Jun 22, 2022

We did it….

Marky and I this past Spring

There comes a time in all our lives when we reinvent ourselves, and more often than not, that time comes when we least expect it. In the strength and conditioning world, we as coaches/trainers influence people by helping them to achieve their goals and maximize their potential. In helping our clients reinvent themselves, we sometimes unexpectedly reinvent ourselves as well. This article is about far more than resistance training, core stability, and sled pushes. This article is about "changing the game." When I say changing the game, I mean our own individual games.

Take Denzel Washington and Ray Allen in Spike Lee's "He Got Game" (1998) for example. Their relationship is successful because they both bring out the best in one another and help each other to overcome adversity, in so doing changing their personal games and elevating themselves to a higher level. Within the past year, I have had a million great things happen, but one stands out above the rest. My game has changed since the Fall of 2009 due to a 25-year-old special needs client that sauntered in looking like he had no business being in a gym (and probably never had). Having come from working with elite athletes on the Boston College football team for the two previous years, I was taken off guard and was not quite sure what to do. His social skills were sorely lacking, his mannerisms were lethargic, and he was suffering from low back pain. We were about as opposite as we could have been. Little did we know that both of our lives were about to change forever.

So what do you do with an overweight, uncoordinated male who is in pain and struggles with following directions? This was all new to me, and I had to adapt on the fly. I broke it down to the basics and tried to make as simple as possible. We focused on stability and used regressions wherever necessary. I counted slowly so we could move at a pace he could handle, which helped dramatically.

This was all helpful, but most importantly, I CARED. I changed my game, and I am a better trainer and a better person as a result. His game changed for the better as well. He has lost 58 lbs and can now do bosu ball pushups with his feet elevated on a bench. As his workouts have progressed, so too has his attitude. When he came to me, he could not slam a medicine ball to save his life. Now he routinely slams the 12 kg off the floor and the wall with power, and better yet, he does it with a giant smile on his face. He never used to smile. His whole demeanor and outlook on life has changed. In fact, he is now the guy in the gym that brightens everyone else's days. He wears a Superman shirt because that is what I nicknamed him. His positive outlook is contagious. When people pass by him and he smiles and says hello, they cannot help but to smile back. I know I can't. He brightens my day every time I see him. My game improves weekly because of him, as much or more so than his game changes. We tend to think of training as a one way relationship where the trainer helps the client, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the client helps the trainer just as much. This symbiotic relationship is what makes our profession so fulfilling.

My message is this, from one Strength Coach to another, always be ready for a curve ball, better yet, always be ready to knock the curve ball out of the park, because why go halfway? How blessed are we that we get to have an experience like this?

At the Opening Patriots Game

In conclusion, not only did my client and I reinvent the wheel for each other, we developed a team, and no matter what, because of Strength and Conditioning, and because of our knowledge and personable attitudes, we can change the whole game, which is life.

Posted in Inside My Huddle, Motivation on October 27, 2010 by Coach Anthony Morando

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