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NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Season 6 Episode 18: Tommy Moffitt

by Eric McMahon, MEd, CSCS, RSCC*D and Tommy Moffitt, CSCS, RSCC*E
Coaching Podcast January 2023

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Coaches

Hear from iconic strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt as he debriefs on important lessons learned over a 34-year collegiate coaching career. Moffitt shares his perspective on the importance of training weightlifting movements, with NSCA Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager, Eric McMahon, and how these methods became an important element of “LSU Way” over an impressive two decades at the University. Topics include the development of young coaches, advice for landing an internship, and shared challenges we face in the strength and conditioning profession. In addition, Moffitt shares a new project he is currently working, the “Moffitt Method”, a new strength and conditioning and education service founded in 2022.  
 
Reach out to Tommy on Instagram: @tommymoffitt, Twitter: @TommyMoffitt, or by email at tommymoffitt5@gmail.com | Find Eric on Instagram: @ericmcmahoncscs or Twitter: @ericmcmahoncscs

Show Notes

“That's probably the most important thing for anyone, whether you're a football coach or strength coach or baseball coach. You got to surround yourself with people that are better coaches than you, people that are smarter than you. And then put them in a position where they can do their job.” 2:50

“You’ve got to be a great communicator. You've got to be able to get down on the player's level and speak to him or her in a manner that they understand it. And then you've got to be able to motivate that young man or that young woman to do what it is that you want them to do.” 26:00

“It takes a huge commitment to be an intern. And so through that, you learn a lot of patience. And then you learn to overcome adversity, and you learn a lot about yourself and what your level of commitment is to this field.” 29:00

“The only way out of that position is to apply for every job. You're never going to get a job that you don't apply for.” 41:05

Transcript

[00:00:01.46] [MUSIC PLAYING]

[00:00:04.39] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast, season six, episode 18.

[00:00:10.06] You've got to be a great communicator. You've got to be able to get down on the player's level and speak to him or her in a manner that they understand it. And then you've got to be able to motivate that young man or that young woman to do what it is that you want them to do.

[00:00:31.11] 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.

[00:00:41.98] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast. I'm Eric McMahon. Today, we're joined by Tommy Moffitt. He was our keynote presenter at National Conference in New Orleans. Tommy, thanks for being with us.

[00:00:55.57] Thank you very much, Eric. Again, it's a pleasure to be here and working for the NSCA today. So I'm excited.

[00:01:05.70] Nice. Yeah, it was great catching up a few weeks back in New Orleans. Your neck of the woods there. I know you're always dealing with some crazy weather. We were just talking about that off air, just a hot, humid part of the country.

[00:01:23.22] We're here in Colorado Springs, on top in the Rockies, 6,000, 7,000 feet up. And I know for all our staff and everybody going out there, it's definitely a change of change of humidity and weather. But that's what you're used to.

[00:01:39.37] Yeah, we just got back from a vacation in Tennessee. And it was beautiful up there. And it would get hot during the day, but the humidity just isn't what it is here. You wear our weather on your back, like an article of clothing when you go outside.

[00:02:02.07] Sometimes it can be pretty tough. But yeah, we've got some weather going on today, but hopefully everything is fine, and we make it through this podcast.

[00:02:12.99] Yeah, so at your keynote, you were basically taking us through your 34-year coaching career, 22 years at LSU with the football program. And know I know you get asked this a lot. What does it take to be at one institution so long?

[00:02:31.56] And that's something that you really got into during your keynote, just lessons learned along the way. Take us through some of the key points that you shared with the audience.

[00:02:41.95] Yeah, so I think of all the things that helped me stay here as long as it was was hiring great assistant strength coaches. That's probably the most important thing for anyone, whether you're a football coach or strength coach or baseball coach. You got to surround yourself with people that are better coaches than you, people that are smarter than you. And then put them in a position where they can do their job.

[00:03:15.84] And that was something that was always important to me. And I was always looking for guys that were younger than I was, people that had had different experiences than I had had. I felt that if I hired everyone to be like me, then we would be very shallow as a staff.

[00:03:41.08] So I tried to get people from different backgrounds, people that had had different experiences from me, people that had been coached by really good coaches. I think that's important.

[00:03:54.16] And I don't necessarily think that you have to be a collegiate athlete to be a collegiate strength coach. I think it helps, but I think you have to have people-- or it helps to have people that were coached by great coaches. Because they're able to share a lot of experiences with the student athletes that were similar to some of the things that they had happen while they were competing and how they got along with their coaches.

[00:04:31.12] And so that's probably the most important thing. And then except for that, the Golden rule-- doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. And just we always tried to treat everyone fair, give everyone an opportunity to say what was on their mind.

[00:04:51.83] And I'm talking about the student athletes. I learned a long time ago that the athletes don't always like it as much as we do as staff members. They came to LSU, the majority in my career-- I worked primarily with football, and I've done track and field and some other sports.

[00:05:12.98] But they came on a football scholarship. They didn't come on a weightlifting scholarship or a running scholarship. They came to play football, but they ended up spending the majority of their time in the weight room with me.

[00:05:25.17] So I thought that it was important early on to develop a relationship and treat the young men and the young women in a manner that I would want to be treated myself.

[00:05:39.75] You touch on a lot of points there working with young coaches, and I want to ask you some of those things on the mentorship side. One thing you mentioned was you bringing in elite football players. And that's what they are. And they're not there because of their training age or their experience in the weight room.

[00:06:01.41] Do you think that's a common misconception that strength coaches have to work through is that by being a great athlete, the expectation is they're going to be in the weight room? What was your experience with that, and how did you progress players through their four years so that they did develop a strong training age?

[00:06:19.47] Yeah, so that is huge, especially because you're bringing kids in from everywhere. They're not just-- you're not just bringing in kids from Louisiana. You're bringing kids in from all over the country. And they're all different. Every one of them was different.

[00:06:39.82] And so what we tried to do early on in their career is not put them in a position where-- in the weight room, we didn't want to put them in a position where they had to compete with the older players. We always separated our young players from the older guys. And we took them through a developmental process that, for many, continued until December.

[00:07:05.02] So if a guy came in June, or even if a guy came in January, was an early enrollee, he would stay in that developmental process until we felt confident that he was ready to start training with the older guys.

[00:07:20.92] And then I touched on this a little bit at the conference. There's always a 5% rule. 5% of the guys are game ready. And Leonard Fournette, physically and mentally, he was ready to play in the NFL. When he came to us, he was 18 years old, and he looked like a grown man.

[00:07:42.69] And so 5% of those guys are probably able to compete with those older guys, but the other guys just aren't. So we kept them separate. They were on a totally different schedule.

[00:07:56.95] The only time that they were around the players in the weight room was when we started in season training. And because of class schedules and practice schedules in the afternoon, they had to be in that group. But they still trained differently than the other guys.

[00:08:17.82] And then some of those would be mainstreamed at some point, when we felt like they had caught up with where they were supposed to be technique-wise, strength-wise, then we would mainstream them. But we tried to keep those guys separate as long as we could.

[00:08:35.19] And again, technique was critical, making sure that they could execute all the exercises that we were going to have them do. And then we learned through that process a lot about them, too, how they responded to coaching, how well they concentrated.

[00:08:52.96] And in our type of program, where you're primarily doing the Olympic lifts or some part of one of those Olympic lifts, you have to be able to focus and concentrate. So you find out which one of those guys or even which of the women can't focus and can't pay attention long enough to learn how to do a particular exercise.

[00:09:17.46] And we had very specific barbell warm-ups that we're supposed to do each day. And there were some people that would continue after months saying what warm-up do we have today? And so those guys required extra, extra effort. And I think through that process of developing trust and them knowing that we were just not going to pile a bunch of weight on the bar and have them start maxing in squats and stuff, I think that developed trust.

[00:09:51.11] And they learn-- for a lot of people, high school training is not mandatory. But at LSU, everything was mandatory. And there was-- if my wrist was hurt, we were going to find something to do with the rest of the body. If my ankle was hurt, we're not going to do anything for that ankle, but we were going to continue training.

[00:10:12.02] And I think by keeping those people separate and taking our time and not rushing the development, we were able to develop trust, and then teach them the LSU way. And that carried over into developing the culture that we had while I was there.

[00:10:31.76] You were a part of that LSU way for a long time. And I've seen you present some programs at Summer Strong, when you worked with Aaron Ausmus, and the program you shared at the keynote, just some of the work that you've been doing.

[00:10:46.91] How much would you say your programming philosophy's evolved or changed from when you started to the final few years?

[00:10:56.30] Yes, so I was blessed that I had older brothers that trained. And I learned to do. I used to see my brothers, they did some crazy stuff, but one arm barbell clean and jerks, and one arm barbell snatches, and split snatches, and all this crazy stuff when I was a kid growing up. And my collegiate strength coach was a former weightlifter.

[00:11:28.07] So you know that is the type of programming that I've always done. So in every program that I've always written, there has always been some form of snatch or clean or press. And in athletics, and the reason I program that way is, one, is because that's primarily what I've been exposed to my entire career. But two, I think those exercises, when done properly, do a lot towards developing the organism in a manner that will allow it to be more dynamic and to absorb greater forces throughout the contest.

[00:12:21.61] And so it's not just-- I don't program that way just because it's the only way I know how to program. But it's because I truly believe that it is the best way to train athletes for competition. Those athletes, dynamic athletes.

[00:12:39.76] And baseball players have to be trained a little differently, and tennis and golf would certainly be trained a little different. But any sport where it begins or ends with something that's explosive, I think it's important that you train that way.

[00:12:58.46] So my training, to finally get to answering your question, my philosophy hasn't changed a great deal over time. Because that's the way I think it has to be trained.

[00:13:13.48] There are things that I've done differently because of technologies, with the data that we've gotten throughout the years through Tendo and other velocity-based training systems, especially when we switch to Perch, that had a cloud-based system where you could look at the workouts after. You could just sit down and pull up each kid's workout and just delve into it like that, that helped a lot.

[00:13:48.10] Of course, GPS technology has changed a lot of how we ran or condition our players. So aspects of it has certainly changed, but the things that I've done over time haven't changed at all.

[00:14:09.32] Yeah, what I'm hearing, foundational principles stayed intact all throughout. And specific programming may have evolved with some of the new advances around technology and as the game evolved as well, I'm sure.

[00:14:24.77] I really like the term dynamic when you're describing athleticism. I think that's a topic that comes up around Olympic lifts, where I'd say when I got into the field, you had to learn Olympic lifts because that's how you developed athletes. And now depending on where you go, there's a little bit of a debate in the field about there's a lot of different ways to develop athletes. And I think that's a fair point as well.

[00:14:50.03] But it's something that maybe coaches today need to explore both sides of that and learn a little bit of the history of why some of those Olympic lifts were extremely valuable for athlete programs and not just weightlifters.

[00:15:09.11] Yeah. Especially if you look at the velocities that you see-- and the good thing about the Tendo is you could take that string and attach it to your belt. You could go out and have players hit sleds. There was a lot of stuff that we used to do with the Tendo to look at how dynamic an offensive and defensive linemen are when they strike one another, and how explosive of a movement that is.

[00:15:49.50] And then when you take that and you start looking at the different exercises and a power clean is called a power clean because of the amount of force and how quickly you generate that power in the movement. And so it's really neat to look at the data that you get from the cloud and breaking down and looking at peak velocity of a particular exercise and the amount of watts that you generate.

[00:16:29.39] And then you attach the Tendo to a player or a ground-based jammer. And you go outside and strike a sled or strike another player, and then you go do the ground-based jammer, and then you come back, and you do a power clean, or a muscle snatch, or a push press, or a med ball throw.

[00:16:50.87] And you see not just what the peak velocity is, but when you see the amount of watts that you're generating, I think there's definitely room and a need to at least explore some of the Olympic movements.

[00:17:10.76] And I know people struggle with teaching it, and if you can't properly teach it, you probably shouldn't even attempt it. But they're easy to learn. And the muscle snatch is probably, of all the different exercises besides a barbell press or an overhead squat, the muscle snatch, once you're starting to add some momentum to the bar, is one of the easiest exercises you can teach.

[00:17:45.50] And the amount of watts that you can generate in that movement is pretty phenomenal when you compare it to some of the other movements that people do. And here's what I used to tell young coaches. It's that other team lifts weights also. And they recruit big, strong, powerful linemen.

[00:18:09.98] And so when you have two players, two 225 or 325 pound offensive and defensive linemen strike one another, there is tremendous, tremendous forces that are placed on the body where you're receiving that blow, just like you receive a heavy clean or you rack a heavy jerk overhead. And that resulting force does a lot in how it trains the body.

[00:18:43.77] And so yeah, I think there's definitely a need for the exercises if you're capable of teaching them. And if you're not, then you need to find an alternative. And there's still a lot of good exercises out there.

[00:18:59.95] There's a lot of sports where I would not include the majority of the Olympic exercises in their training. But for the sport of football, I think it's important that those are there.

[00:19:16.29] Speaking to the value of Olympic lifts and training, and you made a really great connection for velocity-based training and maybe why it's so popular today as a training method is that it does directly connect to forces generated on the field. And that can be measured now with new technologies, just like it can be in the weight room.

[00:19:36.54] All right, man, I'm going to ask you. I've been hearing a rumbling of the Moffitt Method. Went up on your LinkedIn page, a little release party. What's the Moffitt Method? What have we been hearing about?

[00:19:52.77] Well, so I've always wanted to do something educational and be able to help as many or reach as many people as possible with our training philosophies. And throughout the years, I worked with countless high schools and collegiate coaches and programming. And every year at certain times, coach so-and-so would email me and say, hey, coach, have you got your phase? Could I take a look at your phase one program or your phase II or your phase III program for this year? We've implemented it for so many years.

[00:20:48.73] So we are super excited. I have teamed up with Matt Bruce. Matt was a two time alternate for our USA weightlifting team, Olympic weightlifting team. He was a-- I want to say a five or maybe even seven time world team member. He was a Gayle Hatch weightlifter.

[00:21:18.97] He and Mike Cazayoux owned a company called Brute Strength. And Matt had experience with online training protocols. And so what we have done is Matt and I teamed up with a couple of other people here in Baton Rouge.

[00:21:40.21] We're going to start with a podcast. And I will be the host of the podcast, so we'll see how that goes. But we're going to start sometime late August, early September with the podcast, and then we are hoping to have a deliverable product via team builder sometime in the mid to late October.

[00:22:05.44] We're going to target primarily starting out middle schools, high schools, and sport organizations, like baseball groups, soccer, lacrosse. And our goal is to offer a remote training protocol, remote coaching, weekly staff meetings, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:22:35.68] And we want to be the most comprehensive online training resource that there is. And we're going to offer both educational and everything from strength and conditioning to sports nutrition, sports psychology, mental health. You name it.

[00:22:56.25] And so that's what the Moffitt Method is going to be. And our long term goal is-- and we've targeted a building here in Baton Rouge because we want to have a facility here in Baton Rouge and then possibly one at home in Nashville, so that we can train our coaches. Because we are going to have coaches that work for us.

[00:23:25.52] So we want to be able to train our coaches. We want to be able to offer in-person coaching, and that members of our organization can come to our facility and learn from our coaching staff. And so we're excited about it.

[00:23:48.44] It's something that I've always thought about doing. And it was the first thing that I thought of after I got fired in December. I immediately went to work on it, and we've been working now for six months, and we're getting close.

[00:24:06.91] It's been a lot of work. It's been challenging, but it's also been refreshing to do something different. And I still want to coach. The good thing about this project here is that I can do this easily. Once we get all the work done, it's going to be something easy for us to do.

[00:24:32.86] I guess for the lack of a better term "easy." It's still going to be challenging, but we feel comfortable about being able to manage it. And so I still want to coach at some point, coach a collegiate team.

[00:24:49.30] I could do what I do. I feel like I could do it til I'm 65, 70 years old if in the right place. So that's the Moffitt Method, basically.

[00:25:07.92] I love that passion. I love that passion for the career. And there's no finish line in sight for you. The Moffitt Method, it sounds really exciting. I'm excited to hear some of those podcasts episodes.

[00:25:23.14] Yeah.

[00:25:23.49] I think--

[00:25:24.72] You better.

[00:25:25.86] Yeah. I think those will be a lot of fun. And one thing you touched on a little bit there is young coach development.

[00:25:33.81] Yes.

[00:25:34.08] That's something that when I think of the LSU program over so many years, just so many interns have gone through there. You talked about finding coaches with unique skill sets that add to the program, that add to your skill set, and just make the program better.

[00:25:49.41] What are some of the qualities you look for and just some of the advice you have for young coaches that might aspire towards one of those roles?

[00:25:58.96] So one of the biggest things was, and I still think this today, is you've got to be a great communicator. You've got to be able to get down on the player's level and speak to him or her in a manner that they understand it. And then you've got to be able to motivate that young man or that young woman to do what it is that you want them to do.

[00:26:22.88] And a lot of times, especially if you're dealing with highly successful people that have been successful and haven't done what you're asking them to do, it's important that you're able to communicate them, and convince them of the importance of training. Because in the Southeastern Conference, and I don't know-- well, I know how it was at the level of football that I played at, and I know what it's like to go up against Alabama, and Auburn, and Mississippi, and Mississippi State, and Texas A&M, and all of those teams back to back to back, along with travel.

[00:27:04.78] And so athletes must be trained. So you've got to have people that can communicate and motivate, number one. Secondly, I look for overachievers. I look for people that play two or three different sports growing up. I look for people that had done internships at other places and that were--

[00:27:32.48] And I'm not saying it's the way it ought to be. In fact, I've been very outspoken about coaches' salaries and the size of staffs for my entire career. But we offered unpaid internships, and that shows a level of commitment like a starving artist. Every one that came to Baton Rouge, we did our best to find them jobs if they wanted.

[00:28:05.20] I mean, the first question that we asked them in the interview process, are you financially able to do this? Because we didn't want kids coming and starving to death. We did everything that we could do to see to it that we were going to be able to feed them while they were in our building. Again, we tried to get them jobs.

[00:28:28.08] But the people that do that tend to be really devoted to our field. And it takes a lot of devotion to be able to do this. Because when you start out, you get there. You wake up at 4:30 in the morning. You have to be there at 5:30. And you spend all day doing that.

[00:28:50.88] And then when everybody's cleaning up their office desk, you're out there with a leaf blower, blowing the crumbs from the indoor practice field out of the weight room. I mean, it takes a huge commitment to be an intern. And so through that, you learn a lot of patience. And then you learn to overcome adversity, and you learn a lot about yourself and what your level of commitment is to this field.

[00:29:30.86] And so when I looked at resumes, if you did not appear to be an overachiever, if you were not a team captain or the weightlifting award winner, or you only started your senior year, which I think, for guys that go all through their entire high school career, and they're only a starter for one year, and they ended up getting a scholarship, that shows a lot of grit and toughness that I think is required to do this.

[00:30:04.38] And so if you were the strength and conditioning award winner team captain, academic all conference, or if you were all conference as a high school player, all state, I look for people that played Division II and Division III sports. Whether it was baseball, basketball, or football, it didn't matter to me. But those young men and young women had to play sports in college.

[00:30:34.80] So I think that those type of people, in my opinion, make the best strength coaches. I'm not saying that if you signed a Division I scholarship and you played five years in the NFL that you can't coach. I'm not saying that. But I found in my time here that those people who play D2 and D3 were just hungrier than the other people and were able to sustain that effort over a longer period of time.

[00:31:07.88] And young men and young women from the Midwest, people whose parents were in the military, and I could go on and on and on, and I would get a resume that looked interesting. And I would contact the prospective intern or GA, whoever I was talking to and ask them to give me more. Can you fill in some of these blanks here and tell me what you did when you were in high school and tell me what you did between December of 2008 and August of 2009? Because there's no reference to it on your resume.

[00:31:51.21] And then you'd find out that their mom was sick, and they were staying at home with their mom. Or their dad was ill, and they had to quit work to help mom with dad. And those things go a long way in telling the whole story about who this person is and what they're capable of doing.

[00:32:12.45] I took it very serious. I took hiring extremely serious. And we would sit as a group and go through every resume that we had as a group and discuss each resume, and then we would divide those stack of 50 resumes among our staff.

[00:32:34.87] And every person on the entire staff would speak to every applicant, in some cases, for some of these positions that we filled. That's how important it was to us to make sure that we hired the right person.

[00:32:50.96] And then I kept the notes from all of my interviews that I did in case someone else called and said, hey, coach, I'm looking for someone. I need this type of person. And I would go back through my notes from all these old interviews and pull out a name and say, hey, maybe contact this person and see what you think.

[00:33:11.99] So to me, hiring young coaches was the absolutely most important thing that I did on a daily basis.

[00:33:22.61] When you hire a coach, you're giving them an opportunity, an opportunity for that position but an opportunity to build on that position into their career. You're looking for hunger. You're looking for the ability to overcome adversity and the ability to learn from their experiences and build on things.

[00:33:39.64] I think those are such good advice points, qualities for coaches to think about while they're going to school, before they get into that professional race where they're starting to apply for positions. And I want to ask, you mentioned salaries and how you've been an advocate for salaries in the profession and building value. And I think as well as any that not all strength and conditioning salaries are as good as they are in the SEC, and especially when you're down in the D2, D3 level.

[00:34:19.61] From the NSCA, we're trying to grow the profession across the board. What advice do you have for coaches that are trying to grow the value of how strength and conditioning is viewed at their college or university or in their program? What's your experience with that?

[00:34:36.95] Yes, so the first thing is, I think-- as a group, I think strength and conditioning coaches need to be nicer to each other and kinder. And sometimes if you look on Twitter, some of these Twitter wars that go on between people, all it does is bring attention, negative attention to our profession. And so I think we need to try and cast a more positive light on what we do.

[00:35:17.21] Because we-- as the critical mass of all of our coaches, we are directly responsible for our reputation and how far we're able to do this. And I think we need to be organized better.

[00:35:36.84] One of the things that I think is really important, and it helped in collegiate football coaching and basketball, is that more strength and conditioning coaches need to have an agent to be there instead of trying to handle all this ourselves or just allowing the head football coach to negotiate our contracts for us, whatever.

[00:36:00.02] We need more strength and conditioning coaches to be represented by agents. And then we need to set a better example for the young coaches. As a person, I was the type of guy that every day before I went to work I took truth serum. And I was never one to really sugarcoat or beat around the bush about my feelings and how I was going to advocate for my staff members and our department on a daily basis.

[00:36:40.15] And I think just shaking your head in agreement sometimes, when inside you're saying to yourself, I know I'm getting screwed here, but I need the money, and I'm not going to say anything. I'm just going to keep my mouth shut. That does nothing for our profession.

[00:37:01.45] Something else, and I don't mean this with any disrespect to anyone, but if you talk to any coach that has ever worked for me, they'll tell you the same thing. I'm a big believer in applying for every job that comes available, every job that comes available as a young coach.

[00:37:25.03] You can't be-- you can't pigeonhole yourself into saying, I'm not going to take this job because I only want to be a football strength coach. That's not how you get jobs, man. And that's not how you progress in this business.

[00:37:44.70] You have to apply for every job that's available. And then if you're working at a job and another job comes available that's a better job, apply for that better job. I've learned again by watching and being a part of it, when that university-- it doesn't matter who you're working for-- when they get ready to fire you, they're going to fire you.

[00:38:05.22] They don't care. They don't care how many kids you got. They don't care what your mortgage is. They don't care what your automobile insurance is. When they feel like that you're no longer a service to them, they're going to get rid of you.

[00:38:17.17] So I've always told all of my young coaches, apply for everything. And this is a business decision, and it's based on and your spouse and nobody else. You're not going to hurt my feelings. You're not going to hurt any grown man or woman's feelings by leaving the job.

[00:38:37.35] You do it respectfully. And then if you're offered a job by somebody, and then after looking at it, it's OK to respectfully decline someone's offer. But you can't sit back and say, I wish I had this job, yet you never do the things that are needed to get that job.

[00:38:58.20] I told everyone, if you're coaching tennis, and you want to be a collegiate strength coach in football, you coach that tennis team exactly like they're your football team.

[00:39:09.00] You're never going to get a football team until that tennis team does well. And then let's say you get promoted. Now you're doing tennis and basketball, or tennis and baseball, or tennis and track and field. You coach those sports every day like it's your football team.

[00:39:27.39] I'm not talking about means and methods, but the same passion that a young coach is going to put into football, he needs to put that into everything he does.

[00:39:41.34] So I had never gotten a job-- and I'm blessed, but I never got a job that I applied for. Every job that I ever got was because someone had recommended me for a particular position because they knew of my work ethic, that I had put in at some other place. And so although I advocate for applying for jobs, the jobs that I applied for I never got, but it was because somebody had worked with me at another place, and they recommended me for that job.

[00:40:21.11] And so I'm very passionate about this, because the key to being a successful strength coach is that-- and it's a shame, but you have to overcome such adversity early in your career. And the only way that we're going to improve it is that we're more outspoken as an organization, organizations. And then we push for higher salaries, but you have to earn it.

[00:40:53.98] A person's rewards in life are in direct proportion to their service. But unfortunately young coaches get discouraged because they feel as if they're stuck in a position where they're not earning the money that peers make in football or in business, if you're in finance or whatever. So the only way out of that position is to apply for every job.

[00:41:23.75] You're never going to get a job that you don't apply for. And you got to have a great resume. And then I never was really a networker. And one of the reasons-- I was kind of a grunter early on in my career, and I wasn't a great communicator. I learned to be a better communicator, but I was a grunter when I was young. And I would just nod my head or grunt in agreeance or disagreement.

[00:41:58.52] But I learned that if you're going to move up this thing, you got to work hard, unfortunately really hard, and then apply for everything and network. I wasn't a good networker. I'd go to a conference, and I would sit and listen to every talk, but I wouldn't talk to anyone.

[00:42:19.31] But I got my break. And I don't know if I told you this, but I was a high school coach in New Orleans. And I'd been that high school coach for six years, a high school strength coach. And I coached all of these different sports. And the conference was in New Orleans.

[00:42:37.39] And I went. And I went to the job board, and there was a grad assistant position available at the University of Tennessee. And in the women's department, because the men's and women's departments were separate.

[00:42:50.63] And so I interviewed with a guy named Chris [? Tohota. ?] He was the director of strength and conditioning for women. And so he said, you're probably overqualified for this position, but I'm going to recommend you to the head strength coach for the men's department.

[00:43:10.66] And so Coach John Stucky called me and asked me if I was going to be around Knoxville anytime soon. My brother was actually getting married in Nashville, so my wife and I drove to my brother's wedding, and then we drove over on my own dime to Knoxville and interviewed with Coach Stucky, and ended up getting-- I interviewed for a grad assistantship, but I ended up getting a full-time job while I was there.

[00:43:40.44] And so I got stories like that. I had an intern that worked for me for a while. And then he went to work for Coach Hatch. And he said to me-- one day, he said, coach, I think it's time that I move on. And I said, have you been applying for jobs? And he said, no, sir, I'm not. I haven't.

[00:44:06.50] So I said, well, what are you going to do? He says, I'm going to get in my car, and I'm going to get on I-10, and I'm going to head west. And I'm going to stop at every university there is until I get to San Diego, California.

[00:44:21.22] And then I'm going to turn around, and I'm going to come back. And so his name is Jeff Earls. And so he got in the car, and he stopped in Texas was one of the schools, because he went through Houston, and then through Dallas. And he headed down to Austin, and he met Jeff Madden, and walked in, cold called and spoke to Jeff Madden and got a job at the University of Texas.

[00:44:52.29] And he's never been without a job ever since. And he called me. He says, coach, I got a job. And I was like, where? He said at the University of Texas. And I was like, wow, man. That's awesome.

[00:45:03.88] And so you just got to get out there and make it happen, man. It's not going to happen because you want it to. You've got to make it happen.

[00:45:11.58] Yeah, we want to make it better for the future. We want to build a system. That's what the NSCA is, to support coaches in the long term. But if you're in the game right now, you got to-- in a way, you got to play by the rules right now and show that work ethic that you're talking about, be an overachiever.

[00:45:27.63] I like some of the-- I like the passion. I like the stories. But I like the terminology you use around being an overachiever and just showing that you have a lot of upside as a professional early in your career before it really comes to fruition.

[00:45:45.24] There are a lot of telling signs, that when we see intern resumes, young coach resumes, things that stick out. And I think that's really some positive takeaways from this episode for coaches listening in of how to evaluate resumes when they're coming in, what types of questions to ask candidates during interviews. There's a lot of good stuff there.

[00:46:15.36] Obviously, we got a lot of big things coming with the Moffitt Method. What's the best way for coaches to reach out to you and get connected if they want to ask you some questions?

[00:46:26.49] OK, so the best way right now would be to email me at tommymoffitt5@gmail.com, tommymoffitt5. We also have a landing page for our business. It's themoffittmethod.fit. And you can leave your name, address, and phone number there.

[00:46:56.10] And then on Twitter, you can DM me. I get asked a lot of questions on Twitter. @tommymoffitt on Twitter. And then so for our podcast, we're actually going to have an Ask Coach portion of our podcast. So I'm looking forward to that. That's going to be fun.

[00:47:20.03] But, yeah, anybody that has any questions, don't hesitate to email me. I'll do the best I can to help you in any way. And that's the main thing. Again, it goes back to the Golden Rule, man. Do unto others as you would do unto them, or that you would have them do unto you, and just treat people right.

[00:47:45.83] And so just if there's anything that I can do, if anybody has any questions or you want to debate something, I don't care. Give me a shout because I've got nothing else, really, to do.

[00:48:01.02] I love it. No, Tommy Moffitt, 34-year coaching veteran, 22 of those years at LSU, now kicking off the Moffitt Method. Thanks for being with us.

[00:48:09.96] Thank you, Eric. I appreciate it.

[00:48:12.76] To everybody tuning in, we appreciate you being with us. We also appreciate Sorinex Exercise Equipment, a sponsor on this podcast. Have a great day.

[00:48:22.99] Hi, coaches. I'm Liane Blyn, a 2022 NSCA college strength and conditioning coach of the year. You just listened to an episode of The NSCA Coaching Podcast.

[00:48:32.50] Thanks for tuning in to hear conversations about the strength and conditioning profession. Don't miss an upcoming episode. Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play, and comment on some of the highlights on NSCA's Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can also hear full episodes on the NSCA's newest channel, NSCA.tv.

[00:48:54.96] 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.

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.

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Eric L. McMahon, MEd, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F,*D, RSCC*E

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Eric McMahon is the Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager at the NSCA Headquarters in Colorado Springs. He joined the NSCA Staff in 2020 with ove ...

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James T. Moffitt, CSCS, RSCC*E

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A 1986 graduate of Tennessee Tech University, Moffitt began his coaching career in 1987 as strength, assistant football, and wrestling coach at John C ...

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