It's so crazy to pay attention to everything you learn as you get older. I am one of those pretty self-aware dudes, and one who tends to pay very close attention to my own, and other peoples personalties and the "hows" and "whys" of different actions. For me, one of my over-riding goals in life is to always stay true to myself. I know this is an ever-changing process as I learn new things and have new experiences, but if I can stay aware of who I am on a daily basis, it's easier to stay true.
But it's more than just being true to myself that I want to strive for, it's the ability to perform better at my job, be better in my relationships, and with friends that leads me to constantly confirm that my efforts are valid and positive. The more honest and open I am with myself, the better things become in my life.
This isn't a long-winded post like many that I write. It is simply here to share with you a very strong feeling I have, and maybe it will cause you all a little moment of pause to think about what it is that you are doing, who it is that you are, and if those things are in line with what you truly want in your life.
I know it's unrealistic, but I hope that everyone in the world can be true to themselves and pursue a life that is in line with that.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
I remember the best baseball coach I ever had (and I've had a LOT over the years) used to always tell the team to have a purpose every single time we threw a ball and took a swing. Yeah coach (said in a sarcastic voice), I'm 16 years old, out on the field with my buddies, playing a game a love; there's a damn good chance I'll be throwing about 20 "fosch balls" just to see what the hell happens! Then I'll spend about 15 minutes before BP imitating as many major leaguers as I can!
But in all honesty, his message actually sunk in after that first season with him and I distinctly remember how much my game changed. It hit me that with such a high-skill game as baseball, if you take every single movement just as seriously as you would in the highest pressure game situation, you will be a WAY better player. You create perfect habits because you train rep after rep to perfection. Right? It's not "practice makes perfect", it's "perfect practice makes perfect".
Now that I've moved on from baseball and am focusing on other things, I find that the same theory holds true. The best Olympic Weightlifters don't walk in the gym and sloppily throw the barbell around for 20 minutes before their practice starts. Pro basketball and football players don't head out to the field and goof off like children for a bit before taking their serious reps. In fact, look all the way down the lines of any sport and you'll find the best athletes are the ones who take their reps seriously at ALL times. The athletes who generally don't make it are the ones who spend a lot of their time goofing off, not following the program seriously (or at all), and then when it comes time to perform, come up sub-par.
I know a lot of my blog followers play sports, but most of them are athletes who train "recreationally". So why would this theory apply to you guys? Why would you need to take your reps and movements so seriously if you are just training to "tone up" and have some fun? Well, easy: you will tone up WAY faster, and have WAY more fun if you take what you are doing more seriously. I am not saying that you have to get a crazy intense face on you and tell whoever wants to say hi to you to go kill themselves and not have fun in the gym. I'm just saying that every time you grab the bar, the KB, get ready to do a squat in warm ups, anything, you take that movement seriously.
I can't tell you how many times I have a group of guys in squatting and one guy decides to say something and then the dude with the bar on his back thinks it's a good idea to turn, with the bar on his back to communicate with the first guy. Quick way to get yourself yelled at. I have a couple rules when we begin working: do not talk to someone about to lift, or who is lifting; and, do NOT talk or pay attention to anyone while you are lifting. The goal of the gym in my mind is to get better. If you spend your time goofing off and socializing the entire time, and not putting 100% effort into every single rep, you are simply waisting your time.
But in the end it all comes back to what you want out of your training. As the old saying goes: "you get back what you put in", and if you half-ass it in the gym, or on the playing field, you probably won't see any dramatic results. The problem I have is not those who don't want to put in the effort each rep, it's those that don't put the effort in and then complain about not getting better. The athletes who don't take their training seriously, don't pay attention, make excuses, and jokes, and then bitch and moan about not seeing any improvements.
To get better at things is actually pretty simple. Take every single rep as seriously as you possibly can and positive change will occur. Now get out there and do big things!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Among other specialties, I am a Olympic Weightlifting coach and love spending way too many hours researching all the wonderful ins and outs of the those two beautiful lifts: the snatch and clean and jerk. But for all the middle school, high school, college, and professional athletes that come through Courage Performance, my focus is not to complicate their program with the highly technical full lifts, but to increase their raw power output utilizing the power snatch and power clean. This post is dedicated to all them, and all YOU who wouldn't mind getting that power clean PR up!
Back to the blog, and in the words of the newly popular CT Fletcher, I command you to GROW! Real quick, if you're not a fan of vulgar language, don't click on that link, Fletcher doesn't hold back in the least!
But in light of the concept of growing, I want to talk about all the ways I am, and my wonderful world of Courage Performance is growing. First, the training program. I have been hard at work designing a program that will help me reach all my goals. As of now, I'm not 100% on exactly what the end goal is, but I'm pretty sure I'll be making a run at the CrossFit Regionals yet again next year. In the meantime, I want to get stronger, build on my Olympic Weightlifting, get outside way more, and get to gymnastics 1-3 times per week. Yep, I am headed to a gymnastics center and getting some work down with a coach and it is freaking AWESOME! I just want to have fun, keep getting better on a regular basis, and learn how to never get burned out; and that's the hardest part. I think having specific short term goals to work towards decreases the amount of stress focusing on long term ones generally has on me. So, I make small goals and attack them. I'll be posting up my and the rest of my Teams goals in a week or so.
This leads me to Team Courage. I've started up a small group of awesome athletes who are really serious about their training. We've all hit it off and have been working hard to get stronger and stronger each and every day. There is nothing quite like having a group of hard working athletes to push and to push you. While I love my alone time and will always find ways to get out on my own to workout, I hope to always have some sort of support system around me throughout all the ups and downs of training. You'll all be hearing plenty about this Team as we grow, do some damn cool things in the gym, and have some adventures in the fitness world.
As for the gym, or should I say gymS! Well, they are growing! Back East we are pumped to be in such a perfect place for the summer influx of athletes and we've been getting emails left and right from athletes and teams looking to see how they too can use Courage Performance to get better and better. We've set up a standard for training in the DC area for athletes that has proven to be the best. While it's tough to be all the way across the country during all this, it's awesome to have a sort of objective view on all the hard work I've put into the East Coast program over the past 9 years. Turns out my ideas of what works for athletes seems to be working, and well! And out here with me, in wonderful California, the gym is growing every day. I have already expanded the class schedule, officially brought in 20 athletes for summer training (and am expecting 20+ more in the next month), have a growing kids program, am spreading the word on the Courage Barbell Club, and have been adding to the look and supplies of the big Orange and Black awesomeness that is the gym! Next week I'll be at the Olympic training Center getting my USAW (USA Weightlifting) certification, and in September I'll be getting my Catalyst Athletics Weightlifting certification (the first ever course for this cert). While my number one goal is to bring athletes and clients in, I will always find time to continue to educate myself to offer the absolute best to everyone who looks to Courage Performance for help.
Finally, in light of all this growth, I am re-focusing my efforts on streamlining everything in the Courage Performance nation. Committing to keeping the website updated and fun, blogging on a regular basis, sharing videos and pics of all my adventures, and officially marketing the concept of Courage performance to the world. I am excited for all this growth
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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