Let’s face it, we’ve all been at the point where we didn’t want to go to practice, didn’t want to get up for that 5am workout or just wanted to straight up quit. The you got that phone call: “Dave, where the hell are you? It’s 5am! Get your ass out here you lazy bastard!” You get up, grab your gear and head out the door. That’s the importance of good training partners.
Surround Yourself With Like minded People
Ask any athlete at the top of their game who they train with and they’ll all tell you the same thing: They train with people who want to be better. To get better, you have to surround yourself with other people who want to get better. It’s that simple. You will feed off their energy and and they will feed off of yours.
Don’t have anyone in your area to train with? Get on the internet. Sign up to forums, twitter, and Facebook and friend the best guys in your sport. Almost all hockey players have Facebook and twitter and forums are a great way to connect with other top athletes and coaches.
A few years ago my benchpress was stuck around 320 lbs and had been plateaued there for over a year. At a local competition I gathered up the courage and asked one of the biggest guys there if he could help me. He said to meet him at his gym the next Sunday at 6:00pm
That Sunday I drove two hours and met him at his gym. Soon after I arrived, a couple of other people showed up and we got straight to training. Right away I noticed that the atmosphere was different. Everyone wanted to succeed and be the strongest that they could be. For the next year I drove two hours to Nathan’s gym, trained for two hours, and drove home another two hours every Sunday. In that year my bench press went from 320 lbs to 405 lbs.
Competition is always good. Do you ever wonder why the best athletes always train together and why the best teams keep getting better? It’s because they can never relax. There is always someone who wants to take their place. Another team who wants to be number one or a team mate who wants to beat your record.
We keep a chalk board on our wall. The only way to get your name on that chalk board is to beat someone’s record at a competition. Gym records don’t count and are not written down on the board. It also serves another very important purpose: It reminds people that no one’s record is permanent and can be beaten at any time.
No More Negative
We all know that one guy. The one who always makes excuses. The one who doesn’t show up on time or at all. Get rid of them! You are not doing yourself or your team any favors by keeping these people around. They are not serious and contribute nothing to your training. They drag you and your entire team down.
We had one of these guys train with us for about six months. Let’s call him “Dave.” Dave was in his early 30′s and had put on some weight over the last year from general Homer Simpson laziness. Everything was good for the first six weeks but then Dave began not showing up sometimes. At first it was the odd excuse like “my car wouldn’t start” but then things began getting a little ridiculous. Dave started to show up once every two weeks. This was annoying everyone because we had to reteach him all the training that he had forgotten over those two weeks and bring Dave up to speed on the new training. Our workouts went from lasting one hour to taking over two-and-a-half hours during which Dave whined the entire ti.
Finally I decided to give Dave the boot. Immediately the atmosphere changed. Everyone was back on their game and we were a cohesive unit again. No more whining, no more drama, just SFW.