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.
The Weight Room
Some may choose to call it a box with old iron, rust, rubber, infused with the smell of sweat: a place where testosterone reigns free and emotions freer. An atmosphere clouded in chalk and saturated in sweat. I choose to call it a classroom: a classroom for both Coach and student.
For the Coach, the weight room is a combination of art and science, a science experiment to be exact. In science we seek truth, and the methods we use are our “scientific experiment”. The weight room can be an unforgiving teacher. For the Coach, mathematics, physics, and biomechanics are of utmost importance. For without them, the “scientific experiment” becomes potentially harmful and may render itself useless. This education cannot be purchased in a weekend certification or behind the keys of a laptop. What the layperson may view as a “program”, the coach views as a harmonious relationship between art and science: a recipe with intentional sequencing of specific, measurable ingredients to the finest detail in order to solicit a desired outcome: a desired “truth”. There is no such thing as the “perfect program”, but for the Coach, he/she relentlessly pursues it in the confines of the weight room.
For the young student, the weight room may have nothing to do with lifting heavy things and everything to do with life. It’s a place here humility meets determination head on: a place where not everyone gets a trophy. The life lessons learned in the weight room many times cannot be learned in school. If you want something, EARN IT, respect fellow athletes, respect Coaches, clean up after yourself, hold your chest out proud, don’t be overanxious, always respect the weights or they will humble you, shake your Coaches hands before you leave the gym, look them in the eyes, and always leave “One Day Better.”
For the aging athlete, the weight room teaches patience, tolerance, adherence, and change. What “you used to do” or “the weight you used to lift” is now replaced with what you can do! Mother iron is very oblivious. Yesterday’s records are quickly forgotten.
Some may choose to call it a box with old iron, rust, rubber, infused with the smell of sweat, but I choose to see it as a symbol of life: a classroom for both Coach and student.