Monday, October 31, 2016

Is there a bad time to workout?

Image result for norbert schemansky
Norbert Schemansky became a lifting legend lifting whenever and wherever he could.

Not everyone will agree with this, but never-the-less, an interesting article:
Personally I have chosen to do my workouts at 5:00 am throughout my adult life. I don't think it is really the best time physiologically, but that is when I can carve out time in my life consistently, without interruption and without neglecting my family and other responsibilities. It also gets my day off to a great start and sets the tone for the rest of the day. I have found that in the rare times when I do train later in the day that I am stronger then than I am in the early mornings. But, that is relative and increases in the morning also produces increases in the afternoon. There is quite a crew that has developed here in our area as I open the weight room at 5:00 am for community on week days. In the Navajo tradition it was customary to rise before the sun and run to the east to meet the sun each day. Most do not do that anymore, but our early morning crew keep that tradition, in spirit anyway. The bottom line is anytime you make time for training, it's better than making excuses why you can't.

Phys Ed: The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast


The holiday season brings many joys and, unfortunately, many countervailing dietary pitfalls. Even the fittest and most disciplined of us can succumb, indulging in more fat and calories than at any other time of the year. The health consequences, if the behavior is unchecked, can be swift and worrying. A recent study by scientists in Australia found that after only three days, an extremely high-fat, high-calorie diet can lead to increased blood sugar and insulin resistance, potentially increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Waistlines also can expand at this time of year, prompting self-recrimination and unrealistic New Year's resolutions.

But a new study published in The Journal of Physiology suggests a more reliable and far simpler response. Run or bicycle before breakfast. Exercising in the morning, before eating, the study results show, seems to significantly lessen the ill effects of holiday Bacchanalias.

For the study, researchers in Belgium recruited 28 healthy, active young men and began stuffing them with a truly lousy diet, composed of 50 percent fat and 30 percent more calories, overall, than the men had been consuming. Some of the men agreed not to exercise during the experiment. The rest were assigned to one of two exercise groups. The groups' regimens were identical and exhausting. The men worked out four times a week in the mornings, running and cycling at a strenuous intensity. Two of the sessions lasted 90 minutes, the others, an hour. All of the workouts were supervised, so the energy expenditure of the two groups was identical.

Their early-morning routines, however, were not. One of the groups ate a hefty, carbohydrate- rich breakfast before exercising and continued to ingest carbohydrates, in the form of something like a sports drink, throughout their workouts. The second group worked out without eating first and drank only water during the training. They made up for their abstinence with breakfast later that morning, comparable in calories to the other group's trencherman portions.

The experiment lasted for six weeks. At the end, the nonexercising group was, to no one's surprise, super-sized, having packed on an average of more than six pounds. They had also developed insulin resistance — their muscles were no longer responding well to insulin and weren't pulling sugar (or, more technically, glucose) out of the bloodstream efficiently — and they had begun storing extra fat within and between their muscle cells. Both insulin resistance and fat-marbled muscles are metabolically unhealthy conditions that can be precursors of diabetes.

The men who ate breakfast before exercising gained weight, too, although only about half as much as the control group. Like those sedentary big eaters, however, they had become more insulin-resistant and were storing a greater amount of fat in their muscles.

Only the group that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. They also burned the fat they were taking in more efficiently. "Our current data," the study's authors wrote, "indicate that exercise training in the fasted state is more effective than exercise in the carbohydrate- fed state to stimulate glucose tolerance despite a hypercaloric high-fat diet."

Just how exercising before breakfast blunts the deleterious effects of overindulging is not completely understood, although this study points toward several intriguing explanations. For one, as has been known for some time, exercising in a fasted state (usually possible only before breakfast), coaxes the body to burn a greater percentage of fat for fuel during vigorous exercise, instead of relying primarily on carbohydrates. When you burn fat, you obviously don't store it in your muscles. In "our study, only the fasted group demonstrated beneficial metabolic adaptations, which eventually may enhance oxidative fatty acid turnover," said Peter Hespel, Ph.D., a professor in the Research Center for Exercise and Health at Catholic University Leuven in Belgium and senior author of the study.

At the same time, the fasting group showed increased levels of a muscle protein that "is responsible for insulin-stimulated glucose transport in muscle and thus plays a pivotal role in regulation of insulin sensitivity, " Dr Hespel said.

In other words, working out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.

There are caveats, of course. Exercising on an empty stomach is unlikely to improve your performance during that workout. Carbohydrates are easier for working muscles to access and burn for energy than fat, which is why athletes typically eat a high-carbohydrate diet. The researchers also don't know whether the same benefits will accrue if you exercise at a more leisurely pace and for less time than in this study, although, according to Leonie Heilbronn, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, who has extensively studied the effects of high-fat diets and wrote a commentary about the Belgian study, "I would predict low intensity is better than nothing."

So, unpleasant as the prospect may be, set your alarm after the next Christmas party to wake you early enough that you can run before sitting down to breakfast. "I would recommend this," Dr. Heilbronn concluded, "as a way of combating Christmas" and those insidiously delectable cookies.

Personally, I have used early morning workouts for over 30 years. It has worked well for me.
Image result for norbert schemansky

Image result for norbert schemansky

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Play to get in shape? Or get in shape to play?

This site has a large international following. I am interested in some feedback from around the globe on how youth fitness is addressed in your countries. Here in the United States we have been fighting an epidemic in childhood obesity and it's related problems, particularly diabetes. Often our approach here in the U.S.A. is to sponsor community sports leagues. Football, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, and Soccer are among the more popular choices. Too many parents feel like that if their kids are signed up for one of these programs they are getting sufficient exercise. An article I read recently supports what I have long avocated, team sports generally do not promote fitness. Fitness can be a result preparation ahead of time for participation. Football is king in America. I coached football for 23 years and while I believe it can have great value in teaching important life skills if coached properly, I have never believed that it makes one physically fit. Smart players will make themselves as fit as possible to play the game, but the game itself is a physical meat grinder that tears the body down. At the highest levels players play either offense or defense only and spend much of the game standing. Even those playing exert themselves for 3-4 seconds then have 30 seconds or more until the next play. One look at the typical offensive lineman will tell anyone that football itself does not make one healthy. Most other team sports are similar in that much time is spent standing. Basketball and Soccer would seem to be exceptions, although at the youth level there is often less exertion than many think as explained in the article. I have 12 grandchildren so far and I enjoy watching them participate in many sports and cultural activities that my own 6 children never had opportunities for growing up on the reservation. (All my children could do was catch lizards, lift, run, and hike; they also had to read for entertainment, so deprived.)
When my oldest grandson started in a soccer league, it didn't take long for him to figure out that if you just waited, the ball would eventually come back to you. He spent most of his time sitting at midfield. lol His father is Polynesian (Have you ever heard of the Samoan Cross Country team?) He is now becoming an amazing football player (and hoepfully future thrower) which better suits his build. (ankles are as big as his teamates thighs) Fortunately his father is a former physical educator and coach who leads his children in physical activity like I did when my kids were young. They get fit to play, not play hoping to get fit. That is what I love about coaching Weightlifting and Track and Field. The activity in and of itself is healthy and the movement is inherent. The outcome is also the process.
The study below validates my opinon:
Kids' Sports Strike Out on Exercise Goals
By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today December 06, 2010
Youth sports haven't got enough hustle, researchers warned in a study showing that organized sports typically don't give kids their recommended daily exercise. Only 24% of children ages 7 to 14 who were monitored during soccer, baseball, or softball team practice got 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, according to James F. Sallis, PhD, of San Diego State University in San Diego, and colleagues. The rate reached as low as 2% for girls on softball teams; soccer provided the most physical activity, they reported online in Archivesof Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Parents shouldn't hesitate to involve theirchildren in well-organized, properly- supervised youth sports programs but they should be aware that sports are not all equal in the exercise they provide, according to an accompanying editorial. Sports probably can't be the only solution to providing young people with the exercise they need, noted editorialists Russell R. Pate, PhD, and Jennifer R. O'Neill, PhD, MPH, both of the University of South Carolina School of Public Health in Columbia. Gym class, walking or biking to and from school, and informal physical activity outside of schooland sports can make up the difference, they suggested. Indeed, some of the kids in the study may have met their 60 minutes a day through the various means, but that's not something parents should leave to chance, agreed study co-author Jordan Carlson, MA, of San Diego State University, in an interview. MedPage Today Action Points Note that many youth in this country are involved in sports programs which could provide significant physical activity. However, point out to parents that the actual amount of time spent in moderatephysical activity varies with several factors including the specific sport and the experience and motivation of the coaches. "Our recommendations to parents are to be awareof how much physical activity their kids are getting and not just assume that because kids are at sports practice for a couple of hours that they're getting a couple of hours of
physical activity," he warned MedPage Today. "Parents do need to make sure that
children have other opportunities. " Youth sports can also be improved to fulfill more of their potential for public health, Sallis' group wrote, pointing out that much of the time kids spend in practice can be inactive, such as waiting for turns or receiving verbal instructions.
The researchers' recommendations included:
Emphasize participation over competition Increase practice frequency Extend short seasons Use pedometers or accelerometers to monitor physical activity periodically during practices
Provide coaches with strategies to increase physical activity The study included 200 kids ages 7 to 14 who wore accelerometers during soccer, baseball, or softball practice in 29 different community sports leagues in middle- income cities in San Diego County. The length of practices varied substantially across the teams but without significant differences by type of sport, gender, or age. Overall, the athletes averaged 46.1% of practice spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity for a mean total of 45.1 minutes per practice. Younger athletes got significantly more moderate to vigorous exercise by an average of 13.7 minutes or 11.6% of practice time compared with those ages 11 to 14. Less than 10% of the 11- to 14-year-olds met the government-recommen ded target of 60 minutes per day during practice. One reason may be that younger kids appeared to engage "in more extraneous physical activity such as following the ball in soccer and playing side games during softball/baseball practices," Sallis' group noted in the paper. Boys also got significantly more activity during sports than girls did with an average difference of 10.7 minutes and 7.8% of practice time. Soccer appeared to be the best sport in terms of physical activity, providing an additional 13.7 minutes and 10.6% of practice time in moderate to vigorous activity than baseball and softball combined. And while vigorous activity is relatively rare for kids, the researchers noted that soccer practice provided 17 more minutes and 15.9% more of practice time in vigorous exercise than baseball and softball. Since vigorous-intensity physical activity carries stronger links to kids' body composition than moderate intensity activities, they wrote in the paper, "it appears playing soccer would be more likely to contribute to health benefits generally, and obesity prevention specifically, than playing baseball/softball. " The researchers cautioned, though, that accelerometers worn around the waist as done in the study may have underestimated the effects of upper-body activities common to baseball and softball, such as throwing, catching, and batting. Also, the definitions for moderate to vigorous physical activity require higher accelerometer thresholds for older children, which may have partly explained the observed age differences, they noted. Other limitations included the nonrandomized, cross-sectional design, limited response to the demographic survey, inclusion of kids from a single geographic region, and assessment of only community leagues with fees for participation, they added. But, "based on current findings, it appears that youth sports practices are making a less-than-optimal contribution to the public health goals of increasing
physical activity and preventing childhood obesity," Sallis' group concluded in the paper.
Primary source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Source reference:
Leek D, et al "Physical activity during youth sports practices"
Adolesc Med 2010; DOI:10.1001/ archpediatrics. 2010.252.
Additional source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Source
reference: Pate RR, O'Neill JR "Youth sports programs: Contribution to physical
activity" Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2010; DOI:10.1001/ archpediatrics. 2010.245.

Make your country beautiful, lift weights!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

At 74, She Is the Oldest Practitioner of an Indian Martial Art

Very interesting. She has about 12 years on me and I am not as flexible or mobile. I like the fact that all ages from the very young to the older, both men and women, are practicing this. It is a true life long activity. Great stuff.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

More Dimas #4

Image result for pyrros dimas

Here is the next installment. Must see for serious lifters.....

Image result for pyrros dimas

Monday, October 17, 2016

"It Ain't Over Until It's Over"

Orrin Whaley completing a Snatch in competition a few years ago.

Here in the United States the collegiate football season is winding down and this is the time of the season when the contests become very important. Watching football over the Thanksgiving holiday is a widespread American tradition. At least for the men, their wives are often out shopping for Christmas while the husbands sit in front of the TV. Crazy world. Anyway, this weekend there were several amazing examples of how maintaining enthusiasm and hope led to success when victory seemed impossible. Auburn was down 27 points at half-time and seemed to have nothing going and came back to beat a really talented Alabama team. Boise State was beaten by Nevada after leading by 24 points, and of course our Cougars gave up a 13 point lead after 3 quarters to fall 17-16 to our rival Utes. I've say, my hat's off to the Utes this season, they didn't quit when we had them beaten. They played to the very end and won it on the last play.
This weekend really reinforced the adage uttered by the great American philosopher, Rocky Balboa,"It ain't over until it's over." (I think he was actually quoting Yogi Berra, another great philosopher. "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.") At any rate, as long as there is a spark of enthusiasm, there is hope.It seems to me that they go together. Enthusiasm is the embodiment of hope, while hope sparks enthusiasm, and they feed one another. I received an e-mail this morning from an old friend who stated that he has "more enthusiasm than intellect." As I thought about that, it reminded me that enthusiasm is the catalyst for great performance.
What I love about throwing is that it only takes one good throw. As long as the thrower doesn't give up mentally, he has a chance. Bad timing, off balance, foul, all can be corrected on the next attempt if the throwers doesn't allow it to get into their head and dampen their enthusiasm and hope. Last month my son was talking with me about lifting and he said that he much preferred Weightlifting to Powerlifting as Weightlifting required greater technical skill and therefore more options for improvement.
He mentioned that when you get buried by a heavy squat, there is not much hope for success on a repeat attempt. Sure there are times when a technical fault may be corrected, but usually the problem in a lift like that is pure strength. You either have it or you don't. After getting buried, it is hard to muster enthusiasm or hope for another try. In the snatch however, there are many variables and you have much more hope for success after a missed attempt. Little did we know at the time, but his opinion would be tested soon. The next week we were entered in a Weightlifting meet and he missed his 1st attempt in the Snatch. He had never missed an opener before so I wondered how he would react. He told me that it was too light, but I didn't see it that way and had him repeat. It was a weight that should have been easy as he had routinely done it in training and more. He missed the 2nd attempt also. The problem was timing, not strength. Hope and enthusiasm were still alive. We focused on staying over the bar longer and being patient and he made his 3rd attempt easily and used the momentum to PR in the Clean and Jerk. The throws are similar, keeping a clear head, keeping enthusiasm and hope, one can make corrections and pull out a good throw in spite of a bad start.It ain't over until it's over. Enjoy the journey.
Image result for al oerter

One of the great competitors of all time!
4 Olympic gold medals!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mario Martinez, One of America's Best Ever

Image result for mario martinez weightlifting

One of my all time favorite lifters is a guy that most have never heard of in spite of a long list of great accomplishments.How about a career spanning 23 years that included 10 national championships, 3 olympics including a silver medal and a 4th place finish,3 Pan Am medals,and the first American to both snatch over 400lb. and clean & jerk over 500 lb. in a meet. Try googling Mario Martinez and you'll have trouble finding much.
Raised on a remote Salinas, California ranch, Mario trained under a tree with a non-revolving exercise bar and an assortment of weights, some that he would tie on with rope. Mario Martinez got so strong that he’d bend his lifting bars, but no problem because Mario would straighten them out with a hammer and keep training. He developed a rough, but workable technique, but was famous for his bent-arm pulling style throughout his career.He racked his cleans with only his finger tips on the bar and had to regrip for the jerk. Sometimes his hands would slip off and he would have to regrasp the bar.
After several years of training this way, he traveled to San Francisco to view a competition. He entered the next one and soon was training under the watchful eye of Jim Schmitz. Even then he kept his independence.Here is how Jim tells it,"A little side story here is there was a time when Mario's training wasn't going as well as he would have liked and he thought he would like to do his own program. He still wanted to train with Ken Clark, John Bergman, Tom Hirtz, and Butch Curry, who were all following my program and coaching, but he wanted to do his own programming. To make a long story short, he would get to the gym before those guys, check out their programs—particularly Ken Clark's—and then train with Ken and John doing the same exercises, but with 10, 15, or 20 kilos more. He just didn't like to see his workouts written down, he thought it limited him." While he was a large and big boned man, with strong ligaments and tendons, he was never a huge superheavy and at times lifted in the 110 kg class. At the end of his career, I had the opportunity to meet him when we hosted the American Open in Flagstaff, Arizona. I assisted with the scoreboard and was honored to meet Mario. This may have been his last national level meet as he was closing in on 40 years old. He still managed something in the range of 160 kg. snatch and 200 clean and jerk if my memory is correct. Very impressive. Rich McClure, NAU strength coach at the time and the meet director, had Mario sign the competition platform as a memorial and inspiration to all who would lift on it in the future.
He was the last American man to medal in the Olympics in weightlifting with his silver in 1984 in L.A. He went 6 for 6 and thought he had the Gold wrapped up when the Australian tuna fisherman, Dean Lukin, pulled the lift of his life and did 240 to take the Gold. A few weeks later Mario had his Volkswagon Rabbit reposessed while he was in the gym training. Ironically, Marylou Rhetton, who won gold in gymnastics in the same olympics was given a brand new corvette by her sponsors. Mario who worked 40 hours a week as a mechanic to support his family had to take time off without pay in order to compete, then had his car reposessed. Such is the life of an American weightlifter. Unsung Mario is among the best. He is now carrying on with his family life and restores old autos as a hobby. All the best Mario and thanks for the memories.

Image result for mario martinez weightlifting
Mario was known for his bent arms pulling style which he used very effectively.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

6 Ways Katie Ledecky Thinks Differently: The Psychology of Success

Image result for katie ledecky

A very interesting article on the mindset of a winner......

6 Ways Katie Ledecky Thinks Differently: The Psychology of Success

She doesn't just win--she crushes. How? It all starts with how she thinks -- just like your success will start with how you think.

By Jeff Haden

Katie Ledecky is different--and not just because she's arguably the most dominant athlete in the world. (How does never losing an international final sound to you?) She wins many of her races not by fractions but by 1 or 2 percent--which doesn't sound like much until you realize that a similar margin would mean Chris Froome would win the Tour de France by about forty minutes.

So yeah, she's different in terms of results--but she's also different in the way she thinks. Like most Olympic athletes, the thought truly is father to the deeds that lead to her success--and yours.

1. She does the work ...

You can be good with a little effort. You can be really good with a little more effort.

But you can't be great--at anything--unless you put in an incredible amount of focused effort.

Here's a glimpse of a normal day for Ledecky (thanks ESPN):
•Wakes up at 4:05 a.m.
•Eats two pieces of toast with peanut butter, plus a banana or apple.
•Trains from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., swimming between 6,000 and 6,500 yards.
•Naps at 8 a.m.
•Goes to dry land training three days a week from 11 a.m. to noon.
•Trains again from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., swimming between 7,000 and 8,000 yards.
•Goes to bed between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

Scratch the surface of any person with rare skills and you'll find a person who has put thousands of hours of effort into developing those skills.

There are no shortcuts. There are no overnight successes. Everyone has heard about the 10,000 hours principle but no one follows it ... except incredibly successful people.

So start doing the work now. Time is wasting.

2.  ... and she does a lot more work.

Sure, there are plenty of Sheryl Sandberg "I leave every day at 5:30" stories. I'm sure she does. But she's not you.

Every extremely successful entrepreneur I know (personally) works more hours than the average person -- a lot more. They have long lists of things they want to get done. So they have to put in lots of time.

Better yet, they want to put in lots of time.

If you don't embrace a workload others would consider crazy, then your goal doesn't mean that much to you -- or it's not particularly difficult to achieve. Either way you won't be incredibly successful.

3. She doesn't make back-up plans.

Back-up plans can help you sleep easier at night. Back-up plans can also create an easy out when times get tough.

Ledecky doesn't have a backup plan. She isn't a person who swims. She's a swimmer.

You'll work a lot harder and a lot longer if your primary plan simply has to work because there is no other option. You'll work harder and longer if you think of yourself not as a person who sometimes performs a certain task but as a person who has embraced everything about a pursuit. Don't just start businesses -- be an entrepreneur. Don't just jog in the evenings -- be a marathoner.

Total commitment--without a safety net--will spur you to work harder than you ever imagined possible.

If somehow the worst does happen (and the "worst" is never as bad as you think), trust that you will find a way to rebound. As long as you keep working hard and keep learning from your mistakes, you always will.

4. She avoids the crowds.

Conventional wisdom yields conventional results. Joining the crowd--no matter how trendy the crowd or "hot" the opportunity--is a recipe for mediocrity.

Take the way Ledecky trains. She trains at near race pace, targeting a stroke rate magic number is 1.36 seconds. The target stroke rate she uses in practice is significantly higher than most other swimmers use.

And as her coach says, "Other swimmers, they either lose [their stroke rate] or they don't have the confidence to start out with it. You've seen her dive in, and by the time the race is 100 meters in, it's over. Why can she do that? She can do that because she practices it -- over and over and over again. Every day, twice a day a lot of days."

Remarkably successful people make a habit of doing what other people won't do. They go where others won't go ... because when they do, there's a greater chance for failure, but also a much greater chance of success.

5. She starts at the end ...

Average success is often based on setting average goals. Ledecky doesn't just want to win. She wants to set world records. She wants to win every race.

Scratch that. She doesn't just want to--she wants to. As her teammates say, in practice she's the nicest person ever ... but in meets, she's scary.

Decide what you really want: to be the best, the fastest, the cheapest, the biggest, whatever. Aim for the ultimate. Decide where you want to end up. That is your goal.

Then you can work backward and lay out every step along the way.

Never start small where goals are concerned. You'll make better decisions--and find it much easier to work a lot harder--when your ultimate goal is ultimate success.

6. ... and she doesn't stop there.

Achieving a goal--no matter how huge--isn't the finish line for highly successful people. Achieving one huge goal just creates a launching pad for achieving another huge goal.

Ledecky won gold medals at the London Olympics. She's winning gold medals in Rio. And while she doesn't say it out loud, it's clear her goal is to be the best swimmer--not just the best female swimmer, but the best swimmer, period--ever.

Maybe you want to create a $100 million business; once you do you can leverage your contacts and influence to create a charitable foundation for a cause you believe in. Then your business and humanitarian success can create a platform for speaking, writing, and thought leadership. Then ...

The process of becoming  successful in one field will give you the skills and network to be even more successful in that field--and successful in many other fields.

Incredibly successful people don't try to win just one race. They expect and plan to win many more races.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

Image result for katie ledecky

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What are College Coaches looking for?

Image result for byu football images
BYU football players are generally not the highest rated in athletic ability but they try to compensate with character and team work. It doesn't always work, but they've had a lot of success over the years with that formula.

On the topic of preparing for a college scholarship in athletics, here is some more great advice....

College coaches don’t really have to look too hard at the top 100 recruits in the country to be interested in them. Determining the other recruits to pursue is where they earn their pay. College coaches all evaluate players a little differently, but every college coach considers the entire package for every potential recruit.

If a college coach is seriously interested, they will evaluate you from the time you get off the bus for a game until you get on again. They watch how you react to adversity, how you interact with your teammates, and if you give 100 percent on every play. College coaches want players who play hard, are passionate about their sport, and who fight to the end.

Once a coach is sold on a player athletically, they want some assurances on the rest of the package. They will check your social media accounts and talk with your coaches not only about your ability, but about your character and work ethic. Offering a scholarship to a high school athlete is a big investment for a coach and they do their homework on every player before a decision is made.

If you understand what coaches are really looking for, you will be a step ahead of your competition. Here are my top 5 things college coaches are really looking for in a potential recruit.

Athletic ability

Athletic ability is certainly the first factor college coaches look at in a recruit. Only the very best athletes play at the intercollegiate level and high school athletes need to understand that playing in college at any level is a tremendous accomplishment. Given that fact, if you want to play your sport in college, you have to pursue colleges that match your abilities to be successful.

Every potential recruit needs an objective, honest evaluation of his or her abilities. Not every high school football player can make the roster at Alabama and not every softball player will make the cut at Oklahoma. If you aren’t one of the best players on your team (or in your district) then pursuing a scholarship at an elite Division I program is like going to McDonalds and ordering filet mignon. You won’t get what you are asking for.

Mental and Physical Toughness

Every college coach in the country wants a roster full of players who are mentally and physically tough. They want focused, aggressive competitors. College coaches notice attributes like effort, fearlessness, and confidence.

They also want players who don’t let a mistake affect them. Guess what? College coaches all played the game. They weren’t perfect and they know you aren’t either. Don’t worry if you make a mistake in front of a college coach. They actually want to see how you react to that situation. Your reaction when you give up a goal, miss a layup, or strikeout tells so much more about you as a player than the mistake itself. Do you throw a fit, or forget about the last play and focus on the next one? Make the next play and the one after that. Great athletes play with confidence and have a short memory.


There are many reasons why coaches value academics so much in the college recruiting process:
•First, students with good grades and high standardized test scores often qualify for academic scholarships and in-state tuition, potentially saving the athletic department scholarship money.
•Second, a good GPA and SAT/ACT score indicates to coaches that a student will most likely achieve the minimum college GPA needed to maintain athletic eligibility.
•Third, good grades and test scores are an indication of a student’s work ethic and achievement standards for all areas of their lives.

Not only are your academic qualifications and achievements important to coaches, they can be beneficial to you. The more colleges you qualify for academically, the more college options you will have athletically. Your grades and test scores can expand or limit your ability to find a scholarship.

Last year a coach from Georgetown told one of our guys at a camp that he wished all the recruits had their grade point average on the front of their shirt. That makes my point pretty well!


The dictionary definition of coachable is “capable of being easily taught and trained to do something better.” Almost every athlete is coachable when they start their career. I’m not sure why, but that changes over time for some.

So, what does it take to be coachable?
•Be thankful someone is willing to take their time to help you improve
•Be open to honest feedback
•Be willing to work hard
•Be willing to change bad habits
•Be humble

College coaches want players who are coachable. It doesn’t take long for a coach to spot an uncoachable player and very rarely can a coach make a player coachable. Being a coachable athlete will go a long way with your current coach and prospective college coaches. Being coachable also means having a strong work ethic. Players that work hard in practice generally are more successful in games.


College coaches want players who will represent their team and the university in a positive light every day of the week and twice on Sunday. They aren’t interested in babysitting their players or explaining their behavior. For that reason, a player’s character is an important consideration for a coach.

An athlete’s character is always on display. You can count on the fact that coaches will be monitoring your social media accounts and making the assumption that the way you act on social media now is the way you will act on campus. They will certainly talk to your coach and perhaps even to your teammates. If you don’t pass the test on your character then don’t expect a scholarship.

Here’s the deal

The world of college athletic recruiting is extremely competitive. There are thousands of players looking for a roster spot. You really need to know what college coaches are looking for to have a leg up on your competition
Image result for byu football images

Monday, October 3, 2016

Success Habits for High School Athletes Who Want to be College Athletes

Image result for herschel walker
Herschel Walker is a great example of an athlete who worked to make his dreams reality.

As a long-time high school coach in the United States, I have seen many young athletes (and maybe even more parents) who have a skewed idea of their abilities. Many have unrealistic expectations especially when their current work habits are considered. this article gives some good advice to anyone who is seriously wanting to play at the next level. It's great to dream big. But it's even greater to have a realistic goal and a real plan to obtain it.

Think about how you would describe yourself for a minute. Honestly, what comes to mind? Would you consider yourself a hard worker or would you label yourself as lazy? Do you pay attention to details or would you rather cut corners? Are you reliable and trustworthy, or are you the person that is consistently inconsistent? What kind of a student are you? What kind of an athlete are you? Who are you? Regardless of how you answer those questions, you are who you are because of what you do. In other words, you are the sum of your habits, good or bad. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Couldn’t say it any better than that!

When it comes to seeing yourself as a college recruit, who are you? I think you would be surprised to learn that the majority highly-recruited athletes, physical talent aside, share many of the same qualities. And those similar qualities are often shaped though their similar habits. So let’s take a closer look at the five habits of highly recruited athletes.


Understanding who you are as a student, who you are as an athlete and understanding where you fit in at the next level. That’s self-awareness. If you genuinely want to play your sport in college, this is a habit that you must practice on a regular basis. Not every basketball player can play at North Carolina and not every student will be accepted into Princeton. Having a clear picture of what you are capable of doing will give you the best chance of landing a roster spot at the perfect school. And the perfect school for you may not be the perfect school for another recruit. That’s the beautiful thing about the college recruiting process. It can be as unique as you want it to be, as long as you can be aware of who you are.

Define your destination

Let’s assume that you are practicing self-awareness and you have a clear picture of the type of student-athlete you are. Based on that picture, you need to ask yourself what it is you really want out of a college career. What is going to make you happy from an academic standpoint and an athletic standpoint, and what overall college experience are you looking for? Your answers here will define your destination. In other words, you know your point A, and, by defining your destination, you are establishing your point B. By forming opinions and creating realistic expectations of what you want to accomplish, you have as much control of the outcome as you can possibly have. Set goals for yourself. You can’t get there if you don’t know where there is!

Take action

Ask any highly-recruited athlete what their plan is to achieve a specific goal and they will answer with a specific task. Highly-recruited athletes don’t just talk the talk, they also walk the walk. Practicing the habits of self-awareness and defining your destination are 100 percent pointless without practicing the habit of taking action. It’s really where the rubber meets the road and what separates the best from the rest. For example, let’s say you know you need an ACT score of 30 to get into your dream school, and you score a 27 on your first try. Well, are you going to put in the extra preparation and study time to get to that 30, or are you going to just accept the 27? Or let’s say you’re a defensive back that runs a 4.6 40 and you recently found out you needed to run a 4.5 to be offered that scholarship you were hoping for. Would you be willing to sacrifice your Saturday night social time for Saturday night practice time? Taking action is the habit of implementing and executing specific tasks to achieve specific goals. It’s the habit of not just knowing, but doing.

Attitude of gratitude, see everything as an opportunity

Do you give the same effort in the classroom that you do on the field? Do you value practices as much as you value games? Do you genuinely appreciate every letter, email, or text you get from any college coach? Are you thankful to even be considered as a candidate for the next level? Highly-recruited athletes would answer each one of those questions with an emphatic ‘yes.’ Here’s the bottom line: everything should be seen as an opportunity to create better for yourself. Getting good grades creates better opportunities for yourself. Always working hard in practice creates better opportunities for yourself. Being thankful to the coaches that recruit you, regardless of the level, creates better opportunities for yourself. Listen, you will likely go through the recruiting process one time in your life. Practice the habit of having an attitude of gratitude and never taking anything or anyone for granted. It will make the recruiting process so much more enjoyable for not only you, but everyone else that is supporting you!

Focus on fit, not level

If your answer to where you want to go to college is that you want to go D-I, you aren’t focused on the things that matter. In fact, based on my knowledge of recruiting, that answer usually indicates that a student-athlete really has no clue what he or she wants. Imagine someone walking into a car dealership looking for a new car. That dealer would go through a natural progression of questions. Car? Truck? Do you have a family? How much money are you wanting to spend? What color do you want? So on and so forth. Imagine the look on the dealer’s face if that person just responded to those questions saying they wanted something shiny and new. Well, when it comes to college recruiting, saying you want to go D-I is basically saying you want something shiny and new! Seems pretty ridiculous, right? Here’s my point, highly-recruited athletes make it a habit to focus on the whole picture, not just surface value things. Sure, going D-I indicates a high level of athletic ability. But what it doesn’t indicate is how satisfied with your college experience you will be. Try to get past the paint job when deciding which college makes the most sense for you!

Image result for bradley nash
So is Bradley Nash.
Image result for bradley nash