|5/3/2012 9:55:55 AM -
General Mistake #3: It's nothing personal
One thing I used to tend to assume is that people took their beliefs in this business so seriously that it became personal. It did for me from time to time. What I mean by this is that if a coach went online and espoused (beating this metaphor to death) whistling Dixie on a Bosu ball as the secret to a successful career in the NFL, I would automatically dislike the guy personally. For whatever reason, I would get angry and find it insulting that this guy would go out in public and disagree with the football principles I believed to be true.
The same goes for a lot of guys. Several years back, I stopped with the "hero worship" with regard to how I think football training should be coached. Yes, there are guys I agree with, but I also came to the realization that I've been around the sport for longer, and on a deeper level, than some of the people whose ideas I think are gold.
This doesn't mean I disagree with these guys -- not at all. It means I finally found my balls and realized that I, too, have something to offer. That I could take a look at the same research, try the same shit out on my athletes, and use my experience in the sport to my advantage because I really do know exactly what my kids are going through.
I've digressed a little here, but there's a point to this, and that's the idea that yes, we're all kind of "in this together," but we're all doing our own thing, too. And you'd be surprised to see who's friendly with whom in this business.
I'll be perfectly honest about what got me thinking about this: it was meeting up with (and hanging out with) Mike Robertson this past weekend.
I'm embarrassed to say that for all I read about training, nutrition, and rehab, I was completely unfamiliar with Mike and what he does. I didn't know him from a hole in the wall. When he'd finished presenting down in Richmond, I walked up, introduced myself, and we shot the shit for a few minutes. His presentation was absolutely amazing, and it really got me to thinking about things, because I have virtually no experience with the whole Robertson/Cressey/Hartman/etc Corrective Exercise Axis. It's bad to admit this, but I really had no clue about any of it because I'd never paid attention before.
So, I'm not saying I disliked Mike. I just had no idea, and yes, I'd kind of ignorantly dismissed corrective exercise as something I didn't need for my kids and couldn't use -- which obviously is complete horseshit, something I know even better after listening to Mike speak and investigating his material this week. The guy is absolutely brilliant, and that's a fact.
But what, I think, is more important here is that despite being (hopefully) an open-minded coach, I always had it in the back of my head that certain guys in this industry are people I wouldn't give two shits to hang out with or talk shop with. And unfortunately, because of the genre he's known for, I'd kind of lumped Mike into that category for the reasons outlined above. I mean, seriously -- who the f--k wants to go to a bar and have a drink with a "Corrective Exercise Guy"? Right? They do something you're not familiar with, know nothing about, and ignorantly dismiss, so they're probably assholes who condone terrorism, right?
I'll tell you something that opened my mind this weekend. First, as a said, I think Mike is absolutely f-ing brilliant, and I'm EMBARRASSED that I haven't paid attention to this genre of training -- something that's changing rapidly. Secondly, he's a hell of a guy to sit and have a f-ing drink with. Just because you perceive someone as seeing training differently from you (which is often bullshit, because the guy may be 1000x smarter and more experienced than you, and you're probably just stuck believe horseshit dogma), doesn't mean you don't see the world the same way.
And what I can tell you is this: When you can sit in a bar pounding drinks with a guy and make fun of angry girls and the Boat Shoe Mafia, your perspective changes for the better. Just something to think about when you're in the middle of the learning process -- like we all still are.