Monthly Archives: March 2012
My college experience was one well-traveled. I went to three colleges in four years; one exit because of my rules, the second exit because of their rules. In all honesty, had I never told the first head coach how I felt about him; I would have never found Exercise Science at Olivet. Without Olivet, I would not have been bored with football, and would have never transferred home. Had I not transferred home, I would not have trained at the Training Zone (an absolute hole in the wall in Avon, GOD REST ITS SOUL). Doug Salyer, co-owner, said I should train with Bryan Neese, America’s Strongest Man in 1999. Bryan introduced me to Chad Coy. Chad was a strongman and training source of abundant knowledge that owned Powerhouse Gym in Kokomo where I worked from May 2005 to December 2009. In 2006, he bought the 13th national Parisi Speed School franchise, and I was exposed to real sports performance training. Invisible Guidance from the Hand of Divine Providence, a chain reaction of events, and planned actions with a purpose led to PANKO Strength & Speed, but it all got started with a “F*** You” to a guy that tried to push me around psychologically.
Because of my bubbly personality, I had many acquaintances but few friends from my college years. As a matter of fact, I keep in regular contact with two of them – Kahlil and Willy – and see a third on a yearly basis. Kahlil is half Syrian, half Mennonite and Willy comes from one of Kentucky’s most prominent families. Kentucky never seceded from the Union, but in Antebellum South, he would have been a gentleman planter. On a Sunday evening, Kahlil asked Willy, if his grandpa, who is on the board at the University of Kentucky, could get us tickets to the Regional Semi-Final Round of the NCAA Tournament being held at Rupp Arena in Lexington. By 10am Monday, tickets were secured.
The trip to, in and around Lexington was surprising. Indiana is considered the basketball state, but Kentucky is none far behind if not ahead. In Indiana, a hoop gets put on a barn; in Kentucky, they just build a whole outdoor court. THEY ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR BASKETBALL. I watched Willy’s mom attack a carton of Marlboro Red’s and a case of Coke, screaming at Tayshaun Prince, opting for the headphones and UK Broadcast of the Kentucky/Maryland game while watching the muted CBS Broadcast of Jim Nance and Billy Packer.
The semi-final included IU/Duke and Pitt/Kent St. The entire arena was blue and I figured fans for #1 and #1 seeded Duke severely out-numbered all others. WRONG! It was blue-clad Kentucky fans that had shown up to watch hated IU versus really hated Duke. It would be akin to Lucas Oil Stadium hosting the Steelers or Chargers and Patriots. In case, you don’t know why UK fans hate Duke…
Actually, it was…
IU played horrible basketball and at one point was down 17 in a stone cold silent arena. There was a lingering sense, if IU could just keep it within 10 points, the game could be manageable. And then, AJ Moye, IU’s 6’2” sixth man stole the hearts of the Kentucky fan base. As he made increasingly important plays the crowd became alive. He scored a couple buckets off back door cuts, converted HUGE free throws and played adhesive defense on 6’9” Carlos Boozer, and stuffing him with about five minutes to go in the game’s biggest defensive play. The crowd erupted in a chant of A-J MOY-A, stayed on their feet for the last seven minutes, and cheered their second biggest rival to a wild comeback. Even Willy, who bleeds more blue than anyone I know, was hysterical. The way Kentucky fans passionately pulled behind IU and made AJ Moye the darling of Wildcat Nation for 12 hours gave me chills. And it still does to this day. On the way out after the Pitt/Kent State game, I was fascinated with the “We are ALL Hoosiers Tonight” feel of Lexington.
The passion that night has always stuck with me. There are not a lot of gray areas in sports, but there were some loyalty lines crossed that evening. Most times fans are or they are not, but in this case it seems like there was an unspoken agreement that they would cheer for anyone to beat Duke. Too many times, because of some distorted mindset, people are too timid to put their force and conviction into something, but that night, not in the case of Kentucky basketball fans. Nothing will ever avenge Christian Laettner’s shot in 1992, but for a moment, Kentucky fans felt vindication.
PANKO Strength & Speed, Stewards of the American Dream
Sports performance training, at all levels – high school, college, private facilities, has become a commodity. Everyone does things the exact same way. Actually, almost everything has become commoditized in the big-box-over-saturated-everyone-sell-everything-damn-customer-service-for-the-economical-cookie-cutter-run-through-they-built-one-over-there-so-we’ll-build-one-over-here world of retail/products/service. Without sounding duplicitous, sports performance training is being described to the “T” by Dan Kennedy. Coaches, trainers, owners are reading the same regurgitated information, being consulted by the same people, hobnobbing at the same conferences, attending the same seminars, and getting the same results. They have passed on self-endeavor!
Resembling a Soviet (ne, new American) style trickle down bureaucracy, the masses are timid enough to follow the oligarchical few. Once connected, they hope to be passed a scrap of this or a nibble of that, living safe on their knees instead of chasing exception on their feet. This is all done in anticipatory delight of being recognized on a Facebook page or in a blogosphere blast. At best, the followers are sitting behind a computer screen, fingers-crossed, that their own videos, ideas, blogs/articles, forum posts are not getting blasted by arm-chair quarterbacks. Here is the secret to success, but this stays between author and reader: push away, turn off, follow instincts, implement with conviction, lead with passion, don’t give a damn, take people who invest their trust to the top, and build a culture.
There is nothing hypocritical here. This is not an attack on those oligarchical few, but there has been a commoditization of the product. People get comfortable not taking the required risks to blaze a trail, and become comfortable heading down the path of others. Like the NFL, everyone follows the same skeletal rubric. Contrary to political ideology, in this case, kudos should be given to those that are constantly re-setting the bar; it is ingenuity. Their hard work, research, and results have made their businesses successful. Businesses are in place to make profits and they fulfill that obligation to themselves, their partners, associates, investors, shareholders, and employees, and rightfully so. They have independent people buying into dependence, be the wizard but beware the wizard.
What’s the purpose of all this? Blast followers for following, praise leaders for success. The world needs leaders and the world needs them people to lead. What is the point? Commodities know no differential bounds – grain, corn, livestock, oil, cotton. It is all the same everywhere. Performance training is entering that paradigm; it is being overtaken by the overeducated and undertrained, researchers and not executioners. Those that lecture yet don’t implement those that study the statistics, probabilities, trends, past circumstances and outcomes, to look at what they may be but certainly never having the stones to take risks to figure out what they can be. These individuals place more worth on information than action. It’s becoming dominated by people placing limits on an environment because the “book” said to do so. Its auto-bots, all stamped from the same mold that have only the rationalization that the PowerPoint/PDF said “to do it,” the DVD “looked cool doing it,” and the alphabet of accolades that follows their name entitles them to do it.
Read and re-read this statement: a good program does not deal in sports performance training, but makes people more successful, more successful in every phase of their life and becoming more successful at something every day. PANKO Strength & Speed is a SUCCESS program. There has never been any doubt that the strength training aspects, speed training theory, application, and implementation, force production/reduction uses, and injury prevention courses of action executed within the program will build the best athletes. But that is just one (1) distinction of the success program at PANKO Strength & Speed.
A good coach will teach athletes/trainees/program participants to break down the false limits they place on themselves. Teaching individuals that they can overcome and then showing them how to overcome ALL artificial, self-built, walls between the current and success. It is showing young people, parents, anyone they can get close to the edge, their edge, whatever that may be and benefit physically, psychologically, and emotionally instead of dwelling upon the sacrifice of effort and the pain that may bring, then teaching them to re-set the edge daily. Set a big goal, implement to achieve the goal, set a bigger goal – REPEAT. It is proving that the best version of oneself is infinitely better than the best impersonation one may attempt of someone else. As a success coach, the greatest aha moment, comes when a person figures out that cliff, or any obstruction in their path, is not as high as they previously perceived.
As a business owner, it would be wonderful if people really cared about the business, and to some extent they do, some. But what people really care about is how they benefit from the business. They do not care about the place as much as they care how they feel when they leave (empowered). They don’t care about the x’s and o’s of becoming successful only that they become successful. They don’t care what it takes to be successful, only that they stay successful. The success platform is the most important part of the program. The passion for empowering individuals, the conviction with which a change is made in people lives, attitude, outlook, performance etc., and the efficiency in the way the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of the program are coupled CAN NOT BE COMMODITIZED. They are not anywhere else, the way they are at PANKO Strength & Speed. The part of the program that, at the beginning, can be uncomfortable for individuals; finding their reasons for self-doubt, lack of self-confidence, self-efficacy, and increased activity in self-destructive actions is the true asset of the experience. Grow or die, get better or get worse, but staying the same is not progress.
PANKO Strength & Speed, Stewards of the American Dream
Neal Molloy and Brayden Montgomery from Danville, Brian Harvey from Cathedral, and Brian Snyder from Avon were all qualifiers for the Individual State Finals. Neal placed 5th at 132 lbs., Brian Snyder placed 6th at 285 lbs., and Brian Harvey was a State Champion at 160 lbs. Jordan Naughton was a 38 win, 220 lb. force that helped Perry Meridian to a Team State Championship, and Evan Smiley along with Harvey was a big part of Cathedral’s advancement to the semifinals of the Team State Tournament.
For the first time, PANKO Strength & Speed also had an influence with the Fort Wayne Semi-State, as PSS member and head coach at Yorktown High School; Trent McCormick took five of his wrestlers to the State Finals, one of which was a State Champion at 138 lbs. Collegiately, four freshman wrestlers competed at Wabash College, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of Indianapolis. Before a season ending injury at the Region 3 Super Regional, a true freshman 184 lber from the University of Indianapolis was ranked 8th in the nation. Four Middle School wrestlers – Cael McCormick, Ethan Smiley, Nathan Walton, and Isaac Gomez – had phenomenal wrestling seasons and three of them earned All-American status at the Virginia Beach Middle School Duals. Nathan Walton was also Champion of Dixie Nationals.
Most of these guys have been with PANKO Strength & Speed for 18+ months, a couple came on later but made the most of their training experience. They have trained when it was 114 degrees inside and they have trained when it was 53 degrees inside. They have been trained not to accept failure, but to use it as a building block. They know where their edge is and they are not afraid to push themselves there. They will go as far as they want in life; they have tasted some success, but they are aware that can be taken at any time, and only their sacrifice, persistence, work ethic, and focus will keep them climbing the mountain, for they will never be completely satisfied with their progress. State champions two years in a row, eight top 8 finishes since 2010, and an influence in three of the four semi-states, PSS is establishing itself as the top place to train in Indiana!
Playing One Sport Year Around is Not Beneficial – Young Players Need to Prepare, They Need to Train.
The upswing into the New Year can be a time of maximal progress for athletes. Unfortunately, it can also be the maximum time of tunnel-vision for narrow minded parents and coaches. Football is the lone holdout single season sport, Indiana is slowly moving to spring football with coaches hosting non-school related events. EVERY other sport has become year round, and with understandable reason.
College coaches are unable to get out and heavily recruit during their season; scheduling does not allow it. Summer has now become the crucial time for wrestlers, baseball/softball players, and soccer and basketball players to get recognition in showcases, combines, and national tournaments where scholarships are rewarded, sometimes on the spot. Since summer is the apex of the athlete’s opportunity exposure, it only makes sense that the winter and spring are the facilitators to an athlete having a great summer.
The constant stimulation of sport and game specific skill sets and the monotonous application of these skills impede athletic development. The romance of the nose to the grindstone mentality (think shooting 1,000 free throws a day on a barn hoop in small town Indiana) will not be enough to keep most athletes on pace with the five percent that set the curve. When the nervous system is no longer stimulated by the repeated practice of sport skills it will not react, and without the need to react to a stimulating environment progress grinds to a halt.
This is not a knock on single sport athletes, but it is an awakening for athletes who only play one sport and they play it year around. They do not prepare, they do not train, and all they do is compete. Preparation is the most important part. Straight A’s are made on tests, they are spent in the hours preparing for the test by studying different ideas, methods, facts, or paradigms, and then applying them during a test.
The alternative to mundane practice and constant games is training. Training will fix movement patterns, athletes will learn to become more efficient, get stronger, sprint faster, change directions better, dominate by being less susceptible to injury, and obtain amazing mental toughness. Athleticism has become the cornerstone of sport success. A young ball player can have all the game skills in the world, but if they lack the athletic competence to get to the point of attack first, decelerate, win a small battle and re-accelerate to the next point of attack then they will end up watching every else play when it matters (that would be high school when scholarships are being given to the athletes.)
As a coach or parent, think about how much time kids shoot hoops, field grounders, run routes, or practice shots on goal – ALL without the chaos of defenders and unpredictability that sports pack. Reflect upon how much they really do that when they play. They are severely over-trained to do skills they rarely use. The next time they play a game, watch what the best player in the game is doing. They are the fastest, get to the point of attack first, they change directions the best, and they are stronger than everyone else. Slow, weaklings who think they are going to play professional sports are a penny a dozen. Trained athletes that train in an environment of stimulating chaos pay a path of destruction that gets noticed. It is time for a paradigm shift.
Speaking of an Alpha Athlete, here is some footage of the first 40 Ryan Forney ran this winter and another 3.97 short shuttle…
PANKO Strength & Speed, Proud Stewards of the American Dream