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I'm sitting in the airport typing this while waiting for my connection to the Dominican Republic. I've been thinking about the things in my training and life that have helped me gain a clearer picture of what I'm striving to accomplish. Lately, I feel like I've had more clarity in my life, and I've been able to see the big picture as opposed to getting caught up in the small, minute details that bog many of us down.

In this day and age, we're probably more overloaded with things than ever before. With the click of a button, you can be bombarded with, for lack of a better word, shit about anything and everything. I know because for a while, I was getting caught up in checking Facebook multiple times a day for no other reason than it being something I could do. However, after seeing articles about how awful my squat, gym, coach, lifestyle or choice of beverage was, I decided to stop.

Initially, I thought about deleting my Facebook account. However, I realized that some of my relatives use it to communicate with me and my wife. Because I have a 10-month-old son, I opted to keep it but to check only once in the morning and once before bed to see if anyone I actually care about had messaged me. I admit that I'm pretty bad at the whole social media thing. If I don’t wish you a happy birthday, say thanks because you wished me one or click “like” on your posts, understand that it isn’t because I'm being a dick. Rather, I don't artificially do so.

I was just tired of being overloaded by information from others that was forced on me. I really don't care to read about some guy’s e-book. I also don’t care to see 30 training videos that I didn’t want to see or read what pro wrestler a kid who sat across from me in accounting my senior year of high school is most like. I just came to the realization that these weren't things that I need in my life. Additionally, they weren’t things that I want in my life. From here, I started to consider what it was that I did need or want and it put things in perspective.

In reality, I want what is best for myself and my family. This is also a need. I want to do well as a coach and a pseudo-competitive athlete (and I use that loosely) in the hobby/sport that I participate in. However, these things are wants, not needs. If I was told that I had to do something else to provide for my family besides the teaching/coaching job I have or that it would be in our best interests, that is what I truly need. As far as my own training, that is a want and nothing more.


After seeing other people post nonsense about what your gym, coach or training center needs, I actually really thought about what things I do need. I remember a while ago seeing Mark McLaughlin post something along the lines of needing less and less equipment to produce results because he truly understood adaptation and how to train for a specific outcome in sport. I've really taken this approach as well and started to consider this. Many out there will tell you that it's necessary to have numerous bells and whistles along with competitive accolades above the rest of your peers in order to be successful. However, what's really needed in your endeavor is actually much more valuable. The bare minimum in terms of equipment can be good enough to get the desired results. To do what is necessary for me to succeed at the next meet I plan to do, I really only need a rack or squat stands, a bench and a platform along with a bar and plates. I can figure out what to do and how to use these simple tools to reach that goal. To train the athletes at the school, I really only need some weights; an area to sprint, jump and perform movements in; and maybe some bands and I can do everything that I need to do. Knowing what to do with these tools is far more valuable than having more at my disposal.

I recall that some of the most productive training of my life was through the ages of 18–20. I remember training with a few close friends in a basement on a hand-welded power rack with a crappy power bar, some dumbbells, a lat pull-down machine and a dip stand. We really didn’t know shit, but we all were critical yet fair of each other and wanted nothing more than to get better. Somewhere along the line, we thought that we needed more stuff to improve. However, if all of us knew more about what was necessary to really improve, we could have made that basement as productive as any area we trained in after that.

I like to watch old videos or videos from athletes in countries with far fewer resources than America. These demonstrate that correct implementation and use of the resources at hand can yield fantastic results. As coaches and athletes, we get so wrapped up in what we don’t have. I constantly hear my coaching colleagues bitch about not having the personnel to run this offense or this defense. However, our job should be to figure out what we can do and attempt to use those things as our strengths to win.