On a farm when you learn to walk and talk and eat solid food, you begin working on that farm.  That farm teaches you many lessons that the general population is missing out on.  It teaches you time management, because the job must get done or the animals, nor you get to eat.  It teaches you hard work and how to work in tough environments.  It teaches you to have faith, that your hard work will produce a harvest.  It teaches you how to eat and rest properly, because if you don’t, the farm work will beat you down, and you will not be able to recover.  Last but not least, it makes you strong.  You lift and move heavy things repeatedly.

Now when it comes to building strength we must do it the way God intended.  Through hard work and time.  We need to have a plan and follow through with that plan, having the faith and belief that the plan is going to get us the desire we had hoped to achieve.  It is the power of accumulation.  Day by day, training session by training session, rep by rep, we will build them into the athletes they want to become.  If they systematically and consistently train effectively, one small step at a time, they will have a huge return on their investment.  It is the same advice my financial advisor gives me in planning for retirement or saving for my kid’s college.  I must be consistent and adding to my body of work I am building.  If I am not consistent and start thinking about what I want right now instead of what I need later down the road, then I get off track.   

My dad and my grandfathers were my coaches and the farm was my training facility. They were battled tested and trained by the US military.  They knew nothing about proper biomechanics, functional movement screens or soft tissue repair.  We didn’t do any dynamic warm-ups or thoracic mobility movements.  We just jumped out of the truck and went to work.  However, they did know discipline, determination, hard work, perseverance, toughness and a never quit attitude.  

In my early years, both of my war veteran grandfather’s taught me different skills on each of their farms, but the one thing that was consistent on both sides was hard work, consistency and just how to be a man. We would work until the job was done or the sky was dark.  Their tough love shaped me to be able to thrive in those environments.

These are the same lessons we can teach our kids in the weight room.  However, we can do things smarter.  We can insure proper biomechanics when doing lifts, we can work on getting tougher, safely, by laying out a road map that challenges kids to stick with a plan and develop their perseverance.  We can build these athletes for others.  That is our responsibility as coaches.  We must teach them that strength is for service and not for status.  That is what being apart of team is all about.  Improve your strength for the strength of the team.

For us to advance the next generation we must understand as coaches, we are responsible for those that fall in the realm of our influence.   We can complain about the next generation and lose them or we can step up like those who influenced our lives and make a huge difference.  We are in battle with today’s society that says I want it now.  We are battling privilege.  We are all privileged in this coaching business and sometimes we lose sight of that.  We want big jobs, big salaries and notoriety. I think we have the greatest life right under our noses sometimes and we just can’t see it.  God has given you a realm of influence.  It's more than weights, and nice facilities.  It is about leaving a legacy inside of each of the kids that fall within your realm of influence.

Our Society is crying out for great coaches.  Our communities need men and women to step up and influence the next generation.  Answer the call within your realm of influence today! 

Thanks for reading! Stick around for the next edition of Coaches Corner every other Wednesday.
About  The Author 
David Abernethy is currently the assistant athletic director of strength training & conditioning at Furman Unversity. He is a certified member of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the National Association of Speed and Explosion, and is recognized by the American Fitness Professionals Association as a Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant.  Abernethy is married to the former Kelli Iddings of Denver, N.C., and the couple has a daughter, Madilyn, and a son, Brooks David.
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