That’s friendship.

2. The Jersey Shore:  This past summer was the first year I was unable to go to Long Beach Island with my family for the week because I was chosen to coach the USA Women’s Hockey Camp (U-14/15).  That experience was something I’ll never forgot and the people who are in USA hockey know how to develop younger athlete’s.  However, missing that week with my family hurt.  Dinners, all day on the sand, drinks at night with some good music, and stupid family fights about who know’s what…it’s one of the best times of my year.  I didn’t realize how much I loved the Jersey shore until that week in Minnesota at camp.


3.  Success is not a diploma:  One of my favorite quotes is “It’s the road, not the inn.”  Simply, it’s the  journey and not arriving at a destination.  I have seen people who seem successful to the outside world (money and that sort of stuff), yet are failures at more important things (relationships, family, etc..).  Money should not be equated with value, it’s a bonus.  Watching dvd’s, spending time talking to other experienced coaches, reading books, and attending seminars are the bulk of where you learn, not college.  You learn from being on the job.  Get a good internship if you want to know how to coach.  A CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist) certification isn’t going to make you a good coach, spending hours with groups of athletes mastering the basics will.

4. Playing time and fun with younger athletes: We sometimes have to educate parents with regards to their son or daughters development.  If they are 10 years old and the parent complains of the playing time they aren’t receiving from the coach and how that son/daughter is a “gamer” you can bet they will part of that 70+% of kids who drops out of sports by high school because of burnout and frustration.  Kids should be playing a variety of sports up until high school or at least taking a full off-season in the middle school years.  Sports are meant to be fun first, competitive second.  If they do not realize this yet, I feel bad for their kids.

5. High school sports success is about consistency: Growing up in New Jersey in a football family, you see a lot of, well, football.   Practices, games, good coaches and bad coaches, good and bad players, etc…one of the secrets to success in this area always seems to be that if a team has a consistent offensive or defensive style, coaching situation, and loves the basics of those styles, they seem to be pretty successful.  It’s funny, people don’t like the Wing-T offense because of it’s simplicity yet the coaches who hammer the basics of it are successful.  Teams like Delsea, Hammonton, West Deptford, Shawnee, etc.. have all run a consistent offense for countless years with a consistent coach on board.  There’s a reason why they are consistently good, it’s not always talent.

6. Frustration: I am starting to see that frustration occurs because one cares. Typically, when you keep at something for long enough, you will encounter frustration because the plan didn’t happen at the rate you liked.  To get something, you have to give something.  When you put in time for something and it doesn’t work out, the first place I am looking is myself if in fact I did put the required time in.

7. Generally people’s basic lifts are poor: This is not bashing, this is insight.  People want to know what the next best thing is by reading an exercise or health magazine yet cannot perform the fundamental (squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull) movement patterns correctly.  I have not been in the training industry for any significant amount of time but why are people doing endless reps with garbage technique (yea you P90x and others) and think it’s appropriate for everyone. Most people need simplicity in training…read most as in 99%.


Until next time,


Categories: Recommended Resources, Uncategorized

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