Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What training requires

One of The Racquetball Blog staff recently met up with a racquetball coach we know. Coach is a gruff old guy, and this is how the meeting went.

"Hey coach! How's it going?" 

"Still getting up in the morning," he said. "What are you doing to improve your game?" Never one to beat around the bush, coach.

"Well, you know, it's summer, so I'm running a bit and working out." 

"Do you not understand English? I asked what are doing to improve your game? Be specific!"

"Uh, well, I'm running a couple of times a week and ---" 

"How many times a week? For how long? How far? At what pace?"

"Well, about half an hour, twice a week, and-- uhhhh...." 

"You don't really know, do you?" Coach asked, and our guy sheepishly shook his head. "Well, then you're not training. Do you know what training involves?"

"Oh sure! There's doing cardio and pumping weights and all that stuff!"

Coach sighed, "yeah, yeah, smart guy. But what training needs is this," and he pulled a little book and a pencil out of his pocket.

"What's that?" 

"What the hell's it look like? It's a pencil and a notebook. Tell me you're not as dumb as you look."

"I'm not as d--- No, wait, how's that going make me a better racquetball player?" 

"If you're training, then you need to be making progress. It's fine to be going for a run, or doing yoga or pilates or whatever the activity of the week is now - lord knows more people should be doing something instead of sitting around on their backsides. But really if you're only doing that, then you're just treading water, because you're not making progress. Training means progressing. And to know if you're progressing you need to keep a record. That's where this comes in," he said waving the pencil and notebook in the air.

"Oh, I see." 

"Do you? 'cause it sounds like you don't. Understand, you need to know what you're doing this week, so that you can do more next week. That's what progression means. Doing more later than you are now. But you won't know if it's more unless you have a record of what you're doing now."

"Well, I can just remember. I've got a good memory." 

"Well, ain't you special. People forget stuff. Believe me; they do, especially stuff they do a lot, and if you're training, you should be doing a lot of stuff, which means you should be writing it down--"

"I got an iPhone! Can I use that keep my records?"

"Sure tech-boy, use your iPhone. Write in the clouds, if you want, or open a vein and write in blood. Whatever. Just keep a record."

"Sure, coach!" 

"All right. I'll want to see that record later. Make sure you're actually making progress not just piddling about."

"Sure, coach!" 

Coach's eyes rolled, and he said "right. Well, it's lunch time and I'm hungry, so I'm going to go eat. Good-bye."

"See ya coach!"  

Follow the bouncing ball…. 


J said...

if a coach spoke to me like that I would tell him to get fucked and leave him to his grand persona of being someone important.

J said...

if a coach spoke to me like that I would tell him to get fucked and leave him to his grand persona of being someone important.