Who You Are and What You Need: Part 2

DSC_0666-1Part 1 can be found here. 

2) Your success is your responsibility

Good programming creates an environment of success – IT DOESN’T CREATE SUCCESS. You do. YOU.

Sometimes athletes have the impression that the workout on the board is magical fairy voodoo training dust that courses through your veins at 3-2-1 Go.

Dropping some truth – Magical fairy voodoo training dust does not exist.

Some coaches are honest about this, some are not. The dishonest ones want you to believe in this voodoo as a way of establishing expertise – they know and you don’t. They’re going to tell you during a workout  to “maintain torso rigidity and intra-abdominal pressure through active lumbar and thoracic extension and a reset of the valsalva maneuver between consecutive repetitions” hoping that you have no idea what they’re saying because nothing gets a shitty coach off faster than confusing people.

They’re going to tell you they decided to make the reps go up by fives or down by fives because of the way the body reacts to odd numbers instead of even numbers, or that they spent 9 hours on a Sunday night writing and rewriting a workout based on the analysis of the previous week’s results, muscle fiber response, how it fits into the current periodization microcycle, and finally because of their ultimate authority, wisdom, knowledge and experience they have chosen the following:


They want you to believe in the magical fairy dust.

Yes – writing workouts for athletes requires knowledge and this knowledge needs to be constantly developed, honed, applied, and tested. It is science and an art. Good coaches are convicted enough in what they do to lead the way, but humble enough to acknowledge there are infinitely more things to learn and ways to grow.  But the issue here is when coaches use the knowledge they have (or don’t have) to control, deceive and oppress people instead of develop them.

Unfortunately coaches like this exist in the world and these coaches should be punched in the throat. But in the end – you are responsible for you. Don’t be a mindless slave. Be knowledgeable, gain knowledge and nurture the desire to always learn more – this will sharpen your bullshit detector and will help your training. You are responsible for you.

Enough about these dishonest lying bastards – The honest coaches and the successful athletes will tell you that there are no magic sets and reps, a super program, an ultra cycle. It comes down to smart, hard work.

Smart work See previous post. There are different kinds of smart, and a lot of those kinds work. Pick one, stick to it, change when you know you need to.

Hard work – If the work is smart but you’re a sandbagger, a liar, lazy, or think you know better – you’re screwed. Nothing will help you and it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on coaching or remote programming. Badminton is cool, maybe try that?

Smart. Hard. Work.

I am NOT saying that coaching or programming doesn’t affect your success as an athlete. It does. But before you go through two weeks of training “without any progress” and decide that it’s time to jump ship to “find something that works”, sit yourself in the tub, break out the bubble bath and candles for a little heart-to-heart chat:

Are you working hard? Recovering harder?  Are you in tune with your body and who you are as an athlete? Are you mentally tough? Resilient is a great word – does it describe you? Are you surrounded by people that can lead you, push you, encourage you, and call you out on your bullshit? Do you call yourself out on your bullshit? Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you feel responsible for your own success?

If you can answer “yes” to all those questions and you are not seeing the progress you think you can get, drain the tub, jump the ship and find a new captain.

If you can’t answer “yes” – or worse yet – if you have no idea what the question means, just shut up, grab the hammer and go to work.

Next post: The Mind is Primary

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