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On elitefts, many articles poke fun at readers, and yes, some of that will happen here as I write about how we try to do our jobs in the strength and conditioning world.

I've done some of the following and I've seen others do some of the following as well. I have no doubt that some of my comrades in this profession won't like what I have to say, but hopefully some will laugh when they imagine me or even their own staff doing some of these things. So here is a list of some of the crazy things that we do.

1. Rock the strength coach mullet: For those of you unfamiliar with this hairstyle, it was huge in the US in the 80s, and in Pittsburgh, it can still be seen at a Steelers game. You know the look—business up front and party in the back. The strength coach mullet is a little different, but we've all done it—mesh or workout shorts worn with a polo shirt. This look says, "I'm ready to squat, but dude, if headshot time sneaks up on me, all I need to do is smile." I used to rock this look myself until I realized that a T-shirt is fine at work. Besides, I don't need to unbutton my top button and let the chest hair out.

2. Be the over hyper game day dude: We've all seen this strength coach. He is more hype than the players. Bashing heads, breaking boards, head butting players and, of course, rocking the short sleeves in a snowstorm. Personally, I'll never be the bundled up dude, but I'll also never be the over hype dude. I tell my players that I will get hyped up, pumped up or excited on squat day because that's my world. On game day, I'll give you a slap on the ass and support you, but game day is the players' time. It's their world. It isn't about us. Let the athletes get hyped up. Do what you can to help, and if it's raining, wearing a light rain jacket won't make you soft.

3. Judge others' programs when you've never done their jobs: This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I have said over and over that the first thing you look at when programming for any team is facility. Is it important to use energy systems in the sport? Yes! If Dave Tate gave me a blank check to spend money at the elitefts™ store and I could "pimp my weight room," I would program much differently than I do now. But I have what I have, so I must program the best that I can with what I have.


4. Save the world when we're hired: OK, I may have upset a few people here. This point ties into the previous one. When you take over a program, it's easy to correct some glaring weaknesses. This doesn't mean that the prior person doing the job was bad at the job. This is just an example of how we each have different strengths and weaknesses. If I started working with a group of athletes who were trained solely with an Olympic style training philosophy, I would get some immediate strength gains and squat numbers would go up as I adjust the programming to have them squat how I want them to. On the other hand, if an Olympic-based coach took over my program, I guarantee the cleans would go up. Does this make either of us right or wrong? No! It just shows that there is an art to what we do and we each have our own way of doing things. What you have a great eye for, I may not, and I may see something or coach something differently than you. This doesn't make either of us smart or stupid, just different.

5. Not realize that we're replaceable cogs: I struggled mightily with this for years. I plan on retiring in my 50s. I love what I do, but things will change and I will change. I must understand that I can, and will be, replaced.

I was in a meeting with my athletic director this week, and he told he that he thought I was one of the best in the country at programming. I almost spit out my coffee. I told him that I'm not even close. I'm just the best that he has. This isn't in any way an insult to me but an honest assessment. I'm good at programming, but I'm not anywhere near the best.

RELATED: The Holy Wars; Why I Use Olympic Lifts…Sometimes

As I said in the previous point, we all have weaknesses. I feel that I do my best as an educator. I believe that I'm one of the best in the industry at getting my athletes' minds working (and this leads to stronger and better athletes, in my opinion). So knowing that I have strengths and weaknesses, it's important for all of us to remember that we're one of many people in our athletic departments. What we do should be important to us, but we can, and will be, replaced.

6. Hang our hats on injury rates: In my first five years at my current job, women's basketball had one ACL tear. In my sixth year, we had three. In those first five seasons, we won over 20 games a year. In my sixth year, I think we won maybe 14. What happened? In 2010, my football team used the same 22 starters in 10 out of 11 games (we were ranked in the top 25 and were winning at the national champion's home field in the fourth). In 2011, our injuries were so high that I couldn't count them. I doubt we went four plays without an injury.

Often, strength coaches love to speak of injury rates. I have a theory—good teams are injured fewer times than bad teams. Good teams aren't put in bad positions. I don't have any science to back me up, but every time I've coached a good team, they stay healthy. When the team performs poorly, they get hurt.

Sport is chaos. I know that people think that ACL injuries don't occur because of 3 X 10 reverse hypers but news flash! They do. I love reverse hypers, but there is also tons of luck with your injury rates. So if you plan on hanging your hat on injury rates, you'll get bit in the ass when you have some bad luck (and you will).


7. Give up our lives for our jobs: My son Tenzing is more important than every one of my athletes, coaches and administration. I love my job. I love going to work, but too often I hear people tell me that they will give up everything to do the job. That is insane. I will one day be fired because my son is more important than the job, and honestly, I'll leave with a smile on my face. Keep your priorities in check.

8. Not use the resources around us: Every university has a wide variety of smart and gifted people. There are statistics experts, science experts and experts in many other fields. Are you using them and connecting with them? This year, I've spoken in courses covering linguistics, music appreciation, sport, science and marketing. All these contacts will help me as I move forward in my profession. Who are you working with across campus to expand your department's network?

9. Chase the big time job: I work at a small Division I school and I love it. I was speaking with a friend of mine who works at the same level but at a larger school, and he said that he wants to stay there forever because it's where he can make the most impact. I told him the bad news, that if his teams kept winning, he may not have a choice.

At my current job, we need new dumbbells, a new floor and new barbells. We're understaffed, but I love it every day. Yes, if I were at Bigtime U, I would have all of this taken care of, but would it be a better job for me and my family? Would it be in the right region for me? Could I see my son on the weekends? Consider all this.

A friend of mine asked me at the CSCCa why I hadn't left my current school. First, I asked him, "Are you hiring?" Then I told him that no one calls and why would I leave where I am when they treat me well? No, we don't have everything, but being treated with respect from the president of the university goes a long way in making me happy.

10. Not know what your administration expects: I sat down with my athletic director last week just to ask him what he wanted from me and my staff. I've been the director of strength and conditioning for over eight years and I still need to ask this from time to time. What does the administration expect of us? How do they perceive us? How can we be on their team? When's the last time you asked your administration or head coach these questions? Often, the perception of what we do isn't really what we do. Imagine explaining the force velocity curve to your athletic director. Honestly, he probably doesn't care, so find out what he does care about and do that, too.

I hope that these 10 points got you thinking about how we can make our profession better for all of us. We often go to work with blinders on, and we don't leave our solipsistic world until it's too late. Be ahead of the curve and excel in all that you do.