Anthony Donskov

Anthony Donskov is the founder of DSC where he serves as the Director of Sport Performance. Donskov holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science & is the author of Physical Preparation for Ice Hockey.

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10 Things I Learned in 2010

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10 Things I Learned in 2010


Another year is officially in the books.As coaches it is important to reflect on our experiences, learn from our mistakes, and plan for the future.I have had the opportunity to learn from many great coaches, PT’s, and Doctors.I have invested in DVD’s, books, seminars, and on-line programming.Most importantly however, I have learned from application, from real world experience.Below are 10 things (both business and coaching) that I learned in 2010!


1.) Goal Setting:The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. (Michelangelo)What are your goals?What are your actions?Do your actions match your goals?One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in 2010: WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN and look at them regularly.


2.) Expense vs. Investment:Education costs money, but then so does ignorance." (Sir Claus Moser)Paying the electric bill is an expense; continuing education is an investment that can hold substantial returns.This is the foundational thought process behind Donskov Strength and Conditioning.For every dollar of Michael Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove, Mike Reinold, Eric Cressey education (and the list goes on) my business stands to make a two dollar return.This education and experience sets you apart from the competition.If you’re the BEST, people want to train with the BEST.


3.) Time Management: Time is sacred.We have a certain amount of time to train our clients/athletes, write articles, and spend time with our families.I have learned to organize my time effectively!I have found the best way to save time from a coaching standpoint is to learn from successful coaches.Many times they have made mistakes that you can avoid in the future.Learn from your mentors!They provide education, and education can save time! Niels Bohr once said: “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.”


4.) Internships:I hired my first intern this year.The only problem I’ve found is that I didn’t do it earlier.It has been a great experience.Many times as coaches we are spread thin and two sets of eyes are always better than one.You can’t do it all.Setting up a sound internship program has been a great learning experience for me in 2010.


5.) Systems:Every successful business has a system.You can buy the same McDonald’s cheeseburger in China as you can in Columbus, Ohio.I have tried to apply this turn-key idea to everything in my business including: Facility set up, weight room guidelines, internship programs, and exercise protocol.



6.) Simplicity:One of the biggest commonalities with successful coaches is simplicity.Simplicity is an art! Educators take difficult material and make it more difficult to understand. Good coaches/teacher take difficult material and package it in a way that all can understand.This is the mark of a GREAT coach.Thanks Coach John for this great lesson!


7.) Reinforcement:I have learned from the reinforcement of mentors.I can turn on my computer and listen to Coach Boyle lecture to his staff, view his workouts.I can read the blogs of Eric Cressey and Mike Reinold.This “reinforcement” gives me confidence in my current programming.I have found that most great coaches have many more similarities than differences.


8.) Details:Technical proficiency is in the details.Cuing for the bench press, clean, trap bar dead lift comes down to fine details (grip, foot placement, low back positioning, shoulder positioning ect.).Simple cuing can make it look easy.Your athletes/clients are your mirrors.How do they look?Bring out the details with knowledge and simplicity.What a powerful lesson in 2010.KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).


9.) Paradigm shifts:This was the year of “The Death to Squatting.”Coaches went crazy at the thought of a foundational movement being questioned for athletes. With change comes opportunity, the opportunity to learn and apply.The fact is that most sports are uni-lateral in nature and if we can go around the back to tax the legs it’s a great bang for your buck!Buzzwords like bi-lateral deficit became common language among the coaching community.I learned the power of questioning.Question what you are traditionally taught.Many times it’s scary to learn why we were taught it in the first place.


10.) Follow the Advice you Give your Athletes/Clients:I have learned the importance of the word “coach”.It’s a powerful word that holds a high standard of responsibility.I have learned that the advice I give my clients can directly be applied to me; work hard, be passionate, determined and have FUN!



Anthony Donskov, MS, CSCS, PES, is a former collegiate and professional hockey player, founder of Donskov Strength and Conditioning Inc., ( and Head Instructor/Director of Off-Ice Strength and Conditioning for Donskov Hockey Development ( can be reached at









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