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I miss the good old days! A time where hard work, commitment, discipline and positive attitude were expected, not rewarded, failure was not final and earning meant sacrifice. These lessons have stood the test of time. Growing up in Canada, I never played AAA hockey, I got cut from most of the teams I tried out for. I knew at an early age that hard work; desire, dedication and discipline were the keys to success. My father never responded by formulating a new league, moving across town, getting involved in “politics” or buying me something to ease my self pitied state. By doing so, he taught me a very valuable lesson that would pay off later in life: In the real world not EVERYONE GET’S a TROPHY.

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This is just a quick note from me that may not make sense to you until many years down the road. The word “Coach” is synonymous with responsibility. It is a privilege to Coach: to help shape lives, breed character, and expose an “inner potential” that may otherwise lie dormant in the shadows of self-doubt. Beyond the grind, sweat, iron, chalk, and calluses, I hope you found time to embrace the journey. For it is the quality of the effort that true success is found. I hope that you enjoyed the experience and not only became stronger, but learned to seek improvement each and every day of your life: to live with a “One Day Better” mentality. To embrace the grind!

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Coaching runs in our families’ bloodline. My father was a hockey coach, and currently both of my brothers are Coaches in various disciplines. The word “Coach” energizes me. It’s my alarm clock in the morning! My passion. To Coach is an honor. It is the ability to mold, shape, discipline, inspire, motivate and cultivate an inner potential that many may not even know exists. I have had the unique opportunity of having strength and conditioning mentors that have molded my career by affording me the opportunity to “stand on their shoulders.” For that I am forever grateful. However, long before the days of these mentors my older brother Misha shaped my childhood in ways he may never fully comprehend. I was a better brother, a better son and a better person because of my older brother.

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Posted by on in Coaching Development

If sports have taught me one thing, it’s to cherish adversity. Resiliency is a gift that breeds success. When you fall, it’s not how far you misstep; it’s how fast you get up! When someone says, “It can’t be done”, it’s how you respond! When you’re on the brink of giving up, it’s that little bit of extra effort that can change the outcome of a game, a moment in time, a career, a place in history! For this reason, I am forever grateful for “The Grind.”

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In a recent StrengthCoach.com forum the question was recently posed: “Are Olympic Lifts the Key to Collegiate Sports?” Although I don’t believe that one lift is the key to athletic success, it was interesting to read the responses. I have also learned in this profession to avoid acute angles. It seems that many disagree for the sake of being different and argue over the minutia.Hopefully this article avoids those angles! Still the question remains, are Olympic lifts worth the hype? I know several very well respected coaches who do not program these lifts. Hopefully this article explains differing points of view and allows the reader a better understanding of why we program Olympic lifts at Donskov Strength and Conditioning.

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I miss the competition! I miss the weight room filled with my teammates, adrenaline, sweat, chalk and enough testosterone to start a small revolution! I miss the only two concerns I ever had in life back in those days, school and hockey! My how things have changed. The game has taken its toll on me and I have the scars to prove it. Cuts, pulls, multiple shoulder surgeries and enough time spent in rehab to start my own PT clinic. 

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If you “teach”, but don’t apply…

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I received plenty of feedback on the first installment of this article called “Three Tips to Help Your Athletes Master the Hang Clean.” It seems that many Olympic lifting purists didn’t like a few of the coaching cue’s we give our athletes’ at Donskov Strength and Conditioning. One particular cue/technical aspect of the lift came under heavy scrutiny. The hip rock! In defense of our use of the hang clean and its application to athletic development, I have come up with the following list. Below is a list of why we do what we do: defending the Hang Clean for Athletic Development.

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There is a reason the Vegas strip is plush with multi-million dollar Casinos. The house wins! More often than not the few lucky individuals that “hit it big” are overshadowed by individuals that have lost a great deal! To steal a metaphor from the great Coach Dan John in his book “Easy Strength”: strength and conditioning is a lot like Blackjack. Knowing when to “hit” and when to stay/stand is both an art and a science. Lets take a deeper look at the similarities.

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I recently had the opportunity to read Coach Dan John’s newest book “Easy Strength.” To say that I enjoyed the read would be an understatement! In my opinion, it may have been one of the best strength and conditioning books that I’ve read since graduating from University (10+years ago). Coach John is an in-the trenches coach with decades of experience, practical application and resolve. His approach is simplistic in nature, but takes commitment and adherence to implement. In other words, it’s not easy! “Easy Strength” is a systemic education of iron, chalk, quadrants, reps, sets, failures, successes, and dreams of one of the best in the business. The books is packed full of practical information for strength coaches and fitness professionals. Below are three lessons learned from a legend: 3 Lessons from Coach Dan John.

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