Keeping up with the times is challenging and with nearly forty years in I've made some interesting observations.
Shaughnessy mentioned in the article that he makes references in his stories that no one gets. As I read, I realized I do this in presentations all the time.
I have referenced both Happy Days and Dragnet, TV shows from the 70s in presentations the last few years. I'm sure that both Dan John and I enjoyed those references, I'm not sure how many other people got them. I have no references to The Office or, to any other modern TV show that I have never seen.
Shaughnessy also said that he was the last remaining AOL user. He is not but, I might be. In fact, I still get billed $10 a month. I have tried for years to stop the charge. I may single handedly be keeping AOL in business. However, I am proud that I was an early adopter to the internet and, have multiple websites.
My 14 year old may be the youngest 70's music expert at his school ( and maybe in the world). In a recent car ride he informed me “I'm much too young to know the words to these songs." I realized that at the same age I was not well versed in music from the 1930's.
I was asked during a recent podcast interview what the greatest piece of sport technology was and I answered “ the computer”. The interviewer had a concerned pause and I had to explain that I was coaching before the advent of the personal computer. Now, I can't imagine programming or record keeping without a computer.
I also remember writing test scores down on paper. I still write lots of stuff on paper but, eventually it finds it's way to the computer.
I once read magazines to get training information. In the pre-internet era we had to wait a month to find out what someone was thinking. Now, with Twitter and Instagram you can find out immediately what anyone is thinking.
In fact, I distinctly remember a client telling me about the internet and, informing me that it was going to be really important. He was very right by the way.
I have actually timed 40 yard dashes with a stop watch. I'm not sure how many working strength coaches can make this claim. Now, I'm the biggest advocate for electronic timing. Steve Bunker (Head Strength Coach at MBSC Middleton location) spent years trying to convince me to time and, eventually, I did. Game changers at 58 are the best.
I'm so old I was both Chris Doyle (Iowa, now the highest paid S&C in the country and 25 years in) and Duane Carlisle's (Purdue S&C and 25 years in) college strength coach.
In a few years I will have my first third generation athlete. Yes, that means I will have coached both his father and grandfather.
I currently know more coaches, general managers and player development directors in the NHL than I do players. I frequently tell my son that “so and so's dad” was a really good player. This ends up being a good thing when you are recommending people for jobs by the way.
In fact three of my former players are currently head coaches in the NHL, and two of the three have a former MBSC guy as their strength coach.
In the 90's I frequently drove an 18 year old BU freshman Joe Thornton into Boston in my pickup truck. Bearded Joe is now described as a “grizzled NHL veteran” and everyone speculates on his retirement. Now Joe's Strength Coach, Mike Potenza, is another ex-MBSC'er who actually interned Joe's rookie year.
I actually know 3 of the 4 BU players featured in the movie Miracle and was on the BU coaching staff with both Mike Eruzione and Dave Silk. In a stranger twist of fate I also coached two of the hockey players turned actors who played Dave Silk and Jack O'Callahan in the movie (Bob Hanson Jr, my business partners son, and the late Mike Mantenuto ).
The reality is that I am getting old fast. My advice to the young strength coaches?
Enjoy the ride but, don't go along for the ride.
Keep up with the lastest trends. You don't necessarily have to implement them but, you need to know what they are.
Make sure you are texting and emailing clients and keeping up on social media. Don't be that old coach who says things like “ I don't do texting” or, “I'm not on social media”.
Realize that coaching is really about relationships, not data.
Also, be nice to everyone you meet, you never know who you are working with.