Tag Archives: Training

Roll With The Changes

“So, if you’re tired of the same old story, oh, turn some pages”

-Roll With The Changes, REO Speedwagon

The moment you accept you are good enough is the moment you begin to lose.

Getting better is a constant, no matter the endeavor you have chosen. Whether it is as an athlete, coach, writer, scientist, teacher, trashman, welder, librarian, etc., it doesn’t matter. If you want to get better you have to work at it on a consistent basis. We have to learn to break out of our shells of complacency to improve. We have to learn how to turn the pages if we are tired of the story.

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Getting better also means accepting change. Change pushes and pulls improvement. A refusal to change stops improvement dead in its tracks. Why? Because change often comes with failure and this failure needs to fuel the desire to improve. We used to call this concept The Fail Cycle.

In a perfect world, we would fail, back up a couple steps, analyze the situation and then make the changes needed to overcome the failure. But, being human, we don’t always accept the need to change our tact and we too often stay on the path of complacency and acceptance in our stagnate situations.

I had two standard speeches for football and baseball athletes when I felt we were not doing the necessary adjustments to be successful. Things like using the same swing every at-bat in the midst of a 0-20 slump or falling for the same QB pump fake and losing contain rush time and time again.

  1. Running into the solid, brick wall at increasingly faster speeds will not get you through the wall, it just gets you more pissed off and feeling a lot of pain. Change your plan of attack, take two steps over, and walk right through the open doorway.
  2. Don’t hit yourself in the head with a hammer time and time again and wonder why it hurts. Quit hitting yourself in the head with a hammer!

To me, part of the great joy in life is working to get better at the things that you love doing and the things that make you happy. The only way to do this is to change and move forward.

So, get up and get to work. Whatever you choose to do if your life, do it with purpose, pride, and passion.

Turn the pages and enjoy your new story.

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Coach Hays Rant: Supplements

I am not a big fan of supplements for average high school athletes. I am in a minority. I’ve been jeered, deemed old-fashioned, and dismissed for many of my beliefs in regard to supplements. 95% of all athletes don’t need them. Many of the supplements you see advertised, as well of a huge chunk of the supporting data, are designed and tested for the upper level athlete. These are the top 5% college and pro athletes who work and train at such a high level, their diet cannot completely help them recover.

I wrote an article for Gridiron Strategies football coaching magazine ten years ago about the Performance Triangle philosophy we used in our rural high school football program. Since many of our athletes also participated in other sports throughout the year, my hope was that they would take these principles with them throughout the year.

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The Performance Triangle consisted of the three prong approach of nutrition, hydration, and rest. After years of coaching high school male athletes, I came to realize the majority of these kids have poor nutrition, poor hydration, and don’t get a proper amount of rest. Which brings the million dollar question…if you don’t eat right, if you don’t drink enough water, and if you don’t get enough sleep, why are you (or probably your parents) spending hundreds of dollars on supplements?

Protein supplements, muscle milks, shakes, drinks, powders are a mega-dollar industry. Do you know the human body only absorbs about 15% of the protein ingested? The other 85% is eliminated by the kidneys in the urine. So, for every $100 you spend on protein supplements, one’s body eliminates 85 of those dollars down the toilet. Now, does that sound like a wise investment?

Former Kansas State University Strength and Conditioning Coach Rod Cole, one of the best in the business, used to tell his players to eat two peanut butter sandwiches with a glass of milk every morning and night to cover the athlete’s extra nutritional needs. The first place an athlete, their coaches, and their parents should look is at the athlete’s nutrition, hydration, and rest before even investigating supplements.

The folks who push these supplements on kids without education, prescribed need, and exploring basic nutritional options are, in my opinion, pushers. They sell a bottle, not belief. It is the greatest sin a youth coach or youth mentor can commit.

The pill begins to control the player. The mentality which comes with this perceived need is deadly to the success of an athlete. It is the protein shake, not the hours of hard work that become the reason for gains. Shortcuts make long journeys. In the case of supplements, these journeys wind through the lands of self-doubt and dependency, neither place fitting for the ideals and dreams of young athletes.

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Looking for the edge over your opponent? I suggest looking in a mirror. What you will see there is your greatest asset. You will find in that reflection the number one, most effective tool you have in your arsenal…YOU.

Believe in yourself, not the chemical. You will soon discover the difference when you are asked to perform and the game is on the line. There will be no doubt in your mind, or your teammate’s minds, about whether or not you have what it takes to get the job done. Belief trumps bottles every single time.

Be the best you that you can be. Dedicate yourself to the person in the mirror. Give that person in the mirror the very best of your mind, body, and heart. Do the work. The shortcuts are filled with pitfalls and traps, as murky and dangerous as quicksand.

There is no magic bullet.

Hard work is the magic.

Believe in yourself.

Be the best you that you can be.

DBs

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OUT

We all sometimes need a healthy dose of “OUT”. To whatever you do, to whatever you are good at, add some “OUT” to it. Supercharge it, push it, take the leap off the high dive.

OUT work
OUT prepare
OUT plan
OUT perform
OUT hustle
OUT play
OUT coach
OUT run
OUT lift
OUT compete
OUT love
OUT study
OUT design
OUT write
OUT lead
OUT love
OUT participate
OUT read
OUT discover
OUT learn
OUT laugh
OUT recover
OUT forgive
OUT carry
OUT follow

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Now, go OUT and do whatever you do with joy, passion, and intensity.

Never give up.
Get better every day.
Hard work is the magic.
Be OUTstanding!

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End of 2012 Recycled Post: One Final Act of Stupidity For 2010

For those who know me, my fits of stupidity will not be anything new to you.  But, I need to relate one final (I hope) Coach Hays stupid moment for 2010. Yesterday, I was running a mile on the treadmill as the weather was kind of nasty outdoors.  I was around the half mile mark when this Achilles’ tendon inflammation problem I have been fighting started flaring up.

It ticks me off, because I hate my “old man” afflictions.  Out of blind, stupid pride, I stop the treadmill and kick my socks and shoes off then hit “Start”.  I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS RUN.  Besides, it’s only a bit less than a half a mile to go.

Well it’s not so bad to run barefoot, a little loud on the treadmill, but nobody else is home, so it won’t bother anyone.  And you know those Kenyans run barefoot all the time, so it can’t be THAT bad.

With about a quarter mile left, there is a strange feeling beginning in the balls of my feet,  but I keep going.  There’s only a few more minutes to go, I can finish this.  I need to finish this.  So I tread on one step at a time.   Finally, I am done and hit stop with a great sense of accomplishment.

Then it starts, the burning pain in the balls of my feet increases exponentially.  I can feel the blisters forming on my feet.  Oh, boy!  I’ve done it this time.

Long story short, I am now a little smarter.  I learn some hard lessons with every painful step as my blisters subside.  I have learned the following.

  • Fat, old guys should not run barefoot.  Anywhere.  Anytime.
  • I need to be smarter about working out. Two days off of my feet was not worth the 1/4 mile I ran barefoot.
  • Finally, I am not a Kenyan marathoner

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!  Tomorrow we will start a new year and have a post on resolutions and the the start of the fitness new year on April 1, 2011.  Last year’s post on the subject is AQUI

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A Friday October Night Interrupted

You are lying on a bed of green grass on a crisp October night with stars swirling about your head. Muffled music from a high school marching band floats from somewhere near. You smell the Fall in the air; a mixture of fallen leaves with a hint of winter. For a millisecond, life is beautiful.

Then a whistle blows. Your full senses snap back and the reality drops on your chest like a 24 megaton bomb. You’ve just been physically beaten into the ground by your opponent. At this moment a singular thought invades every cell of your being,

“I wish I would have done the work in summer conditioning.”

Do the work. The clock is ticking.

Hard work is the magic.

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The Viking Laws

I don’t really know for sure who wrote the Viking Laws.  In fact, I cannot even recollect where I originally ran into them, but I am grateful to have found them. There almost has to be some fantastic legend that goes along with their origin. A great wisdom flows through, around and into the Viking Laws, no matter where their origin lies.

The Viking Laws work very well as a road map in a football strength & conditioning environment.  The attack mode and human weapon philosophy required to prepare one to physically, mentally and emotionally compete is mapped out in the Viking Laws.

Believe me, there is a lot to be learned in these 138 words.

THE VIKING LAWS

1. BE BRAVE AND AGGRESSIVE

  • BE DIRECT
  • GRAB ALL OPPORTUNITIES
  • USE VARYING METHODS OF ATTACK
  • BE VERSATILE AND AGILE
  • ATTACK ONE TARGET AT A TIME
  • DON’T PLAN EVERYTHING IN DETAIL
  • USE TOP QUALITY WEAPONS

2. BE PREPARED

  • KEEP WEAPONS IN GOOD CONDITION
  • KEEP IN SHAPE
  • FIND GOOD BATTLE COMRADES
  • AGREE ON IMPORTANT POINTS
  • CHOOSE ONE CHIEF

3. BE A GOOD MERCHANT

  • FIND OUT WHAT THE MARKET NEEDS
  • DON’T PROMISE WHAT YOU CANNOT DELIVER
  • DON’T DEMAND OVERPAYMENT
  • ARRANGE THINGS SO THAT YOU CAN RETURN

4. KEEP THE CAMP IN ORDER

  • KEEP THINGS TIDY AND ORGANIZED
  • ARRANGE ENJOYABLE ACTIVITIES WHICH STRENGTHEN THE GROUP
  • MAKE SURE EVERYBODY DOES USEFUL WORK
  • CONSULT ALL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP FOR ADVICE

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