Hi and welcome to my brand new blog.
Firstly, apologies to those of you who've come here looking for a wealth of high quality, real world information on high performance in sport and life. The good news is you've come to the right place. The bad news is you're a couple of months early. So, sit tight and bear with me, I'm just getting started.
The process of organising 13 years (or 24,000 hours) of strength and conditioning experience into coherent 1,000 word articles is a great fun, but pretty time consuming. So each fortnight I'll be trying to punch out one article and respond to your feedback as best I can. The bulk of my time will continue to be spent on my two great passions:
1. Training my 100 or so athletes both on court and in the gym
2. Designing and planning the Core Advantage high performance centre
We aim to open the centre around March of next 2014 and it's going to be the best commercial high performance facility in Australia, I'll have for more news on that soon.
My brother Thomas, who's a super smart guy and a gun photographer, said I should write about the things that differentiate my work from others. I think this is good advice, but It's kind of difficult to do that without sounding like a know it all jerk. So instead I'm just going to tell you about a few of the things that I feel make me good at my job.
My secret recipe
1. I suffer/benefit from ocd (obsessive compulsive disorder)
This is very bad when it comes to locking doors: lock, check, re check, re check, unlock so I can re lock just to be sure, re lock, re check - it's a lot of crazy and and I hope my kids don't inherit it. On the other hand my ocd is really good when it comes to nailing concepts and deeply understanding problems, as I just can't leave something alone until I understand it perfectly. Near enough is never good enough. This also transfers into how I train people, as it's always about the pursuit of perfection. Teaching people to lift really heavy things with the precision, beauty and explosiveness of a gymnast actually sums up a large proportion of my work.
2. I'm into root cause analysis
My wife is literally a rocket scientist. Yes a rocket scientist, she has an honours degree in Aerospace engineering and a very big brain. Kate has had a significant influence on how I think, as she is ruthlessly logical and definitely not a "yes man". If I had to narrow her influence down to one thing, it would be the idea of root cause analysis. When dealing with the human body root cause analysis is about looking past the symptoms and circumstances of an injury or disfunction to find out what is actually driving the problem. This is at the heart of everything I do and it's pretty helpful.
3. I have over 20,000 hours of Real world experience
Several years ago I was invited to give a guest lecture for the exercise science faculty at a prestigious university. The students were studying for their masters in exercise science and rehab. These guys were the best of the best, top guns... EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT THEY WERE TERRIBLE. They couldn't teach a squat, they barely knew how to coach a seated row. They were theoretically brilliant and practically useless. It turned out to be a great session for them (we did a bunch of practical stuff) and a great lesson for me, as I didn't fully comprehend the benefits of simply racking up the hours at the coal face until I saw how bad newbies can be.
4. I care more about getting things right than being right
It's amazing how many otherwise really smart people care more about defending their position on an issue and winning the argument than increasing their knowledge. To me winning is knowing more about something at 4:00 than I did at 2:00. I could understand being locked into your position if we weren't allowed to change the way we train people, but the awesome thing about my field is that if someone is doing something better/smarter than what I'm doing I can just copy them, and provided I don't walk around pretending I invented that thing it's actually a compliment, and we're all good.
So there it is, my secret recipe is out:
a little obsessive
a very smart wife
20,000 hours in the gym
and a flexible brain.
Stay tuned and don't forget to get in touch if you want more info.