Sign of the Times

The news of how the Boeing 737 Max was designed and was certified as safe to fly, sums up the current mindset… short cuts, short cuts, and more short cuts in order to make money as quickly and as easily as possible (as in with minimal work, if any at all) to the point that the lives of those who would eventually be flying on the plane is no matter of consequence.

Seriously… what can we expect other than planes falling out of the sky, killing everyone on board when the mindset from the get-go is anything other than excellence? How can we possibly expect anything else? And what… a collective ‘oops’ or ‘my bad’ from Boeing is supposed to be the apology we are expected to accept as sufficient?

Its no different in sport…

A mindset of short cuts, short cuts and more short cuts has taken over, with the goal of making it to the finish line of our chosen event to be made as easy as possible (as in with as little training as possible).

What is not surprising is that there are coaches willing to climb on board this mindset and sell the short cuts. With designers, engineers and the entire C-level of executives at Boeing being all-in on whatever it took to beat European based airplane manufacturer Airbus in delivering a next generation of fuel efficiency plane where wagering the lives of those who would eventually fly on the plane being immaterial… that coaches are willing to do the same should be no surprise. What’s one or a couple lives, if we are willing to kill hundreds at a time?

Ask yourself… do you want to fly on a Boeing 737 Max?

If not, then why are you willing to train under the guidance of a coach who has as much of a conscience as the Boeing team that developed, built, and sold the 737 Max? Stick with that kind of coach and your training and racing will fly just as well as a 737 Max.



Click here to link to the full article




HiiT & Cancer Cell Growth

There is moronic research and then there is super moronic research. In this case we are talking about super moronic research…

Click here to link to the article at Bicycling.com

Why do I call this super moronic research, because the concept behind the hypothesis and conclusion suggests that we have no idea how to stop cancer cells from growing and that stopping the growth of cancer cells is the key to eliminating cancer.

Here is a clue to the researchers who clearly didn’t do any research themselves before starting off on a pointless line of experimentation…

We all have “cancer” 24/7.

Cancerous cells exist in everyone constantly, yet we aren’t all diagnosed with cancer. Why?

Because our immune systems detect these cancerous cells and destroy them. This is happening constantly in our bodies. The only difference is that those who are diagnosed with cancer have immune systems which are not identifying and destroying cells that turn cancerous, hence the cancerous cells grow into a tumor at which point they get diagnosed with cancer.

Guess what also stops cancer cells from growing? Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but no one is lining up for prophylactic chemo or radiation therapy because the consequence of consuming toxins ain’t all rainbows, leprechauns and lil’ pots of gold [chemotherapy quite literally is to drink poison and hope the poison kills the cancer before it kills the patient, and radiation therapy ain’t all that different and the consequences of either of these treatments are horrendous to put it mildly).

Why this research is moronic is because the consequence of HiiT may not be as deadly as bad as chemo or radiation (in the short term) but the cardio-respiratory risks associated with HiiT fails to deliver any payoff in the long term.

Avoid cancer with HiiT, but line yourself up for cardio-respiratory illnesses? How is that better?

If that wasn’t enough, its not like cancer is a one and done thing… its not like you eradicate cancer as if it can be vaccinated against it. Cancer as I said is a constant in your body because it is a byproduct of cell reproduction in its end stages. Cells eventually can no longer replicate completely, and when their replication process breaks down thats when the risk of them turning cancerous is at the highest. We are constantly replacing cells… so one session of HiiT will not prevent anything, especially cancer!

Honestly, this research was quite the waste!

So what are these researchers going to conclude now… that you have to do HiiT everyday to prevent cancer? Right… so once was not enough and the risks of doing HiiT are not enough so let’s gamble with our health and hope to prevent cancer but open ourselves up to other diseases and diagnoses.

Its this kind of moronic research that has the majority of people chasing their tails in search of health… from one type of exercise to another, from one super food to the next, trend after trend, fad after fad and after decades of this crappy science what do we have?

Obesity is rampant, morbid obesity is exploding, lifestyle diseases overwhelming our health care systems, with medically assisted suicide legislated as ‘ok’ stating that in the end… we really have no idea how to be healthy or restore our health so killing one another is the only solution we can come up with.

Fabulous! And this coming from the most technologically and medically advanced society ever to exist? Isn’t that fabulous.

There is a way to live, to exercise, to be healthy, the problem is that all of the solutions to achieve these goals are free: proper breathing, proper eating, proper understanding and management of stress, proper exercise at the proper intensity and duration which is specific to the level of the individual… its all free!

No gym is need, no sports nutrition drinks, bars, protein shakes are required, no equipment, nothing is needed to achieve health and that is exactly why you don’t hear anything about these true path to health… because no one makes a penny.

All the moronic concepts of what it means to be healthy… well, there is no end to that, because everyone is trying to make money off the health, fitness and sports industry selling to our fears that if we dont do this, dont do that, dont eat this or drink that… then we are all doomed.

Careful who you take your health advice from… it could be the last advice you take, ever.

Fuel Fuel Fuel… and end up Dead

Wow, it wasn’t long ago… I can still remember all the articles from coaches, nutritionists, all the so called experts on all things sports and the mantra they were selling : fuel, fuel, fuel, oh yeah and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Remember?

Was there anything wrong with suggesting to athletes to constantly be fueling, especially with some sugary sports nutrition beverage… absolutely not! In fact, the mantra was that if you weren’t then you were as dumb as doornails.

Today, when I head to the local LA Fitness to put in a swim, I still see remnants of the prior set of beliefs of what health revolved around… people walking around carrying monstrous water bottles, with some of them honestly the size of small buckets.

And now research comes out with…

Click here to link to the article at Bicycling.com

Its one thing for athletes to be drinking sugary sports nutrition drinks, its an entirely different story for sedentary high school and elementary school children to be downing bottle after bottle of sugary drinks… sport or not sport.

Think about it…

In schools everywhere, vending machines are stocked with sugary sports nutrition drinks and promoted as the “healthy” alternative to pop. And school age children are believing that adults who come up with these marketing campaigns and schools which permit mega-corporations to come in and sell to the children at the school… are keeping in mind that these ARE children.

Why do that?

We are obsessed with making money, kids have money, so sell them shit that could end up killing them (and hopefully kills them later rather than sooner, so that there is little connection to the sugary sports drinks they’ve been inhaling so that there cannot be a lawsuit against the mega-corporations selling to them).

Soda, sugary drinks are the tobacco of our age. Hopefully schools wake up, hopefully parents wake up, and hopefully children are educated that mega-corporations are not here to help you but are here to profit off you and hopefully addict you to their products so that you cannot live without them.

If that doesn’t wake you up… then consider that kids have moved on in many cases from sugary sports drinks and have move onto sugary energy drinks. Once addicted, addicts need more. Once upon a time sugar was enough: soda was in effect the gateway drug that has now opened the door to children consuming energy drinks as if its water.

If sugary sports drink can kill, then what exactly do sugary energy drinks do? I would imagine they can kill you even faster.

Why don’t I listen to nutritionists and all the coaches advising on sports nutrition… because they are not experts, they are mouth pieces for the mega-corporations to sell you product that does not help, but harm you, harm you to the point that they are capable of killing you.

Careful from whom you received your advice… most today are too ignorant to know themselves that the advice they are giving can kill (nice isn’t it to be so naive that you believe the world is full of people who just want to help… and that there isn’t a single sole that has any intentions of harming anyone. Really? So I guess soda, sugary sports nutrition and sugary energy drinks just manufacture, bottle, ship, advertise and market themselves? And we are all victims! Yeah right).

Its Never One or the Other

Short cuts, short cuts, shorts cuts… the reason so many are injured, stay injured, are chronically injured is because we are still relying on an either-or mindset… either we are tight or we are weak.

Reality is you cannot take one muscle out of the body – as much as biomechanists, exercise physiologists, etc.. consistently do – and study that one muscle and make conclusions about that one muscle without taking into consideration… well, like the rest of the entire body!

Click here to link to the article at Runners World

This article in Runners World which is written by a physiotherapist no less, claims (a) anyone can simply assess themselves at home to determine the source of their injury, and (b) anyone can apply one or more of the shown exercises, and ta-da they will have a cure all because… hey, its simple: either you are tight or weak, and only in one muscle at a time… and here is the short cut to solving it all on your own.

If you find yourself working with an health professional, and that health professional claims that the body can be divided up into compartments which function independent of the rest of the body… be warned that you are going to get a short-cut solution.

To health professionals still selling the Rene Descartes mechanistic mindset of the body to patients… you may want to read up on current models of understanding of the body as Descartes’ ideas – as important as they were – are also a few centuries old. We have come a ways since thinking that the body is a machine that can be disassembled into parts and understood simply from ‘understanding’ the individual workings of each part.

Oh, Its Harmless… Yeah Right!

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant article on FastCompany.com written by a 13 year old who realized what exactly is on the internet – specifically on social media – about her, despite the fact that she herself has never posted anything.

Thanks mom!

Thanks dad!

Thanks sis!

Click here to link to the full article at FastCompany.com, and maybe while you are at it consider whether posting statements made in private, personal letters, personal moments, really should be captured and shared with the world?

What if you think its harmless fun, yet for the other person… it isn’t?

The Pioneering Spirit

Consider the pioneers who came to North America, and then traveled west into uncharted territory all in the pursuit of their dreams of land, of freedom, of a fresh start.

What has happened to that pioneering spirit?

In the past, the pioneers dealt constantly with adversaries and adversarial circumstances.

Today, failing to say ‘hello’ to someone is interpreted as a micro-aggression, a threat against our well-being provoking us to scream at the lack of safety in our society, calling us to demand for the forceful implementation of legislation that would cause everyone to be friendly to one another, enforcing everyone to say ‘hello’ in order that a false sense of security, a false sense of friendliness, of cooperation, of respect and connectivity is created.

Today, we will settle for the illusion of friendship instead of building real relationships.

In the past, the pioneers would come into contact with their neighbours only by chance and usually only while working their land, or on the odd occasion when they traveled into town to restock on supplies. Pioneers would go for weeks, perhaps months without socializing or connecting socially nor did they need it. The pursuit of their dream was what they needed, and its what they focused on.

Today, we need to receive a steady stream of approval through our social media connections in order to feel validated, affirmed, supported, accepted. Without someone ‘liking’ or ‘following’ us online, we are lost, incapable of knowing what to do, what we should do.

Today, without the directing hand of our social network, we are lost.

In the past, the pioneers risked everything in order to cross the ocean with only the hope that they would be able to claim a piece of land as their own; land which they would have to fight for, and some would die for. Yet success didn’t come simply with having land… in the first years and often for many years there was the risk of crops failing or of the herd dying. There were no safety measures nor government safety nets in place in the event their attempt to make it in the land of the free didn’t work out. But it didn’t matter to the pioneers… because to them the pursuit of the dream, their dreams was worth it.

Today, risk – any risk – is deemed unacceptable, instead we want every risk eliminated or controlled, we want a risk-less society.

In the past, the pioneers packed and took with them what they could carry, leaving everything else behind when they crossed the ocean to travel to new lands. They left behind the safety of their homeland, the support of family, of the community in which they grew up, they risked everything for the opportunity to be successful – not the guarantee – just the opportunity.

Today, instead of success being achieved through the individual right to chose to be successful or not, we want to socialize the success (i.e. steal the success) of those who did risk it all so that it can be redistributed so those who chose not to venture to unknown lands, who chose not to accept the challenges, the risks and the dangers associated with pioneering so that they too can ‘feel’ successful.

What has happened to that pioneering spirit?

Today, we are a bunch of cowards… stuck in our status quo, stuck in our social circles, fearfilled at the thought that we may be asked to risk anything at all.

Only once we regain the spirit of the pioneers will we regain our vitality, our energy, our sense of purpose, direction and meaning.

Friend or Coach

A friend tell you what you want to hear

A coach tells you want you need to hear

A friend is concerned with how you receive a message

A coach is concerned with you getting the message

Friends are your friends because you share the same fears

Coaches are not friends because they challenge you to confront your fears

Friends anchor you to your past, and remind you constantly of it

Coaches seek to free you from your past, releasing you to seek your potential

Friends are your support system provided you don’t surpass them

Coaches seek to support you in surpassing each and every one of your goals

Friends distract you

Coaches focus you

Friends tempt you to spend time with them and detract you from achieving

Coaches challenge you to eliminate everything that doesn’t move you ahead

Read the biograpahies and auto-biographies of consistent peak performers and you will read as I have read: either they had few if any friends allowing them to focus on their goals or they disassociated themselves from friends in order to focus on their goals.

Concerned more about your friends, or your status with your friends, then welcome to mediocrity.

Concerned with achieving your potential, then welcome the freedom that comes from not having to live down to the fears of your friends.

Its one way or the other… there is no middle ground if you seek your potential.

Cutting Carbs… Not So Healthy

There was a time, not so long ago – but now it seems almost forever ago – that first we would do research: we would first test our hypothesis and second we would promote the results, promote the conclusions that the data yielded either proving or disproving our hypothesis.

Now… its the opposite… say whats on your mind, promote it as “truth”, “fact” and hope that no one digs deeper to find out if there is merit to your claims, and definitely hope that no one goes to testing your claims to truly validate them.

That we do this on virtually all topics, especially our health, would have been unimagineable a decade or two ago; now its commonplace. Along those lines, we learn today that…

One would think that before every personal trainer, coach, nutritionist and ‘wellness expert’, etc.. ran around telling everyone to cut out carbs, that they surely would have taken the time to understand whether this was indeed valid and reliable information.

One would hope that before claims were made as to what is and is not healthy, these so called experts in all things fitness, wellness, training, et al. would take the time to determine if this was correct information that should be passed along and if so, then to whom, under what conditions or circumstances, or what criteria made this information correct.

But hey… thats work and work is what stupid people do, so why would anyone go through all that much trouble to just say what they feel is the truth (and to hell with consequences)?

Clearly no one did because cutting carbs has severe and significant consequences; and if you consider that cutting carbs is supposed to be done to improve one’s health, its rather ridiculous that no one realized that cutting carbs can have dangerous side effects on your heart (a key organ to one’s health in case that isn’t self evident… not sure how many ‘experts’ are aware that the heart is vital to one’s health based on how they all promote HiiT).

This is yet more proof that for the most part all the so called fitness and wellness ‘experts’ are little more than parrots that repeat the last thing they heard. Seriously, stop and listen to anyone of these ‘experts’ and like a parrot you’ll hear… carbs bad, protein good, gluten bad, protein good, dairy bad, protein good, fat was bad… ugh… now fat kinda good… ugh… oh, yeah almost forgot… carbs bad, protein good.

You listen to one of these ‘experts’ and whatever damage is done to your health is not their fault because… whose to blame when advice is taken from a parrot?

Polly want a cracker?

NO!

Why not Polly?

Because… carbs back protein good!

Setting Goals

A challenge with many part-time athletes, especially ‘type A’ go-getter masters athletes who charge 100% of the time with 100% effort in all areas of their life is overestimating their availability and their ability to put in actual training hours.

When goal setting is the starting point – as opposed to taking an inventory of life with actual training/rest hours clarified – goals are developed in a frame of mind where there is endless opportunity to train and recover, challenges do not occur therefore why allocate any resources to the mere potential of them arising, and setbacks are imaginary boogie monsters used to scared bad little athletes to being good.

Dreams are supposed to arise from our imagination, but goal setting which occurs without context rarely ends with a fairy-tale ending….

At the start of the season, when full of energy, fresh, motivated and prior to any setbacks or obstacles, training goes smoothly and goals seem close at hand.  We daydream how it will only take a month or two to be back in form, ready to challenge last years hardest sessions.  As the season progresses, as training sessions are shelved due to demands from work, kids, illness, and all sorts of emergencies, goals change from a motivational source of energy, to a weight which drags, burdens, draining what little energy is left at the end of the day.  At the start of the season the goals which felt close at hand, now fall just beyond the reach of our fingertips.  It takes only a few weeks of reduced training due to travel for work, a ‘C’ race which doesn’t go as planned, or a nagging cold which hangs every day to sow seeds of doubt, diminishing the excitement and enthusiasm that met each day early in the season.

When the competitive season finally arrives, our ‘A’ race is weeks or days away, with our entry fee paid and registration completed long ago, the obligation to race remains, but goals have now become reminders of what was not accomplished.  Anger builds at all the things that got in the way of our goals, blame is pointed at this and that, we become frustrated at ourselves for setting any goals… how foolish to set any goals we exclaim exasperated, guilt rises that there is expectation that we must show up on race day knowing that finishing may now be the only target.

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus

Is it any wonder that masters athletes fall out of love with a sport that once captured their imagination?  Should it really be surprising that what once was a love affair is now a dreaded relationship?  The TT bike and trainer in the basement, the pile of running shoes by the side door, the bag of swim toys occupying space in the trunk of the car… all reminders of the dreams we preoccupied ourselves with at one point, and the joy they recreated of endless possibilities.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  None of it is necessary, but every year athletes torture themselves with unrealistic goal setting.  Why do we do it, year after year?

I believe there are two primary causes, each easily solved with a bit of work and honesty:

  1. Athletes goal set without taking an honest inventory of time they can anticipate having to train and recover, with ALL their personal and professional and life responsibilities included, PLUS additional slack added to provide for emergencies, vacations, and those days when you do not want to be accountable to anyone wanting anything.
  2. Athletes goal set without taking an honest inventory of their actual athletic starting point: where are they today in regards to flexibility, skill level, technique, aerobic conditioning, years of base training, risk of injury/illness.

Problem #1

Athletes goal set without taking an honest inventory of time anticipate being able to train and recover as if it takes no time at all, able to squeeze it in along with all their personal and professional and life responsibilities included.

Solution #1

We all start each day with the circle on the left: 24 hrs.  We each have decided to fill that circle ourselves.  Our past decisions now yield our current state of health, conditioning, flexibility, our physical attributes in terms of skill and technique, body weight, mental and emotional narratives, outlook, attitude and perspective on what is possible and what is probable.  Today we have the opportunity to change how we spend those 24 hrs impacting our future state of health, conditioning, flexibility and so on.

We cannot start goal setting for athletic endeavours without respecting all the other goals we have already established, and have committed energy, effort and time.  If we do, then we set ourselves up to fail before we even begin, as relationships, career, and all other responsibilities will at some point compete for the exact same minutes and hours we want to train.

To start goal setting, start with listing all your goals…  (see circle on the right)

Ideal vs Actual Training Time

You will likely end up with a list such as this, where: (A) is spousal relationship, (B) parental responsibilities, (C) career/profession, (D) financial obligations, (E) weekly to-do list (e.g. cut grass, car oil change, pick up drycleaning,…), (F) family vacation time, (G) professional development hours, (H) caregiver time to parents (e.g. driving parents to medical appointments), (I) and so on.

Once you have honestly captured that which you have already committed to, then you are in a position to identify the hours each day and each week you have available to committing to a new goal, your athletic goals.

It is not advisable to pack all 24 hrs a day and all 7 days a week to the rafters with commitments.  Doing so is disastrous to goals, and it is another way to blow up both yourself, your schedule and all of your goals… and pretty much your life in general.  Give yourself a bit of slack, wedge in wiggle room so that goals are not packed one on top of the other.

Once completed, you will immediately come to terms with what is a reasonable and what isn’t a reasonable goal for training.  If all you have is 10 hrs a week to train, then it becomes apparent that committing to an Iron distance event is not only unrealistic, it can even be anticipated that you will not arrive in one piece at the event.  Imagine then if you added the additional expectation of a personal best, or a top spot in age group on top of an already unreasonable goal.   Yet we do it.  Year after year.

Why not set yourself up to win?  An honest appraisal of your life will position you to fulfill your goals.  Besides, if the underlying goal to training is to end up fit and healthy, then why make the process onerous, torturous, depressing, unmotivating, uninspiring, all while risking injury, illness, and burn out?  It takes a bit of self-respect to not over commit, especially if everyone else in your training group is setting out to conquer a new distance, a new challenge; but in the end, you are accountable only to yourself, not to everyone else.

There is a balance point to life, a rhythm, a speed, and if you take the time to find it for your life, then you will spend more days in that sweet spot of flowing, enjoying yourself, enjoying life as opposed to running obligation to obligation, dreading that you woke up.

Problem #2

Athletes goal set without taking an honest inventory of their actual athletic starting point: flexibility, skill level, technique, aerobic conditioning, years of base training, risk of injury/illness.

Solution #2

Unlike everyone’s day which is made up of 24 hrs, everyone’s body is different, everyone’s training and racing experience is different. And, the years since being at our peak physiological point of age (in early 20s), have for some us taken quite a toll on our health.

To set yourself up to win when there is a fixed time line between today and tomorrow’s goal, requires being honest with your starting point. Starting from an honest starting point will yield results. Starting from a delusional “I’m still as health and fit as I was at 25” will end badly, no two ways about it.

Setting yourself up to win requires taking an honest inventory of what you have to work with today, and starting right. Sounds simple, few take the time to do it, and fewer take the time to do it right.

Want to achieve your goals healthfully, then find a coach who has the experience of walking athletes through all these steps and who has a history of delivering results without compromising on their athlete’s health by delivering injury & illness instead.

Choosing a Coach

How do most athletes and parents of athletes go about choosing a coach?

First, they probably look at the results a coach, or a team or club are delivering. If the results meet or match their level, or their expectations of the level they want to attain, then it becomes worth continuing the investigation process.

Second, they typically look to finding someone, or someone that knows someone who is currently trained by a specific coach, or is a member of a team or part of the club they are investigating. The question asked at this point is… how is the coach? If the answer is as hoped, “good” or “great”, then the process is almost at its end. If there are added bonuses, for example, a social dimension to the club or additional training available, then these are often the icing on the cake closing the deal.

Sounds like a good way to select a coach, right?

Maybe. The problem with this process is that it avoids digging into any of the realities or truths of training under a specific coach, or with the team or club.

If you asked a member of the local triathlon club “how is the coach/the club”, then the standard response would likely be:

  • its great, its fun, its a great group, you will have fun…
  • the workouts are challenging/hard/killer…
  • the coach is good or great
  • there is training for each sport: there are run groups, bike groups,…
  • there are athletes of all levels

Actually, if you ask 10 athletes from 10 different clubs – be it a triathlon, a running, a swimming club, doesn’t matter the sport – you will almost certainly get identical answers.  So, what have you truly learned about the coach or the club by asking these questions?

Nothing.

Why is it important to dig deeper? Because your health, your well-being is at stake and if you are going to join a club. Personally, I truly hope that any individual seeking health by training for sport finds the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the coach and the club, because you are putting your health and well-being into the hands of said coach.

Let me use a recent story I heard to illustrate the point. A father has a daughter who plays hockey really really well. Having recently moved to the area, he wants to find a team for his daughter to play. He starts the typical research, looking for the teams which consistently are at the top of the league, consistently in play offs, etc… He identifies a couple teams, does a quick poll of friends to find out if anyone knows about this team or that team, asks the typical questions and gets the typical answers… its great, your daughter will fit in great, she will have fun, the workouts are challenging, the coaching is good, and so on. Since there is no reason to stop this father from signing up his daughter to the team, he does. It doesn’t take long before he realizes how big and bad the mistake it was. The hockey head coach is best friends with a couple families (the people who told the father the coach & club are perfect) and it is their kids who get almost continuous ice time, with every other kid getting only left overs. The father is upset that the truth didn’t come out beforehand, and now that the season is underway he and his daughter are stuck.

Should he be upset? Not at all. He didn’t dig deep enough into how the team operates, how lines are selected, what are the dynamics within the team, so he found out exactly what he asked, and nothing more.

So if you asked a member of the local triathlon club, you can be certain that you will get the answers that the father received… its great, you will have fun, you will fit in great, we have workouts that will match your needs, blah blah blah… and you have learned what?

Nothing.

If you are serious about your health, your well being and your performance as an athlete then you need to dig deeper. How many of the athletes on the team suffer injuries annually? How many are currently sidelined? How many have improved in their health? How many had their health decline? How many athletes have had to leave the club for health reasons? How well do the athletes recover post competition? How is training structured for injured and ill athletes? Is there any customization of coaching in group workouts to adjust for individual needs?

Finding out from the club how many athletes stand on podiums is easy, finding out the truth of whats the cost behind those podiums is a challenge unless the coach is willing to take ownership, responsibility, to be held accountable for their coaching.

Coaches are eager to share the successes of their athletes, who wouldn’t be? But coaches are remiss to share how many athletes they have injured, over-trained to the point of injury, burn out, or blow up, pushing them to the point that they have been diagnosed with low testosterone, chronic fatigue, low motivation, difficulty sleeping, an inability to recover, and so on (as in the case of numerous pro triathletes). No coach wants that sort of marketing!

And that is exactly the point. If you ask only superficial questions you will get only superficial answers.. everything’s great!

If the father in the above scenario asked ahead of time how ice time is decided, by who, and what changes the criteria… he may have come across as overbearing, obsessive, excessively demanding in his desire for details, but if that father truly was invested, fully invested into the well being of his child and their potential in the sport, then is there really a point where you stop asking questions? If you would do that for you child, then why don’t you do it for yourself?

In regards to our local clubs, one has a nasty habit of over-training its athletes, to the point that some feel obligated to train while injured, training through the injury, into the pain as if that somehow will help them recover or perhaps the thinking is that it will make them tougher. Is this widely known or made known, absolutely not. Its known by astute members who do not hold the club or the coach up as ‘god’. Indeed, many members of this club do perform well at competition, some make the podium, but another nasty not revealed is how many members fail to recover, even after months have passed after competing. Having delivered an effort far beyond their training, or while severely over-trained, these athletes have damaged their immune systems, have impaired their physiology and psychology to such a degree they have yet to enjoy their so called success, as they try to heal. Even members of the club can be unaware, because the natural assumption is that when someone doesn’t show for workouts is that they are busy with work, with family, but not busy with a body damaged resulting from training and racing meant to be for their long term benefit.

Unless you dig deep you will not find out if the training the club does actually makes anyone healthier, or if it just leave athletes suffering with injury, illness, never-ending fatigue, and so on.

If you are signing up with a coach or a club in order to become chronically injured or ill, then by all means walk blindly in. But when the ‘benefits’ of being part of the club start to impact your ability to perform in business, at the office, at the worksite, at home, in relationships,… or land you in a doctors office or the hospital, then maybe you will want to reconsider why you signed up? You may have to ask whether the social aspect truly outweighs your decline in well-being, in health, in day to day function.

If you do not find out ahead of time what a coach or a club is like, then you will likely be in the same position.  A few years down the road, having invested into equipment, into coaching, ending up with a body that has been broken down because you did not do your due diligence into the philosophy of the coach, and the real results (i.e. the unspoken outcomes).

I believe that you are worth taking the time to find out if the true results you will obtain from working with a coach, joining a local team.

Do you believe you are worth it?