If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with some of the terms that are thrown around the Power Athlete world. Be the Hammer, Move the Dirt, Eat the Weak. We know what these mean and the images they bring. But, what about Block One Coach? What does it mean? What does it represent? Who are these mysterious Masters of Movement? From my one man perspective, the Block One Coach was the pinnacle of what it means to pursue excellence in yourself, and the people around you? It’s not a title of someone who has completed a journey, but of someone who has just started one. A continuous one, always seeking knowledge and ways of sharpening their own blade. This last month saw the first annual Block One Collective take place, and in this article I’m going to take you on my journey from a (self-perceived) “outsider” to a part of the strongest and brightest network in the S&C world.
Block One, Round One
When I first stepped onto the soil at Power Athlete ranch in June 2018, I could tell I was in for something big, something bold…and ultimately, something for which I wasn’t ready. My first Block One Assessment Weekend was a challenge and an experience I’ll never forget. Throughout those two days, I was pushed physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. I completed the online Methodology course, I read the manual, I reviewed all of the concepts. But this wasn’t just a check-in-the-block certification. And I can freely admit, I wasn’t prepared for the task at hand.
When John told me I hadn’t passed, I knew it was the right answer. I felt out of place; I wasn’t able to be myself. I questioned if I belonged. The other members of Block One Class 005 seemed so much more accomplished than myself: Athletic Trainers, Gym Owners, Sport Coaches, Law Enforcement Agents, etc. I didn’t know my “why.” Here I am, an engineer that coaches part-time, surrounded by the best of the best, people truly dedicated to their craft within Strength and Conditioning, and I couldn’t tell you why I wanted to be a Block One Coach.
Back Into the Fray
Fast forward to April 2019, Block One Class 008, and my return to the Power Athlete Ranch for my shot at redemption. Yes, you read that right. I went back for round two, to retesting to earn my Block. However, at this time, I knew things are different. I’ve seen the test, I’m aware of my faults, I know where I messed up, but none of that really mattered. This time, I knew who I was and why I wanted to coach.
At the conclusion of the weekend we’re each called in for our evaluation and to find out if we earned our Block. No matter how well you feel you did, there is still a sense of anxiety and doubt at that moment. When asked about my weekend performance, I’m honest. I know I made improvements, but I also admit I could have done better. When pressed by John, “So, do you think you passed?”, my wavering answer nearly cost me my Block. John was quick to stop me, “First off, you did pass”, which allowed me to release the breath I didn’t know I had been holding. He went on to talk about confidence and believing in myself. From that moment on, I knew I had just started on a big journey of growth and self-development.
From The Ashes
Throughout the past few years, I have had four weekends spent purely with Power Athlete: two with the aforementioned Block One Tests, and two at the Power Athlete Symposium, a mind-blowing extravaganza featuring world-class professionals empowering each attendee with life-changing knowledge from the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, and Business.
And then 2020 happened. The world changed and Power Athlete decided to forgo the Symposium. A part of me felt empty because I was not able to have that weekend in Texas, surrounded by like-minded people that wanted to empower the performance of both themselves and those around them. But from the ashes of the Power Athlete Symposium, a phoenix appeared, rising higher and brighter, known simply as: The Power Athlete Block One Coach Collective.
Billed as a two day event in September, the Power Athlete Block One Coach Collective was a true highlight of what Power Athlete is doing on their journey towards world domination through Strength and Conditioning. Fifty plus Block One Coaches descended onto Power Athlete Ranch to converse, connect, and share with each other.
With his opening talk, Power Athlete Founder/CEO John Welbourn set the stage perfectly: “This isn’t a seminar. This isn’t a weekend retreat. This is the tip of the Power Athlete spear, where Iron sharpens Iron.” While we’ve all seen and read these phrases used ad infinitum, Power Athlete really put them to work during this weekend event, and I believe this is what separates Power Athlete above all other organizations. Throughout the weekend, every portion of the event was showcasing and highlighting a coach based on their own personal journey, experience, and expertise. The beauty of the weekend wasn’t just getting a bunch of like-minded people together because anybody can do that. The true highlight was allowing the opportunity for the Block One Coaching network to step up and showcase themselves in order to improve the collective. Very rarely is one able to learn from the best, and I had an opportunity to learn from experts in a variety of fields: nutrition, sprinting, change of direction, self defense, throwing, hypertrophy, teaching models, mental health and perseverance.
Throughout the weekend, I was able to have conversations and create connections. With each interaction, I grew as a person. I realized that I did belong in this network. I’m not the strongest, I’m not the fastest, I’m not the most accomplished coach, but none of that matters. What matters at the Block One Coach Collective is that I’m willing to be myself and contribute to the improvement of myself and those surrounding me. No one is better than another. We are all “Battling the Bullshit” together.
If You Want to Go Far, Go Together
As I’ve had time to reflect on the Block One Coach Collective, I realize how lucky I am to have found such a powerful group of people. The power in Power Athlete is focused onto the people in this coaching network. This network contains all walks of life with so many varied experiences: gym owners, strength coaches at all levels, personal trainers, current and former military, law enforcement and first responders, teachers, athletes, physical therapists, athletic trainers, martial artists, and yes, even an engineer or two. With each experience, my appreciation for this network continues to grow. Each Block One coach, no matter their profession, background, or history, has something to share. We’ve all earned a seat at the table. We all have something to contribute, whether it is knowledge, a skill, or just wisdom from personal experience. We all can have impact and improve each other as coaches and as people.
I’m already thinking about what I can bring to next year’s Collective that will improve the whole network. I am not just another number in the system. I am unique. I have my own experiences, skills, and a story to share with this network. Just a few years ago, I stepped onto Power Athlete ranch as a zero, unsure of my abilities and who I was as a coach. However, now, I know that I am a Block One Coach and I have earned my seat at that table and will be a contributing member to the most powerful coaching network out there.
Don’t Miss Next Year!
Are you looking for a weekend experience you’ll never forget? Then don’t miss out on next year’s Block One Coach’s Collective! Give yourself the opportunity to learn from the best in the business as well as share your passion with others. If you’re not already, you can join the Block One family by earning your Block. The first step is to head to the Power Athlete Academy page and sign up for the Power Athlete Methodology course!
BLOG: https://powerathletehq.com/the-block-one-collective-iron-sharpening-iron/ by Danny Stein
BLOG: https://powerathletehq.com/certifications-and-seminars/ by Adam Campbell
BLOG: https://powerathletehq.com/the-sacrifices-it-takes-to-be-a-great-coach/ by Don Ricci
Andrew graduated from the University of Illinois in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Materials Science and Engineering. He has worked in a variety of industries, with the most recent being aerospace and defense. When not solving materials issues on helicopters, Andrew has a passion for health, fitness, and self-improvement. He started coaching CrossFit in 2015, eventually finding his way through the Power Athlete Methodology Course and earning his title as Block One Coach in April 2019. He has put that knowledge and passion into coaching both adult fitness classes as well as youth sports performance. Currently residing in Mesa, Arizona, Andrew is driven by challenge with his latest personal endeavor being Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
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