Calling All Oddballs
April 5, 2012
In a recent Newton Sports ebulletin, Harvey Newton discusses identifying criteria of potential greatness in athletes. In his quest to “coach up” or develop the next USA Olympic weightlifting champion, Harvey has created, through an awesome knowledge and experience base, a list of things to look for to help find the next great American athlete, in general, and weightlifter in specific. One of those things above all others jumped out and spoke to me. He advises coaches to nourish the “oddballs.” I think what he means here is there exist very special people in the world. These special people have something going on inside them that we, the rest of the world, simply do not fully understand. History teaches us that we as human beings tend to fear what we do not know or fully understand. We persecute, imprison and even kill. He, in his pursuit for greatness, offers a much different reaction to these special people in the world. Pull them in close to you, protect them, help them realize their awesome athletic potential.
I have been inspired by my mentor: Harvey Newton. I have been taught by him in two courses: USA Weightlifting Level 1, then called Sports Performance Coach. Then again a year later Harvey taught the level 2 course called the Senior Coach course.
There is just something about Harvey. I do not know him personally but I suspect he is one of these special people. As goofy as this sounds for one man to say about another; I want to be like him. One of the things that really got me about Harvey was his ability to get right after it. Cut to the chase. He seems unimpressed with over educated people who like the sound of their own voice. Either be proactive about developing strength and power in athletes or remove yourself from the conversation. Do not waste the time he has left on this earth. Help him on his mission in life or kindly get on with wasting your own. (Harvey- I realize I am taking some liberties here, you may not be in fact thinking this at all. It is simply the impression you made on me that is all.)
Ok enough about Harvey. Back to the point. I do not know much about marketing and advertising. I train the local people in my area of Washington DC. Whoever randomly finds me through referral or by walking past my mildly offensive sign outside my shop is who I have had the privilege to train in the last 11 years as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. Cool. It has paid the bills and I truly love training the people fate has sent through my front door. However, most recently I have been pushed. In order to meet my level 2 course requirements I must represent 4 athletes in very high level competition. I have 2 years to complete this goal. I am determined but have been unsure of how begin finding these athletes to coach up. Until now.
It is my hope that this blog is passed along, forwarded and shared with anyone you think would heed my call. I am calling all Oddballs out there to step forward and into my gym. I ask you to look inside yourself; to search your soul. If you find that there is something in you that strives to be strong, you might be what I am looking for. Of course this just a starting place and will not, in itself, take us where we need to go. In other words, you can be strange as hell, but if you lack the discipline to follow my instructions, you will fail in this training goal.
Starting June 1st, I will begin accepting applications from those who feel they have what I am looking for. I will dedicated 2 hours of every day to actively coaching athletes for Evolution’s first ever Barbell Club. I will build this Barbell Club from the ground up. That means starting from the ground floor: mobility assessment. Each athlete in the Barbell Club will have their own individual restrictions and we will address them individually. As we progress through the initial preparatory phase together as a team, I will make sure that each individual is addressed as one with their own specific needs. I have learned that group training is a fundamentally flawed training methodology. You can’t train a group most effectively because each individual has their own individual needs. I get that. I will do my best in this group setting to keep the coaching individualized. Don’t get me started on Crossfit. I won’t go there. I strongly feel you shouldn’t either.
The oddballs that this blog finds: please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in your email your age, weight, resistance training experience and your weightlifting (Snatch and Clean and Jerk) experience. Also major physical limitations like past injuries and any major health issues need to be included. But most of all, I want to know why you have chosen to embark on this journey with me. Ask yourself and then write it in your email: why do you want to be strong?
I eagerly wait to hear from you,
Jack Tisne CPT, CSCS