Archive for June, 2011

11 Year Old Athlete Overdoses On Sports Camps- A Parable

Posted in Injuries, Media, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on June 27, 2011 by mboyle1959

Michael Boyle and Lee Taft


* This article is inspired by an actual summer camp list sent to me by a colleague ( see below) The camp names and geographical area have been changed to protect the guilty. The parent had registered the child for an entire summer of sports camps. The first four weeks were big name overnight basketball camps, the last 6 weeks local basketball and lacrosse camps. Had I not seen this myself, I would never have believed it. The list is fact, the following article is fiction.

“In a time when we are worried about the lack of activity and rate of obesity in our children today we learned of a different type of story that will blow your mind. An 11 year old athlete, seemingly healthy and fun loving, made a simple request. She asked her parents to go to a sports camp. Her parents, forgetting to read the instructions on the camp brochures marked CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND DOSAGE mistakenly over dosed her on camp registrations.

Child development experts tell us that a child between the age of 8 to 11 should take only 1 to 3 camps per summer. Our experts also tell us that this is a clear case of parents not reading the labels and thinking that if a little camp participation is good than 14 camps must be better.

The most frightening fact is that the parents, only thinking of future successes (and future scholarship offers), completely missed the tell tale signs of an overdosed child. The child was suffering from chronic fatigue, sniffles, shin splints, knee pain, and homesickness. More importantly, she missed her friends. Yet the parents simply told her “if you want a scholarship you HAVE TO TAKE THESE CAMPS EVERY WEEK FOR TEN WEEKS”. In fact in some week there were double doses of “camp”

It wasn’t until a camp counselor noticed that the 11 year old wasn’t at breakfast one morning and went to check on her in her room that the effects of the overdose were finally recognized. When the counselor entered the 11 year olds room she was crying in the corner, totally exhausted with ice on both knees. She stated simply that she didn’t want to participate any more and expressed a desire to go to the beach. When the camp counselor asked is there anything else bothering you the little girl said; “My mom and dad told me I will be a disappointment if I don’t get a scholarship”. They also told me if I quit now I will be a quitter the rest of my life. The 11 year old finished by saying, I don’t want to make my mother and father mad at me but I just want to play with my friends and not be forced to do all these camps.

Just remember, this is a child, not an adult who got stuck in the dryer. Even kids who love sports need a break from sports and just need to be kids.

This is the edited version of the actual camp list I received

  Clinic Type Dates Cost Paid Owe Dr. Form Camp Form Bring Forms Done  
6/20-6/26 Hoop Dreams overnt Sun., 6/19 (2pm)Wed. 6/22 (noon) $495 $495 $0 done Done None Y  
6/27-7/3 BC Basketball overnt Mon. 6/27 (10am)Wed. 6/29 (3:30pm) $515 $200$315 $0 done done None Y  
7/4-7/10 AAU Nationals overnt Sun. 7/3Fri. 7/8                
7/11-7/17 UMass dayovernt Sun. 7/10 (2pm)Wed. 7/13 (noon) $425$500 $150 $275 Yes, no sign None No-mailed Y  
7/18-7/24 Holy Cross overnt Mon. 7/18 (1pm)Thurs. 7/21 (noon) $450 $225$225 $0 done done None Y  
7/25-7/31 PGC overnt Mon. 7/25 (noon)Fri. 7/29 (11am) $670 $250$420 $0 Yes no sign Yes Yes N-forms  
8/1-8/7 Pro Lax Day9-3pm Mon. 8/1Wed. 8/3 $345 $345 $0 Done Done No Y  
  Hoop Ed Day9-3pm Thurs. 8/4Fri. 8/5 $90 $0 $90 No No No N-$  
8/8-8/14 Holy Cross Bball Day9-3pm Mon. 8/8-Fri. 8/12 $250 $250 $0 No Yes No Y  
8/15-8/21 TPI Golf Day9-4pm Mon. 8/15Fri. 8/19 $485 $390 $95 No Yes No N-$ form  
  Sara Behn Night5:30-8 Mon. 8/15-Wed. 8/17 $185 $185 $0 No No No Y  
8/22-8/28 Pro Ambitions Basketb Day9-3pm Mon. 8/22-Fri. 8/26 $305 $305 $0 No Y Send 6/18 N-form  
  Superlax TBD Night5:15-6:45 $180 $180 $0 No No N Y
  Start to Success Longfellow Day8-3pm $35 $35 $0 No No No Y
8/29-9/4 Cape Cod                  

New Podcast, Webinars and More StrengthCoach TV

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2011 by mboyle1959
Anthony has a new episode of The Strength Coach Podcast, a new episode of Strength Coach TV and some great webinars coming up at
Episode 82 of the Strength Coach Podcast is Up
New Episode of Strength Coach TV
New & Upcoming Webinars at
Episode 82 Highlights
Click here to listen

  • Hit The Gym with a Strength Coach– Robb Rogers on training the Tactical Athlete- Assessment, Program Design and Challenges.  Check out Robb’s site-
  • Coaches Corner– Anthony spoke to me about my meeting with Shirley Sarhmann, the MBSC 2 Day Spring Program, Max Shank’s “80% Rule” and much more
  • Results Fitness Business of Fitness- Rachel Cosgrove  on “Marketing Consistently”
  • Ask Functional Movement Systems- Orange County Fire Captain Mike Contreras talks about using the FMS with Firemen
  • The Art of Coaching with Athletes’ Performance– Nick Winkelman talks about “Error Identification and Correction”
  • Ask the Equipment Experts with Perform Better- Chris Poiriertalks about a new summit- The Meeting of the Minds.

Click here to listen

Strength Coach TV- Episode 9- “Costs No One Told Me About”
 In Episode 9 of Strength Coach TV, I show a video that I did for a few years ago when I opened up my studio.  We do a tour and add up lots of incidental costs that no one ever talks about.  You will be surprised by the final total!   Check out Strength Coach TV
Webinars Added and Upcoming Webinars at
At StrengthandConditioningWebinars.comI just posted a webinar from Dr. Craig Duncan (Monitoring Performance) and will be postingSean Skahan’s “In Season Training for Hockey” tomorrow.

Also today, June 22 at 1:30pm ESTFrank Dolan will be doing“The Movement Prep Continuum”.  Sign up at 

Next week, we have the second part of my  “25 Mistakes, 2011- Part 2” and Tony Mikla doing “Developing Rotational Power”

Anthony has over 87 webinars in the archives for you to watch at any time.  Try it for 1 Day for $1!


Handicapping the Perform Better Summit in Chicago

Posted in Random Thoughts, Seminars, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on June 21, 2011 by mboyle1959

Handicapping the Perform Better Summit in Chicago

On June 24-26 the second installment of the best in education for strength and conditioning, rehab and fitness professionals resumes. As I say every time, if you don’t get to one of these seminars every year you are making a huge mistake. The biggest complaint from attendees at a Perform Better Summit is that with four sessions going on at one time it is tough to decide who to see.  It’s so tough that some people are buying the Perform Better Seminar Pass

and attending two Summits. It’s always tough for me too but, just like you I have to choose. You can download the schedule first

so you can follow along. Here are my recommendations on a session-by session basis:

Note- I will almost always choose lectures over hands-on. I’m here to learn, not to get exercise. I may go to a hands-on but, not to get a workout. Save your workout for another day and get some knowledge to help your clients and athletes

Friday June 24rd

9:15- Mark Verstegen on Barefoot Training or Michol Dalcourt? I think Michol is a great speaker and one of the guys here who might be a little under the radar. You also have two great hands-on sessions with Martin Rooney and Jason Brown but, my guess is standing room only for Mark. If you aren’t interested in barefoot training go see Michol.

10:45- My hands on will be dealing with updates on all our warm-up progressions ( we’ve developed some great FMS based stuff) as well as our strength progressions. I think it will a great hands-on learning experience. Just FYI the hands-on and the lecture are totally different. You two three other great talks to pick from and Brian Grasso’s hands-on..

1:00- After lunch you are simply going to have to pick based on your interest. Mark Verstegen is a personal favorite of mine. I enjoy watching him talk but, it is always tough to skip a Gray Cook talk. If you work with athletes you have to get to Al Vermeil’s talk. Al is a living legend. One thing you can count on is that the best coaches at the seminar will be in Al’s.

2:30- I have to admit, I hope I get a big crowd for my lecture but based on the competition I’m not sure. I think My Success Secrets talk might be the most valuable one I’ve ever given. I’m going to be honest. If you haven’t heard it come. It will make you better at your job. If you want something else, Brian Grasso lectures and Lee Burton and Michol Dalcourt have hands-on.

4:00- This is the first toss up. As I said, I prefer lectures and think both Lee and Martin’s will be good. Gray is always good. Once again you have another chance to see Al Vermeil. I’ll be at both of Al’s.

5:30- The great Thomas Plummer runs unopposed as usual. Do not head to the bar early. The beer is free after. Thomas always makes me think. I’ll be there.

Saturday June 25th

8:00- Thomas Myers is just an interesting speaker. His talk last year was one of the best attended. In addition Chris Poirier has scheduled two hands–on sessions that I know will be popular. John Brookfield doing ropes and Jason Brown doing kettlebells. This might split the crowd up a bit. I think John Graham has the toughest draw of the weekend.

9:45- 11- Toughest choice yet. Two great lectures and two great hands-ons.  For the first time ever Alwyn Cosgrove might not be my top choice. I’d probably opt for one of the two lectures. Todd Wright and Darcy Norman are to of may favorite guys. Talk about a tough pick?

11-12:15- Another tough one. As I mentioned before, Thomas Myers had the highest attendance of any lecture last year that I saw. I saw Brett Jones this year at the Austin One Day and really liked his talk. I also think Todd Wright is one of the best hands-on guys I know. John Graham is a great coach so I’m sure his hands-on will be excellent also.

1:15-2:30- This is a tough choice but, if you have not seen Todd Durkin’s Impact talk go.  He is an outstanding motivator. Todd is a guy who “walks the talk”. Very motivational.  You also can’t lose with any of the other three. Dos is just a great guy, funny and smart. If you are a science geek, go see Thomas Myers. Interested in kettlebells? See Brett.   Saturday might be some of the toughest choices in Summit history.

2:45-4 – Alwyn Cosgrove is both smart and funny. You can never lose seeing him. If you want nutrition info, see John Berardi. John is one of my go-to guys for nutrition info. If you want to get a workout, see Todd. Interested in rehab? See Darcy. Too many choices and I don’t think I am being much help.

4:35- Q+A. Get your questions answered at the end of the day, great opportunity.

Sunday  June 26th

8- Sunday is a pretty good day. The same six guys fill three time slots. I don’t know John Perry so I can’t really give an opinion. Eric Beard killed it in Providence by all accounts. Robb Rogers is just plain funny. Great start to a great day.

9:30-10:45- This is without a doubt another difficult time slot. I am going to say hit the lectures. I love listening to Greg Rose and, Charlie Weingroff will be a household name in our industry in a few short years.

11- 12:45- The weekend ends the way it began with tough choices. As I said, people raved about Eric’s lecture and you again have Greg and Charlie doing hands-on. I think Chuck Wolf gets the toughest draw of the weekend with this Sunday group.

Truth is, I can see why a few attendees come more than once. By coming three times I might see everything I want. You will not be so lucky. Hope my recommendations help.

New T-Nation Single Leg Training Article

Posted in Injuries, Low Back Pain, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on June 18, 2011 by mboyle1959

I just had a new article posted on T-Nation called 5 Superior Single Leg Exercises

It might be a little bit of preaching to the choir for those that read my blog.

Just FYI

1- I did not send in the huge legs picture that leads off

2- Read the Livespill comments at the end. Some are good, some make for great comedy.





Summer Training for Nine Year Olds

Posted in Hockey, Injuries, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on June 16, 2011 by mboyle1959

I originally posted this last spring but wanted to re-post it as we move into the summer. With the new Facebook and Twitter feeds I think it will get a lot more views.

Q- I need to put together a summer plan for my 9 yr old hockey team. Obviously I don’t want to look like a crazy person, but it would be something that I think could be good for my own kids as well. Is it too young?

My first reaction was to say “are you crazy”? Instead, slightly  tongue-in-cheek I developed the plan below.

Step 1- play another sport. Lacrosse is highly recommended as it has similar skills to hockey although baseball is fine. This does not mean another sport in addition to hockey. Summer is the off season.

Step 2- Cancel all hockey camp registrations except 1 week. Pick your favorite that has the largest number of your friends attending and go to that one. Ideally look for a camp that only has you on the ice once a day. No need to get blisters. You won’t get better in a week anyway.

Step 3- Cancel any summer hockey leagues you are scheduled for. The best players in the world never play summer hockey and, they never have. The only conceivable exception would be a weekly skill session lasting one hour. Another exception would be “play”. If ice is available and the kids can play, let them. Please remember play means NO COACHES or COACHING.

Step 4- Reread steps 1-3. Acknowledge that the key problem in youth sports is applying adult values to children’s activities.

Step 5- Go to the nearest bike shop. Get nice bikes for everyone in the family

Step 6- Ride the bikes, not in a race. For fun. Maybe put a few hockey cards in the spokes to make noise.

Step 7- Head to Walmart and buy fishing rods.

Step 8- Take the fishing rods to the nearest lake and fish.

Now That is an off-season plan for any nine year old.

Step 9- repeat steps 5-8 while continually rereading steps 1-3

11 Reason Why You Aren’t Getting Results

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts with tags on June 14, 2011 by mboyle1959

This a great blog post from a blog called Life Hack it was originally posted there on May 18, 2010.


All of us have goals. Goals like losing weight, earning more money, finding a life partner, setting up our business, achieving performance targets, being fitter, building better relationships, and so on. Some people seem to have no problem achieving their goals. Some, on the other hand, don’t seem to be able to make any progress.

I’ve a good amount of experience with goal achievement, having been actively setting goals since 10 years ago. I’ve experienced setbacks and successes in my goal pursuits. Running The Personal Excellence Blog (which is all about how to live in excellence and achieve our highest potential), I often receive reader mail seeking help for situations they are stuck in. I work with clients who are not getting results in life and want to turn things around. This has given me a lot of insights on what keeps people from success.

At the end of the day, if you find yourself stuck in your goals, it boils down to one (or some) of these 11 reasons:

1.       You Procrastinate. You keep putting things off. You talk about how you want to do something but you don’t act on it. You are like the howling dog. I recently wrote the story of the howling dog at The Personal Excellence Blog. The story refers to this dog, who keeps howling because it’s sitting on a nail. However, he refuses to get up from the nail. Why? Because it’s not painful enough. You procrastinate on taking action because the situation is not painful enough for you yet. However, the times when it does become painful enough are often the times when it’s too late to do anything. Either you start taking action, or you forever lay in peace. Your call, I’ll leave it to you.

2.      You underestimate your goal. Achieving a goal is about getting from point A to B. From point A, you create an action plan that gets you to point B. Sounds foolproof, except the action plan isn’t 100% valid. That’s because you’re setting the plan from point A. You haven’t even been to point B, so how do you even know if it’ll get you to B? At most it’ll be help to bring you closer to point B, but it’s not going to be 100% accurate. Almost all the time, people fail because they underestimate what it takes to achieve their goals. What should you do then? Over-commit your resources and review your progress constantly. (See Step #11 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity). Adjust your plan of action and adapt accordingly.

3.      You spend more time defending your problems than taking action. You complain how you are not getting XYZ results. When people try to give you suggestions, you spend more time justifying why their suggestions will not work and defending your lack of results than brainstorm with them on how to get out of your rut. Spend less time talking about your problems and use that time to think about solutions. Then act on them. You’ll get a lot more results this way, and you’ll be happier.

4.      You’re too enclosed in your own world. You don’t venture out beyond your normal routine. You do the same things, talk to the same old friends, act the same way, circle around the same issues. It’s no wonder you stagnate. Open yourself up – take active steps to grow. Get to know more people – people who are driven, positive and focused. Get new, refreshing perspectives. Read new books. Add new blogs to your subscription. Ask for feedback on how you can improve. Read my other lifehack guestpost – 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself.

5.       You’re not working smart. You do the same thing over and over, even when you don’t get results. You apply brute strength to your goals, without strategizing how you can apply this strength more effectively. If you are not getting what you want, it’s a signal it’s time to change what you have been doing. See how you can do this in a different, smarter, more effective way.Look at people who have achieved the same results before, and learn from them.

6.      Avoidance (Fear). You avoid taking action because some of the things you have to do intimidate you. You rather delay the process as much as possible. Unfortunately, results are not going to come automatically from delaying. Results come to people who pay their dues, not people who avoid the work. The fear isn’t going to go away by waiting it out. Face the fear and do it anyway.

7.       You’re easily distracted. You get distracted by things thrown in your way. Your attention gets diverted from your goals. Your ability to stay focused is instrumental to achieving your results. Be clear of what you want and stick to it. Don’t let anything (or anyone) distract you. These are the obstacles the universe sends your way to see how serious you are about getting what you want.

8.      You over-complicate situations. Common among the neurotic perfectionists. If you are a neurotic perfectionist, you blow the situation out of proportion and create this mental image that’s so complicated that it’s no wonder you don’t get anything done. Things are usually simpler than you think – be conscious when you are adding unnecessarily complications for yourself. I wrote about this in detail in Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

9.      You give up too easily. You give up before you even get anywhere. If you read “The Dip”, you’ll know all big goals comes with a dipping point – a chasm where it seems nothing you do is giving you results. It’s normal. This is the point that differentiates those who deserve the goal and those who are just taking a casual stab at it. I’ve a client who has a penchant for giving up in his goals early on. He realized soon that there’s no “easy” way out, and all goals have their own set of obstacles to be overcome. Persevere, press on, and it’s a matter of time before you reap the fruits of your labor.

10.   You lose sight of your goals. You settle for less, forgetting the goals you once set. That’s bad because then you are just stifling yourself and making do with what you have – and this isn’t who you are meant to be. You have to first reconnect with your inner desires. If you cannot fail at all, what would you want to do? What are your biggest hopes and dreams for your future? What is the future you want to create for yourself? Reignite your vision and don’t ever lose sight of it. It’s your fuel to your success.Read more about goal-setting in Step #1 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

11.    You’re too stuck in your ways. You insist on doing things a certain way. You don’t open yourself up to new ideas. Guess what? You’ll remain stuck in your situation, too. Open yourself to new methods. Experiment. You can only improve if you are willing to try new things.

If you haven’t noticed, these 11 reasons are self-created problems – you can easily dismiss them just as you have created them. The more accurate title for this post should be “11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Successful – Yet“. Your goals are in your hands – you can achieve them as long as you strive for them. Address the 11 things blocking you from your success, and it’s a matter of time before you achieve results you seek.


Evolution of a Fitness Enthusiast

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts on June 13, 2011 by mboyle1959

Here’s a great guest blog from member Robert Rey


I found Coach Boyle’s article Evolution of a Strength Coach quite interesting and thought I’d briefly share my journey, which is a bit different but has some similarities. I’m not a strength coach, athletic trainer, or even a personal trainer. I’m simply a fitness enthusiast who because of cost and location is trying to make the most of his time at a big box commercial gym. I managed to avoid the Powerlifter and Injured Powerlifter stages, but the middle stages I went though could be considered as bad or worse. Anyway, no question here really but I hope all who read this find it interesting.

Stage 1 – The Clueless Machine User

I had no instruction and no clue what I was doing, so I went around and did sets of ten on all the machines 3 times in circuit fashion.

Stage 2 – The Bodybuilder

This is the same as Coach Boyle’s Stage 1. We’re all too familiar with this stage so I’ll move on to the next.

(Note: Stages 3 and 4 happened simultaneously for the most part. I can’t really remember which came first.)

Stage 3 – The Unstable Surface Guy

In this stage I was doing what I thought was functional training but it really wasn’t. I was absolutely in love with the Swiss ball and used it for every exercise I could. I was trying to see how far I could push the limits of balance and unstable surface training and did a lot of stupid and dangerous stuff like squats standing on a Swiss ball.

Stage 4 – Everything but the Kitchen Sink

In this stage I was doing long workouts and was completely obsessed with cramming in as much variety as possible. I was doing everything from squats standing on a Swiss ball (as mentioned in the previous stage) to seated machine preacher curls. Name any exercise good or bad and I was probably doing it in this stage.

Stage 5 – The Functional Training Guy

In the previous stage I was doing a lot of good exercises (along with the bad) so this stage is more about cutting out exercises then it is about adding more. This is by no means a completed journey. I’m continually revising and improving as I learn more. I still err on the side of having too big of a tool box, too much variety, and workouts that go too long. I guess I’m a gym rat that likes too many exercises. I have managed to cut out the crazy unsafe unstable surface training, seated machine exercises, lumbar flexion/extension/rotation exercises, and most of the other not-so-great stuff.

Training Elite Athletes- Be Brilliant at the Basics

Posted in Guest Authors, Training, Training Females with tags , on June 9, 2011 by mboyle1959

Training Elite Athletes- Be Brilliant at the Basics

( Editors note- my good friend Dewey Nielsen wrote this as an MMA article. It was so good I edited it to apply to all sports)

What works best for an athlete? Linear or undulating periodization? Kettlebells or dumbbells? Olympic lifts from the floor or hang? What do you do for conditioning?

I get questions like these a lot and usually my answer comes down to “it doesn’t matter”. I am not saying that undulating periodization doesn’t work or kettlebells are worthless. What I am saying is these things only matter once you are “Brilliant at the Basics”. You must first understand a few things:

What is strength?
What is endurance?
What is power?
What is power endurance?
What is speed?
What is agility?
What is mobility?
What is anaerobic and aerobic conditioning?

What are all of these things and how should we train them? Where do these components fit into a program? What order should they be trained? And the most important question, “can your athletes lift correctly”? Everything goes out the window if your athletes are performing the program with sloppy technique. What is the point of flipping tires and swinging sledge hammers (neither of which I do) if an athlete can’t squat, lunge or do a pushup with good form?

To say that the strength and conditioning world often is archaic or that some strength coaches are in the dinosaur age is an understatement. Some of the things I see coaches do with world-class athletes are not just un-educated, they are thoughtless, dangerous and irresponsible.

The questions above are basic and that’s the point. The thing that separates a novice from an expert is the ability for the expert to perform the basics extremely well. This is the same thing we tell our students and coaches. Beginners always want to learn advanced skills before they master the basics. The difference between good and great is being “Brilliant at the Basics”. As I grow older and more educated I constantly become more intrigued by the basics. Does this make me an expert? I don’t know. What I do know is that every year I feel like I know more and less at the same time. And I like that. It is very apparent that the quest of knowledge is never ending. So I guess it is safe to say that my job will never get boring.

Dewey Nielsen is a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He is the co- founder/co-owner of Impact Performance Training and the co-founder/owner/coach of Impact Jiu-jitsu. Dewey is primarily located in Newberg and Beaverton, Oregon and can be reached at or

Want a Simple Workout?

Posted in Random Thoughts, Training, Uncategorized on June 5, 2011 by mboyle1959

Do you want a simple workout that you can do just about anywhere? Check out this one we did for Men’s Health magazine. I think the link is actually to Men’s Health Malaysia. They call a push-up a press-up and they use the dreaded Bulgarian Split Squat name but this is as good and as simple as it gets.

MBSC on StrengthCoach TV

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags on June 3, 2011 by mboyle1959

If you have a few minutes check out MBSC on StrengthCoach TV . StrengthCoach TV is another great concept from Anthony Renna of StrengthCoach Podcast fame. On StrengthCoach TV Anthony visits successful coaches and their facilities and literally takes you inside. Take a look.