Monday, January 08, 2007

"I Hate Losing, Even At Checkers."

Last night the New York Giants suffered a season ending, heartbreaking loss to end their 2006 season.

Without getting into detail about the season that was, it's probably safe to say that most of the Giants are happy to see this season go. Not that they wanted to lose, but it has been a bit of a mess, to say the least.

Tiki Barber was quoted as saying something to the effect that they have come to expect bad things to happen and when they do they are instantly deflated.

One guy, however was not, and is a shining example for athletes all over the world. That guy is Jeremey Shockey.

No matter how bad things got or how severely he was hurt, Shockey came to play his heart out every week. Last night was a prime example of what kind of attitude an athlete must possess to be a champion. Shockey was questionable for the game due to an ankle injury that has plagued him all season, yet he refused to miss it.

In obvious pain and unable to get up without a Herculean effort, Shockey played his heart out. On one particular play he had his helmet knocked off but continued on like nothing happened. He actually took on four oncoming tacklers by LOWERING HIS HEAD and giving them everything he had. The fact that anyone of them could have met him head- to- helmet and knocked him out of the game, possibly permanently, never crossed his mind. He was out to win.

In practices when he was at The University of Miami, Shockey was known to cheap shot a defensive back and "knock him on his ass," when he felt they weren't practicing hard enough.

If that is not how you approach every practice and every workout and every game you participate in, I have to wonder why you even bother? If you're not going to be 100% committed to doing your best each and every time you take the field or enter the weight room, then exactly what is the point?

To get out played is one thing, to get outworked is another. I have trained hundreds and hundreds of athletes over the years and have always tried to make sure that this was the attitude that they all possessed. The squat workout you do today isn't just another squat workout; it's one step closer to your goal of victory and domination. So act accordingly.

Every time you take it easy or slack off, you can be guaranteed that someone, somewhere, is busting their ass and sooner or later you will meet up with them on the playing field.

Even if you don't play any sports at all, you should still approach your workouts with the same fervor and determination that Jeremey Shockey takes with him on every route he runs. A workout is not just a social hour or a time to get a pump. Set goals for yourself in the weightroom and do all you can to achieve them. That makes going to the gym so much more fun than just going in and wasting time like everyone else. Every time you are there, you should be better than the last time. Weather it's more weight or more reps, or whatever; the point is to constantly improve. Since you don't play a sport, the weights are your opponents, and you go to battle with them at each and every workout with the intention of emerging victorious.

Much has been written about the detrimental effect of constantly training to failure. While this may be the case, there is always something to be said for instilling work ethic, building character and creating a sense of competition and camaraderie amongst teammates. I have always believed that in the real world, what looks good on paper or in the lab doesn't always pan out. You can't hold guys back in the weight room and then expect them to go out and knock heads off when the season comes. They have to be training and working all off season with this intention and determination. If that means taking more sets to failure than is optimal for the CNS, than so be it. Cut your volume way down, but never sacrifice intensity and hard work.

When asked to describe what Jeremy Shockey really cares about in life, one of his friends said, "football and fucking."

Tough to argue with those choices. Whatever it is that you care about and do, I think you should remember the example Jeremey Shockey set yesterday and give it all you got, consequences be damned.

Is there really any other way?