Angry Coach: Back in the Fight

TAGS: Mark Herzlich, Giants, angry coach, Eagles, elitefts.com, football, Elitefts Info Pages

I was watching the Giants-Eagles game last night, and I heard something that definitely got me fired up. As coaches we should always be looking for shit like this, and I've actually started carrying a notebook to write it all down so it doesn't get lost.

Last week, because of injuries, Mark Herzlich got his first start at linebacker for the Giants. If you're not familiar with the story, Herzlich's the guy who was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma while playing at Boston College, and he was given a 10% survival rate (if the cancer had spread). Best case scenario, he was probably going to have his leg amputated and never play again.

The announcers were talking about how Herzlich was feeling sorry for himself and depressed and thinking about how he was never going to play again -- and how he had a chance of dying. What got my attention was how the described him going back to his room at one point and just saying that enough was enough, and that he was going to fight it. I train with some pretty good guys -- some strong guys -- and this reminded me of something someone said to me a couple of weekends ago.

As I've outlined a bunch of times here, I'm doing my own version of "Block Periodization for the Working Man," and the accumulation blocks are a bitch and a half. They'll teach you a lot about yourself and what you can take, especially when you're banging out a high volume of work and only taking 45-60 second rest periods for the better part of an hour. At one point on a squat day, after doing 65% for 30 total reps (the high end) with only a minute between sets, I was F-ed up and dragging. Once I'd done about 20 reps of RDL's, I was damned near done. I finished up a set, took a couple of steps back, bent over, and put my hands on my knees -- the way you do when you're gassed. Time kept on ticking, and when 50 seconds came around and it was time to go again, one of my training partners slapped me on the ass and said:

"Come on, man. Put up a fight."

That was all I needed -- just to be reminded to put up a fight once in a while. That goes for everything -- coaching, training, family shit, relationships, diet, etc. Everything I've ever been able to do right in my life has come after a point where I had just had enough and decided to fight back -- whether it's against an opponent, being tired, or just being a pussy in my own head.

This thing with Herzlich reminded me of that -- that the guy just went home one day and decided that he was going to go down swinging, and he ended up starting an NFL game last night in his rookie year, with a titanium rod in his leg, after not being drafted and being written off by everyone.

It also reminded me of this part of the Navy SEAL Creed:

"If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight."

I hate posting motivational quotes (I'm not really big on them), but the last part is relevant for everyone, whether you're a player, a coach, or a guy who's training his balls off every day to fight off age creeping up. There have been too many times in my life where I HAVE been out of the fight, and I can assure you it feels good to be back in.

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