This is going to be a quick (hopefully motivational) post that was inspired by a conversation with one of my lacrosse girls earlier last semester, when we began our conditioning practices.


Essentially last semester we had 2 days a week in the weight room and 2 days outside where we focused on conditioning.  In the weight room, I had the girls learn some movement assessments (quadruped reaches, plank variations, overhead movements and balance) and I taught them things to look for when they assessed their partner.  I told them what we were going to see in most of them (knees falling in on the squats, pelvic tilt, lateral shifts, etc) but that it was to be expected and that we would be working on it all semester.  I had them learn the movements then assess each other and write down comments.  When I went home that night I was laughing hysterically at what some of them had written.

Instead of just writing simple “knees collapsed in” or “pelvic tilt” they wrote things like “lateral shift: NEED TO GET BETTER AT THIS!” and “pelvic tilt: unable to succeed” 😦

It made me laugh because I can’t even tell you how many of my training notebooks have little comments in them JUST LIKE THOSE.  I know for myself, when I’m starting a new program or a new goal, I look like I’ve never trained before.  I have to stop short of the reps, I’m gasping for breath, I don’t complete in the time I’ve given myself.  Each time that happens, I write little notes – just like they did – that make it clear I didn’t succeed, but not in a “you suck” way.  I try to keep it light, but I still write it down so I know what I need to do for next time.  Does it piss me off to no end?  You bet it does.  No one likes to fall short – but the BEST feeling is going back and conquering it the second (or third, or fourth…) time around.


actual excerpt from my notebook - NOT modified for this post


When I went back the next day, I asked one of my girls about the comments.  She was like, “well I know we’re going to work on it, so its important to see what the problems are, but it wasn’t meant to make anyone feel bad.  Its just hard to start from the beginning.”

These kids I tell ya. Wise beyond their years.

I try really hard to relate to my athletes & my clients because I’ve been – and I’m STILL – in their shoes when it comes to training.  I’ve had MANY my fair share of vomit-inducing workouts that shouldn’t have made me sick; bad days in the gym; weight gain for no reason; and injuries.  I don’t go around bragging about THOSE sessions too often, because its much more fun to share the workout you just beasted – but I think its important to convey that we ALL start somewhere.  In fact, if you’re really motivated, you are constantly starting over.  If I just worked out so it was easy, I wouldn’t get anywhere.

Trainers/coaches/teachers – none of us are on pedestals because if we do our jobs correctly, we are still “students” of our profession – and sometimes it is valuable to show that to the people we are trying to coach because it helps them relate. Its funny because we are all so used to seeing people post workouts on their blog/twitter/facebook that they’ve completed.  I love seeing it because I use it as motivation, and I love surrounding myself with positivity.  But we also have to be real here.  They don’t usually include their side comments like “yup almost died during set 2” and “took a 5 minute break between rounds to cry in the corner”.  But for anyone that is discouraged about their training – TRUST ME – that kind of stuff happens, even to the most trained individual.  We all fall short of our goals at some point.  The important thing to remember is that you’re not the only one.  So write it down, rest up, and try it again.


About sten06

Master's in Kinesiology: Strength & Conditioning BSed in Exercise physiology -NSCA CSCS -NASM CPT, PES -Varsity Lacrosse Coach Saving the world one workout at a time ;)

Posted on January 18, 2012, in Fitness, Strength & Conditioning, Training and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Perfect timing!! My post today is about those mentally negative days, because I just had one last weekend! You give some great tips here, and it’s stuff that I use a lot professionally. I have undergrad Athletic Training students who intern with me, and when they get upset about making mistakes I often tell them that it’s the mistakes that we make that help us to learn the most… What is there to learn when you do something perfectly every time? Great post!

  2. HAHAHAHA you go round the corner to cry too!! Love this post!

  3. Good post!! =) I always hear/read about people who hit a PR, especially a one-rep max, one week and then can’t duplicate it the next week or the week after and start to write off the new 1RM/PR as a fluke. Um no. Start writing down your energy levels and you’ll quickly realize what happened there!

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