You’re Missing The Point

This article can serve as a preview of my topic for the “Train Outside The Box” seminar which will be held at Total Performance Sports in Everett, Ma. in July.

You can register here if you haven’t already. If you do so soon, you can save some money!

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To sum up this article in one sentence:


Most coaches, and trainees alike, need to take a 180-degree turn with respect to planning their training.


Keep that in mind while reading through the rest of this text. Now let’s back track.


My mantra is “train with a purpose.” Here’s the back-story: Not too long ago I had the privilege to be trained by some of the most intelligent people I will ever meet. They were not professors, coaches, or training partners. They were cadre in two of the most preliminary military courses in the United States ARMY.


If I could sum up the underlying theme of these courses it would be gaining the ability to understand why you are doing everything that you are doing.


Why must we organize our footlockers so specifically? Why are we repeating basic tasks a mind numbing number of times? Why must every piece of equipment on our vest and in our packs be in a certain location?


For some young soldiers the answer eludes them, for months upon months. Some are so far removed from seeing the point that they quit. I had a different perspective. There had to be more to it than simply a right of passage, or test of mental and physical fortitude. Sure those were part of it, but they were a few trees in a much larger forest.


You see as a private in the US ARMY you don’t have the slightest clue what you’re training for. Organizing a footlocker doesn’t seem like it has any transfer to winning wars. Is it a direct transfer? No. It has direct transfer to your attention to detail. Which has a direct transfer to mass organization. Which has a direct transfer to a united front, and keeping you alive. All of which give the US ARMY an optimal scenario to use different methods, and means to win wars. Everything we did had a purpose.


We moved with a purpose, communicated with a purpose, and we trained with a purpose, all the time.


Those who understood this concept flourished, and became leaders.


Developing effective training programs is about having a purpose.




The means or methods that you choose to cause a certain response from a person or athlete are merely the culmination of a much larger thought process. This thought process is too often non-existent, or performed backwards at the very least.


People want to argue about methods and means, when the reality is they have no idea who they’re preparing and what they are preparing them for. They are preparing privates to win wars instead of organizing footlockers.


What happens when you go to war with 10,000 people who can’t a) understand why they should organize a footlocker and b) demonstrate the ability to perform a basic task such as this? 10,000 people die, and you lose the war.


You can’t choose the tactical approach to winning a war without first considering who you’re fighting, where you’re fighting them, and whom you’re fighting them with.


It’s no different with training or athletic preparation. You can’t develop your training plan without considering the demands of the sport, the time-frame for preparation, the athlete’s readiness, and so on.


I hope you can join us in July for this discussion in more detail. Again, this article is merely setting the stage.

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