Through the course of our first looks into “achieving your New Year’s Resolution”, I have discussed a general outline of goal achievement, the building blocks of motivation as well as laying out an early plan for those looking to shed unwanted weight and others looking to add muscle mass. In the final instalment, to the surprise of no one I will turn my attention to my favourite overall topic of “athletic development”.
It comes as no co-incidence that this article in released on the morning of 31 December and while much of the world is readying for a New Year’s celebration, athletes need to balance personal lives with the job of preparation. If my words have a cutting stroke to them, it is with intent because if I talk softly to groups with other interests, I will not with athletes. You are or should be different and if you to enter my training room, it is time to get to work.
This is my domain and I do not want to hear debates over music, the work to difficult or excuses on conduct. Your musical choice does not interest me and honestly, I know the work is extremely hard. It is supposed to be as I am I building champions and leaders of tomorrow, not those that shirk their responsibilities, quiver at the storm or do not understand notions of principles and honour. So get ready for the biggest “storm” you have ever seen because I prepare my people to be victors and leaders of tomorrow, starting today.
Now listen up, given much of the world has not seen a leader for decades and does not inform you what being an athlete is, I damn well will. This is very important to understand as while sport echoes society, it has the ability to shape it. Unfortunately, for roughly two to three generations, that basic fact has been forgotten and something must be done. It is time for public to realise that action is needed, as professional organizations, governing bodies or the like, have failed and it is up coaches, teachers and mentors to lead a new generation.
Enough of the niceties, it is time to get down to some cold, hard facts. I have broken up the plan into general rules of conduct and training protocols.
Rules of Conduct
a) Focus. If you are going to be an athlete, you have to carry yourself as one and presuming that means you are still in your studies, you will apply yourself to achieve in the classroom. Yes, I know you are rolling your eyes because you have not heard that before but in my world, where I build champions, you will study, study hard with a top course load. Not everyone can be the star athlete that receives the loving praise for supporters but every athlete can finish their academic studies. Not every athlete can play professional sport but every athlete should leave the field of competition as a man and woman of honour, prepared to lead. That may be a surprise in an era that accommodates dishonourable behaviour for a elite athlete but it is about time for positive change. Welcome to the world of being a student-athlete and for that matter, a leader of tomorrow.
b) Adversity is something you overcome. Principles never have a price tag and doing what is right is never wrong. Say that until it is second nature and eventually you will begin to realise there is something extraordinary to it. You will face many obstacles in life and when sport has taught you that “adversity is something you overcome” and you are a man or woman of principles, you have become a champion.
c) Respect. Respect yourself, fellow man, teammates, the institution you play for, your family name and the sport. Whether you play a team sport or not, show respect at every corner and be an example of building a better world
d) Business. That is not a joke and I am neither a shoulder to cry on nor your friend. I am here to develop leaders of tomorrow and while I care for those less fortunate, I will not tolerate mental weakness or mistakes by those who call themselves athletes. A coach’s task is to make you better and all those he leads better, both on the field of competition and off it. Part of that job is ensuring you are ready to handle many difficult challenges, including those you have no idea that lay in life’s horizon.
e) Prepared. That means, complete your studies on time, get the appropriate amount of sleep, eat the right food and make sure you supplement per your schedule before you come to practice. If you do not, my training will rip you to shreds emotionally and physically.
f) Team. Speaking directly to those in a team sport, wear your team issued shirts, shorts at all times during training. There will be no discussions, you are a team. If you think light of that, ask some older athletes how bad they want just to wear that jersey, that crest, those colours, just one more time.
g) Family. When you are training with your team mates, they are your family, your “brothers / sisters” and you exalt them to greatness, as well as putting away petty issues. Look to your right, then left and whether you can comprehend this now or not, these memories will last a lifetime. You will never forget your teammates and decades from now, you will share these memories as if they were yesterday. Your family is only as great as weakest link and that link is instrumental to your success. If you are a leader on that team, you make sure you finish your task and get back in line to help motivate your “brother / sister” to achieve. If you are possibly that “weakest link”, chin-up because your role is push others forward to build the foundation and have an extraordinary part in your “families” success.
h) Purpose; when you are training, there should be no “chit-chat” other than pushing your teammates on to do their best. There should be no discussions on musical selection, not a word when a coach says a thing and never, ever sit down.
i) Honour, Commitment and Loyalty. Shoulders back, head up, walk tall. Be proud of yourself and address others with respect and dignity that further demonstrates your intelligence. You are a student-athlete, built of honour and conviction, ready to lead in the field of competition and life. Sport is meant to uplift society but somewhere along the last thirty year’s the whole thing became a quagmire. It is time to change and if you implement these simple rules and this generation can begin to re-write this mess.
- You are an athlete and must consider training like one. Understanding the Wheel of Conditioning, you will need to develop all facets of the general athleticism and ensure each “spoke” is of equal skill.
- All training must adhere to the “Concepts of Training”, ensuring movement generation is correct and you are able to respond to rapidly changing environments.
- Your training embodies, power, explosiveness and grace. When it comes time to perform, you “turn the switch on” and explode. Do what you do with all your might. Never surrender.
- You are confident, not boastful but secure that you will overcome every challenge and when knocked down, you will get back up and keep trying until you excel.
- You wake up at 0500 and perform 50 / 50’s. Not “sometimes” but always.
- You lift a weight in your hands with your legs. Trust me, I know how peculiar that is to visualize but compound movements must be generated with a powerful lower body.
- In compound movements, explode the weight alarmingly fast. No faster, even faster still. Focus intensely, perform the lift, and then relax as you ready for the next set.
- Olympic Lift’s, with emphasis of Split Snatch and Split Jerk’s are constants with your training along with Bounding and Sprinting.
- You are an example of future generations and even though you do not realise it, people look up to you for leadership. Show everyone what you are made up, rise above the limitations that society has placed upon you if it has and lead a new generation to greatness with every step you take. Trust me, you have greatness within you.
Prepared by John Davies
John’s present supplement stack starts daily with the “athlete’s advantage”, Modern, Super Cissus, PowerFull and Prime, along with additional use of Recreate, Yok3d, Anabolic Pump and Pink Magic depending upon his training cycle (workout log 1, 2, 3, 4).
photos credit: John Davies, out-takes from "Heavy Metal" copyright protected © Renegade Style Productions, 2005.
The information provided in “Instant Training Improvement Tips”, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should it be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.