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NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Episode 53: Tex McQuilkin

by Scott P. Caulfield, MA, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D, and Christopher M. McQuilkin, CSCS
Coaching Podcast May 2019

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Tex McQuilkin, Director of Training and Education at Power Athlete, talks to the NSCA Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Scott Caulfield, about McQuilkin’s work at Power Athlete, his athletic background, and his start into strength and conditioning. Topics under discussion include Power Athlete’s education program, McQuilkin’s experiences working with athletes, and his graduate assistant position.

Follow Tex on Instagram: @McQuilkin |Find Scott on Twitter: @scottcaulfield

Episode transcript

Show Notes

“How do you start to see movement and coaching, and direct it specifically towards their sport?”      14:10

“I’m a land guy, I had to basically get into the pool and learn how to swim to help communicate with these swimmers” 14:20

“We need to know that you know what you’re doing”       17:56

“If you want to do this, you do what you need to do”        19:35

“People that love coaching don’t think about it that way”   21:28

“Don’t complain if you’re not doing anything about it”      23:11

“We are teaching the fundamentals of the fundamentals”   24:30

“You have to learn the sport … It makes you a better coach”         34:35

Reporting Errors: To report errors in a podcast episode requiring correction or clarification, email the editor at publications@nsca.com or write to NSCA, attn: Publications Dept., 1885 Bob Johnson Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Your letter should be clearly marked as a letter of complaint. Please (a) identify in writing the precise factual errors in the published podcast episode (every false, factual assertion allegedly contained therein), (b) explain with specificity what the true facts are, and (c) include your full name and contact information.

Transcript

[00:00:00.43] [MUSIC PLAYING]

[00:00:01.29] Welcome to NSCA's Coaching Podcast, episode 53.

[00:00:06.39] I'm a land guy, so I had to get in the pool and almost basically learn how to swim to help communicate and get these swimmers in the right position for all these different movements and lifts.

[00:00:19.17] This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, where we talk to strength and conditioning coaches about what you really need to know but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

[00:00:29.97] Welcome to the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. I'm Scott Caulfield. Today, from chilly and snowy Indianapolis here, the 2019 Coaches Conference with my friend Tex McQuilkin, director of training and education with Power Athlete out of Austin, Texas. Tex, welcome to the show, man.

[00:00:47.55] Excited. Excited leading off. They're getting set up all around us, man, so this will be a great--

[00:00:52.88] Yeah.

[00:00:53.14] --episode.

[00:00:53.69] We're literally the first people in the exhibit hall here today, so if you hear beeping or any bangs in the background, it's just forklifts being driven around us. But we're safe here.

[00:01:03.96] They just turned the lights on. I thought were going to have a nice little set the mood podcast.

[00:01:09.18] Yeah. I had asked them to set the mood for us, but I guess they're trying to get their day started. Cool. Well, tell us, for people who are-- been under a rock and aren't familiar with what Power Athlete does, tell me a little bit about what you guys do overall, and specifically what your position is about.

[00:01:28.33] Power Athlete-- we're a worldwide strength and conditioning organization, and our focus is empowering your performance and unlocking athletic potential. So we do that in many different ways. One's online programming. Most of our clients-- they're ex-college athletes. They know how to lift weights, but they just want to be told what to do. So we, through TrainHeroic, deliver program for six different training goals.

[00:01:48.75] Just Reverse Engineer for what guys want. Jacked Street, one of our most popular ones. We got Field Strong, which is more sprint, speed, change of direction for those old ex-athletes. And then some intro, like I sold my sister on one of them. We got one called Lean & Able. It's basically not a barbell, but some resistance training. Pick up the dumbbells, some kettle bells that I gifted her, so just to get people moving well based off our principles through training. We also do nutrition.

[00:02:18.31] And then my pillar in the business is education. So I've had amazing mentors, teachers in my strength and conditioning journey. So I try to take those lessons, synthesize them, and put them into a package that is digestible for young coaches to then apply. Because I know the gym owner, the intern, you can't necessarily go and have all these different experiences, like the internship if you're a gym owner, or go and have a client for four years when I'm there for eight weeks as an intern.

[00:02:51.44] So what lessons can we accelerate the education process for these people so they can get the benefit, but still be in a position to empower whoever they're working with at their moment in time? So education-- that's our podcast, our articles that we put out, and then our online methodology course.

[00:03:09.80] Yeah, and that's new-- online methodology course-- maybe a year or two years now?

[00:03:15.15] Let's see, June 2016.

[00:03:17.99] Yeah, so coming up on three. And that is NSCA CEU approved, right?

[00:03:23.12] 1.5.

[00:03:23.67] 1.5, outstanding. So there's an online course, and there's also an in-person part of that? Or that's a separate--

[00:03:31.14] That's a test, so the course is in place, and we have a lot of fathers in there that just want to learn how to protect their kids from their sport coaches, as well as how they can teach their kids how to lift weights. So that's a lot of our clientele demographic. But then we also have the professional and those that are interested in getting some feedback on their coaching technique.

[00:03:53.25] We have them out to Austin for a weekend to just have an experience. We have a keynote speaker, so each weekend-- we do a quarterly four times a year-- they get their own keynote speaker to learn experience. And then Saturday, we put them to the test, literally. So there's practical coaching tests and comprehension. And then we have what we call a field strong test, where we just put them in uncomfortable situations and try to develop a team, and build some character, and find out who people are, and call them out for any nonsense, any-- I don't want to curse here. But any bull honky that they're trying to put on a face. And we're like, no. Let's be real. We're trying to make you better, and the only way to do that is shake them a little bit, make them lift something heavy, and put them in a position where they fail.

[00:04:39.04] Yeah. I've seen it. It involves some sort of flipper type up a hill, I think, if I recall.

[00:04:45.23] Yeah. Welbourn-- his latest skill and endeavor, and really hobby, is welding. So he welded himself like a giant-- we're calling it a boar-- but just loaded tire, basically.

[00:04:58.73] Nice. That's great. And how many people do you have through that program now?

[00:05:05.27] 75. 75 through that test. We're just calling it block one. John welds you a block.

[00:05:11.03] Yeah. Nice. I've seen those. Those are super cool.

[00:05:13.06] Yeah, he's getting good. He's getting good.

[00:05:14.37] Yeah. That's great.

[00:05:14.84] First class versus-- we got our seventh coming up, so hopefully break 100 in the next few months.

[00:05:21.02] Awesome. That's good stuff. Yeah, man. I like following you guys, and I like the stuff you guys are doing. So keep up the good work. Definitely want to talk because you've got an interesting path. You've done a little bit of everything. And I think let's kind of go back to how it all started, and coming from being an athlete and getting into coaching. Talk a little bit about where you initially realized strength and conditioning was going to be a possibility.

[00:05:49.56] I always grew up in Katy, Texas. Football is life. It was an amazing experience. We lifted. I started lifting weights in sixth grade, but we didn't know what the hell was going on. I didn't know what I was doing, just because I assumed activity was achievement. Kind of go into a John Wooten quote, but I was way off. So I had a lot of questions weightlifting, but no sport coach was able to answer those-- the old ball coach.

[00:06:15.47] And then I get the opportunity to go play lacrosse in Division III, Marymount University, in Arlington, Virginia. And my assumption, because all my boys would go play football, was you get a weight room, you get a strength coach, you get all that in college sports. And I walk into a fitness center at my college, and I'm like, this won't do. The only way I was going to compete-- like lacrosse player from Texas 15 years ago? That's an anomaly.

[00:06:40.33] So it was basically football with a stick for me. Now the sport's growing, which is amazing. But I walk into a fitness center. I have to convince the assistant coach to go find a squat rack. So he was part-time high school coach, part-time college coach. Gets a squat rack donated from his high school so I have something to train on. Again, it was just now stealing workouts that Mad Dog was putting out for my buddies who were playing at UT.

[00:07:08.09] This is the 2005 national championship team program, and he got some Division III genetic trashcan playing trying to do all these lifts. Thankfully I didn't get hurt, and thankfully any of the kids that were forced to work with me didn't get hurt. And like true lacrosse players ever since the word, they didn't grow up playing football, or training or lifting weights. So this was all brand new to them, and that was my first biggest coaching experience.

[00:07:37.18] And started four years, had some fun, and I guess earned the respect of my sport coaches enough where they asked me to be a grad assistant on the team that I just finished playing. So I go in and still, I was recruiting guys that had an intuition and a feel for the sport that I still had not developed. I'd only been playing six years, including my college career.

[00:08:01.97] So I had to find a way to make an impact with the team. Stick with what I love was with lifting weights and sprinting as fast as you freaking can. I just didn't know how to really teach that. So my first session as the, I guess, assistant coach and director of training at Marymount-- I just made up a title. They didn't have a strength coach. And we didn't have a weight room. We needed overhead strength, so I'm thinking, all right.

[00:08:27.52] We got our lacrosse wall in the backfield where we play catch with. So I asked our team to kick up into a handstand to just-- we're going to hold that as long as we can. And these were my friends. They were my former teammates, but now they were my athletes. And a senior on the team-- I asked him to kick up into a handstand, and he tears his rotator cuff. Goes down.

[00:08:51.61] This is September of 2009, so I took away his last opportunity to play the sport that he loved. This was my friend. He was my athlete, and I took away his performance, his opportunity to play. And I took that with a heavy heart, like I ruined this kid's life, basically. But now we're cool, like alumni weekends. But I needed to find a teacher, a coach, somebody to actually show me what to do.

[00:09:18.94] So I got on the internet and found John Welbourn and Rafael Luis, and they had a weekend seminar in December 2009. It was September, so I took my last dollars in grad school-- it wasn't a lot-- flew out to California and had my first exposure to strength and conditioning, and coaching. Real, not just stealing programs. So that was actually an investment in my education.

[00:09:44.03] So I spent two days with those guys-- completely blew my mind. And I took everything I learned back to my Division III team. So I had three years to apply it. I had full investment from the sport coach, because he didn't know. He was like, yeah, go do what ever you want. We want to win. And I broke a few omelets to learn how to coach with some athletes.

[00:10:06.60] And at that moment, I realized I finally got a feel for coaching and teaching movement. I need to up the ante. I'm a competitive person, so Division III-- it wasn't good enough, or at least that team. I'd been with them for eight years. I needed more. So I hit up Mike Hill at Georgetown University, and I wanted to just volunteer. But fortunately, they had like the number four part-time coach position open, and it just kind of linked and worked out.

[00:10:37.35] So Mike put me on. I got to work with women's crew, assist with men's, women's lacrosse. And that was a great learning experience, because I'm not a water guy, but I got to take on the crew team and I had to actually look at the sport, identify what the sport needed for the girls and the guys, and then look at the athletes. Like I could read all his books, see all this. Oh, they need this and that, or the coach wants this or that, but then I had these athletes.

[00:11:04.50] Georgetown's unique that, I guess, part of their recruiting to field that big crew team is just finding tall girls on campus, so no weightlifting experience. They're coming in, so my goal was just to make them better athletes. So take crew team, make them better athletes, and the coach is all in on that. So I got to experiment more with not just applying everything I knew, trying to learn new things, and really fortunately get creative-- nothing crazy, but just how I would communicate to these girls that didn't have the best coordination.

[00:11:39.68] And getting buy-in, finding different ways to break down movement, put them in good positions to learn how to move. So fears there-- how Georgetown works-- a long journey. Make a long story longer, but how Georgetown works-- commuter school, so summers are not as invested in the strength and conditioning. So they didn't necessarily need my help. So I wanted to expand my experience.

[00:12:03.16] So again, used my buddies that play football at Texas to connect with Donnie May. And 27 years old at this point, and hit him up about an internship just for the summer. And he's like, are you sure you want to do this? And fortunately, he accepted me, and took me on there. So it was a great, great learning experience to work with a different level of athlete.

[00:12:26.50] And that was amazing, because you had these-- I guess broke it down into three levels. You had the walk-ons that you told them to do anything, they would run through the freaking wall, and they would say, all right, how many times? And then you had the level of athlete where they believed every single rep was going to lead to a national championship. Amazing.

[00:12:45.06] And then you had the guys that had that amazing ability, naturally, but nah. No, I'm cool. So you had this program that all three of these different levels of motivated athlete had to adhere to. So OK, how is this freaking 5' 7" white kid going to connect with all these players to get them invested in this program? So that was an amazing learning experience, and great athletes to find now the communication level.

[00:13:16.49] I felt confident in my coaching and communication ability, but the motivation-- that was one of my biggest takeaways there working with Mad Dog and Benny Wiley. And from there, back to Georgetown. And then the next break, I went down to Tampa Bay, Florida. Worked one-on-one with Rafael Luis, who I'd met in 2009. And at this point in his career, he's working with some heavyweight boxers, as well as USA swim, so team elite.

[00:13:44.58] So I got to work-- heavyweight boxers. Again, freaking 5' 7" kid next to Antonio Tarver. So those of you who don't know, he was Mason "The Line" Dixon in Rocky 6. That's Antonio Tarver, heavyweight champion. So working with him. And then next, you turn around, and then you've got to correct these swimmers. So how do you start to see movement in coaching and then direct it specifically towards their sport, and how they can see it and feel it?

[00:14:15.57] And again, I'm not a swimmer, I'm a land guy. So I had to get in the pool and basically learn how to swim to help communicate and get these swimmers in the right position for all these different movements and lifts. So that was cool.

[00:14:30.88] And then after that, I took a opportunity at St. Albans school in Washington, DC, a prep school, private school, for a couple years as Power Athlete was growing. Again, teaching Power Athlete clinics-- that clinic that I went to the weekend in summer of 2009, I had maintained my relationship with John, was able to teach, work for him and teach alongside him all these weekends that afforded me all these low-paying coaching opportunities. I just wanted it to be the best.

[00:15:04.27] So St. Albans-- that was cool. I again got autonomy, got to do whatever I wanted with the athletes and rearranged their weight room, had them throw out some old machines. I just wanted space because we wanted to teach them how to move versus just focus on a muscle group now. They needed coordination. They needed to put on some size, so a meat suit to compete in this very competitive conference. Landon High School up there, so Episcopal, any of y'all in the mid-Atlantic, you know all these schools, and they needed to compete with them in the field of sport.

[00:15:38.93] So that was a great experience. Two years. Again, small town kid going to work with some private school kids-- that was a little bit of a learning curve. Again, the motivation-- how do you teach adversity and things like that? So it was fun in that. And after that opportunity, we grew Power Athlete to the point where I was full-time, and then got, again, autonomy to create the education journey, to deliver it to the coaches out there, and then see how far we can push this information, push the methodology, push the field. That's the objective now.

[00:16:16.66] We were hoarding this information like we wouldn't be able to push it. If we were only teaching in a two-day clinic, then I can't think about all the details and the information. It was like drinking from a water hose. Now we just have people digest it at their own pace, and then we have conversations about it.

[00:16:36.11] That's awesome. Yeah, I think we were talking a little bit, too, about I said that you've got a really cool path with all these different things you've done and somewhat unique. But I think so many of us that have gotten into this have very similar, different journeys, if that makes sense.

[00:16:54.70] Oh, yeah.

[00:16:54.97] But I want to kind of go back to when you mentioned reaching out to Mike Hill at Georgetown. And I'm sure, knowing him as such a great guy and coach, he would have taken on volunteers, as well. But how did that kind of pan out? So did you just cold call him, or you looked him up on the internet?

[00:17:15.82] I wish I was that bold. My girlfriend at the time played lacrosse for him.

[00:17:20.28] Nice, so a little in, kind of.

[00:17:22.01] Yeah.

[00:17:22.30] Yeah, perfect.

[00:17:22.66] Had a little in. But I didn't have any certifications. So I got what I needed. It was summer 2012, and yeah, had to just go all in on essentials. I had to pass. I'm in this position, but I got to do one thing, so I had to pass the CSCS test to even get this opportunity. So that was Mike's guidance in that respect, like you know what you're doing, but we need to know that you know what you're doing.

[00:17:55.59] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's huge, and great for liability. And Mike is on our CSCS exam development committee, too, so he's been helping kind of evaluate and re-evaluate the exam, and help-- they determine whether it best supports the job of the strength coach. And then they edit it, and they change stuff around, so he's been part of that process. Pretty cool.

[00:18:23.16] I like what you said, too, about never working with swimmers, and then having to figure that out, because I had a similar experience. The first team I worked with was a rugby team at Norwich University. It's the oldest military school in the country. It's a D-III school in Vermont. And the rugby coach had actually seen me do something. I was doing like a class for some little kids-- third and fourth graders-- that his daughter happened to be in.

[00:18:46.32] He came up after. He pulled me aside, and he goes, hey, you think you could do this kind of fitness stuff for college rugby guys? And I had literally never even seen rugby before. And I was like, yeah. I'm pretty sure I could. And then he sat down with me, talked to me about sport positions, demands of positions, injury sites. And then I went through the same thing like you're talking about-- needs analysis. All right. Let's look at where are these guys, and then develop stuff from that.

[00:19:14.58] And it was a really cool learning experience, and kind of ended up snowballing into a lot of other strength and conditioning gigs for me. Went to Dartmouth, worked with their rugby team first, and similar to what you were saying, like volunteered with football, then got hired on, then worked with swimming. So I think the underlying effect that I hope people are taking away from that is that if you want to do this, you do what you need to do. Right?

[00:19:40.80] Oh, 100%.

[00:19:41.48] And you have other side hustle jobs if you have to. And I don't think I thought anything of it at the time, but training football at Dartmouth at 5:30 AM set-ups, and going through there, then going to my other job-- a sports performance facility-- during the day, training people throughout the day in the afternoon, training myself in the middle of day, going back for rugby at night probably till 9:00 PM.

[00:20:08.22] And I don't know. When I think back about it, like how did I do it? But I don't ever remember thinking, oh, this is so hard, or this sucks. I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

[00:20:19.13] Oh, yeah. It's the love of coaching, the love of improvement and competition. Nothing replaced game day for me. I loved it as an athlete, loved it as a coach. And then I guess the transition where I don't have to stress about the plays or running the box in lacrosse, I could just be on the sidelines. You know, Welbourn jokes that they're just keeping back coaches. Strength coaches are just keeping back coaches. I'm like, yeah. I get the best seat in the house.

[00:20:47.58] So I still loved game day and that sideline, or even going to the regattas for the girls on the Potomac in DC. Nothing replaces that, but that's got to be earned. It's not just something given. One of the guys I was talking to last night had an intern that I guess called him and asked him for sideline tickets. He was like, no. This is my career. This is my livelihood. And you just want this to get on the sideline. You're out.

[00:21:20.88] Yeah. I think that if-- you know, it's that same cliche that if you love what you do, you never work day in your life. But people who love coaching don't think about all these other things. And I know there's a lot of talk now, too, in social media and the profession about pay and different things. And obviously I think that's becoming better across the board.

[00:21:48.60] We just did a salary survey. The results are out now, and I think it paints a picture a little bit better than what people thought. It's not great. It's still not outstanding. But I mean, when you think about the profession, it's still pretty young. And if you think about sport coaching, and you were going down the sport coaching path, sport coaches don't get paid that much either.

[00:22:11.71] Nope.

[00:22:12.93] I think we like to stand on our soapbox and sometimes say, woe is me, strength and conditioning. But honestly, it's the profession of coaching. There's the anomalies. Obviously power five schools, basketball-- there's big money sports where coaches are making outrageous money. But coaches in D-III, and D-II, and other schools, they're not making that much money.

[00:22:35.60] No. They're coaching camps during the summer, and they're on their grind, as well. So every coach is in a grind.

[00:22:43.72] Yeah. And I think that's my message, is that we are not the only ones and it's growing. Luckily, I think strength and conditioning recognition is growing at a faster rate of the professionalism, the education, the certification, the experience that you need to be hired, and that is getting better as more becomes aware of it as a profession.

[00:23:09.42] And value. But again, I'll put that on the individual. Don't complain saying you're not getting this or that or the profession if you're not doing anything about it. So if a coach doesn't value your opinion, or your take, or your guidance for your team, or their team, really, then how are you communicating it? How can you work on your communication to get them to see what you are seeing?

[00:23:35.30] So I'll take the coach's side over that. Anybody that complains, I'm going to tell them to do something about it. With that respect, you can work on your ability to communicate your message and strength, whatever you want to do with your core value in that position.

[00:23:53.99] How do you think going down that coaching pathway as a sport coach helped you as a strength and conditioning coach?

[00:24:04.88] A lot of different ways. And I guess I think a lot and I write a lot to help organize my thoughts. And I think back a lot to that sport coaching time because what we were doing was every season started with the fundamentals. And I'm doing air quotes for everybody that's not here. Every season starts with the fundamentals-- stick work, footwork, ball drills, all that good stuff. Even with rowing technique, fundamentals.

[00:24:31.04] So how I began to think of strength and conditioning is we are teaching the fundamentals of the fundamentals-- squatting, stepping, lunging, vertical push, vertical pull, horizontal push, horizontal pull. These are fundamental movement patterns. So I'm going to be in a position to then teach these kids the fundamental movement patterns that are going to put them in a position to accelerate their skill acquisition for their sport coach.

[00:24:59.21] So that's how it started to see that. What is the consistency between all sports? One, it's movement through space, and two, it's every season starts with the fundamentals. So how can I go one step lower and put these kids in a position to accelerate that time? Because in a sport coach's schedule, it's like, all right, two weeks. Two weeks fundamentals, and then we're into our offense or into our defense.

[00:25:23.42] That two weeks-- that's not a lot of time. But they need to get into their offense. So how can I maximize those two weeks, accelerate their skill acquisition, put them in a position to then pick up the offense faster? The faster they can pick up the offense, then hey, man, we're into more team play, chemistry, and flow. And by the time game one comes around, we're ready.

[00:25:44.19] So I've found different ways to do that. And the one consistent thing that every sport coach has, as well as strength coach, is the warm-up. Every single practice starts with a warm-up. Every single weight room session starts with a warm-up. Every single game starts with a warm-up. So made our warm-ups all about posture, position, moving through all three planks of motion, and understanding where your body is in space.

[00:26:09.26] And it's also general physical preparedness. A dialed-in, focused warm-up-- that's good for the athlete, and mind-muscle connection, all these benefits that we talk about. But what's a sport practice warm-up typically look like? The old ball coach is walking around, making some jokes, making fun of kids. You get the studs that are just kind of lounging around, half-assing it because they want to save their energy before practice.

[00:26:35.04] No. Let's burn it down. Not necessarily burn it down, but let's expend some energy which then puts us in a position to be full speed at the start of practice, as well as now I'm one step further in my coordination-- biomechanical, neuromuscular, all that good stuff. So took that opportunity. At the D-III level, we don't have a lot of weight room time, so we're going to take full advantage of that.

[00:27:04.37] And then at Georgetown, when I was working with the lacrosse team, I had no say in the strength program. Sean Foster-- he was there at the time, did an amazing job. He's at American University, but he did give me one thing-- the warm-up. So took it and ran with it, and showed him what we were doing. So then he started to, I guess, see the connection and not take advantage of this valuable time.

[00:27:24.32] So then I have a lot of articles written on PowerAthleteHQ.com specifically on the warm-up and then connecting the warm-up to all these benefits, and weave it into your sport practice because you get maybe 10 minutes. So I give a bunch of warm-ups for coaches that want to dive in and actually see this benefit. So it's huge. It's the one opportunity you got.

[00:27:51.76] So if you're complaining about not enough time in the weight room, well, you got your warm-up. What are you doing in your warm-up that's going to-- because even at Georgetown, I remember with Foster, he'd get the call down to the weight room saying, ha, they were screwing up at practice. Made them ran two miles. Stay off their legs. So all right, Sean's got to be reactive in this plan.

[00:28:11.18] Well, a lot of our warm-ups, or they appear to be stretches, but it's just moving through space so we can get the benefit of also recovery and coordination, and do all these things. So I mean, we're talking movement, in our offseason, teaching fundamentals of the fundamentals. And then I guess big message I'm trying to deliver to coaches now is-- because I guess our squat position and education gets battled a lot, and I'm trying to get them to understand that we-- Power Athlete-- we're teaching movement, not movements.

[00:28:43.93] Our objective is for all of our training to transfer to the field, the court, the rink. So I'm not going to go to battle of a one-to-one for a squat. No. I need to work on my hip hinging. That's what our focus is on because in basketball, we're going to catch a rebound. We're going to box out, push our ass back. Well, OK. How do we communicate that?

[00:29:06.25] So sport coaching helped me see the fundamentals. And then it also, now in the weight room, how do I communicate with athletes? It's not through biomechanical coaching cues. No, it's from a sport perspective cue. Again, I need you to push your hips back in your squat, and I reference the boxout. So those are sport-specific cues, however you want to call it.

[00:29:30.13] You're getting them in a position you want. It just doesn't sound as technical as if you and I were training. That's the objective is just kind of expanding coaches' bandwidth, and I feel sport coaching really helped me with that.

[00:29:45.20] Nice. Yeah. It cracks me up. We have a lot of hockey kids, and we test vertical jump. You'll be like, OK, ready? I want you to jump up and hit these veins. And the position that they will start in will be their feet are in this sumo stance, three feet-- and I'm like, OK. Imagine that you had to jump for a purpose. You're trying to reach as high as you can on this wall. You're trying to tip a basketball.

[00:30:14.47] And then they immediately look in the air, and then bring their feet into a jumping position. Or the same thing. It's just the funny things. But like you, I coach basketball like we were talking beforehand. And I do think that knowing the fundamental principles at every level of basketball that I taught, it made perfect sense when I think about strength and conditioning. And I love what you said, it's the fundamentals of the fundamentals. That's awesome, such great stuff.

[00:30:45.53] I definitely want to ask you, too, and as a similar that I was, a little bit older. 27-year-old intern, you're working with all these younger people. What was that experience like? Because I think a lot of other listeners, too, that reach out here from time to time are coming out of the military, like I did, or different things and are interested in was it hard? Was it not hard? Is there some advice you'd give someone a little bit older, or that set you apart because you were a little bit older?

[00:31:17.65] That's a great question. It did set me apart a little bit because Benny gave me the opportunity to kind of man the offensive line. So I guess that he sensed that I had some-- whether it was just being older, or been in a college weight room before, like I didn't care who these kids were kind of thing, versus a couple of the other younger guys. But also I went in with the perspective of, this is my experience.

[00:31:44.20] I am seeing the same thing as this 22-year-old kid next to me, but what I'm taking away is what I'm taking away. I know it's going to be more than he is, or I'm going to make the most out of it. Because on a resume, right now, this bullet point looks the same, but no, it doesn't. So I had a clipboard at all times. One, to take the numbers, and two, I lifted up that sheet and I had sticky notes just set up so I could write as quick and as many quotes as possible I could from Benny, or Mad Dog, or Donny, whoever we were talking to, Trey Z, who's now with Sorinex.

[00:32:19.06] He was a strength and conditioning coach for the track team, so he would come in the off-time. And I would just kind of hang out and observe. And Trey was a nice enough man to point out some things because it was clear we were observing him and his coaching. So it was my experience. I'm going to make the most out of it. And I'm not going to, I guess, have a sense of entitlement.

[00:32:43.50] Like I'd had my own teams before, but I'm going in and this is not my team. I was mad at first, like I didn't get to coach as much. This was like the peak of the Sabin rule, where only five coaches were allowed to coach. So literally had to stand there, or else it's like an NCAA violation, whatever. But I'm going to make the most of this opportunity within the confines of my environment and not complain.

[00:33:08.43] And it led to good conversations with Benny. It led to earning respect of Mad Dog and be able to ask him questions. And you know, just Donny's door, fortunately, was always open, because it wasn't easy. You're working 13 hours a day and nobody freaking talks to you. It sucks. But it's your ability to take as much, and you can learn a lot from observing.

[00:33:32.37] And that was a crossroads because I did apply to Furman University, and they were getting their first Division I lacrosse team, and I made the decision to go down to Texas versus going with Furman because I thought it would look better on my resume. But I would've had all the coaching opportunity in the world to speak and communicate with Furman. So I don't know which path was better. Maybe I would still be involved with the sport if I went that way, but take whatever opportunity you can.

[00:34:03.57] But I would suggest whatever speaking opportunity you can get, because communication is everything.

[00:34:09.49] Yeah. And I know my buddy, Joe Kent, always says, too, times are changing a little bit. And back in the day, in those days, there was more opportunity to work with multitude of sports. And now, there seems like there's a lot more specialization. So somebody might just stick with lacrosse that whole time. And I think, too, coming from working with so many different Olympic sports, you have to learn the sport, like you were talking about earlier.

[00:34:40.62] You have to learn more about the sport, about the athletes, about the positions and energy systems, and it makes you a better coach overall. Not that there aren't great coaches who have only specialized in basketball. I'm not saying that. But I think if you're looking at opportunities and you have options, I personally think you're going to develop more from getting a multiple-sport experience where you have to work with a lot of different types.

[00:35:08.41] And you may want it, but college-- it's not that awesome. High school is pretty awesome. You get set hours, probably three, four hours a week, and you're working with every single sport, and you get to develop athletes. And you get to put them in a position where they truly can't take themselves. I think back to my high school. We had no coaching. Then if you could be that X factor, you could prevent these kids from growing up and saying, man, I wish I had that.

[00:35:38.31] Well, no, they had it. And you gave them the opportunity to go to the next level and where they couldn't do it without you. They may not appreciate it, but when you're watching them play in the next level, you know.

[00:35:51.83] Yeah. No, that's cool. Yeah. One of our new interns-- we had a new group of interns start last week at NSCA headquarters. And he came in, and they observed our 15-year-old hockey team the 15U triple-A midget hockey team. And afterwards, he's like, man, these kids move really well. He's like, they're better than some of the D-III athletes we had at my school that I just came from. And I was like, thanks, man.

[00:36:20.98] But we do the basics, the fundamentals there. They've gotten good at doing really basic stuff, and it's super simple. right?

[00:36:33.84] We just had our symposium, and Jim Kielbaso was--

[00:36:38.16] Oh, nice. I like Jim.

[00:36:39.15] --one of our speakers. And we just released his YouTube video. Go to Power Athlete YouTube if you want to check out Jim's speech. But one of his highlights that I recall was there's no immediate gratification when it comes to teaching the fundamentals in the weight room and doing all this, but versus just going to a hitting coach-- and his example was a sport-specific coach. Kid goes to a baseball hitting coach, and then next game he plays, goes three for four. It's immediate gratification and it supports it for the parent investing in that.

[00:37:11.46] When we're talking about movements, over that three months, six months, however long you're working with that hockey team, maybe you can film session one and then six months later, show them how much they've improved. Maybe that's some gratification. But you got to develop a way to communicate to the parents to get them to see this long-term play if you are a strength and conditioning-only coach, instead of that sport-specific skill work. It's not easy. But it can be done.

[00:37:44.03] Yeah. That's a great point. You touched on it a little bit earlier, too, but I want to ask you a little bit more-- put you on the spot, maybe. The podcast-- you guys have a podcast, as well. Maybe have more traction than we do, just saying. You guys have been around. Coming up on, what, 270-something?

[00:38:04.26] Approaching 300.

[00:38:05.49] Approaching 300 episodes. Way bigger than us. Who's been your favorite guest? This is a tough one. Put you on the spot.

[00:38:14.65] Aside from Scott Caulfield, man. Let's see. We try to be as eclectic as possible and not stick with coaches. And I don't want to use the recency theory, because the guy we talked to yesterday is amazing-- Dr. Chris Morris out of Kentucky. One that, I suppose, challenged me and expanded my bandwidth. We had a Dr. John Howard, so he's a love psychologist based in Austin, Texas.

[00:38:47.06] So we dove into, I guess, fundamentals and basics of relationships. And my objective was to look at the connections between-- because he was talking about couples relationships, but there were parallels between athlete-coach relationships that I was trying to pull out and make those connections. So he really, I guess, expanded my perspective by narrowing my focus in trying to think about the principles of relationships he was teaching for couples, and [INAUDIBLE] carry over to an athlete and a coach.

[00:39:22.79] So this John Howard-- I'm trying to think. We got a lot to choose from.

[00:39:29.13] Yeah, you got a lot.

[00:39:31.56] I guess Boyle was a fun experience because he makes a lot of bold statements and claims. And so I guess one or two we didn't necessarily agree with. Like we're all about overload and put that heavy barbell on your back, because we need to drive some structural adaptations. And that's not, I guess, his most favorite mode of training. There's heavy barbell lifts for high schoolers or those college guys.

[00:39:57.86] So then we get him on and actually have a long-form discussion versus the short form Twitter or Instagram that was our limited exposure to him, and we were able to discuss. And it turned out we have a lot more similar philosophies and methodologies than would appear in these bold statements or social claims. So yeah, that was awesome to kind of play out the discussion, and again, drive the industry.

[00:40:27.92] That's another one of Brian Mann's quotes. He's been on our episode twice. No big deal. But yeah, it was kind of cool.

[00:40:35.06] Yeah. That's neat. No, it's such a great point, too, because so much can get lost in translation of 120 characters or whatever someone throws up, a 10, 15 second Instagram video. And then people lose their mind. You have such a limited ability to understand that entire thing if you just make a judgment on that. No, I love it. And I definitely love the podcast. Like I was saying, super fun. You guys do a great job. I love John's humor-slash-not-humor.

[00:41:05.03] Oh, man. He's a talker.

[00:41:08.63] Yeah. If you don't listen, check them out. It's definitely in my queue of library. I don't listen to it every week, but I do listen to it often. And you guys come out one every week.

[00:41:20.66] Every Friday.

[00:41:21.38] Every Friday. So cool, so people that are thinking of it, if you haven't checked them out, check out Power Athlete podcast. Their YouTube page-- this has been awesome. Where else can people find out more info about yourself, about Power Athlete if they're listening?

[00:41:38.15] My Instagram is probably the best. So it's @McQuilkin, my last name. M-C-Q-U-I-L-K-I-N. And my objective, my goal for 2019 is to show more movement, teach more movement, not movements, and make the parallels and the connections between the weight room and the field. So we got some kick ass Sorinex rigs, so I'm going to basically use the jammer arms and use those.

[00:42:02.99] And then my biggest-- and we're not sponsored by any of these guys. My biggest new favorite piece of equipment is Intek's ModF Bar, where it is a trap bar with an open--

[00:42:16.96] Yeah, I've seen that.

[00:42:17.58] --face, so you can step and lunge. Trying to get people out of only that hinge, that sagittal plane, and show them the value of the lunge, and especially the step-up, for field court sport athletes. So teaching coaches how to teach athletes to move-- that's my big goal for 2019. And going to use the social medias because it's hot right now.

[00:42:39.39] Outstanding. And you're speaking a couple times here tomorrow, so looking forward to seeing those when they come out.

[00:42:46.17] It'll be the lunge. One session's the lunge, and ACL injury prevention through the lunge, so teaching kids the lunge and coaches to look for that may be biomarkers for injury. We're not going to keep doing that movement over and over when we see that biomarker. And the second one is going to be programmed for the novice athlete, so introduce the concept of the lifecycle of an athlete, where if we're working with high school kids, I'm not going to apply the college program. If I'm working with college kids, I'm not going to Cam Newton's program, whatever.

[00:43:15.27] So just all the mistakes that I made as an athlete. Maybe I'm just a genetic trashcan. Maybe it was the misapplication of my own coaching on me, but try to save some kids out there through some quality education, and through the opportunity that y'all are giving me. It's awesome.

[00:43:32.76] Outstanding. Yeah, looking forward to that. I think I see more questions regarding programming for different levels and different sports of athletes than any other area, almost across the board. So super excited for tomorrow. Thanks again for being on the show. Looking forward to it, and looking forward to hanging out in the next couple of days.

[00:43:52.97] Hell yeah. Thank you, Scott.

[00:43:54.54] Thank you for listening to the NSCA Coaching Podcast. We truly appreciate your support, and we wouldn't be able to do this without you, so keep on listening. If you enjoyed our episodes, please go write us a review at iTunes or Google Play, wherever you download your episodes from. Also be sure to subscribe so you get these delivered to you every other week right on time. You don't want to miss the next one. Also, you can go to NSCA.com and check out the episodes there, if you prefer that, and as well, check out our new website and everything that's going on.

[00:44:23.65] [MUSIC PLAYING]

[00:44:24.40] This was the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure to join us next time.

[00:00:00.43] [MUSIC PLAYING]

[00:00:01.29] Welcome to NSCA's Coaching Podcast, episode 53.

[00:00:06.39] I'm a land guy, so I had to get in the pool and almost basically learn how to swim to help communicate and get these swimmers in the right position for all these different movements and lifts.

[00:00:19.17] This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, where we talk to strength and conditioning coaches about what you really need to know but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

[00:00:29.97] Welcome to the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. I'm Scott Caulfield. Today, from chilly and snowy Indianapolis here, the 2019 Coaches Conference with my friend Tex McQuilkin, director of training and education with Power Athlete out of Austin, Texas. Tex, welcome to the show, man.

[00:00:47.55] Excited. Excited leading off. They're getting set up all around us, man, so this will be a great--

[00:00:52.88] Yeah.

[00:00:53.14] --episode.

[00:00:53.69] We're literally the first people in the exhibit hall here today, so if you hear beeping or any bangs in the background, it's just forklifts being driven around us. But we're safe here.

[00:01:03.96] They just turned the lights on. I thought were going to have a nice little set the mood podcast.

[00:01:09.18] Yeah. I had asked them to set the mood for us, but I guess they're trying to get their day started. Cool. Well, tell us, for people who are-- been under a rock and aren't familiar with what Power Athlete does, tell me a little bit about what you guys do overall, and specifically what your position is about.

[00:01:28.33] Power Athlete-- we're a worldwide strength and conditioning organization, and our focus is empowering your performance and unlocking athletic potential. So we do that in many different ways. One's online programming. Most of our clients-- they're ex-college athletes. They know how to lift weights, but they just want to be told what to do. So we, through TrainHeroic, deliver program for six different training goals.

[00:01:48.75] Just Reverse Engineer for what guys want. Jacked Street, one of our most popular ones. We got Field Strong, which is more sprint, speed, change of direction for those old ex-athletes. And then some intro, like I sold my sister on one of them. We got one called Lean & Able. It's basically not a barbell, but some resistance training. Pick up the dumbbells, some kettle bells that I gifted her, so just to get people moving well based off our principles through training. We also do nutrition.

[00:02:18.31] And then my pillar in the business is education. So I've had amazing mentors, teachers in my strength and conditioning journey. So I try to take those lessons, synthesize them, and put them into a package that is digestible for young coaches to then apply. Because I know the gym owner, the intern, you can't necessarily go and have all these different experiences, like the internship if you're a gym owner, or go and have a client for four years when I'm there for eight weeks as an intern.

[00:02:51.44] So what lessons can we accelerate the education process for these people so they can get the benefit, but still be in a position to empower whoever they're working with at their moment in time? So education-- that's our podcast, our articles that we put out, and then our online methodology course.

[00:03:09.80] Yeah, and that's new-- online methodology course-- maybe a year or two years now?

[00:03:15.15] Let's see, June 2016.

[00:03:17.99] Yeah, so coming up on three. And that is NSCA CEU approved, right?

[00:03:23.12] 1.5.

[00:03:23.67] 1.5, outstanding. So there's an online course, and there's also an in-person part of that? Or that's a separate--

[00:03:31.14] That's a test, so the course is in place, and we have a lot of fathers in there that just want to learn how to protect their kids from their sport coaches, as well as how they can teach their kids how to lift weights. So that's a lot of our clientele demographic. But then we also have the professional and those that are interested in getting some feedback on their coaching technique.

[00:03:53.25] We have them out to Austin for a weekend to just have an experience. We have a keynote speaker, so each weekend-- we do a quarterly four times a year-- they get their own keynote speaker to learn experience. And then Saturday, we put them to the test, literally. So there's practical coaching tests and comprehension. And then we have what we call a field strong test, where we just put them in uncomfortable situations and try to develop a team, and build some character, and find out who people are, and call them out for any nonsense, any-- I don't want to curse here. But any bull honky that they're trying to put on a face. And we're like, no. Let's be real. We're trying to make you better, and the only way to do that is shake them a little bit, make them lift something heavy, and put them in a position where they fail.

[00:04:39.04] Yeah. I've seen it. It involves some sort of flipper type up a hill, I think, if I recall.

[00:04:45.23] Yeah. Welbourn-- his latest skill and endeavor, and really hobby, is welding. So he welded himself like a giant-- we're calling it a boar-- but just loaded tire, basically.

[00:04:58.73] Nice. That's great. And how many people do you have through that program now?

[00:05:05.27] 75. 75 through that test. We're just calling it block one. John welds you a block.

[00:05:11.03] Yeah. Nice. I've seen those. Those are super cool.

[00:05:13.06] Yeah, he's getting good. He's getting good.

[00:05:14.37] Yeah. That's great.

[00:05:14.84] First class versus-- we got our seventh coming up, so hopefully break 100 in the next few months.

[00:05:21.02] Awesome. That's good stuff. Yeah, man. I like following you guys, and I like the stuff you guys are doing. So keep up the good work. Definitely want to talk because you've got an interesting path. You've done a little bit of everything. And I think let's kind of go back to how it all started, and coming from being an athlete and getting into coaching. Talk a little bit about where you initially realized strength and conditioning was going to be a possibility.

[00:05:49.56] I always grew up in Katy, Texas. Football is life. It was an amazing experience. We lifted. I started lifting weights in sixth grade, but we didn't know what the hell was going on. I didn't know what I was doing, just because I assumed activity was achievement. Kind of go into a John Wooten quote, but I was way off. So I had a lot of questions weightlifting, but no sport coach was able to answer those-- the old ball coach.

[00:06:15.47] And then I get the opportunity to go play lacrosse in Division III, Marymount University, in Arlington, Virginia. And my assumption, because all my boys would go play football, was you get a weight room, you get a strength coach, you get all that in college sports. And I walk into a fitness center at my college, and I'm like, this won't do. The only way I was going to compete-- like lacrosse player from Texas 15 years ago? That's an anomaly.

[00:06:40.33] So it was basically football with a stick for me. Now the sport's growing, which is amazing. But I walk into a fitness center. I have to convince the assistant coach to go find a squat rack. So he was part-time high school coach, part-time college coach. Gets a squat rack donated from his high school so I have something to train on. Again, it was just now stealing workouts that Mad Dog was putting out for my buddies who were playing at UT.

[00:07:08.09] This is the 2005 national championship team program, and he got some Division III genetic trashcan playing trying to do all these lifts. Thankfully I didn't get hurt, and thankfully any of the kids that were forced to work with me didn't get hurt. And like true lacrosse players ever since the word, they didn't grow up playing football, or training or lifting weights. So this was all brand new to them, and that was my first biggest coaching experience.

[00:07:37.18] And started four years, had some fun, and I guess earned the respect of my sport coaches enough where they asked me to be a grad assistant on the team that I just finished playing. So I go in and still, I was recruiting guys that had an intuition and a feel for the sport that I still had not developed. I'd only been playing six years, including my college career.

[00:08:01.97] So I had to find a way to make an impact with the team. Stick with what I love was with lifting weights and sprinting as fast as you freaking can. I just didn't know how to really teach that. So my first session as the, I guess, assistant coach and director of training at Marymount-- I just made up a title. They didn't have a strength coach. And we didn't have a weight room. We needed overhead strength, so I'm thinking, all right.

[00:08:27.52] We got our lacrosse wall in the backfield where we play catch with. So I asked our team to kick up into a handstand to just-- we're going to hold that as long as we can. And these were my friends. They were my former teammates, but now they were my athletes. And a senior on the team-- I asked him to kick up into a handstand, and he tears his rotator cuff. Goes down.

[00:08:51.61] This is September of 2009, so I took away his last opportunity to play the sport that he loved. This was my friend. He was my athlete, and I took away his performance, his opportunity to play. And I took that with a heavy heart, like I ruined this kid's life, basically. But now we're cool, like alumni weekends. But I needed to find a teacher, a coach, somebody to actually show me what to do.

[00:09:18.94] So I got on the internet and found John Welbourn and Rafael Luis, and they had a weekend seminar in December 2009. It was September, so I took my last dollars in grad school-- it wasn't a lot-- flew out to California and had my first exposure to strength and conditioning, and coaching. Real, not just stealing programs. So that was actually an investment in my education.

[00:09:44.03] So I spent two days with those guys-- completely blew my mind. And I took everything I learned back to my Division III team. So I had three years to apply it. I had full investment from the sport coach, because he didn't know. He was like, yeah, go do what ever you want. We want to win. And I broke a few omelets to learn how to coach with some athletes.

[00:10:06.60] And at that moment, I realized I finally got a feel for coaching and teaching movement. I need to up the ante. I'm a competitive person, so Division III-- it wasn't good enough, or at least that team. I'd been with them for eight years. I needed more. So I hit up Mike Hill at Georgetown University, and I wanted to just volunteer. But fortunately, they had like the number four part-time coach position open, and it just kind of linked and worked out.

[00:10:37.35] So Mike put me on. I got to work with women's crew, assist with men's, women's lacrosse. And that was a great learning experience, because I'm not a water guy, but I got to take on the crew team and I had to actually look at the sport, identify what the sport needed for the girls and the guys, and then look at the athletes. Like I could read all his books, see all this. Oh, they need this and that, or the coach wants this or that, but then I had these athletes.

[00:11:04.50] Georgetown's unique that, I guess, part of their recruiting to field that big crew team is just finding tall girls on campus, so no weightlifting experience. They're coming in, so my goal was just to make them better athletes. So take crew team, make them better athletes, and the coach is all in on that. So I got to experiment more with not just applying everything I knew, trying to learn new things, and really fortunately get creative-- nothing crazy, but just how I would communicate to these girls that didn't have the best coordination.

[00:11:39.68] And getting buy-in, finding different ways to break down movement, put them in good positions to learn how to move. So fears there-- how Georgetown works-- a long journey. Make a long story longer, but how Georgetown works-- commuter school, so summers are not as invested in the strength and conditioning. So they didn't necessarily need my help. So I wanted to expand my experience.

[00:12:03.16] So again, used my buddies that play football at Texas to connect with Donnie May. And 27 years old at this point, and hit him up about an internship just for the summer. And he's like, are you sure you want to do this? And fortunately, he accepted me, and took me on there. So it was a great, great learning experience to work with a different level of athlete.

[00:12:26.50] And that was amazing, because you had these-- I guess broke it down into three levels. You had the walk-ons that you told them to do anything, they would run through the freaking wall, and they would say, all right, how many times? And then you had the level of athlete where they believed every single rep was going to lead to a national championship. Amazing.

[00:12:45.06] And then you had the guys that had that amazing ability, naturally, but nah. No, I'm cool. So you had this program that all three of these different levels of motivated athlete had to adhere to. So OK, how is this freaking 5' 7" white kid going to connect with all these players to get them invested in this program? So that was an amazing learning experience, and great athletes to find now the communication level.

[00:13:16.49] I felt confident in my coaching and communication ability, but the motivation-- that was one of my biggest takeaways there working with Mad Dog and Benny Wiley. And from there, back to Georgetown. And then the next break, I went down to Tampa Bay, Florida. Worked one-on-one with Rafael Luis, who I'd met in 2009. And at this point in his career, he's working with some heavyweight boxers, as well as USA swim, so team elite.

[00:13:44.58] So I got to work-- heavyweight boxers. Again, freaking 5' 7" kid next to Antonio Tarver. So those of you who don't know, he was Mason "The Line" Dixon in Rocky 6. That's Antonio Tarver, heavyweight champion. So working with him. And then next, you turn around, and then you've got to correct these swimmers. So how do you start to see movement in coaching and then direct it specifically towards their sport, and how they can see it and feel it?

[00:14:15.57] And again, I'm not a swimmer, I'm a land guy. So I had to get in the pool and basically learn how to swim to help communicate and get these swimmers in the right position for all these different movements and lifts. So that was cool.

[00:14:30.88] And then after that, I took a opportunity at St. Albans school in Washington, DC, a prep school, private school, for a couple years as Power Athlete was growing. Again, teaching Power Athlete clinics-- that clinic that I went to the weekend in summer of 2009, I had maintained my relationship with John, was able to teach, work for him and teach alongside him all these weekends that afforded me all these low-paying coaching opportunities. I just wanted it to be the best.

[00:15:04.27] So St. Albans-- that was cool. I again got autonomy, got to do whatever I wanted with the athletes and rearranged their weight room, had them throw out some old machines. I just wanted space because we wanted to teach them how to move versus just focus on a muscle group now. They needed coordination. They needed to put on some size, so a meat suit to compete in this very competitive conference. Landon High School up there, so Episcopal, any of y'all in the mid-Atlantic, you know all these schools, and they needed to compete with them in the field of sport.

[00:15:38.93] So that was a great experience. Two years. Again, small town kid going to work with some private school kids-- that was a little bit of a learning curve. Again, the motivation-- how do you teach adversity and things like that? So it was fun in that. And after that opportunity, we grew Power Athlete to the point where I was full-time, and then got, again, autonomy to create the education journey, to deliver it to the coaches out there, and then see how far we can push this information, push the methodology, push the field. That's the objective now.

[00:16:16.66] We were hoarding this information like we wouldn't be able to push it. If we were only teaching in a two-day clinic, then I can't think about all the details and the information. It was like drinking from a water hose. Now we just have people digest it at their own pace, and then we have conversations about it.

[00:16:36.11] That's awesome. Yeah, I think we were talking a little bit, too, about I said that you've got a really cool path with all these different things you've done and somewhat unique. But I think so many of us that have gotten into this have very similar, different journeys, if that makes sense.

[00:16:54.70] Oh, yeah.

[00:16:54.97] But I want to kind of go back to when you mentioned reaching out to Mike Hill at Georgetown. And I'm sure, knowing him as such a great guy and coach, he would have taken on volunteers, as well. But how did that kind of pan out? So did you just cold call him, or you looked him up on the internet?

[00:17:15.82] I wish I was that bold. My girlfriend at the time played lacrosse for him.

[00:17:20.28] Nice, so a little in, kind of.

[00:17:22.01] Yeah.

[00:17:22.30] Yeah, perfect.

[00:17:22.66] Had a little in. But I didn't have any certifications. So I got what I needed. It was summer 2012, and yeah, had to just go all in on essentials. I had to pass. I'm in this position, but I got to do one thing, so I had to pass the CSCS test to even get this opportunity. So that was Mike's guidance in that respect, like you know what you're doing, but we need to know that you know what you're doing.

[00:17:55.59] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's huge, and great for liability. And Mike is on our CSCS exam development committee, too, so he's been helping kind of evaluate and re-evaluate the exam, and help-- they determine whether it best supports the job of the strength coach. And then they edit it, and they change stuff around, so he's been part of that process. Pretty cool.

[00:18:23.16] I like what you said, too, about never working with swimmers, and then having to figure that out, because I had a similar experience. The first team I worked with was a rugby team at Norwich University. It's the oldest military school in the country. It's a D-III school in Vermont. And the rugby coach had actually seen me do something. I was doing like a class for some little kids-- third and fourth graders-- that his daughter happened to be in.

[00:18:46.32] He came up after. He pulled me aside, and he goes, hey, you think you could do this kind of fitness stuff for college rugby guys? And I had literally never even seen rugby before. And I was like, yeah. I'm pretty sure I could. And then he sat down with me, talked to me about sport positions, demands of positions, injury sites. And then I went through the same thing like you're talking about-- needs analysis. All right. Let's look at where are these guys, and then develop stuff from that.

[00:19:14.58] And it was a really cool learning experience, and kind of ended up snowballing into a lot of other strength and conditioning gigs for me. Went to Dartmouth, worked with their rugby team first, and similar to what you were saying, like volunteered with football, then got hired on, then worked with swimming. So I think the underlying effect that I hope people are taking away from that is that if you want to do this, you do what you need to do. Right?

[00:19:40.80] Oh, 100%.

[00:19:41.48] And you have other side hustle jobs if you have to. And I don't think I thought anything of it at the time, but training football at Dartmouth at 5:30 AM set-ups, and going through there, then going to my other job-- a sports performance facility-- during the day, training people throughout the day in the afternoon, training myself in the middle of day, going back for rugby at night probably till 9:00 PM.

[00:20:08.22] And I don't know. When I think back about it, like how did I do it? But I don't ever remember thinking, oh, this is so hard, or this sucks. I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

[00:20:19.13] Oh, yeah. It's the love of coaching, the love of improvement and competition. Nothing replaced game day for me. I loved it as an athlete, loved it as a coach. And then I guess the transition where I don't have to stress about the plays or running the box in lacrosse, I could just be on the sidelines. You know, Welbourn jokes that they're just keeping back coaches. Strength coaches are just keeping back coaches. I'm like, yeah. I get the best seat in the house.

[00:20:47.58] So I still loved game day and that sideline, or even going to the regattas for the girls on the Potomac in DC. Nothing replaces that, but that's got to be earned. It's not just something given. One of the guys I was talking to last night had an intern that I guess called him and asked him for sideline tickets. He was like, no. This is my career. This is my livelihood. And you just want this to get on the sideline. You're out.

[00:21:20.88] Yeah. I think that if-- you know, it's that same cliche that if you love what you do, you never work day in your life. But people who love coaching don't think about all these other things. And I know there's a lot of talk now, too, in social media and the profession about pay and different things. And obviously I think that's becoming better across the board.

[00:21:48.60] We just did a salary survey. The results are out now, and I think it paints a picture a little bit better than what people thought. It's not great. It's still not outstanding. But I mean, when you think about the profession, it's still pretty young. And if you think about sport coaching, and you were going down the sport coaching path, sport coaches don't get paid that much either.

[00:22:11.71] Nope.

[00:22:12.93] I think we like to stand on our soapbox and sometimes say, woe is me, strength and conditioning. But honestly, it's the profession of coaching. There's the anomalies. Obviously power five schools, basketball-- there's big money sports where coaches are making outrageous money. But coaches in D-III, and D-II, and other schools, they're not making that much money.

[00:22:35.60] No. They're coaching camps during the summer, and they're on their grind, as well. So every coach is in a grind.

[00:22:43.72] Yeah. And I think that's my message, is that we are not the only ones and it's growing. Luckily, I think strength and conditioning recognition is growing at a faster rate of the professionalism, the education, the certification, the experience that you need to be hired, and that is getting better as more becomes aware of it as a profession.

[00:23:09.42] And value. But again, I'll put that on the individual. Don't complain saying you're not getting this or that or the profession if you're not doing anything about it. So if a coach doesn't value your opinion, or your take, or your guidance for your team, or their team, really, then how are you communicating it? How can you work on your communication to get them to see what you are seeing?

[00:23:35.30] So I'll take the coach's side over that. Anybody that complains, I'm going to tell them to do something about it. With that respect, you can work on your ability to communicate your message and strength, whatever you want to do with your core value in that position.

[00:23:53.99] How do you think going down that coaching pathway as a sport coach helped you as a strength and conditioning coach?

[00:24:04.88] A lot of different ways. And I guess I think a lot and I write a lot to help organize my thoughts. And I think back a lot to that sport coaching time because what we were doing was every season started with the fundamentals. And I'm doing air quotes for everybody that's not here. Every season starts with the fundamentals-- stick work, footwork, ball drills, all that good stuff. Even with rowing technique, fundamentals.

[00:24:31.04] So how I began to think of strength and conditioning is we are teaching the fundamentals of the fundamentals-- squatting, stepping, lunging, vertical push, vertical pull, horizontal push, horizontal pull. These are fundamental movement patterns. So I'm going to be in a position to then teach these kids the fundamental movement patterns that are going to put them in a position to accelerate their skill acquisition for their sport coach.

[00:24:59.21] So that's how it started to see that. What is the consistency between all sports? One, it's movement through space, and two, it's every season starts with the fundamentals. So how can I go one step lower and put these kids in a position to accelerate that time? Because in a sport coach's schedule, it's like, all right, two weeks. Two weeks fundamentals, and then we're into our offense or into our defense.

[00:25:23.42] That two weeks-- that's not a lot of time. But they need to get into their offense. So how can I maximize those two weeks, accelerate their skill acquisition, put them in a position to then pick up the offense faster? The faster they can pick up the offense, then hey, man, we're into more team play, chemistry, and flow. And by the time game one comes around, we're ready.

[00:25:44.19] So I've found different ways to do that. And the one consistent thing that every sport coach has, as well as strength coach, is the warm-up. Every single practice starts with a warm-up. Every single weight room session starts with a warm-up. Every single game starts with a warm-up. So made our warm-ups all about posture, position, moving through all three planks of motion, and understanding where your body is in space.

[00:26:09.26] And it's also general physical preparedness. A dialed-in, focused warm-up-- that's good for the athlete, and mind-muscle connection, all these benefits that we talk about. But what's a sport practice warm-up typically look like? The old ball coach is walking around, making some jokes, making fun of kids. You get the studs that are just kind of lounging around, half-assing it because they want to save their energy before practice.

[00:26:35.04] No. Let's burn it down. Not necessarily burn it down, but let's expend some energy which then puts us in a position to be full speed at the start of practice, as well as now I'm one step further in my coordination-- biomechanical, neuromuscular, all that good stuff. So took that opportunity. At the D-III level, we don't have a lot of weight room time, so we're going to take full advantage of that.

[00:27:04.37] And then at Georgetown, when I was working with the lacrosse team, I had no say in the strength program. Sean Foster-- he was there at the time, did an amazing job. He's at American University, but he did give me one thing-- the warm-up. So took it and ran with it, and showed him what we were doing. So then he started to, I guess, see the connection and not take advantage of this valuable time.

[00:27:24.32] So then I have a lot of articles written on PowerAthleteHQ.com specifically on the warm-up and then connecting the warm-up to all these benefits, and weave it into your sport practice because you get maybe 10 minutes. So I give a bunch of warm-ups for coaches that want to dive in and actually see this benefit. So it's huge. It's the one opportunity you got.

[00:27:51.76] So if you're complaining about not enough time in the weight room, well, you got your warm-up. What are you doing in your warm-up that's going to-- because even at Georgetown, I remember with Foster, he'd get the call down to the weight room saying, ha, they were screwing up at practice. Made them ran two miles. Stay off their legs. So all right, Sean's got to be reactive in this plan.

[00:28:11.18] Well, a lot of our warm-ups, or they appear to be stretches, but it's just moving through space so we can get the benefit of also recovery and coordination, and do all these things. So I mean, we're talking movement, in our offseason, teaching fundamentals of the fundamentals. And then I guess big message I'm trying to deliver to coaches now is-- because I guess our squat position and education gets battled a lot, and I'm trying to get them to understand that we-- Power Athlete-- we're teaching movement, not movements.

[00:28:43.93] Our objective is for all of our training to transfer to the field, the court, the rink. So I'm not going to go to battle of a one-to-one for a squat. No. I need to work on my hip hinging. That's what our focus is on because in basketball, we're going to catch a rebound. We're going to box out, push our ass back. Well, OK. How do we communicate that?

[00:29:06.25] So sport coaching helped me see the fundamentals. And then it also, now in the weight room, how do I communicate with athletes? It's not through biomechanical coaching cues. No, it's from a sport perspective cue. Again, I need you to push your hips back in your squat, and I reference the boxout. So those are sport-specific cues, however you want to call it.

[00:29:30.13] You're getting them in a position you want. It just doesn't sound as technical as if you and I were training. That's the objective is just kind of expanding coaches' bandwidth, and I feel sport coaching really helped me with that.

[00:29:45.20] Nice. Yeah. It cracks me up. We have a lot of hockey kids, and we test vertical jump. You'll be like, OK, ready? I want you to jump up and hit these veins. And the position that they will start in will be their feet are in this sumo stance, three feet-- and I'm like, OK. Imagine that you had to jump for a purpose. You're trying to reach as high as you can on this wall. You're trying to tip a basketball.

[00:30:14.47] And then they immediately look in the air, and then bring their feet into a jumping position. Or the same thing. It's just the funny things. But like you, I coach basketball like we were talking beforehand. And I do think that knowing the fundamental principles at every level of basketball that I taught, it made perfect sense when I think about strength and conditioning. And I love what you said, it's the fundamentals of the fundamentals. That's awesome, such great stuff.

[00:30:45.53] I definitely want to ask you, too, and as a similar that I was, a little bit older. 27-year-old intern, you're working with all these younger people. What was that experience like? Because I think a lot of other listeners, too, that reach out here from time to time are coming out of the military, like I did, or different things and are interested in was it hard? Was it not hard? Is there some advice you'd give someone a little bit older, or that set you apart because you were a little bit older?

[00:31:17.65] That's a great question. It did set me apart a little bit because Benny gave me the opportunity to kind of man the offensive line. So I guess that he sensed that I had some-- whether it was just being older, or been in a college weight room before, like I didn't care who these kids were kind of thing, versus a couple of the other younger guys. But also I went in with the perspective of, this is my experience.

[00:31:44.20] I am seeing the same thing as this 22-year-old kid next to me, but what I'm taking away is what I'm taking away. I know it's going to be more than he is, or I'm going to make the most out of it. Because on a resume, right now, this bullet point looks the same, but no, it doesn't. So I had a clipboard at all times. One, to take the numbers, and two, I lifted up that sheet and I had sticky notes just set up so I could write as quick and as many quotes as possible I could from Benny, or Mad Dog, or Donny, whoever we were talking to, Trey Z, who's now with Sorinex.

[00:32:19.06] He was a strength and conditioning coach for the track team, so he would come in the off-time. And I would just kind of hang out and observe. And Trey was a nice enough man to point out some things because it was clear we were observing him and his coaching. So it was my experience. I'm going to make the most out of it. And I'm not going to, I guess, have a sense of entitlement.

[00:32:43.50] Like I'd had my own teams before, but I'm going in and this is not my team. I was mad at first, like I didn't get to coach as much. This was like the peak of the Sabin rule, where only five coaches were allowed to coach. So literally had to stand there, or else it's like an NCAA violation, whatever. But I'm going to make the most of this opportunity within the confines of my environment and not complain.

[00:33:08.43] And it led to good conversations with Benny. It led to earning respect of Mad Dog and be able to ask him questions. And you know, just Donny's door, fortunately, was always open, because it wasn't easy. You're working 13 hours a day and nobody freaking talks to you. It sucks. But it's your ability to take as much, and you can learn a lot from observing.

[00:33:32.37] And that was a crossroads because I did apply to Furman University, and they were getting their first Division I lacrosse team, and I made the decision to go down to Texas versus going with Furman because I thought it would look better on my resume. But I would've had all the coaching opportunity in the world to speak and communicate with Furman. So I don't know which path was better. Maybe I would still be involved with the sport if I went that way, but take whatever opportunity you can.

[00:34:03.57] But I would suggest whatever speaking opportunity you can get, because communication is everything.

[00:34:09.49] Yeah. And I know my buddy, Joe Kent, always says, too, times are changing a little bit. And back in the day, in those days, there was more opportunity to work with multitude of sports. And now, there seems like there's a lot more specialization. So somebody might just stick with lacrosse that whole time. And I think, too, coming from working with so many different Olympic sports, you have to learn the sport, like you were talking about earlier.

[00:34:40.62] You have to learn more about the sport, about the athletes, about the positions and energy systems, and it makes you a better coach overall. Not that there aren't great coaches who have only specialized in basketball. I'm not saying that. But I think if you're looking at opportunities and you have options, I personally think you're going to develop more from getting a multiple-sport experience where you have to work with a lot of different types.

[00:35:08.41] And you may want it, but college-- it's not that awesome. High school is pretty awesome. You get set hours, probably three, four hours a week, and you're working with every single sport, and you get to develop athletes. And you get to put them in a position where they truly can't take themselves. I think back to my high school. We had no coaching. Then if you could be that X factor, you could prevent these kids from growing up and saying, man, I wish I had that.

[00:35:38.31] Well, no, they had it. And you gave them the opportunity to go to the next level and where they couldn't do it without you. They may not appreciate it, but when you're watching them play in the next level, you know.

[00:35:51.83] Yeah. No, that's cool. Yeah. One of our new interns-- we had a new group of interns start last week at NSCA headquarters. And he came in, and they observed our 15-year-old hockey team the 15U triple-A midget hockey team. And afterwards, he's like, man, these kids move really well. He's like, they're better than some of the D-III athletes we had at my school that I just came from. And I was like, thanks, man.

[00:36:20.98] But we do the basics, the fundamentals there. They've gotten good at doing really basic stuff, and it's super simple. right?

[00:36:33.84] We just had our symposium, and Jim Kielbaso was--

[00:36:38.16] Oh, nice. I like Jim.

[00:36:39.15] --one of our speakers. And we just released his YouTube video. Go to Power Athlete YouTube if you want to check out Jim's speech. But one of his highlights that I recall was there's no immediate gratification when it comes to teaching the fundamentals in the weight room and doing all this, but versus just going to a hitting coach-- and his example was a sport-specific coach. Kid goes to a baseball hitting coach, and then next game he plays, goes three for four. It's immediate gratification and it supports it for the parent investing in that.

[00:37:11.46] When we're talking about movements, over that three months, six months, however long you're working with that hockey team, maybe you can film session one and then six months later, show them how much they've improved. Maybe that's some gratification. But you got to develop a way to communicate to the parents to get them to see this long-term play if you are a strength and conditioning-only coach, instead of that sport-specific skill work. It's not easy. But it can be done.

[00:37:44.03] Yeah. That's a great point. You touched on it a little bit earlier, too, but I want to ask you a little bit more-- put you on the spot, maybe. The podcast-- you guys have a podcast, as well. Maybe have more traction than we do, just saying. You guys have been around. Coming up on, what, 270-something?

[00:38:04.26] Approaching 300.

[00:38:05.49] Approaching 300 episodes. Way bigger than us. Who's been your favorite guest? This is a tough one. Put you on the spot.

[00:38:14.65] Aside from Scott Caulfield, man. Let's see. We try to be as eclectic as possible and not stick with coaches. And I don't want to use the recency theory, because the guy we talked to yesterday is amazing-- Dr. Chris Morris out of Kentucky. One that, I suppose, challenged me and expanded my bandwidth. We had a Dr. John Howard, so he's a love psychologist based in Austin, Texas.

[00:38:47.06] So we dove into, I guess, fundamentals and basics of relationships. And my objective was to look at the connections between-- because he was talking about couples relationships, but there were parallels between athlete-coach relationships that I was trying to pull out and make those connections. So he really, I guess, expanded my perspective by narrowing my focus in trying to think about the principles of relationships he was teaching for couples, and [INAUDIBLE] carry over to an athlete and a coach.

[00:39:22.79] So this John Howard-- I'm trying to think. We got a lot to choose from.

[00:39:29.13] Yeah, you got a lot.

[00:39:31.56] I guess Boyle was a fun experience because he makes a lot of bold statements and claims. And so I guess one or two we didn't necessarily agree with. Like we're all about overload and put that heavy barbell on your back, because we need to drive some structural adaptations. And that's not, I guess, his most favorite mode of training. There's heavy barbell lifts for high schoolers or those college guys.

[00:39:57.86] So then we get him on and actually have a long-form discussion versus the short form Twitter or Instagram that was our limited exposure to him, and we were able to discuss. And it turned out we have a lot more similar philosophies and methodologies than would appear in these bold statements or social claims. So yeah, that was awesome to kind of play out the discussion, and again, drive the industry.

[00:40:27.92] That's another one of Brian Mann's quotes. He's been on our episode twice. No big deal. But yeah, it was kind of cool.

[00:40:35.06] Yeah. That's neat. No, it's such a great point, too, because so much can get lost in translation of 120 characters or whatever someone throws up, a 10, 15 second Instagram video. And then people lose their mind. You have such a limited ability to understand that entire thing if you just make a judgment on that. No, I love it. And I definitely love the podcast. Like I was saying, super fun. You guys do a great job. I love John's humor-slash-not-humor.

[00:41:05.03] Oh, man. He's a talker.

[00:41:08.63] Yeah. If you don't listen, check them out. It's definitely in my queue of library. I don't listen to it every week, but I do listen to it often. And you guys come out one every week.

[00:41:20.66] Every Friday.

[00:41:21.38] Every Friday. So cool, so people that are thinking of it, if you haven't checked them out, check out Power Athlete podcast. Their YouTube page-- this has been awesome. Where else can people find out more info about yourself, about Power Athlete if they're listening?

[00:41:38.15] My Instagram is probably the best. So it's @McQuilkin, my last name. M-C-Q-U-I-L-K-I-N. And my objective, my goal for 2019 is to show more movement, teach more movement, not movements, and make the parallels and the connections between the weight room and the field. So we got some kick ass Sorinex rigs, so I'm going to basically use the jammer arms and use those.

[00:42:02.99] And then my biggest-- and we're not sponsored by any of these guys. My biggest new favorite piece of equipment is Intek's ModF Bar, where it is a trap bar with an open--

[00:42:16.96] Yeah, I've seen that.

[00:42:17.58] --face, so you can step and lunge. Trying to get people out of only that hinge, that sagittal plane, and show them the value of the lunge, and especially the step-up, for field court sport athletes. So teaching coaches how to teach athletes to move-- that's my big goal for 2019. And going to use the social medias because it's hot right now.

[00:42:39.39] Outstanding. And you're speaking a couple times here tomorrow, so looking forward to seeing those when they come out.

[00:42:46.17] It'll be the lunge. One session's the lunge, and ACL injury prevention through the lunge, so teaching kids the lunge and coaches to look for that may be biomarkers for injury. We're not going to keep doing that movement over and over when we see that biomarker. And the second one is going to be programmed for the novice athlete, so introduce the concept of the lifecycle of an athlete, where if we're working with high school kids, I'm not going to apply the college program. If I'm working with college kids, I'm not going to Cam Newton's program, whatever.

[00:43:15.27] So just all the mistakes that I made as an athlete. Maybe I'm just a genetic trashcan. Maybe it was the misapplication of my own coaching on me, but try to save some kids out there through some quality education, and through the opportunity that y'all are giving me. It's awesome.

[00:43:32.76] Outstanding. Yeah, looking forward to that. I think I see more questions regarding programming for different levels and different sports of athletes than any other area, almost across the board. So super excited for tomorrow. Thanks again for being on the show. Looking forward to it, and looking forward to hanging out in the next couple of days.

[00:43:52.97] Hell yeah. Thank you, Scott.

[00:43:54.54] Thank you for listening to the NSCA Coaching Podcast. We truly appreciate your support, and we wouldn't be able to do this without you, so keep on listening. If you enjoyed our episodes, please go write us a review at iTunes or Google Play, wherever you download your episodes from. Also be sure to subscribe so you get these delivered to you every other week right on time. You don't want to miss the next one. Also, you can go to NSCA.com and check out the episodes there, if you prefer that, and as well, check out our new website and everything that's going on.

[00:44:23.65] [MUSIC PLAYING]

[00:44:24.40] This was the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure to join us next time.

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Scott Caulfield directs the oversight, development and management of individual and group strength and conditioning programs for all student-athletes ...

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Tex McQuilkin is Director of Training at Power Athlete and has traveled to six continents teaching coaches how to teach proper movement, how to identi ...

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