Conversations with a would be athlete
Athlete: Hi, I really want to train and go to the games.
DChap: Cool - Why do you want that?
A: I saw the Games on ESPN and totally thought I could do that.
DChap: That is great. Do you understand the amount of work it will take?
A: I am TOTALLY COMMITTED!!!
DChap: What does that look like?
A: I will do whatever it takes. I really want to be in the Games.
DChap: You know it is going to take 3 hours a day, 5 days per week. About 15 to 20 hours a week of training. No excuses. Time away from family. Going to the gym when your friends are going to the bar. Committing to getting all the work done.
A: I can do that - Training is my priority.
DChap: Are you sure? Really sure?
A: I am so in.
DChap: How do you move? When you video your movements do you look like the people on ESPN?
A: I am going buy a camera as soon as I start.
DChap: It is important to move exceptionally well. If you train with volume and intensity you HAVE to move great. If you do not, you will hurt.
A: I am the best mover in my gym. The owner says so.
DChap: Okay, we follow a 3 days on, one day off, 2 days on, one day off training week. Will you be able to do that?
A: Totally, I am a (Fill in here) and I will work my schedule around my training.
DChap: We track our athlete’s progress on Beyond The White Board. They have an app you can enter your scores. Can you use a Smart phone?
A: Oh yes, I am all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
DChap: So, when you do your work you will be able to post your results from your phone.
A: I am all over it!
DChap: How much equipment does the gym you train at have? Do they have yokes, stones, butchers, sleds, handles, heavy KB - up to #88 for girls an #124 for guys. Slammer balls #30 dynamax balls, hurdles, pull blocks and jerk blocks?
A: We can order them.
DChap: Okay - are you coachable? Can you take critical feedback and make improvements? Are you able to be accountable to get the work done?
A: Oh yes, I am VERY coachable.
DChap: Okay, here is my number XXX-XXX-XXXX, buy a perch mount from Rogue and use you phone to send videos. Text them to me.
A: Right on, will do.
A: signs up and 6 six weeks pass.
DChap: How is it going?
A: It’s going.
DChap: I was looking at BTWB and you have posted 6 times.
A: I have been really busy with (CLAIM EXCUSE HERE) Will try and do better.
DChap: How are you movements coming?
A: Okay, my knees are sore
DChap: Did you fix the knee initiation of the squat?
A: Worked on it. Going to buy knee sleeves.
DChap: You really need to have attention to your movement. Knee initiation and poor overhead position will make you hurt.
A: The knee sleeves will help and I will do mobility work.
DChap: Sigh, okay - working on the skill sets is really important.
A: Oh yes.
DChap: I saw in FB you PR’ed your 1RM deadlift.
A: Oh yes, it was awesome, I am getting stronger.
DChap: I don’t program 1 RM except once or twice a year and it wasn’t now.
A: I was feeling really good and wanted to go for it.
DChap: Remember when you said you were coachable? Being coachable means you follow the program.
A: It was just that one time. I will get back on it.
DChap: Being disciplined and following the program is important.
A: Got it, got it.
DChap: On BTWB you haven’t been doing all the programming, what’s up?
A: I have been tweaking the programming to (WHATEVER EXCUSE)
DChap: You realize the goal of a programming is a specific stimulus/response? If you are “tweaking” it, you are missing some important things. They may not seem important now, but will be in the future.
A: Ok, will do.
Six weeks pass:
DChap: Hey I checked BTWB - You have been posting better.
A: I have been trying
DChap: Good job. It is better if you do everything even if you have to scale. Some of the skill sets should be scaled until you master them.
A: I am been working on my special weakness (WHATEVER THAT IS)
DChap: We address weakness systematically. Remember our last conversation?
A: Yeah,I realize that. I overdid 30 minutes of double unders and hurt my Achilles - I had to take a week off.
DChap: Address you weakness in small doses. Weaknesses don’t get fixed over night.
A: Same thing happened with my handstand push-ups.
DChap: That is why early in the season you are doing shoulder touches and hand balance drills. Focus on the programming.
A: I have been doing mobility two hours a day so they shouldn’t hurt.
DChap: Mobility is not going to make up for poor movement. Try and video what you are doing so I can see if you are making a critical fault.
DChap: There is no substitute for good mechanics and consistently.
A: I will do better
DChap: Send video.
A: Will do.
Six weeks pass:
DChap: Hey - I checking BTWB - you haven’t posted in two weeks.
A: Oh yeah, well (INSERT WEBLEBRITY HERE) was in town and wanted to work out with them.
DChap: What did you do?
A: I didn’t write it down.
DChap: I saw the pictures on FB. Was what you did consistent with your goals or theirs?
A: It was fun.
DChap: Sigh, okay - let’s get focused again. If you don’t accumulate the volumes at the beginning of the season, you will have a very difficult time with the end of the season. Everything builds itself. The skill sets, the lifts, all of it. You have to build to accommodate the intensity and volume at the end of the season.
A: Will do the work.
DChap: Do you have some video of your technique? I would like to see it.
A: Will send you some.
DChap: Okay. I saw you have been doing a bunch of local comps.
A: Yeah, they are so much fun.
DChap: Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or do you want to compete with in the pros?
A: The people in my gym were all doing it.
DChap: One or two comps at mid season are cool. Doing something to make you feel good locally is bullshit and takes away from focusing on your training.
A: Okay I have three more I am signed up for but after that no more.
DChap: Sigh, Okay - keep focused. And can you do me a favor?
DChap: Every time you have a solid bowel movement please keep it off FB. Try and maintain a low profile and post things of substance. Your FB and Twitter are your brand management channels. Post cool and interesting things. Not when you poop.
A: Will stay off FB. But did you see what (WEBLEBRITY) did?
DChap: Sigh; what anyone else does is irrelevant. You need to focus on you and your training.
A: Ok, ok I get it.
DChap: Hope so.
Six weeks pass:
DChap: Hey - How are you?
A: My (JOB, PERSONAL LIFE, WHATEVER) is crazy.
DChap: I thought you said you had that under control.
A: I do but can’t take all the time I need to train.
DChap: So you aren’t really training for the games.
A: I really want to.
DChap: Wanting to and doing it are very different things.
A: But I really WANT TO.
DChap: If you really wanted to, you would do the work, not make excuses.
DChap: To be competitive to make regionals you have to be diligent - to really complete for the top spots and go the games - training is your job. A games athlete is a professional athlete albeit without the pay. Think about the highest level of any amateur sport how much they work to make the Olympics. That is the effort it takes.
A: I think I get it.
DChap: Being an athlete isn’t about the appearance of being an athlete in the social media world. Being an athlete is about performing when it counts. In the Open, at the Regionals and god willing in the Games. Everyone wants to go to the games in July when it is warm and sunny. It is a different animal in January and doing a mile sled drag in the snow.
DChap: Think about it. Do you REALLY want to go to that level? You can be really fit and healthy without training for the games. It is a lot of fun to workout and does the open and tests your fitness. Local comps are fun and great social events. You don’t have to kill yourself to train for the games to get a lot of benefit from that. Doing fitness as a job is different than doing it for recreation and good health. Why don’t you really think about it and get back to me.
A: Okay - will do.