Archive for December, 2011

Full Reps – Please Read

New’s Years Day 2012 will mark the 3 year anniversary of Kyle Ford’s death. I still can’t believe it. 15 years old.

If you’ve been around GoWags for any length of time, you’ve either seen our “Full Reps” shirts or heard us break our camps or classes with a  loud “Full Reps”!

Many of the kids who come to GoWags will never appreciate the meaning behind the words.  The term “Full Reps” was coined by Bob Gorinski. The original “Go” in GoWags.  An amazing writer, Bob wrote this wonderful blog about Kyle Ford. If you have time, read this blog and share it with a friend. And give your son or daughter a big hug, and tell them you love them!!!

Kyle Ford

Long toss

10/22/08 – 68 mph

12/11/08 – 74 mph

Squat Jump

10/13/08 – 412 watts

12/11/08 – 588 watts

Some pretty intense basketball games went down in the early morning hours at Cedar Cliff high school. That’s where I first met the Wagner brothers about 5 years ago. Just a few minutes and jumpers in my eyeball later, I learned what’s on the outside; that these guys are real athletes.

Speaking to them very little, it wasn’t much longer until I learned the rest.

That’s how it is with sports. Even recreational competition reveals character. Any sports and physical training where you take it seriously and dig deep and risk failure are like magic glasses that reveal the soul.

You want to really know a man? Step on the field or court, where real life happens, no faking. Compete against him. Better yet, compete with him. Watch him and pay attention.

Kyle Ford was (like) a nephew of the Wagner brothers. He was a “guinea pig” for some of our early ideas for GoWags, so I heard much about this particular athletes progress in our system. I completed his orthopedic assessment, ran him through a few of our performance tests, and routinely viewed the fruit of his work posted on-line.

Hard work. He was the first guy at GoWags to truly get the point of 20-rep squats. He put up some impressive power and baseball numbers, at the age of 15. Not the absolute best, though he was quickly gaining on anyone who wasn’t working like he was. That’s almost the point.

But even better than the physical improvements, Kyle was getting it! He was pursuing focus. He pushed harder, suffered the uncomfortable consequences of disciplined effort, and didn’t quit. He was learning for himself how the mind raises the body. I’m told by those close to Kyle that they could see the “whole life” changes brought on by the circular effects of increased confidence and improved physical performance.

Kyle was gulping down the full dose that the Wagners and I intended for GoWags. Oh God, this is not about baseball.

I never had much time with Kyle. After that initial assessment, I exchanged a few greetings with him and briefly watched him train from a distance. I remember watching him strain under the bar with squat jumps. I remember taking a mental note while Kyle was trying to do chin-ups. He was struggling, going all the way down and up without me needing to tell him to. He seemed to be going even higher than what’s required.

This taught me about Kyle Ford.

Long before GoWags, I saw how, of all tests, competitive young men are easily tempted to do a partial range of motion on chin-ups. Especially when there’s something at stake. It’s easy to appear that you can best your buddy or your rival. You may get a higher ranking in the GoWags database. But the truth of doing only partial reps on the chin-up test is that you’re either cheating or lazy.

Kyle Ford is why, for testing purposes, we will not count incomplete reps at GoWags. I don’t care how good the intentions, or if your next game is T-ball or MLB All Stars. That’s the kind of “paying attention” Kyle and Bret and I are doing when we watch you train. That’s why it’s about character, always.

I didn’t know Kyle Ford very well, in some terms. I have little room to speak on all of him, and I never really like our human tendency to deify the entire life of a person after they are gone. But this I can say, must say, because I know:

Kyle Ford did full reps.


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Would you be upset if I did this to your child?

True Story. We’ll leave the details out for anonymity.

A classroom is divided up into 4 different groups based upon reading skill level.  Level 1 are your best readers.  Level 4 are your worst readers.

A child is originally placed into Level 2 based upon the instructors initial perception of the child’s reading ability. Things get off to a good start. The child is doing well in Level 2 and is progressing nicely. However, after 3 weeks in the program things begin to change.  The child’s focus is waning and her reading comprehension is suffering. The child’s reading ability now seems to be more suited to Level 3.

With no feedback about why he / she was moving down a level, the instructor moved the child into a more “appropriate” level. Level 3

The story doesn’t stop there. The child continues to digress until he / she is now reading at a Level 4 pace.

With no feedback about why he / she was moving down a level, the instructor moved the child into a more “appropriate” level. Level 4

Skip to the conversation between teacher and parent:

Teacher: “We’ve moved _____ down 2 levels in our reading program. Your child seems much more comfortable at this level.”

Parent: “Comfortable? I’m not sure I like comfortable. Does _____ know why he / she was moved down?”

Teacher: “No. We didn’t want to hurt _____’s self esteem.”




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Big Talk

Everybody knows small talk.  Casual or trivial conversation.

Why don’t you hear much about big talk? What is big talk? Is that an actual term?

If there is such a thing as big talk,  Billy, Teed, Kyle and I engage in it all the time.

An example will certainly help you understand:

Kyle: “How was the class tonight?”

Bret: “Excellent. Brandon did a great job with his posture. Stayed over the plate and was really committed to the outside pitch.”

Kyle: “Did you do anything different?”

Bret: “Just mentioned the fact that all great hitters, without exception, land on the balls of their feet if a pitcher “fakes” a throw. I think that made sense to him.”

Kyle: “Right. Do you think 8 year olds are too young to understand what the sagittal plane is?”

Bret: “Uh…Yeah”

Conversations like this happen ALL THE TIME at GoWags.

We’re big talkers!

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Lessons from Spiderman

Peter Parker: Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-man.

The same quote can and should be applicable to coaches. “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Daniel Coyle, in the Talent Code, refers to something called ignition.  Coyle defines ignition as “the famously potent moment when a young person falls helplessly in love with their future passion.”

Without ignition, a young person will never commit enough time and energy to develop their true potential. Ignition is the gasoline behind the talent engine!

Coaches… Every one of your players is different. Every one of your players MAY have a different source of ignition. Does Jimmy need a pep talk? Does Blake need a hug? Does Luke need a “private moment” of instruction?

Perfectionists don’t need to be told they’ve done something wrong. They are already beating themselves up. They need to be told that mistakes are part of the game and to move on.

Dreamers, those sometimes absent-minded players whose minds may wander, may need a “verbal lasso”.  Get them back on track.

The point is, what works for one boy, doesn’t always work for another.

Find their switch and start the ignition.

Full Reps!



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The “A” word

“It must be nice being your own boss.  You don’t have to answer to anyone.”

We hear this sometimes when we talk about GoWags.

You can think of a boss as that person who has the power to hold you ACCOUNTABLE to do your job.  It’s really that simple. And for small business owners, that person is YOU, the customer.

Our “customers” pay $59 for a single half hour baseball lesson.  By industry standards, that’s pretty high.  What happens if that customer isn’t happy with the service provided? What happens if they feel they can get better value somewhere else?  Gone….

Make no mistake about it. We have a boss alright.  Our “customers” hold us ACCOUNTABLE to bring our “A” game every night.

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The Power of the Mind

In researching resources for this blog, I stumbled upon this article

Article Here

Of the many great nuggets of information, these stand out:

“It is important to understand that it is not our thinking that creates our circumstances, but the emotion that is attached to our thoughts…”

“…The more emotion a thought has, the more it is able to move things”

Do pregame speeches work? Absolutely.  As long as you tap into their emotions.

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Law of the Harvest

Are you setting goals you would like to achieve for 2012?

If the answer is yes, than you need to fully appreciate the Law of the Harvest.  It states, “we reap what we sow”,  in order to achieve our goals.

Some key principles of the Law of the Harvest

1.  There is a proper time to sow seeds of change – Develop in the winter when there aren’t as many negative consequences for learning new skills.

2. There is a right way and a wrong way to sow seed – We call it deliberate practice.

3. It takes a lot of diligent work to realize a good harvest – Good old fashion sweat equity.

4. The harvest comes at the proper time – Play Ball!

We love when baseball season starts.  And we will gladly give your son a baseball lesson in April and May.  But, don’t underestimate the Law of the Harvest.

GoWags Baseball – Full Reps!

Membership opportunities still available

Semi-Private Classes offered daily

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