Monthly Archives: June 2014

Parents: 10 Reasons Why Every Kid Needs a Strength Coach

By: David Marmon
April 23, 2014

Last month one of my teenage athletes turned 17 years old. While this might seem like an insignificant milestone to most of you reading this, it was quite significant to me. It marked our 7th year training together. 7 years! These aren’t just any 7 years; these are the most important developmental (socially, intellectually, and physically) years of this young man’s life.

I remember the day he started. He was a chubby, quiet, passive 10 year old who couldn’t jump rope. Today, he kicks my ass in the gym on a regular basis. He is incredibly confident, yet not cocky. Straight A student; varsity football; varsity baseball; has his pilot’s license… the resume is quite impressive. This is a very special young man.

What makes this 17 year old different from others? Where did he get his discipline and drive? Well before I try to take credit for any of it, let me brag on his mom and dad. These folks started teaching their kids about RESPONSIBILITY at a very young age. The ideals and expectations that they were teaching at home served as the foundation of all this young man’s achievements. They made my job easy and enjoyable.

Following some reflection on my time with this young man, I thought that I would put together a list for parents outlining the benefits of having your children work with a strength & conditioning professional. I used my experience with this young man and his family as the basis for my list.

1. Long-term Athletic Development: From the age of 10-18 years of age, there are lots of changes going on in kid’s bodies and the time table varies from kid to kid. Having a coaching professional that understands proper progression and correction of motor patterns, loading, and intensity can be a huge game changer in the long-term development of your child. There is no “quick fix” or “short cut” when dealing with the development of youth. It starts with teaching good fundamental movement and progresses from there. With so much misinformation available on the Internet, it is vital to have a resource that is experienced, credentialed, and trustworthy.

2. Confidence: There seems to be a direct correlation between confidence and accomplishment. Show kids what they are capable of and confidence immediately follows.

3. No Starting Line-up: With team sports, the best athletes play and the rest of the kids ride the bench. Quite often this can hurt the development of less talented youth athletes. In our setting, every kid gets coached and in most cases the kids that are less talented get coached harder! No one falls through the cracks.

4. Emphasis on Performance vs. Aesthetics: With so much pressure on kids to be thin and beautiful (subjective things), we focus on performance-based data (objective things). Example: You did 5 pull-ups last week, today you did 6. Congratulations, you got better!

5. It’s Contagious: Fit kids can motivate mom and dad to get fit! Parents see their kid’s success and happiness, which gives them the courage to get started. We have several families that train with us.

6. Having an Honest Critic: As coaches, we are paid to be critical. Parents and friends will tell kids what they want to hear. I will always tell kids what they need to hear. Criticism should always be followed with a plan of correction. Genuine encouragement provides kids with confirmation that the correction has been made.

7. Character Building: Show up on time, prepared. Give your very best. Take pride in your work and responsibility for your actions. Learn from your successes and failures. Meet or exceed expectations. Help and encourage others. Make the world a better place than it was when you got here.

8. Sport Injury Prevention & Management: Consistent year-round training under the supervision of a strength & conditioning professional will decrease the occurrence of sport-related injuries and other overuse issues.

9. Friendship: Every kid needs a trustworthy, experienced person (other than mom & dad) that they can turn to for advice and counsel. I have had kids approach me for advice about college, relationships, their future, dealing with conflict, etc.

10. Preparation for Life as a Healthy, Successful Adult: At the end of the day, we are really preparing kids for the “real world”. We are teaching them how to take care of their bodies through diet and exercise. We are teaching them the value of hard work and the pursuit of excellence. We are teaching them how to communicate and deal with people. Each workout is nothing more than an opportunity to prepare our kids for the game of LIFE.



Why I Compete?

By: David Marmon
April 14, 2014

I love competition. It gives me butterflies. It makes my palms sweat. It forces me to focus. It takes me to places that most people fear going. Competition (at any level) has motivated and inspired me since I was 9 years old. To this day, the efforts and actions of my peers have a powerful influence on my own performance. I make it a point to thank my competitors for constantly “making me better”. It’s not about winning or losing for me; it’s about the experience of giving my very best effort and learning from (and living with) the outcome. My love for competition extends into all areas of my life: athletics, coaching, business, friendship, family, and faith.

I will be 36 years old this year. I am good at a few things, but I am not great at anything in particular. I will probably never qualify for the CrossFit Games Regional. I am a mediocre strongman athlete. My Olympic Weightlifting technique is about as consistent as the Virginia weather. I finish each 5k road race in a sprint out with a soccer mom. So why do I continue to compete?

Let’s start with why I don’t compete.

I don’t compete for t-shirts. Britta is constantly cleaning out and giving away all of the CrossFit t-shirts that I don’t wear. I basically have a 5-10 t-shirt rotation. If you don’t make the rotation, then I will probably never wear you.

I don’t compete for prizes (supplements, money, gear, etc.). If I want or need any of that stuff I have the means of getting it for myself.

I don’t compete for the attention or the recognition. I will always be my own biggest fan and my own harshest critic. The only praise and criticism that I know is honest and well intended is from the people closest to me.

I don’t compete to win. There are way too many variables involved in winning that are out of my control (level of my competition, performance of my competition, number of competitors, etc.).

I compete for the experience. Every time I compete, I walk away with the 3 most valuable prizes that life has to offer.

Knowledge – I learn something new about myself. I might find out that I am capable of a new skill or a higher capacity or I might recognize a weakness or a flaw that I need to correct. I can also learn from my competition (strategies, preparation, etc.).

Fellowship – Camaraderie, community, whatever you want to call it! I get to enjoy being around others that share my love for competition. Competition has afforded me some of my most valuable relationships in life.

Memories – This is what you take with you when you die and what you leave for others to remember you by. Powerful stuff!