Every time you stay out late, every time you sleep in, every time you miss a workout, every time you don’t give 100 percent, you make it that much easier for me to beat you.” — Unknown


Old-fashioned hard work leads to success. True athletes display the “will” to prepare to be their best.

While testing my college soccer team a couple weeks ago, I overheard, "I can't wait until camp is over. It's killing me. My legs are shot!"

I couldn't help think: “How can your legs be ‘shot’ when you only have one practice a day with weekends off?”

I couldn't help recalling when I was younger. My parents and other adults would always say how easy I had it. They used that old cliché that they had to "walk miles uphill in the snow just to get to school!" While I thought that this was made up, maybe they were telling the truth.

In my high school days (1992–96), I wrestled and played football. We practiced twice a day in football. There wasn't any such thing as "It’s too hot so there isn't any practice." In wrestling, the ‘stuff’ we went through during practices wouldn't be allowed today and/or the coaches would probably be fired!

I recently heard that one hockey coach (who I look up to and played with professionally) got demoted for cursing at his players (using the word "pussies"). The players complained to their parents and the parents complained to someone in charge of the select team and bam! soccer practice janek

He was demoted.

An example of the changes in athletes' work ethics over time was demonstrated when I was testing a soccer team. We had a makeup (‘workout/punishment’) for anyone who couldn't make all six tests within a given time frame. During our makeup ‘workout/punishment,’ one athlete immediately informed me that he had shin splints and couldn't do anything at all. A true athlete should have the drive to practice rigorously. Any highly successful athlete will share stories of working though the natural little aches and pains. While playing in high school level football and wrestling, college level football, and professional level football programs, I remember having shin splints, turf toe, aches and pains, but I never sat out! Is today's athlete softer?

I don't think all of them are. I place the blame on many high schools for not implementing proper work ethics, not including quality training sessions and not embedding a ‘blue collar’ work ethic. Without trying to bash any particular area coaches (we have many who are very good and train to compete at a high level), it seems that some are merely “check chasers.’ This is sad for the athletes. I've seen practices and I've attended "off-season workouts." I've witnessed a lot of newspaper reading and lack of coaching.

RELATED: High School Strength Coaches - Don't Make This Mistake

My job as a strength and conditioning coach is to develop every athlete who comes through the Tanks Training facility door. I strive to find, foster and train athletes and prepare them physically and mentally so that they're ready to perform at their highest achievable level. Most (not all) don't have the availability to do these things at their high school.

To conclude, the goal of a true athlete should be to strive to maintain high energy, good health, proper nutrition and rest and to train hard and consistently. This era of athletes is in a ‘weird’ place. Expectations and beliefs about work ethic are changing. Our society (as a whole) is becoming too soft and it's rubbing off on this generation of young athletes and youth in general. I'm committed to using the newest techniques available in order to enable my clients to reach their highest competitive level, but they must have the desire to do so.

The word 'GREAT' speaks for itself: Growth, readiness, exercise, attitude and toughness.

Chris Janek's Training Log