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.
You Can’t Steal Home Plate Unless You Round the Bases First
It takes years of hard work to reach the pinnacle of a profession: a lifetime of commitment, hard work, long hours, failure, success, passion, perseverance and enough caffeine to kill a large farm animal. Overnight success only comes from the lottery; it’s not how the best coaches reach the top of their respective fields. Our society does not conform to these standards and instead revolves around convenience and the quick fix. This has created a separation in the strength and conditioning community. You can’t steal home plate unless you round the bases first!
First Base (1-2 years): You don’t know Sh%#!
That’s right, you don’t know sh&$! I don’t care how many certifications and degrees you have. No one is interested in your upcoming DVD series or possible book! A wise friend once told me, “In school we do what we are taught. In the real word, we do what works.” Shut up and learn. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Find a good mentor, LEARN, volunteer and apply what you are taught! Eat, live, sleep and breathe in the trenches. Congrats you have now rounded first base!
Second Base (2-4 years): Formulate an Opinion/Learn the Rules
Continue to peruse continuing education as a lifetime investment! Attend seminars, lectures, and webinars, purchase DVD’s and attend conferences. By now you’ve probably realized that your first book would have been a disaster! Learn the “recipes” from the best and slowly formulate an opinion. Understand the rules and learn when/how to break them under certain conditions. Formulate a philosophy and understand the principals and components of that philosophy! Eat, live, sleep and breathe in the trenches. Congrats you have now rounded second base!
Third Base (4-7 years): Write articles, Respond, Agree to Disagree
It’s finally time people want to hear your opinion on certain subjects. Your input and knowledge base help educate fellow coaches and aspiring coaches. Your opinion is respected and your articles help create “value” to the strength and conditioning community. People may now want to “Follow you” on Twitter and become a Facebook “fan!” Eat, live, sleep and breathe in the trenches. Congrats you have now rounded third base and are heading for home!
Home Plate (7-10+): DVD’s/seminar’s/lectures
Education (both book smarts and practically speaking) coupled with a loyal following amongst the community, and years and years and years and years and years and years of “trench training” have finally prepared a coach to warrant a “cost” (I prefer to use the word investment) for his/her knowledge. Educational DVD’s, seminar’s, and lectures are now a reality. This is the top of the mountaintop and to get there you have to climb! There is NO other way around it! ” Eat, live, sleep and breathe (although by now you may have a staff of professionals) in the trenches. Congrats you have officially rounded all of the bases and reached home plate!
There is no quick fix associated with becoming a GREAT coach. It takes time, effort, commitment and passion. The time line is different for everyone! Learning from other respected coaches can expedite the process and enhance the experience. This can allow you to run the bases more efficient than others! The fact still remains; too many coaches want to start out on third base, training elite athletes, writing articles and blogs without the experience to back it up! We all want to live on the mountaintop, but the valley is where learning occurs. “No one lives on the top of the mountain. It’s fine to go there occasionally —for inspiration, for new perspectives. But you have to come down. Life is lived in the valleys. That’s where the farms and gardens and orchards are, and where the plowing and the work is done. That’s where you apply the visions you may have glimpsed from the peaks.” The only way to climb the mountain, is to round the bases one by one! You can’t steal home plate unless you round the bases first.