The X Factor
The X Factor
I'm giving more emphasis on "core" than I have ever before. After four weeks of adding in this X work, it's amazing how much better our athletes feel and look while running, doing agilities, and lifting.
25 Years of Leadership
25 Years of Leadership
In 2021, we as coaches need to find out what makes our athletes tick and then continue to throw logs on that fire. Some guys need a little, and some need a lot. Over the past 25 years in this business regarding leadership, this is the difference between winning and mediocrity.
A Plan in Place
A Plan in Place
If you watch games, particularly college football games in the 80s, everyone looked strong. I know they had big pads and all, but so many players just looked the part. They definitely kept strength leakage to a minimum. How?
Guns Up, Let's Do This!
Guns Up, Let's Do This!
We have been analyzing data, scientific and non-scientific research, burned up phone lines talking to everyone and anyone to see what they are doing, and also getting guidelines from our prospective schools or employers about what to do. In the spirit of Leeroy Jenkins, it's time for action!
The Body of Work
The Body of Work
It all comes down to three rules. These three pretty much cover everything, and they can be applied anywhere in life: Education, work, family, anything...
The Best-Laid Plans
The Best-Laid Plans
Were you on the right track before quarantine? We had more players squat in the 600s than we had in all of our years combined! Here's the plan I devised before the home orders were in effect and what we'll be doing once we return.
Is Your Winning Culture Broken?
Is Your Winning Culture Broken?
Without a culture, we are just hamsters on a wheel. Working hard and going nowhere. Our teams may train hard and get after it, but year after year, they will fall short on the playing field.
Down the Road to Pinball Wizardry
Down the Road to Pinball Wizardry
As a strength and conditioning coach, your job takes on the journey of a metallic ball on a playfield inside a glass-covered cabinet — never traveling in a straight line. Strap in as the ride will get bumpy!
Don’t Forget Who You're Dealing With
Don’t Forget Who You're Dealing With
It's easy to assume a young athlete is slacking off due to laziness. However, it's always important to remember that there may be more than meets the eye.
What's Most Important?
What's Most Important?
This is a question that we need to ask ourselves as many times as possible year after year because everything we do on a daily basis needs to be grounded on our answer.
Caught in the Middle
Caught in the Middle
It's a double-whammy when you're the last person standing from the most recent rounds of strength staff layoffs. You'll have to deal with new head coaches and new staff members. What do you do in that situation? Follow these tips, and you'll have a good grip on the handle if this happens to you.
Is This the Right Fit?
Is This the Right Fit?
Not every job is going to be the right fit for you, no matter how hard you try to make it work. Know who you are, what you believe in, what you are willing to sacrifice, and what you will and will not do.
The elitefts Internship Guide
The elitefts Internship Guide
Everything you've ever wanted to know about internships, all in one place.
Don't Be Afraid to Try
Don't Be Afraid to Try
A self-made millionaire once told me that we all have great ideas; it's just that 99% of people don't act on them. Those words came to mind this summer when I took the largest step I've ever taken out of my comfort zone...
The Definition of Insanity
The Definition of Insanity
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again to get a different result. That pretty much sums up the strength and conditioning industry, doesn't it?
At War with the ME Culture
At War with the ME Culture
Social media is toxic when it comes down to good teamwork. There's no "I" in team, and there's no "me" in team, either. So let's try to figure out how to flip the "M" in me upside-down and change that Me to a We.
Reminder: Stay Focused and In Your Own Lane
Reminder: Stay Focused and In Your Own Lane
Every team has areas that need attention, and if we are not careful, we can step on the toes of others by doing their jobs, and then we have no time to develop what OUR job calls us to do.
Is Your Foundation Made of Rock or Sand?
Is Your Foundation Made of Rock or Sand?
Your foundation needs to be deeper and stronger than your core values. It must be a part of your being, some things that you will never give into or allow to change. These can also be small things that will get you, your staff, and your players through just about anything.
How to Program for a Large Group of Athletes with Limited Resources
How to Program for a Large Group of Athletes with Limited Resources
The DOMINATE method is a way of working out a team with the bare minimum while still being able to maximize results. It consists of eight principles that all successful strength and conditioning programs must have and must be able to do.
How to Get In and Stay In
How to Get In and Stay In
If you think you have what it takes to become a strength coach, you've got to start with an internship. This one's for the future interns who want to get on the field and on the strength and conditioning path. Just know there's little to no money or prestige in the gig.
Starting Over in the Basement
Starting Over in the Basement
I know it is a new year, and everyone starts to look back or forward at this time, and maybe it is a good thing to act to re-evaluate what you are doing with your programs and why. 2019 brought me a new head coach and a great opportunity to review and reassess my football team's program.
12 Days of Giving Credit to the Things That Shaped My Coaching Career
12 Days of Giving Credit to the Things That Shaped My Coaching Career
'Tis the season to reflect on the past, present, and future. Don't be a Scrooge — take a moment to thank the people who have shaped who you are today.
The Difference Between Winning and Maintaining a Winning Team
The Difference Between Winning and Maintaining a Winning Team
Why is it so hard to continue to excel, bit by bit, and stay there year after year, time after time? Why could you have a great year one year and a horrible one the next? I am writing this because we did just that.
Go With What You Know
Go With What You Know
Whatever the reason, what does a strength coach do when things are not going as expected? This is one of the hardest things to deal with, whether you are new at this business, or have been in it for a while.
Where Loyalties Lie
Where Loyalties Lie
Who are we truly accountable to? It is not an easy question to answer.
3 Reminders for a Healthy and Productive Training Camp
3 Reminders for a Healthy and Productive Training Camp
To an outsider, things may seem easy during camp as far as being a strength coach goes. You have them maybe a half hour to forty-five minutes a day if you’re lucky. Easy peasy, right? Wrong!
Building A Summer Training Philosophy
Building A Summer Training Philosophy
These are the five ingredients you need to put together the summer plans for your athletes: core exercises and runs, team goals, position plans, individual goals, and correct grouping.
Your Circle of Trust: Don't Be the Captain of a Ship of Fools
Your Circle of Trust: Don't Be the Captain of a Ship of Fools
There are moments in life that shape your mind and determine the way you choose to think and live. I have experienced two such moments that have shaped my coaching and life philosophies.
Flip the Script: What Is Your Internship Really Teaching You?
Flip the Script: What Is Your Internship Really Teaching You?
Making 200 protein shakes per day and cleaning up the weight room isn't going to make anyone a better coach, so you'd better hope there's more than grunt work for you to do.
Trust the Process — Perfection
Trust the Process — Perfection
Turn into the head coach of the weight room. Come up with a plan to cover everything down to the finest detail.
Collegiate Athlete Essentials: Parameters for Incoming Athletes
Collegiate Athlete Essentials: Parameters for Incoming Athletes
This method has worked well in the past and could help you with your starting point in the programming for your athletes.
10 Commandments of Being a Strength Coach
10 Commandments of Being a Strength Coach
These are important rules that you will never find in any classroom or lecture, passed down from strength coach to strength coach.
Establishing Team Culture in the Spring — FUNdamentals
Establishing Team Culture in the Spring — FUNdamentals
This is a great opportunity for you as the strength coach to step in and provide the leadership and culture to propel your team forward in the fall.
21 Again: Reflecting on Lessons from Over Two Decades as a Strength Coach
21 Again: Reflecting on Lessons from Over Two Decades as a Strength Coach
My time in this industry has taught me a lot. I'd like to share some pearls of wisdom I've picked up along the way that I think will be useful to others.
Real Life Status — Who's Watching You?
Real Life Status — Who's Watching You?
After our recent bowl game, all-time great Denver Bronco and two-time Pro Bowler Rod Smith spoke to my team and shared an important message that got me thinking about my athletes and my personal mission statement.
'If You Build It They Will Come' — Remembering My First Championship Team After 20 Years
'If You Build It They Will Come' — Remembering My First Champi...
How do you build your team? How do you take a group of athletes from every aspect of society and get them pulling in the same direction toward a common cause?
7 Pillars of Leadership
7 Pillars of Leadership
I recently spoke to my university's leadership committee and it got me thinking about some things that are imperative to the success of strength and conditioning coaches.
We Better Get It Right — Securing the Future of S&C Before It's Too Late
We Better Get It Right — Securing the Future of S&C Before It's...
This is real stuff that is happening right now — not just my opinion, but what is really going on. I am not bitching, but I am calling for change in the right way. This is what needs to happen.
Set the Standard
Set the Standard
Change 'I' to 'we' and now you really have something: a team, with everyone working toward a common cause.
Who Are You — From Assistant to Head Coach
Who Are You — From Assistant to Head Coach
In the realm of strength and conditioning, you are always selling yourself to administrators, athletic directors, sport coaches, your boss, athletes, recruits, and everyone else around you. Will they like what they see?
X Marks the Spot: 3 Ways to Make It to Your Next Big Coaching Job
X Marks the Spot: 3 Ways to Make It to Your Next Big Coaching Job
Everyone wants to be the head strength coach at a school that has a realistic opportunity to compete for a national championship, but I don’t think enough people put the right kind of plan in place to get there.
Shades of Grey
Shades of Grey
I remember a time in strength and conditioning when hard work and sweat equity were paramount, and the integrity of the workout was the most important thing. Our most important job was player development, period.
What Are You Trying to Build?
What Are You Trying to Build?
When you say "culture", are you sure you know what you're referring to? Here's what this word means to our program.
The Building Blocks of a Winning Team
The Building Blocks of a Winning Team
What comes first: a chicken or the egg? Winning or culture?
Are You A Teammate or Training Partner?
Are You A Teammate or Training Partner?
I am always looking into why teams win. No matter the sport, venue, business, you name it, I am constantly asking myself what they are doing to win. This is one thing they all share.
Hunt, Be Relentless, and Have Fun — How I Got Here
Hunt, Be Relentless, and Have Fun — How I Got Here
I looked at what all great players and people do and how I want to coach and live my life. All common denominators boiled down to my big three. This is how they were chosen.
Win the War — Day-to-Day Battles of Strength and Conditioning
Win the War — Day-to-Day Battles of Strength and Conditioning
This is not a list of excuses, but the reality of what really goes on, no matter what level or program you are at.
Identifying Why — 4 Steps to Perfecting Your Program Philosophy
Identifying Why — 4 Steps to Perfecting Your Program Philosophy
Here are a few steps I have used over the years that have helped me, my staff, and our athletes be on the same page in understanding our purpose.
Setting New Standards for Freshman Summer Training
Setting New Standards for Freshman Summer Training
Interest was peaking and you know what happened?
Is Your Coach Giving You What You Need?
Is Your Coach Giving You What You Need?
There are a lot of coaches to choose from and they all think they're the best. What criteria should you use to judge them?
5 Old School Principles to Hold Onto
5 Old School Principles to Hold Onto
If you do not follow these principles in your programming, you are building a house out of sand.
The Dash — What's Your Legacy?
The Dash — What's Your Legacy?
The passing of my father led me to look at myself and think about the kind of legacy I'm going to leave.
Summer Programming — Eliminate the Two Steps Back
Summer Programming — Eliminate the Two Steps Back
You took a step forward and now it's summer. This time of year means nine weeks of strength and conditioning bliss and nine weeks of scheduling, programming and executing our own version of “the master plan.”
Communication in Strength and Conditioning — The Heartbeat of a Successful Program
Communication in Strength and Conditioning — The Heartbeat of a Successf...
With your athletes and with your staff, communication is all you have for keeping everyone on the same page. If you won't talk to them, you won't understand them, and your program will fail.
How Do We Get to the Steak, Not the Sizzle?
How Do We Get to the Steak, Not the Sizzle?
There's nothing wrong with trying the newest, flashy technique, but if you don't know how it will help your team, stick to the basics.
The Dark Side of Coaching: How Secure Is Your Job?
The Dark Side of Coaching: How Secure Is Your Job?
In this profession, you are going to experience career limbo. Sometimes you don't know where you're going next — or if you'll even have a job next season.
The Four Steps of Establishing Your Program
The Four Steps of Establishing Your Program
The success of your program depends on your ability to balance what your head coach wants to do, what you want to do, and what your team really needs.
You Never Know How You'll Find Your First Job
You Never Know How You'll Find Your First Job
Whatever your plans are for breaking into this industry, forget them. It's never going to work out how you plan.
Starting Your Career as a Collegiate Strength Coach
Starting Your Career as a Collegiate Strength Coach
Breaking into this profession is difficult and requires determination and sacrifice but if you're in it for the right reasons, that won't be a problem.

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