| | Dedicate to Filling Your Holes

Author / Donald Ricci

Coaching is more than just a job – it’s a vocation. As such, you must be willing to make sacrifices with your time, your training, your money, and your emotions. But, here’s a news flash: making sacrifices alone won’t make you a great coach – they’re just baseline requirements that will put you in a position to truly maximize your performance as a coach! If you have been, or are ready to make those sacrifices, the next step is to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself: “Do I have the dedication to be great?!”  You must be prepared not only to sacrifice, but also to dedicate yourself to your craft for the betterment of your athletes!

Being dedicated to the vocation of coaching comes down to a revolving door of self-reflection and analysis of figuring out where your coaching holes are, and then investing your time and resources to filling them. Last year, I took a long, hard look at myself in the mirror and it helped me realize where my biggest coaching holes where – it was a big catalyst for me beginning my journey with Power Athlete. Our development and quest to expand our skill set as coaches should be a never ending process for the sake of our athletes!


Just as athletes have performance limiting factors, so do coaches. My question to you – coach – is this: What are you doing to mitigate the limiting factors in your own coaching performance?

Whether young, old, experienced, or not, I’m seeing a trend where coaches are ignoring and stepping over those holes, and instead doubling down on what they already know – adhering to their “systems” and even dogma, pushing everything else aside.

Remember, there are very few absolutes in this world, especially when it comes to training; as the great philosopher and warrior Obi-Wan Kenobi said, only a Sith deals in absolutes. It makes me uneasy, and should be a red flag to everyone, when coaches make blanket statements of “all,” “none,” “always,” or “never.” It exposes either a dogmatic approach, inexperience, and/or a fixed mindset. Remember, don’t be a “systems guy.”

For example, I cringe when I see or hear coaches make proclamations of “why we don’t use weightlifting movements for our athletes,” or “this is why weightlifting movements are bad and why you shouldn’t use them.”

First off, that’s a BOLD statement to make across the board. There are no bad movements – just poor understanding, shitty implementation, and even worse execution. To me, you’re simply making excuses for a big coaching hole that exists – or just chasing views and likes on social media. Either way, it shows a lack of dedication to the craft and vocation of coaching.


Instead of pushing false and worn out narratives, a better and more honest response to those questions or statements would be “we don’t know enough about them, or have enough in depth personal or practical experience with them, to effectively and safely use them with our athlete population.”

Now that’s an answer I can respect! Why? At least it tells me that you’re honest with yourself, and you understand where you coaching holes exist. But you want to go pro as a coach? Take action! Dedicate yourself to filling those holes – wherever they may exist. It’s one thing to admit where your shortcomings are, but it’s another to actually work at improving on them.

Stop making excuses, dedicate yourself, and contribute to our vocation. John Welbourn, CEO of Power Athlete, regularly uses the analogy of “moving dirt” when it comes to training. You have a pile of dirt and your job every day is to move that dirt from point A to point B, no matter what. Some days you’re going to be able to use a shovel, other days you’re only going to be able to use a spoon, but no matter what, you have to move the dirt. This analogy applies to coaching too. No matter what, as coaches we must work to move that dirt and fill our holes. Some days, you’re going to be able to move a lot, and other days very little, but as long as you’re doing something to fill the holes, you’re on the right track!

Join me in the fight against making excuses and dedicating yourself, as a coach, to filling your coaching holes! If you’ve figured out where your holes are, but aren’t so sure on how to take action, reach out to me and let’s figure this out together. My direct email is don@deltaweightlifting.com.

Every coach needs a coach – a rising tide floats all boats!


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Donald Ricci

Don was a two time National Champion and All-American water polo goalie at the University of Southern California prior to getting involved in coaching strength & conditioning and weightlifting. He is the founder and head coach of DELTA Weightlifting, a high performing USA Weightlifting Club and is a Police Officer in Central Virginia.

The Power Athlete Methodology has been a crucial component in developing better overall athleticism not only for his on the job performance in law enforcement, but also for his competitive weightlifters with international level athletes and national medalists to show for it. In addition to proudly being a Power Athlete Block One Coach, Don is also a USA Weightlifting Level 4 International Coach, a USA Weightlifting Lead Instructor USA Weightlifting Coaching Courses, and a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Don has coached and trained athletes from virtually every sport at levels ranging from youth beginner to National Team level.


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