I’ve been in the realm of strength and conditioning for 9 years and still use the same notebook when I go to any kind of continuing education.
That goes to show you how much I write down…
I probably look like a complete whack job. I sit right in the front row, drink coffee, stare at the presenter, and listen the entire time.
Blinking is optional.
But in all honesty I think I listen better than I write, so I spend the most time doing just that.
What I do write down are the quotes and one-liners that resonate with me the most. What I have accumulated is a notebook full of nuggets from some of the best professionals in the disciplines of psychology, communication, self improvement/development, and of course, human performance. For me, this has been huge in helping remember what I learned, as well as ease of transfer when I am communicating with other industry professionals or clients. I thought it would be pretty neat to share some of my favorites as well as how I have implemented them into my coaching.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I stole the title and concept of this article from my Strength Faction brother, Gabe Caldwell. Gabe is an awesome Coach in Chicago who puts out great content and has amazing hair. No really, his hair is unreal. If you want to see Gabe’s version of “Quotes From My Notes” or how unreal his flow is, you can do so right here.
Without further adieu, the first installment of quotes from my notes:
“You can’t coach a 10 if you are a 2!”- Martin Rooney
The first strength coach I spent time with in my career was Martin Rooney.
Yes, I know how fortunate I am to say that.
I first met Martin back in June of 2011 at Parisi Franchise Training Week. The first concept he spoke to us about was the importance of energy and enthusiasm when coaching. After 6 years, this quote still resonates with me because it is my competitive advantage when coaching. Right before going to training week in New Jersey, I was walking across the graduation stage at SUNY Plattsburgh accepting my degree in business administration. Not exercise physiology, kinesiology, or even health sciences. What I initially lacked in human performance, I knew I could make up for in human interaction. Martin is still 100% correct in that you can write the best training program, backed by all the best science in the world, but if you can’t get your client to listen and follow the program it doesn’t matter.
Lesson learned: Bring the energy each and every session. Just because it is your 7th or 8th session of the day, it is still your clients first interaction with you. Be the highlight of their day. Be a 10 and elevate those around you.
“You don’t want to shoot a shotgun from a canoe” - Eric Cressey
EC is an amazing coach with a better understanding of functional anatomy than most surgeons. After following Eric’s content for years, I first heard him speak at the CSP Fall Seminar in September 2015. When he took the stage to present, everything he spoke about instantly went over my head. This quote was quite literally the only thing that made sense to me. Two years later, this quote is one of the foundations to my training philosophy. We work so hard as strength and conditioning professionals to build the strongest humans we can. What EC is referencing in this quote is to be cautious building a strong human on top of an unstable or dysfunctional foundation.
Lesson learned (without diving too deep down this rabbit hole): Have a good understanding of functional anatomy and how the body should perform. Create a rock-solid, ever evolving, assessment protocol that creates a suitable training menu for each client and strive to deliver a training effect that improves the foundation of each client you work with.
“If you chase two rabbits, you will go home hungry”- Dan John
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being on a Q&A forum facilitated through Strength Faction with about 12 other coaches, with the highlighted presenter being Dan John.
How cool is that? Answer: pretty damn cool.
Very similar to my first Eric Cressey experience, after 60 minutes of listening this was the only thing I wrote down.
Dan John (I feel like you have to say his whole name) was making this in reference to performance training, however in our day to day lives we spread ourselves thin. We try to do this and that and we move further and further away from the outcome we desire. As Coach eludes to, we often times go home hungry. This quote serves as a great reminder that you need to focus on what is most important and, as Dan John also says, we need to keep the goal, the goal.
Lesson learned: Make a list of what is most important. This list can have many columns...training, professional, relationships, etc. but narrow down what is MOST important in each of these things. Next, create actionable steps to ensure that the goal stays the goal. I’m not an expert in self improvement, but this has been very helpful in organizing my day to day, week to week, and month to month actions. Have a plan and stick to the plan.