Archive for April, 2016

I Don’t Look Like a Fitness Model and That’s OK

Posted in MBSC News, Nutrition on April 29, 2016 by mboyle1959

For all of us who aren’t really happy with the way we look ( and that’s all of us),

I_dont_work_outread this from the folks at Precision Nutrition

That Fit Person Who’s Got It All Together Doesn’t


Summer Training for Nine Year Olds

Posted in Hockey, MBSC News, Training, Youth Training with tags on April 28, 2016 by mboyle1959

I  wanted to re-post this again as we move into the summer. This was originally written a few years ago in response to a question for a former athlete.

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 parents 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.

Want a Copy of the StrengthCoach “Top 10 Articles- Performance”?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2016 by mboyle1959

We want you to be experience some of the great content on, so we are giving everyone the opportunity to grab one of the Member Bonuses

“Top Ten Articles- Performance”


This is a group of articles I have compiled from the last few years on  I put it into one PDF to make it easy to ramp up with some of the must-know concepts in Strength & Conditioning.

Click here to grab your Free pdf!

Guest Post and Staying Injury Free in Soccer

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2016 by mboyle1959

Former MBSC athlete Lexi Poyant has started a blog for young soccer players thinking about playing in college.

Check out her post on Playing Injury Free

Making Lacrosse Fun

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2016 by mboyle1959

My son is pretty good at lacrosse. This year I had to force him to play ( I know, I shouldn’t do that). The number one reason he didn’t want to play? Practice wasn’t fun. Practice was boring.

Take a look at how USA Lacrosse is following USA Hockey in keeping more kids in the sport by making it more fun.

MBSC client Bob Bigelow ( father of MBSC coach Steve Bigelow) wrote a book called Just Let the Kids Play. That’s the key, play.

Small Sided Games for Lacrosse

You Win in the Locker Room First

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2016 by mboyle1959

Mike Smith  ( former Falcons head coach) and Jon Gordon ( Hard Hat, Energy Bus) have written one of my new favorite books. Not only will this be our next MBSC Book Club read for April but, I’ve already bought copies for friends in the coaching field.


Gordon is obviously a great writer but, Mike Smith is what really makes this book. Smith’s honesty about what brought down the Falcons is invaluable for anyone who coaches at any level.

Here are just a few of my notes:

Pg 17 Coach Smith on the first season after being one play away from the Superbowl –

“ instead of starting over from the beginning and continuing to focus on the process… we focused only on the outcome… I allowed the pressure to steer us away from the very things that had made us successful… I let outside forces and pressure weaken our culture.”

Pg 33 Jon Gordon- on negative coaches and teammates “ a negative coach can sabotage the entire teams performance… we also know that one negative teammate can sabotage a team”

Pg 35 Mike Smith- on complaining “ I gave the guy bracelets with “No Complaining” on them and told them they weren’t allowed to complain. If they had a complaint they could bring it to me but, only if they also had a suggested solution to the complaint”.

Pg 54 Jon Gordon on communication and negativity “Most teams break down because of poor communication…if there is a void in communication negativity will fill it. ”

Pg 63- Jon Gordon on the power of an outside voice “ never underestimate the power of an outside voice… when it ( info) comes from an outside voice, it’s new fresh exciting…”

Pg 67 “team beats talent when talent isn’t a team”…

Pg 69 Jon Gordon on connection:

“ one of the biggest complaints I get from coaches is that their teams aren’t connected. They have a bunch of young men or women who usually focus on themselves, their personal goals, their social media followings and their egos. They usually have family and friends telling them they should be playing more, scoring more, or getting more recognition. The message they get from the world is that it’s all about the individual, not the team. It’s about me, not we.

Pg 78- Jon Gordon Three Great Team Building Exercises

Hero, Hardship, Highlight- each team members describes their hero, a hardship they had to overcome and the highlight of their career

Defining Moment- everyone shares their defining moment

If You Really Knew Me, You Would Know This About Me

Pg 83 Chapter 6 Commitment- “It’s not about you. It’s about committing yourself to the team.”

Pg 98- “Humility doesn’t mean think less of yourself, it means thinking of yourself less”

Pg 121- “True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders”

Pg 125- Character matters. You need talent but talent without character is like a car with no gas. “Character drives talent toward greatness”

Pg 131- Mike Smith ‘ passion involves a belief in something. Emotions involve feelings about something…. Emotions are hard to control and usually self serving and illogical…. Passion on the other hand is the engine that drives you to be a great leader and to build a great team.”

Pg 135- Jon Gordon- “ when people ask me how long it takes to be an overnight success I say at least 10 years. .. Starbucks did not reach store number 5 until 13 years into it’s history…Sam Walton did not oen his second store until 7 years after stating his company.”

If you are a coach or a business owner, read You Win in the Locker Room First, you’ll thank me.




Power Athlete Podcast

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on April 5, 2016 by mboyle1959

A few weeks ago I went on the Power Athlete Podcast with John Welbourn and Luke Summers and talked training. Interesting conversation with the guys that developed Crossfit Football

Here’s the link:

Power Athlete Podcast

Don’t Look Into My Window (until you talk to me first)- Guest Post

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2016 by mboyle1959

Here is a free article on StrengthCoach written by Strength Coach Podcast host Anthony Renna.  It’s a good counter point, one that goes back to the old “Once you actually know the rules, you can break a few.”

Don’t Look Into My Window (until you talk to me first)

“I often ask coaches or trainers to visualize a prospective athlete or client simply watching a workout through a window.  No sound, just the visual.  Are they impressed?  This is the mirror and the window.  Coach like people are always watching and like it’s a direct reflection of your skills.”  Michael BoyleDesigning Strength Training Programs and Facilities   

This is certainly great advice from Coach Boyle.  I always have it in the back of my head as I train and coach my clients.  One of the core values at Five Iron Fitness is “Complete Focus” and this is perfectly in line with the idea of “Coach like people are always watching and like it’s a direct reflection of your skills.

But I also have a little bit of a problem with this idea.  I have a few clients who I would not want you to be watching…unless we spoke first.


Because they don’t always have the best form, even after training with me for 11 years

Because without truly understanding a person’s background, you can’t really understand their program.

Because if you don’t know that person’s injury history, you won’t understand why they aren’t doing certain exercises.

Because if you don’t know their personality, then you won’t understand why they can’t chew gum and foam roll at the same time. (literally)

Because if you don’t know that person’s goals, you can’t make a judgment about their “skinny fat” belly and say the program is not working.  Maybe they’re not here to get rid of it.

Because if you don’t know what is going on in their personal life, you can’t always understand their focus or effort.

Case Study

I train Stan Golden (76) with his wife 2-3x a week for the last 11 years.

Here is what an hour with Stan looks like:

Click here to read the rest of the article. You do not have to be a member to read it, it’s in our Free Articles section.


Coaching Must Reads

Posted in Fat Loss, Guest Authors, MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Uncategorized with tags on April 1, 2016 by mboyle1959

Doug Pearson, one of our MBSC Thrive licensees, asked me to come up with an updated book list. I sat in front of my book shelf and wrote down titles to share. Here they are, with links for easy ordering.

Start with Why– Simon Senek – maybe my favorite of the last year and the motivation behind my new Functional Strength Coach 6 DVD’s


Talk Like Ted– Carmine Gallo, another big influence that really got me thinking about effective presentations.


You Win in the Locker Room First- Jon Gordon and Mike Smith – I just finished this and have already begun to buy copies as gifts. A must read for every coach as Mike Smith open’s up about what failed in Atlanta ( not many coaches are that candid).


Extreme Ownership- Jocko Willink and Leif Babin – a great read on leadership in business that I’ve already reviewed here.


Slight Edge– Jeff Olsen – my favorite personal development book of the last year.


Legacy– James Kerr – my favorite book ever on team building and culture creation.


David and Goliath– Malcolm Gladwell, another Gladwell classic


Five Dysfunctions of a Team- Patrick Lencioni , another tremendous team building book. This is a must read for every manager and every staff.


Creating Magic- Lee Cockrell – one of my favorites of the last few years. I found myself repeating Cockrell’s quote “what if the way we always did was wrong” quite a bit.



The One Thing- Gary Keller – read this one and then really think about the message. It might change more than one thing.


One Word That Will Change Your Life- Jon Gordon and Jimmy Page – I can tell you that reading this made me a better husband and a better father, two things that are more important than being a better coach.


Training Soccer Champions- Anson Dorrance and Tim Nash – this is one of my absolute favorite coaching books and the best I have ever read specifically about coaching female athletes. I have purchased and gifted at least 15 of these for friends that coach females.



Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs – Carmine Gallo – a great book about a true genius ( maybe not the best guy but, a genius nonetheless)


Why We Get Fat- Gary Taubes – this book will really make you think. I probably also should add End of Overeating to this list

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Goals- Brian Tracey – this is an all time favorite. Whenever I meet anyone looking for career advice the first thing I say is “have you read Goals”?


Today Matters- John Maxwell – one of many Maxwell classics