25 Mistakes 25 Years


Originally Published: Saturday, 14 April 2007 at www.t-nation.com. Many of my readers think this is the best thing I have ever written.

This year I’ll enter my twenty-fifth year as a strength and conditioning coach. Last month I watched Barbara Walters celebrate her thirtieth year with a special called “30 Mistakes in 30 Years.” I’m going to celebrate my twenty-fifth anniversary by telling you my top twenty-five mistakes. Hopefully I’ll save you some time, pain, and injury. Experience is a wonderful but impatient teacher. And unfortunately, our experiences in strength and conditioning sometimes hurt people besides us.

Mistake #1: Knowing it all.

I love Oscar Wilde’s quote, “I’m much too old to know everything.” Omniscience is reserved for the young. As the old saying goes, you have one mouth and two ears for a reason. I’d take it a step further and say the ratio is four to one: two eyes, two ears, and one mouth.

To continue down the cliché road, how about this one: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” When I was young I had many answers and few questions. I knew the best way to do everything. Now that I’m older I’m not sure if I even know a good way to do anything.

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6 Responses to “25 Mistakes 25 Years”

  1. I like mistake #1. It is very important as health professionals to understand that we do not know everything! Exercise science and the research behind it is relatively knew and growing, therefore no one knows everything and we can all learn.

  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    Fred- I think you made a nice move years ago heading to the Islands. By the way Coach Tighe was quite a man. Not many like that.

  3. Fred Hupprich Says:

    A lot of those mistakes really hit home Mike. I’m going to be 69 years old this July and I realize I could stand a block of self improvement. I always tried to be just like Bill Tighe, but I realize that he is one-of-a-kind and very few if any will be just like him. So I’m just going to have to read your 25 mistakes all over again and maybe by this time next year I can reduce the number by four or five. Go Malden, go Wakefield thanks Fred

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    Please, I’m only 53. Don’t age me too fast.

  5. In 12 years I have made a few, but luckily I have listened to many blazing the path for me like you, and steered clear of most mistakes. I am sure I will have 25 of my own when I hit 57yo.
    Thanks for reposting this.

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