Over that past few weeks I've added several new faces to the gym and it seems that the my Old Strong Guys Rule training idea is taking off. My young athletes and their parents never really ask me much other than the 'who' and 'where' I have coached but for some reason the adults that come to train with me want to know more like, 'how the hell I started doing what I do'? Most can't imagine what it was like to coach at the highest level in sports and nor can they ever imagine leaving that level to own a private facility. They step into my office and look at the walls that are filled with pictures, trophies and plaques of my personal championships and records along with championships that I have been a part of as a coach. They see my diplomas from University of Texas at San Antonio and Baylor University, coaching certifications from around the world, and of course my Honorable Discharge from the Army.
Now the question comes out againâ€¦..'HOW and WHY'
So what did get me into coaching and more importantly becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach? Ever since I was about 15 years old I have known and I let everyone know that being a Strength Coach was my #1 Goal in life. What you have to understand is that this was back in the mid 70's and there sure as hell weren't many strength and conditioning coaches out there and in fact most sport coaches frowned on lifting weights since you know it made you 'muscle bound' whatever in the hell that means!!! Of course you tell your teachers, coaches or even your buddies this and I can guarantee you will be mocked and made fun of I even had a teacher tell me that with dreams (not goal a dream) like this I would amount to nothing in life and trust me it sure as hell wasn't any better at home!!
Where did I get such a notion that one could be a Strength Coach and make an athlete better by lifting weights. Strength and Health magazine was the 'shits' back then and it covered weightlifting (notice I didn't say Olympic weightlifting), powerlifting and a little bit of bodybuilding. One day I got a copy and there it was my motivation in a big old dude standing in the doorway of the weight room at St. Bodaventure University in New York. I can still see the picture of him standing there all 70's Big and the article that went with pictures of that weight room created in a boiler room the article talked about how he had coached with the Buffalo Bills in the AFL and worked as a lifeguard at Jones Beach in New York and how he had brought the idea of training with weights to improve athletes performance to St. Bonaventure where he was also the Cross Country Coach. WHAT??â€¦.you say a guy that likes to run long distance though the woods also advocates strength training for athletesâ€¦NO WAY that doesn't work I'm gonna have to take your Strength Athlete card away from you!!! Well now there are a few people out there promoting this very thing and promoting it like it's something new and just discovered by them sorry boys that shit was thought of long before you came on the scene!!!
Anyways, I promptly tore the pages out and put them the wall in my bedroom right by my Farrah Fawcett Majors poster that every boy in America had back then!!! Later, as my life took me from Northern Michigan all over the world and finally dropped me in South Texas, I am telling this story to the Head of the Kinesiology at UTSA as I finally begin to work towards my degree. He listens to my story as he roots though his desk and then produces the very Strength and Health magazine I had been talking about and turns to the page and asks me if this was the article? Hell YES it is and then I lookâ€¦..the man I am standing in front of the Head of the Kinesiology Department and now my Advisor Dr. George Colferâ€¦..that Strength Coach in the magazine that started this wonderful journey of mine is George Colfer one in the same.
So when people ask me 'why I do what it is I do' I simply smile at them and tell them that this is my Calling in Life it is what I was destined to do.
Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES