(Note: 95% of this post is directed at some young athletes I train or have trained in an attempt to shed a light on our approach and goals. But even though its directed at a certain base, you may find something interesting... we'll see how it goes.)
I dont get paid to be your friend or tell jokes. I dont get paid to keep you entertained on Facebook or Twitter. I dont get paid to let you take it easy and do it how you want to do it...
I get paid to find a way to help you (or make you) jump higher, run faster, move quicker, and work harder. Read that again... higher, faster, quicker and harder... and to do it better than you ever thought you could. Think about that. You have an image in your head of what you think you can do... my thought to that is "great... and now we're going to take it further."
And thats where we're having some disconnect.
Maybe it has to do with expectations. Maybe you're only expected so much...
Maybe I see more.
I told some stories yesterday about my high school days and for old friends who might read this, trust me, there were no lies. I told them how the coaches and Nack especially would try to catch me before I got the car.
"Where are you going?" Work. "You're going to work the rest of your life... You only have one senior year." And off to the weight room we went... sometimes.
They wonder how I know what it looks like when they fake a sprint... Can you picture it? You're really selling the facial expressions and body language... but something just doesnt look right. I know what it looks like because Ive done it.
"Bic if you dont beat (insert name), the entire team is running them again! AND if anyone lets him win, we're still running them again!"
So back to the expectations and disconnect...
Im pushing them, right? The trainers and myself, we're really striving to get these groups to turn a corner and work at a crazy speed... a level where their moving and theyre not thinking or second guessing themselves, theyre just go go go go go, fly! Right? Thats what we're doing. The butt kicks need to be harder, the high knees higher, the shuffle sfaster and lower, the frog jumps more explosive.. everything is more more more.
And I get it... believe me, as i write that I even hear myself and i think "OMG shut him up already! I hear it nearly every room I walk into :) and i dont care, because I dont get paid to be quiet... I get paid to be in your ear, reminding you of the scholarship on the line... reminding you of the state title or the playoffs or that starting positition... I get paid to be the rubber band on your wrist that reminds you to run, to work, to study, to behave, to be responsible, to train hard, to be a good teammate, to be a good brother or sister, a good son or daughter, its non stop, to be a great person... in the classroom, at home, on the field or court, when someones watching and when your parents are out of town. Its non stop. I dont get paid to stop.
I remember there were days where he was so relentless... he just didnt shut up! He was on our ass from the locker room, to the field, to the water, to the field, to the huddle, to the line, back to the huddle, back to the line, break it again, better stance, do it again, do it again, back to the huddle, better huddle, get down, drills, faster, do it again, not fast enough, do it again... holy crap... relentless. Thats the only word I can think of. And it got to the point where all I wanted to do was be so perfect, he wouldnt talk anymore :) I swear I'm laughing out loud as I write that, but its true. I wouldve done anything just so he'd stop talking. Becuase if he was quiet, that usually meant everything was ok... except for those times where if he was quiet, that meant an explosion was brewing and we were about to catch hell like nothing else ever has.
But because of that "fire," that we went through, we were better people.
He didnt get paid to win... He was paid to turn us into men. To get us ready for life. It was just a coincidence we all played football and he happened to coach it. He didnt get paid to be our buddy. He didnt get paid to tell jokes or be a pen pal. He was to find ways to teach us things he knew we needed to learn, whether we knew it or not, accepted it or not. I always say "Look, I know I say things that might not make sense to you today, but they will in a year or 5 or even 10."
How do you think I know that? Because Im also talking about myself. Ive been through things and his "relentless voice," popped in my head and I thought "holy shit... thats what he was talking about." Thats what he got paid to do.
I remember there was a time where I was headed into a different career and gave up on a dream. For a few years after hhigh school, I was still holding onto playing college football but I just didnt have the grades, the money... and looking back on it, I guess I didnt have the drive either. So I sent him a letter and expressed some thoughts. He wrote back "It doesnt matter what the title is of the job, be the best anyone has ever seen." And those words helped me redierect my energy in a more positive manner. I couldve moped around about having a crappy job, even if it was temporarly, but instead I made it my mission to blow the roof off the building with my energy, attitiude and work ethic and it showed. I was working 2nd shift in a crappy factory, but every night, my shift put through more work than other shift. I refused to take breaks and I ate my lunch as I worked. All I wanted to do was work as hard as possible as long as I could.
Thats what guys like us get paid to do... find ways to help you become better than anything you even thought possible. Think about that again... you have an image and I say "great, and lets do more." Why not? Fast is fast now, lets get faster on that next sprint. Strong is strong, lets get stronger. Lets study harder, lets get straight A's, lets focus harder, lets shoot for perfection... why not? How can you argue that?
Maybe you need to think about your expectations for yourself and why mine are so high for you.
Do you know how many people have said "F you," to me during a workout? Far too many to count. No lie. Or "I hate you." Probably 75% of the people Ive ever trained have at some point expressed a strong desire to hurt me :) and I smile. Its the nature of the beast... Im asking you to do things to yourself, that are uncomfortable and eventually painful. Training and working out hurts... it does. Being so out of breath your lungs burn, your heart is beating so hard you feel it in your throat, you have sweat burning your eyes, your legs are rubber, you want to rip your shoulders off to stop the pain... it hurts. But that fire is needed and you have to go through it to change your body. So I do have pretty thick skin under the circumstances because I know the pain well... I've mumbled my share of "F you's" under my breath too.
Thats why i love planks so much... its you and your breath and your thoughts. What are going to do? Let yourself fall? Let your mind talk your body into quitting? You know it doesnt need to drop... but your mind is whispering "c'mon, drop a knee real quick, just a quick break..." but you really dont need to. Thats the head game we play with ourselves... just a quick break, no ones looking....
or fight the self doubt and fight throught he burn, even enjoy that pain.
Some trainers say "block it out! Go to a happy place!"
Me... no, no... enjoy the pain. Sit in the pain... we go through enough mind numbing moments in our lives... that pain and all the awreness going on, your breath, is a beautiful reminder that we're alive.
Do what you came to do and do it better than anyone ever has before. Be remembered.
(Btw Coach... If I wasnt clear above, you know how youve inspired me since the day we met. Jeez, probably 20 years ago. Sometimes I get going with these teams and at the end I stop and think "Where the heck did that come from?" and its usually a version of something youve said. I can only hope these young guys/gals use a peice of what Ive said the way I (and Im sure 1000 other guys) have used things youve said. Thanks again for everything.)