Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I have a speech to make this weekend, and I was thinking of a topic and to be quite honest with you, it's boring. What I thought about doing, what I thought about talking about is boring. A yearly plan for football players is boring. Why? Because there is nothing new under the sun. There is a barbell, there are weights, there are drills to run, there are warmups and there are cooldowns. There are the basics that always work. There are the gurus that come out of the woodwork that come and go. They are boring. Tried and true stuff works. Falling for fads never goes very far. But I understand it. Fads are flashy, gimmicks are attractive,. They are easy. everyone takes the easy, flashy way! Work on foot quickness! ladders and parachutes and some guy who never played a down in their life telling you what to do. Whatever. Let it go, man, let it go.

So I am going to give a talk about a philosophy of strength coaching and motivation. Motivation, drive, whatever you wanna call it is what fascinates me the most in life.

Because everything in life is motivation. I have had athletes miss a squat  and then two minutes later have had a whole team gather around to cheer the athlete on and then have the athlete absolutely crush the weight that they had just missed. Motivation.

And then what separates all the best from the nothings is motivation. That's what I was trying to get from Randy White in my interview with him.  Just what drove that crazy sonofabitch. How could he go so hard all the time? What made him special? Something inside with his motor. And all the programs in the world with their fancy terms don't mean a damn thing if you aren't motivated to do it. Go through the motions and you will remain nothing

I played junior college football with the meanest, toughest players and coaches I have ever been around. . Barely anybody cared about school. They loved football. More than anything. The coaches didnt even get paid, most of them. They worked as carpenters, as furniture salesman, as teachers.. To repeat, they were not paid to coach us- no money for at all. They sacrificed time with their families to help us, to travel with us.Pure love of football. The players?  A bunch of no grades, bunch of drunks, bunch of barely staying out of jail dudes. Love of the game. Motivation and a will to win. Shitty practice field, wooden bleachers, no weight room. Me and Chris and Matty lifted in my girlfriend's basement after practice, 450 for reps in the squat in season, eating pizza and never looking towards tomorrow. And we said "lifted" not "trained". Again, whatever.

In junior college we  ended playing for the national championship. A mix of country kids and suburban kids with no hope except for football and training with weights. I had a good home, mom and dad were there. My friends? Broken homes, poor, wondering where life was leading them. I don't know what was wrong with me. Bored, I guess,.

Couldn't stand school, hated everyone, hated my coaches, hated my teachers because they were dishonest or because they didn't lift or fight or squat.  Didn't respect one coach in high school. I was one and done with the head coach after he lied to me. Thats just the way it is with me. I didnt respect a coach until I got to junior college and my position coach had been shot and had a bullet still lodged in his spine. I knew that he would fight me in a drop of a hat, and I was scared of him. We all were. That's the truth.  But we were nuts. Junior college kids usually have a screw loose or they are late maturing. We had a screw loose, especially me and my buddy Chris. My dad is the most mild mannered man in the world. I don't know why Chris and I were spending out nights in jail. No hope for some reason....but motivation to play?, To train? It was always was there, It wasn't a program, what program???We worked up to all out sets like Kazmaier. What else was there? Go heavy and leave. Three sets of curls after squats. Some benches and rows on other days. Three days a week. Liniment, wraps, Judas Priest...

(Another thought:I don't remember any knee surgeries in my 2 years at junior college,. And  we hit everyday. )

So this thing called motivation,, It is everything in life, it is what gets you up in the morning, this hard to describe NEED that drives.

 And I go through these times were I wonder what is next, whats gonna light my fire next? Always looking, always seeking a movie, a book,  great story to read about great people, to give me the impetus for something to strive for...I cant just go through the motions, with nothing to train for, always have to have a meaning to do something. I've fought ,Ive power lifted, bodybuilding... to be real honest, for me to train for something takes a bunch of determination because my body is a wreck. That's why I love the magic of motivation to take me for another 6 weeks or so to another goal, then another goal..and then another 6 weeks for another goal.and no, seeing someone else get it done doesn't cut it. I have coached great athletes and won championships, but nothing is as special as doing it myself.

And I ain't bitching, it's the truth...shoulders, knees, elbows, flexors, back, ...limitations, but nothing that some ibuprofen and some perfect nutrition can't solve....but the thing is, I always think like this- if you ain't training for something, you are dying a fast way, that life is just something flying by....when I wake up, I run through various checkpoints to make sure how everything is feeling. I sleep in a couch on my side or my sciatica goes nuts, and I am not having another surgery. My shoulder down to my fingers is numb if I sit a certain way, and my left shoulder is pretty useless to do much with out extreme concentration. But I lift.... the surgeries have helped, the shots in my back  help...I have gone through times where I have gotten out of my truck and had to stand there for a few minutes while my sciatica flares and then calms down. And then walk a few yards and do it again. But I want no regrets, do not want to be small or weak. I want to be able to defend myself and my family, to measure myself and to know that others can depend on someone strong around them. To always endeavor to persevere no matter what the situation.

I think that this body was meant to be used, to use it up, to wring every ounce out of it that you can. Hell, my dad has had a knee replacement, a hip replacement, and he hasn't any reflexes in his knees for as long as I can remember, So that is what I grew up with, shoveling tons of dirt that he had delivered, having it all moved before he got home from work so that he could say he was proud of me, so then you realize that effort gets you praise, that sweat means something, that waking up the next morning and being sore is a badge of honor, that one must EARN a fun time and that the only way that you get the reward of relaxation is by sweating and earning it. Searing it with pain, to be blunt. And that you feel sorry for those who have not had that feeling. and it's not the pain of regret for sure, because you are putting this body to use every single day.

So there it is, and there is the rub of the whole thing, I reckon. Thoughts on the desire, the need , the motivation for the next hurdle. My next one  will come to me soon.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a year...it's for life. Whether its training or your family or your job...it doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.