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Coaching After The Run

After you run your athletes always take a moment.

Michigan Football TeamMike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time.  He explains, training after the run.

I always talked to the team after we ran.  For me it was as important as the run.  I brought them together as a group.  We came together as a team.  It was a great time to communicate.  You have their attention as the heavy breathing begins to subside during recovery.  Ending the run with something verbally significant develops the mind and spirit.  After all it is college and they are student athletes.

On one occasion I introduced the players to ‘Thomas Gray’ – an English poet of the late 1700’s.  Gray was a professor at Cambridge University, he was raised by his mom who ran a milliner shop in London.  What is interesting is that his collected works are less than a 1,000 total lines, yet they contain phrases which have entered the common lexicon.

* “Far from the madding crowd”

* “The paths of glory”

* “Celestial fire”

* “Kindard spirit”

Writing so little and achieving so much is a lesson in itself.  A lesson related to the game of football, sport and life.  I explained to the players that even if you play a little your contributions can become “the lexicon of lore”.  You may cause a fumble, you may recover a ball, you may make the game saving tackle, block, kick or turn the game in a mengerie of ways that is never forgotton historically.  Or maybe your beneficence has nothing to do with playing, but is related to changing the effort of those around you during conditioning.  Our contributions are measured by not ‘how much we do,’ but of ‘what we do.’

Thomas Gray wrote “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen”, many of the greatest men I have coached have been unseen by the public eye yet have changed our program through their participation in unexpected and unwritten ways.

Far from the ‘maddening crowd’ we achieve ‘the path of glory’ with a ‘celestial fire’ and ‘kindard spirit’ when Getting Strong.

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