From Athlete to Coach

A letter from a coach to current Athletes Warehouse athletes

by Coach Jack Gladstone

Before there was a physical presence of a building that we all know as Athletes Warehouse, the culture of Athletes Warehouse had been forming since 2012. A bunch of high school and college athletes training out of a barn in the middle of the summer (might I add with no A/C). Our equipment was limited to some barbells, kettlebells, and pull up bars. However, regardless of the conditions this group was wholeheartedly devoted to the training program under one of our coaches and owners, Nick Serio.

As an Athlete, training in the barn was tremendously important to my collegiate athletic career. As I look back, I’m unsure if I would have made it through four years of varsity lacrosse without it. I was becoming faster, stronger, more powerful, and more confident as an athlete. From the start of the summer of 2013 to the winter of 2015 my strength and power numbers skyrocketed. On paper, I was a completely different athlete. Every time I showed up to school after training for numerous weeks in that barn with Nick, I had the confidence that I was faster and stronger than the previous semester. Looking back at pre-training pictures from my freshman year, I hysterically laugh at the image I see. To sum up the image in short, I just looked like a kid that could use a cheeseburger. Since beginning my athletic transformation, I have achieved things that I would never have accomplished under my own programming.

As my college career ended, and I began coaching at Athletes Warehouse, I realized the most important thing that being one of the first Athletes Warehouse athletes had taught me. Sure I had learned how to squat, clean, and sprint at an elite level, which is all incredibly important, but above all else, I learned how to BE and ACT like an Athlete. I learned what it truly meant to be an athlete. These are the things that are important, beyond what your Pro-Agility time is. Without acting like an athlete, you’ll never even make it to the starting line. So here is my list of things I learned from athletes warehouse on how to BE an athlete.

  1. Be a good person. No matter how good you are at your sport, at the end of your career if you didn’t take time to strive to be a good person you’re going to look back and no one is going to be standing there with you.
  2. Put the right things in your body. If you’re one of our athletes here and you are still unsure of what, when, and how much to eat before and after your training session, please go see Tim.
  3. Wherever you may be training or practicing, never give your coach half an effort. With the attitude that the Athletes Warehouse coaches put forth to me and every other athlete that comes through the door, the athlete should supersede that.
  4. Do not be afraid to identify and attack a weakness. It does not matter whether it is attacking physical weaknesses but also lifestyle and habitual weaknesses.
  5. To the the College and High school kids, be a good athlete, be an even better student. Just like all those coaches who put in time and effort over the years to develop your skills on the field, think about how many teachers invested years in developing you into the well-educated individual you are today.
  6. When you’re having a bad day, whether it be on the field, in the classroom, or in the weight room, make it only your bad day. Understand the impact that your attitude can have on others.
  7. Lastly, understand your “WHY”! Take the time to think about why you are playing the game. In my honest opinion, most athletes that I coach here originally do not come here with a “why”. I believe when a coach helps an athlete to understand their “why”, they unlock a whole new motivated machine. An athlete who is performing exercises without a purpose is just working out. An athlete who is exercising with a purpose is training. An athlete must understand this in order to put forth an effort and approach to each training day that is going to continually progress them to a higher level in the sport or skill that they are trying to enhance.

To all the AW Athletes out there, this is my message to you. As a former AW Athlete, turned AW Coach, I hope to see more of the same in the future. As someone who has been an Athlete and Coach here, I can wholeheartedly say that this program develops young athletes in a different way. I am so envious of the early exposure that our younger athletes have to our program because I am incredibly grateful for what AW provided me. The future of the AW athlete is extraordinary. I am honored to be a part of the process and I am humbled by the incredible athletes that I coach on an everyday basis.

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