Coaching

My Latest Little Project

I’m really proud of this little video. I have a dream for my blog and YouTube channel and social media. This is the beginning…

Feel free to share my videos or any of my content from this time forward.

You Deserve This…

I watched an episode of Gary Vaynerchuk’s show on YouTube. Ask Gary Vee is the show name. It featured the artist Jewel. I hadn’t seen or heard anything from her since her songs years and years ago. I was skeptical when I clicked on the video… But I’m glad. I will link it at the end of this little blog. She said something in the video that just completely struck me in a way I don’t think I had ever been struck before. Here is the quote…

“I was lonely. A lot of people are lonely. But I deserved to be lonely. Because I only told truth in one place and it was a notebook that nobody read.”

She was talking about mental health and her journey through life. If I remember correctly, I was almost moved to tears when I heard her say this. I realized in that moment why I felt the way I did and why a lot of experiences have shaped out the way they have. I have really only “spoken the truth” while I have coached over the years. Especially in the last several years. Let me qualify that a little more… I haven’t been untruthful or told lies. But the only place I have let it all out has been while coaching or leading people. I have had people describe these moments as bright lights or an energy that can be felt. I have referenced the “flow state” of mind before. That raw, unfiltered sharing of information and thoughts. I believe that speaking the truth and flow state are the same thing for me.

When I heard this little quote form Jewel, I immediately opened up my notes app and wrote it down but I had no idea where or how to share it. I wasn’t using my blog then like I am now. I want this blog to be a place where I can embrace “speaking the truth” and my flow state of consciousness. Again… I don’t mean speaking the truth as in truth and lies, but speaking unfiltered and raw and putting it all out there. I guess this will be my notebook and I hope more people read it. Here is the video… It is long but worth it.

Number Three

The third rule is particularly interesting to me. Especially given my life and how it has progressed. I have said several times in my life recently that all I have is the things I have done to help other people in this world. I have tried vigilantly to take care of the people around me as best I can. To reach out and to give them all that I have. I think this is the best gift that we can give anybody in this world. This talk hit me solidly in the chest. Simon is a wonderful mind and a great leader.

Flow State

 

I just can’t get enough of this guy. He has helped me to hack my own brain and emotions. I connected with this video so much. As I sat and listened to him talk I realized my own flow state and process. Coaching… Teaching… Helping other people is my flow state. Also traveling alone… Getting away. These times my self editing and self consciousness disappear. Anybody who has worked with me or around me has seen it. I can freestyle and talk and rant endlessly. I think this might be the reason why I like coaching and helping others. And love traveling alone so I can think… Get out of my own way.

These last several months have been that for me as well. I have been largely uncomfortable. On the move… Also consulting for coaching and helping other’s golf. I have found happiness in movement and action and I have found fear and anxiety and stress in any stagnation or lack of action. I believe that I crave this flow state. I am a daydreamer. I always have been. I believe this is why I can ramble to a camera on my vlog while driving or doing something so easily. I’m in my creative flow state that I crave. Editing videos is the same thing… It feels like killing the adult and letting the child run. And I believe that is what many, many people struggle with and would like to do.

Side tangent and I will wrap this little post up. I believe that children are mostly geniuses. I also believe that adults screw them up, for the most part. Think of the child questioning why to something the adult scolds them for. That’s the way it is. Be quiet. I said so… Do as your told. I believe that from a young age our creativity and desire to explore and create is largely stifled. I also believe that most adults are screaming inside to be creative and explore and create.

Last thing, promise. I’m gonna tell you a quick story about an athlete I coached. We will call her Bill, because that’s funny and I said so. Bill was trying to do a clear hip to handstand on a low bar. She could only achieve this skill by changing her body positions from an arch to a big pike and then back to a big arch and that is generally frowned upon for the skill and in the world of gymnastics. I heard many other adults scolding her for how “loose” she was in her core because of the observation of this body shape change. I was working with Bill one day while fully engaged and deep into a flow state and being highly creative. Bill achieved her handstand position in the way she knew how and I started to join along with the other adults and scold her for being loose. I stopped… Took a deep breathe, thought for a second, and then opened my mouth. I said… “You’re a genius. Everybody tells you that you’re weak and loose in your core. But you’re not… Your core and mid section are the absolute strongest part of your body. Because you were taught how to do the skill improperly and your shoulder strength has not been properly developed, you have figured out that the only way to achieve the skill to a handstand and keep up with the other athletes and be perceived as hard working and successful is to use your strengths to overcompensate for your weaknesses. Congrats, Bill. You’re a genius. Here is what you should do to strengthen your shoulders and this is how the skill works properly… Do these things and nobody will ever tell you how weak and loose you are again.”

I hope anybody that reads that can understand the power of the words to the athlete. The validation of effort and the direction of focus. The smile that flashed across her face was something you should wish to be able to bottle and hand out to everybody you interact with. Instead of condemning her to a life of unsuccessfulness and failure, I validated her efforts and focused her in a positive direction with enthusiasm and sincerity. The results were magic. I’ve done this hundreds of times with athletes by thinking differently, reverse engineering what I want, using empathy, and being positive and enthusiastic in what I say and do.

Thanks for reading! Back soon!

 

 

 

The Old And The New

So… Here it is. Before I show everybody the new gym, I thought it would be more appropriate to show everybody the place that we have been in for the past five years.

And now… the new gym. It isn’t totally complete. I didn’t take pictures of the preschool area or the parent area, but I will. I need to install three more low rails and do some more maneuvering of equipment. It will be completely and totally finished very soon.

I want to say thank you to a lot of people. Thank you to the people in the gymnastics community in the state, region, and nation that have helped me to grow and develop as a coach. There are tons of you and I hope that all of you know who you are. ¬†Thanks to all of the parents and athletes. Without you all none of this would be possible. Thanks to all of my co-workers. I can’t do this alone and I know that. Thank you to my wife for not killing me over the years, and especially this week. Love you! Also… Thanks to everybody that has helped with this project. From the backers that put up the money for it to the people who have cleaned, moved, and helped the gym for the past six months.

Without all of you, this gym wouldn’t be possible. So thank you to everybody involved, near and far. All of you are greatly appreciated.

What’s New

Well… It’s been a long time. I haven’t been on here for several reasons. I was just down in Charlotte, North Carolina again last weekend for the camp at International Gymnastics and I had some good conversations with people down there that told me they still read my blog. I was surprised at that because I see the numbers, but it was encouraging to hear and made me want to start getting more information out. I also confessed to some people that I felt like nothing I did on here would ever be as important or relevant as what I was able to do in the wake of Andrea’s accident. Seventeen-thousand people viewed that blog post in about a week, which was incredible for me and for her friends and family. Not that I want to one-up that, but it just doesn’t feel as important.

I have also had my fair share of struggles recently. We have two level tens, two level nines, and a level eight boy. I have been working with several kids in the afternoons, which has kept me really busy. This is my first experience with having athletes at this level in my own gym and there has been some learning I have had to do. I have started to do TOPs with my kids and that has me pretty excited. My level eight boy finished third at Future Stars Regionals with a bad showing, but still qualified to Nationals in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He did well there, but ended up finishing just barely in the bottom half of his age group. On top of all of this… I have been devoting almost all of my free time to golfing. I have gotten to the point where I can shoot even par or several over just about every time I go play. The other big thing that has kept me busy is the best news of all. We purchased the building, property, and equipment from the other gym in town and we are in the process of renovating it to be a world class facility. It won’t be huge, but it will be laid out perfectly with pits and resi mats for every event, boys and girls. We will also have a trampoline into a pit and a resi mat, which I am excited about. I will hopefully get to flip again like I use to!

Here is a little bit of what we have been doing…

I haven’t done a very good job of videoing everything that I want to. The two nines have been doing well and so has my other ten after being out of the gym for another sport. The boy has been working on, and getting, a bunch of skills that will stick with him for the rest of his career. Tippelts, Yamawaki, Diamadov, Stutz, ect. It is an exciting time for me and for my gym. We have several youngsters that I am excited about and all of the kids have been working hard for the season. I have also begun to work every week with all of the coaches in the gym to share my knowledge and experience with them and try to make them better at what they do. We are going to continue to meet every week to try and make SOGA the best facility for gymnastics, tumbling, and cheerleading that it can possibly be.

I mentioned before that I was in North Carolina again… The camp was amazing. They added Alex Bard, a Canadian National Team coach and repeated Olympic coach, to the roster of great coaches this year. I met Alex several years ago at Woodward and he is amazing. Camp was great for all the kids and the coaches and I look forward to going back next year. The week before I was in Cincinnati at Gym Nation to work the Region Five Forward Progress camp. That was also great. The region looks strong and ready to do great things. It was wonderful to be able to work a high level camp with so many friends and I learned a lot from them while I was there. I am finally home for a couple weeks and then I get to go back down to the TOPs A camp at the Karolyi Ranch.

So… I am posting this and then I am going to work on bar changes and the tap swing in every flip, possibly some other posts. I know I have a lot to learn and I am extremely far from the best coach around, but I want to share what knowledge and experience I have with everybody. So… here goes. I guess since it is cold I have time to devote to this instead of golf.

Sunrise

I woke up this morning angry, frustrated, and disappointed. These emotions quickly were replaced with confusion… I forgot about the time change. After I realized that my smartphone was smarter than me, I went back to being frustrated and exhausted. Yesterday was tough, to say the least… And six in the morning has never agreed with me.

I got ready and took off in my car. I was headed to a meet in the pitch black darkness of the morning. I continued to brood and steam as I drove for the next forty-five minutes… And then… I looked in my mirror.

I saw no headlights, no darkness, no problems, no frustration. I saw the beginning of the sun rising. I began to think about how beautiful it was. Quickly all of my emotions changed. My thoughts did as well.

I realized that this could very possible be the last time that I ever get to see the beauty that is a sun rise. I realized that every day is another chance to get it right, to get better. Every day is another chance to live beautifully. I remembered that we aren’t promised anything in this life and to appreciate everything you have and make the best of every opportunity and situation.

It is amazing how something so simple can change your attitude completely. I just wanted to share this experience with any potential readers.