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6 Things That Help Me Become 3-Time All-American

Updated: Sep 20, 2018

After my Sophomore year of college at Messiah College (small division 3 school) my coach left and there were no immediate plans to get a new one. I did well under my previous coach and learned a lot from him, so I was pretty unsure where my career was going to go. The only thing I knew is that I wanted to be all All-American.

I finished my last two years without a coach in charge of my training and accomplished more than I ever thought I would. Not having a coach in some ways was a blessing in disguise as I could branch out to a number of different coaches to learn how to craft my training. The biggest contribution was that I could get Dane write my strength programs, which bumped my bench up from 350 lbs to 430 lbs, and helped me through a series of back injuries (throwing related). Here are some specific reasons for my success:

Time Prioritization

I had three main priorities in my life during college: throwing, school, and my friends. This is a pretty typical list, but how I prioritized my time between the three is how I felt satisfied in every area. Looking back, throwing and training was the only priority that I didn’t sacrifice for another area. In reality, training was the only thing that losing consistency on would directly hurt. Here is a typical schedule for my day:

8:00-3:00 Class and homework

3:00-6:00 Training

6:00-12:00 Hanging out and rest of homework

7-8 hours of sleep

Notice that training is the smallest time slot during the day! Even if you have 5 hours of class during the day, that still leaves 8-10 hours to do homework, eat, and hangout with friends everyday. I never understood how kids on the team would skip practice because of homework. That is a clear indication that they are letting training budge before relaxing with friends, playing video games, or wasting time, because we all know they are not spending 8-10 hours everyday studying.

Effort + Good System = Success

One thing I noticed a direct correlation to over my four years of college was the amount of time and effort I put into my training and the amount of success I got out of it. My freshman and sophomore year I trained relatively the same and only PR’d by 6cm my sophomore year. Through my junior year I doubled my effort and and added 1.5m to my shot put throw. In anything, doing the same thing and expecting different results never works. However, there are a lot of people who try very hard and still don’t improve.

Having a good system of training is essential. Dane’s programs were laid out so that I could spend a lot of effort on specific details, and not just increase the volume to give more effort. Doing 8 sets of squats instead of the prescribed 5 isn’t heroically going above and beyond, it will just wear you down and decrease the efficiency in which you can do the next exercise. The programs were focused on intensity on certain lifts, technique on some, and mobility on others. Training hard and training smart, not just blindly pushing yourself is the best approach.