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Weekly News and Articles from Finish First Sports Performance, Issue #30
October 23, 2008
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Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

What Kind of Elevator are You?

By Coach J. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Performance Scientist

As a coach, I get to see how athletes interact with their teammates, rivals, and other athletes from different sports. Often, I see some of the defining qualities of each athlete, and try to use each moment as an opportunity to teach some of many principles of becoming a better leader, as well as a better teammate.

One of the principles that I think has great value in athletic development is what Dr. John C. Maxwell calls “the Elevator Principal.” In his books on leadership and teamwork, Dr. Maxwell says that just like an elevator, you can choose to either take someone up, or bring someone down. You can either be the type of person that lifts others up, regardless of outcomes or circumstances, or you can take others down (usually, with yourself).

Being an elevator that lifts up requires having the correct attitude, unselfishness (as a team player), and a vision towards greater things. Having the correct attitude determines how you react to specific situations as well as the outcome of each competition. Our attitude is a choice. We can choose to be positive or negative.

Being unselfish is something as simple as putting your weights away in the gym so someone else can use the equipment. Being an unselfish leader and teammate shows others that you are making decisions based on what is best for the team, not yourself—this has a huge impact on team cohesion.

In order to have a vision towards greater things you must set goals. Goal setting will allow you to create a plan of action towards your goals (both individual and team), which will ultimately help you concentrate on the big picture. This makes it easier to look past temporary setbacks or defeats and to refine your plan as you help lift your teammates up.

Some athletes object to what I’m trying to teach them, saying that they don’t want to help some other athletes because ‘they are the enemy.’ Well, as much as this may be true, let’s not forget why we are athletes. Yes, we like to win. Winning feels great. However, sometimes, as we are developing as athletes, our coaches place too much emphasis on winning, and not enough on development and competition. True athletes like to win, but they also appreciate the thrill and value of fierce competition. By helping your competition, in essence, you are helping make yourself and your team better. If you don’t get better, you won’t win.

Please remember that quality competition helps foster self- and team improvement. You will have plenty of time in your athletic career to focus on winning, especially if you are fortunate enough to compete in college or professional athletics. In a well designed athletic development system, you should be developing to play your best when you are in your college or pro recruiting years. These are important years to put together all of the preparation you have been doing, and start to win. Athletes on winning teams get noticed. Concentrate on developing as a person and an athlete and, when the time right AND you have developed accordingly, you should focus on winning.

Finally, if you are reading this as an athlete, I ask you to take a closer look at whether or not you are contributing to your team as a leader or as a valuable teammate. What kind of elevator are you? Elevating your teammates mentally and emotionally will only help elevate what your team is capable of doing. Make the choice now to make the necessary steps to become a better leader and teammate. Make the choice today to become an elevator that lifts others up.

Featured Athlete Interview: Tim Jackowski

Finish First Sports Performance likes to get to know our athletes are hitting their goals and staying satisfied with the results of their training programs. One way we do this is by periodically interviewing our athletes. This week, we would like to share one of those interviews with you.

Age: 14
Sport: Soccer
Team: Beadling Soccer Club, Pittsburgh

How long have you been training with Finish First Sports Performance:
almost 1 year

What area(s) of performance did you need to work on the most, prior to beginning your training at Finish First Sports Performance?
Speed, Power, Agility, Strength

What were your expectations for Finish First Sports Performance and have they been met?
I wanted to become a starter and I have—so yes, they were met!

What area(s) of performance did you improve from training at Finish First Sports Performance?
Speed, Power, Agility, Strength

What do you like most about training at Finish First Sports Performance?
It really helps! Also, I’m not working with a team, so I can work at my own pace and get workouts designed just for me.

What do you dislike most about training at Finish First Sports Performance?

Do you feel that your program is designed specifically for you and your sport?

How do you feel about the training atmosphere, environment?
It’s nice because it is not too big or not too small. It has everything you need to get you where you want to go; plus no distractions.

What are your sport goals?
To play soccer in high school, play in college, and hopefully pursue a career in soccer.

If you could use one word to describe the programs at Finish First Sports Performance, what would that one word be?

Would you recommend Finish First Sports Performance to other athletes?
Yes—because it really does help you and you can tell that it does!

What do you think it takes to Finish First?
Hard work and commitment.

Thanks, Tim, for your time and honest answers!

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Performance Scientist
Finish First Sports Performance

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