This is the first of a new effort in this blog to reach out to some new resources. You'll see interviews, guest posts, and some more fun stuff over the coming months.
My first guest blog post comes from my longest running client, and now Head Coach at Courage Performance East, Andrew Whitener. "Whitey" had always been one of the hardest working athletes I ever had. His passion to improve his baseball game was infectious and it was always a joy to train him. When he expressed interest in getting into the training/coaching world, it was a pretty seamless transition. Now, as Head Coach at the East Coast branch, he has taken the responsibility of being the only employee of a portion of this company that I have spent 10 years building; needless to say he jumped right into the deep end! And has been doing a wonderful job! Here is his first post, of many to come!
A few weeks ago I was invited to be a speaker at Career Day at local charter school’s in my hometown of Washington, D.C. A friend of mine teaches at the school, and she thought that the kids (I would be talking to seventh and eighth graders) wouldn’t eat me alive, so I gladly agreed to participate. Now, I had obviously listened to adults come and talk in school when I was younger, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember any of them with any clarity. Thus, I really had no idea how to organize my “presentation,” so I went into the day pretty unsure of myself. I’ve always been confident in my ability to think quickly and talk on my feet, but I must say, the prospect ofaddressing a room full of 13-14 year olds was a little intimidating – middle schoolers can be ruthless.
The direction I decided to go in was a simple one – I told the brief version of my own life story and how I came to work for Courage Performance. For those that don’t know me (which, I assume, is almost everyone reading this), I love the game of baseball more than any non-human thing in the world, and it played a large part in defining my life (at least, I thought it did) until I “retired” after my senior year of college. Thus, my baseball playing careerwas a big part of my talk. When I finished my story, we did a question and answer session for about fifteen minutes until it was time to move to a different classroom. The kids had a long list of pre-prepared questions, and I answered a lot of those, but the best and most interesting ones werethose they thought of on the spot.
In one of the last classrooms I spoke to, a kid asked me the question that motivated this post. He calmly raised his hand, and when I called on him, he asked,
“If you could go back in time, would you change anything about your baseball career?”
I stopped for a second and had a moment of true, honestintrospection that I then shared –
“No, I have absolutely no regrets. I would have loved to have performed at the level I thought myself capable of in college, which would have given me a better chance to play professionally, but I can honestly say that I worked as hard as I possibly could have to maximize my potential.”
And that’s what having no regrets means to me. Not that you could have gotten more hits, or made fewer errors, or given up fewer runs in the games you played, but that you couldn’t have done anything more to put yourself in a position to succeed. That was one of the big messages I wanted to send to the kids that day – that not everyone has enough innate ability to do exactly what they want to do, and not everyone has the same opportunities in life. What every single person is able to do, however, is work as hard as they possibly can to be prepared on the day opportunity comes knocking. The great thing about this is that it is entirely up to you, which brings me to the title of this blog post. Hold yourself accountable.
Only you know if you are getting up every day andworking as hard as you can to achieve whatever it is you want. I hear excuses from athletes all the time for why they were late to lift that day, or why they stopped coming in during their season, etc., etc., etc. Excuses always make me angry, but they shouldn’t, because at the end of the day, you are the one who has to look in the mirror and honestly evaluate your efforts. All that I, or Josh, or any coach or teacher can do is offer you the resources you need for success, and if you don’t decide to use them, well, then it doesn’t matter much what I think. Make it your goal, as I’ve made it mine, to go to bed every night knowing that you put in the best day’s work you could. Do I do it every day? Of course not. But I’m getting better.
I busted my ass my entire life to be the best baseball player that I could be, and simply, I reached my ceiling, and it was Ivy League Division 1 baseball. I am OK with that. I have a new primary obsession, and it’s being the best coach/trainer I can possibly be. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m committed to putting in a hard day’s work every single day. Are you?
Never Stop, Get FIT.
Andrew "Whitey" Whitener
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