Coaching for the Long Haul

Brian Quick Coaching Blogs 3 Comments

We are all in the coaching profession to be a positive influence on young lives. The longer we are around, the greater the impact we can have on young lives. If we are dispensing information on how our young athletes can improve their athletic performances by eating nutritious food, getting a good night’s sleep along with exercising and training why shouldn’t we? If you are not practicing what you are preaching, isn’t that a little hypocritical? As what happens each January, everyone makes their New Year’s resolutions. You know the usual, eat better, start exercising, lose weight etc. And how long does it last? A few months, a few weeks? I knew a guy one year whose resolutions were to start eating better, start exercising and to quit smoking. Guess how long that lasted?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) the top 3 killers of those living in the United States are: heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases. So what are you doing to not become a statistic?

Wouldn’t it be great to be in shape enough to demonstrate the drills you want your athletes to do instead of just having them do them? How impressed would your kids be if they saw their coach in shape and doing the deal? They would have to say “if coach can do it, so can I!” I can’t think of a better way to be a role model.

So what is it going to take to be that great role model? I know what you are thinking. I don’t have the time. I work all day then I coach. Where do I find the time? You have to make it a habit. As celebrity trainer Joel Harper says “it has to be a habit like brushing your teeth.”

I think it is similar to what Plainfield North track coach and Hall of Famer Tony Holler says in regards to training for speed. “Speed grows like a tree.” If you haven’t been consistent in taking care of yourself, it is going to take some time to develop good habits, being consistent with them and then seeing the changes in your body.

You don’t have to spend 2 hours in the gym every day to get results. Small little bouts of exercise over time can have a very dramatic effect. Do you have 5, 10 or 15 minutes? Do as many pushups as you can. How about jumping jacks or body weight squats? How long can you hold a plank or a wall sit? Do little things like that every day and it will have a compounding positive effect on you very similar to the way your young athletes respond to the training stimulus that you apply to them through your training program.

What about nutrition? Make sure to eat breakfast. If possible have a mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner. Keep it simple. Lean proteins, whole grains and have a fruit or a vegetable at every meal you have. This will keep your energy up all throughout the day. Eventually you have to eliminate fast food, soda and anything processed. Think nutrients, not necessarily calories.

Drink water all throughout the day. This will also keep your energy level up. Even in winter it is easy to get dehydrated. An old saying goes “If your pee is clear, have no fear. If your pee is yellow, you’re a sorry fellow!” Make sure your urine is clear or very pale yellow to know that you are properly hydrated.

When Dr. Oz was asked what was the number one thing that could make the biggest difference in how we can perform better each day? What was his answer? He said “sleep.” You need a minimum of 7-8 hours each night to ensure your body and mind are performing at their best.

I am not sure what your training philosophies of coaching are (that is next month’s subject), but I believe as long as a young athlete gives their best in practice and at meets each time, I am happy with that. Are you giving it your best each day in regards to taking care of yourself? If not, why not? If you want to be in coaching for the long haul, you should be.

Here is a link to one of Joel Harpers workouts to get you started:

Comments 3

  1. Brian,

    Great work here. I look forward to future posts. I’m so proud of the brotherhood of cross country and track in this state. Ben Draper has done a terrific job with this website. Articles such as yours will advance our cause.

    I believe that teams reflect their coach. Happy and healthy teams win. Enthusiastic teams win. If coaches are not happy, healthy, and enthusiastic, their kids suffer.

    Coaches staying athletic and healthy may be the key to longevity. I am so fortunate to have a father who didn’t feel right unless he worked up a sweat every day.

    I like your “start small” idea. Lately I heard of the an “8-8-8” program. 8 glasses of water per day, 8 hours of sleep per day, and 8 miles of running per week. Sounds like a great start for those among us with bad habits.

    Recently I read “Squat Every Day”, a terrific book that challenged training methods in weight lifting but could be applied to all training systems. Since reading the book, I have set lifetime PRs in the bench and the squat. Reading can be such a motivator.

    Your nutrition ideas are great. After a lifetime of studying nutrition, it really can be boiled down to simple ideas. Eat a plant-based diet (vegetables, fruits, and beans) with lean meat mixed in. Stay away from processed foods (things that come in a box). Drink water. Stay way from white powder (including flour and sugar). Plan your meals in advance. Failure to plan leads to convenient eating. I wish I lived next door to Whole Foods.

    Keep up the good work and keep writing.

    Tony Holler

  2. Brian – I greatly appreciate your attitude. No monkey business with you! Your ability to present the issue, e.g., being an example to “our young athletes,” is hard hitting and necessary.

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