Lessons learned from 2014

Brian Macdonald:

  • Everything helps everything. I heard this first from the one and only Tony Poggiali while he was coaching a team we were training at the time. Such a short phrase but it packs a huge punch. I really took this to heart and starting integrating it into my daily routine. For me, it all starts with simply waking up at a decent time and making the bed. This minuscule task already puts me in an improved mindset to be more productive around the house. Getting errands done around the house frees up time for continued education (research articles, podcasts, etc.). If you haven’t picked up on it, a chain reaction occurs. This has made me considerably more productive on a daily basis. A lot of times, the obstacle to get over is just getting started. Amazing how something as small as making the bed can change so much.
    • It’s not about the money. Many people make the mistake of basing success, and photo-32quality of life for that matter, off of their yearly income. Anyone who makes the leap into the strength and conditioning field knows (or should know) money is not the driving force. If you enter this profession with the aspiration of making six figures, you need to re-think your career path. Coaching is all about passion, you either have it or you don’t. If you don’t, it is not the career choice for you, because the athletes we train deserve everything we’ve got to give as a coach. They deserve a passionate coach who loves what they do and care deeply about making them a better person and athlete physically, mentally, and emotionally. I love what I do and legitimately care about my athletes and helping them excel as human beings.
    • I am incredibly lucky to be at Adrenaline Sports and Fitness. I literally can not envision myself doing anything but coaching. Not a day goes by which I am not thankful for the opportunity given to me by Tony to do what I love. He facilitates an environment that allows me to be myself and form my coaching style based on my personality. I truly respect Tony as a coach, business owner, and friend. He is an inspiration to the coach I hope to be someday.
    • I am officially off the market. I married my beautiful wife October 10 and am an extremely happy man. I have so much respect for who my wife is and what she stands for. She drives me to better myself on a daily basis and keeps the structure I need in my life. I am a better person and coach because of her.
    • I am just a big kid, and proud of it. In order to get through to our primary photo 34demographic (9-15), you have to be on their level to be able to communicate effectively. I can’t communicate with a 9 year old the same way I do with a 19 year old. That is common sense to most, but easier said than done.


Neil Platt:

  • Square pegs don’t fit in round holes. 2014 was a crazy year for me personally. I finished school, moved to Cincinnati, worked four different jobs, and finally found
    where I want to be. All along the way I spent a lot of time trying to make things
    happen rather than just letting them happen. We’re all guilty of this to some degree. Whether it’s trying to force relationships, make more money, get a better job, be
    happier, and so on and so forth; all we really end up with is more frustration and less
    of what we really want. This applies to our athletes as well. The same things (or
    training protocols) don’t have the same effect for everyone. Not everyone will adapt or
    improve from the same training stimulus, so it is up to us as coaches to realize
    what is working and when/where changes need to be made rather than trying to force
    all athletes to do the same thing.
  • Sometimes we need to meet athletes where they are. This applies to thephoto-29
    previous topic but I wanted to expand on this one a little more. There are times when
    our athletes come in and you can tell right off the bat something is off; they
    don’t have their usual bounce, or energy level. Keep in mind we normally work
    with our athletes after they’ve spent an entire day being told what to do by their
    teachers, parents, coaches, guardians, or whoever. This can wear on them mentally
    and sometimes the last thing they want to do is come in and be told what do for
    another hour. On those days, it is more beneficial for everyone if we meet the athlete where they are. Rather than trying to force them into a speed or heavy lifting
    session, maybe those are days when a game day or mobility session would be more beneficial. Brian wrote a great article about the benefits of our game day’s so I’ll spare you all of the details, but the point is, even on days when we meet them where they are we can still get in a quality session.
  • Loaded carries and the associated variations were my favorite exercise of the year. I never really got into loaded carries as an exercise until this past year and I was really missing out. They’re super simple to do – just pick up something heavy and carry
    it. Pretty difficult to screw it up but it’s challenging. Looking back at the different programs I wrote this year, I noticed I there was some variation into nearly every session. I love them not just for fitness enthusiasts but athletes as well. A majority of athletic events involve bracing yourself against either physical contact or gravity as a means of changing direction, jumping, landing, or moving somebody out of the way. A heavy carry forces you to activate nearly every muscle in your body to stabilize yourself and move. Having strong stabilizer muscles (such as your core and middle/upper back area) is a great way to help prevent against injuries and a heavy carry will help you achieve just that.
  • I’ve got along way to go to be the coach I want to be. I’ve worked as an assistant and intern for a few years before I became a full time coach and I can tell you that I’ve
    got a long way to go. The experience I’ve gained in the few years I’ve been active
    in this profession has taught me I know (almost) nothing. The road to becoming a successful coach is a long, winding, turbulent one that’s full of ups and downs and
    twists and turns; but it’s these failures and successes that lead to more and more knowledge and in the end being a better coach.
  • I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing and I’m doing it where I’m supposed to. I have always been an avid sports fan and fitness enthusiast so the fact that I’m able to make a career out of it is mind blowing to me. I always knew I wanted to do something
    in the sports/fitness world but I wasn’t sure what. Twenty-six years later I’ve found it, coaching. Every day is something different. Protocols and sessions may be the same
    but it’s a new learning experience every day and I absolutely love it. I enjoy teaching
    our athletes and seeing them progress day in and day out. There is nothing more gratifying to me than when a kid has that “ah-ha!” moment and they get it. All of the
    hard work they put in has paid off and it all makes sense. Whether its how to cut
    properly or proper form on a lift, I love every second of seeing them struggle and then
    get it. Getting to work with the kids (and adults) at Adrenaline is something I am extremely grateful for. The support I get every day not just from Tony and Brian, but
    the entire ASF family is amazing. You all make coming to work every day something I can’t wait to do. I look forward to seeing and continuing to build relationships with
    all of you for many years to come!

Tony Poggiali

  • There is no greater job in the world than being a coach.  There, I said it.  If you are a coach/teacher, you understand.  If you are not a teacher/coach, it is a tough sell:  long hours, no money, little praise, little to no job growth, etc.  BUT, if you want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE, if you want to make young boys and girls into men and women of high character, develop into unbelievable fathers and mothers, awesome sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and contributors to society, then coaching is the way to go!  From one coach to another:  WE LOVE YOU [icon name=”smile-o” class=””]!
  • Many of you know my daughter.  What you may not know is that there was a real chance we may have never met.  SinIMG_20141208_090929_760_1ce we did, and for the last six years, I have morphed into what, I hope, my legacy will become:  The best father I can be.  She is all I think about, and has taught me more than I could ever imagine.  Those lessons of fatherhood have directly translated in to becoming a better coach.
  • Along those same lines, I have never wanted to know so much about so much.  The process of learning is just as fun as the outcome itself:  the acquisition of something new.  This profession is so dynamic, and what you think you know one day may change the next.  Over my 26 years of coaching, my training philosophy has changed multiple times, thanks to this maniacal curiosity to learn.  Now, I have come to the conclusion that knowledge is the accrual of information, while wisdom is the discarding of information; the latter being the state of knowing what you don’t know.
  • Running a business is, by far, the hardest thing I have ever undertaken.  Grinding every day just to break even has become a daily ritual.  While we had our best year ever in 2014, I am still striving to become better, as a business owner, who happensdosequis1 to coach (not the other way around).  To the outside world, it looks pretty fun, and it is, but it can be brutal and keep you up many nights.
  • Without a great team around you, you will fail.  From the past coaches, to the current coaches, to the behind the scenes ladies who keep me in line (Thanks Suzanne and Becky!!), and to each of you who have become our/my second family, this is the reason ASF is a great place.  We believe there is “awesomeness” in each of you that step foot in these four walls and appreciate the opportunity that you have allowed us to share.  Thanks for reading.





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