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12/13/2012 11:44:29 AM -
More Coaching stuff

After reading Dave’s perspective training log post/article, one quote stood out to me regarding the purpose of keeping a “training log” on a site like this (although that’s a poor choice of words, since there really is no other “site like this”):

Yesterday I posted the results from my last three MRI's. There were several reasons why I did this with the biggest being "breadcrumbs". I think it's important when keeping a training log to let the readers know why you are training, the adversities you face, and then to show how you deal with these and move forward. Leaving "breadcrumbs" the readers can follow.

WHY I’M TRAINING: Four reasons, which occasionally conflict with each other. I want to get as strong as I possibly can. I want to continue to be athletic—and to become more athletic (faster, more agile, jumping higher, etc). I want to look like I train. And, finally, I want to keep trying “new” stuff in the event that I can incorporate it with my players.

These conflict with each other because of the diet and training means. In order for me to not look like a fat f**k at this point in my life, I have to diet my ass off. When I diet my ass off, my training suffers some. I’ve tried just about everything and consulted with just about everyone, and there’s no way around this. I’m at my strongest when I’m eating like shit, so I’m both trying to figure that out, AND keeping my expectations reasonable in terms of making progress. Also, when I hear about some new training means from one of the coaches I deal with, the concept of “trying new s**t” can occasionally derail the upward climb because it may not be completely aligned with what I’m doing, but it has to be accounted for. Whatever. It all falls under the aegis of “training hard,” so it’s all good.

COACHING ADVERSITIES: For a long time, I’ve been a full-time coach who’s not a full-time coach, i.e., I’ve been doing this while maintaining a full-time career doing something unrelated. When you go into coaching like that, it’s akin to having two full-time jobs, so you don’t have time for much else. It’s hardly optimal, and they both detract from each other. Why do I do it this way? Because I like making money, and at this stage in the game, I can’t really make the jump into a full-time coaching career because they money wouldn’t be there. I also prefer coaching high school athletes, but I don’t want to be a high school teacher—which is what I’d have to do if I wanted to choose coaching as a career path.

PERSONAL ADVERSITIES: I’ve had to deal with my share of personal setbacks over the past several years. This has been well-documented, although I’ve chosen to do that cryptically at times. I’ve had my share of “deaths in the family,” along with some professional setbacks and a seriously ill immediate family member. Physically, although I’m not nearly as F-ed up as Dave, I’m a little bit of a wreck after 30+ years of heavy physical activity—and there, I’m factoring in my athletic career, several years spent doing various forms of heavy manual labor, and training with weights since I was 12 or 13 years old (including many, many years training the “wrong” way). I’m well versed in the art of training around stuff.

Currently, however, I’m good. I don’t have any real limitations due to injury or illness, so I essentially have the green light to train as hard as I want.

I guess Dave’s current medical situation has me thinking about this shit because although he’s a little older than me, I’m not exactly young anymore, and I’m coming to a crossroads in terms of where my training is going—and by that I mean that I’m asking myself why I train. I train because I have to. I don’t feel right if I don’t. I’m going to be “training” in some capacity for the rest of my life, but I feel better when I’m training FOR something. Everything took care of itself when I was training for football, or training for one of my various jobs, or training for a powerlifting meet, so I’m sort of unaccustomed to just training for the hell with it, even though that’s what I’ve been doing for a while now.

It’s weird as hell for a lot of us to get to the age where we’re starting to have to have prostate exams and shit like that, but that’s where we’re at and we have to make the best of it somehow. We don’t want to “let go”—and trust me, I’m not...I’m not in a position where I think I have to transition into shuffleboard and golf by any means—but we also have to realize, at some point, that no matter how hard we train, we’ve already passed our prime in certain areas. I don’t really believe this, per se, but I also accept it as fact. No matter how long I wait by the phone, no NFL team is calling—and they never were.

So, we coach others and pay it forward—or at least act like we’re paying it forward. I’ll address this in a future post, but I’ve always been a little confused by the art of paying things forward, because although yeah, I had help with my career from certain people, I never really had some Mr. Miyagi-type dude who took me under his wing and helped me out. It was more like I did my own thing for years and years until people realized I was a good athlete—at which point they jumped on board and tried to “help me out.” I was always a little bitter about that—and I’m conflicted sometimes when I coach. Part of me wants to help kids out by giving them the mentorship and guidance I didn’t have when I was their age, but the other part of me gets pissed off when they slack off, because I’m jealous of them for having the advantage of being coached by someone who’s been through it and has put some thought into the mistakes he made.

Anyway, I’m rambling. It’s the off-season, so we take stock in what we’re doing and think too much.

The intro to my manifesto, maybe,
Angry Coach

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