Tag Archives: Coaching

Great Coaches Notice


Great coaches don’t just write a program, and tell their athletes good-luck! Great coaches take notes on their athletes daily. They notice the warm ups their athletes perform. They notice how certain programming affects the athlete. They notice their attempts, and make note if the athlete should take small or big jumps. They look at their movement patterns. They look at how the athlete is designed. They look at the strengths and weaknesses of each of their athletes. My friend and partner Ox Mason wrote a blog about cookie cutter programs, and I am in total agreement. Let’s look at two of my athletes, and I will show you the differences.

First I have Caleb Tilson a 94 KG Weightlifter. Caleb has strong legs, and he can take all the volume that you throw at him. His weaknesses are movement and mobility. His thoracic spine and ankles are his biggest enemies. Caleb must have more warm up time, and his programs must be high in volume. Low volume programming wouldn’t trigger the adaptation response required to get stronger and more efficient in the lifts. The more he practices the more his body learns the movement patterns, and therefore adapts with a more efficient movement pattern. His Front Squat is 350, but his Clean & Jerk is only 300. That tells me that he needs more time practicing the lifts.

Eze Onwurah is also a 94 KG lifter. Eze has great movement patterns and mobility, however high volume wrecks his body. Eze Clean & Jerks 325lbs, and he Front Squats 350lbs. This is fairly efficient, so he needs equal work in both the lifts and squats. Eze is better off with slightly higher intensity and lower volume workouts. Keeping Eze healthy is the ticket to success for his weightlifting career, so his warm up must be substantial. Our goal is to keep him optimally mobile, and to stabilize any weakness that we find.

I recommend that coaches keep a pad close by to make note of all the questions that I names earlier. Coaches get to know your athletes inside and out! They are looking for you to help them reach their goals, so it is up to you to do the little things that other coaches won’t. For a list of my upcoming Learn 2 Lift Seminars go to:


Or if you are interested in hosting a seminar, you desire online programming or you want remote coaching via Skype, email me at:


How to Produce Unbelievable Athletes

Mash Elite Performance has been in operation since 2008. We have produced countless amounts of Division I Athletes, National Champion Powerlifters, World Champion Powerlifters, and now National level Olympic weightlifters. We are working on producing champion Crossfitters, and I have no doubt that we will do just that. I receive countless emails, calls, and in-person inquiries about “The Mash Elite Secret”, so I am going to list it for everyone.

The first one is ”Leadership with Coaching”. Almost all the premier facilities in America have a knowledgeable, motivating, and driven coach. The coach has to be heart of the facility. I believe that the coach has to have at least performed the sport that they are coaching, and preferably at a high level. I blessed enough to still be able to compete on a National level at two sports, and I believe that inspires my young athletes. A coach has to be inspiring and motivational. I have high expectations from all of my athletes, and they know this. They also know that I love each and every one of them, so they know I have their best interest. My athletes have high expectations of themselves, so when I get upset with them, they know it’s out of love. A great coach is never satisfied with the level of knowledge that they possess. They are constantly on the lookout for something better. The last big key for a coach is to form a fun environment. I am excited for my athletes way more than I am disappointed. When they set personal records, I am jumping in the air and carrying them on my shoulders around the facility. This type of coach will produce countless amounts of champions.

Next an “atmosphere of excellence and fun” is a must! At Mash Elite my athletes have the highest of expectations for themselves, and all I do is remind them on a daily basis what those expectations are. I tell my parents up front not to send their children to me unless the athlete has extremely high expectations. We are not the place for mediocrity! I’m not judging those people. I am just saying that another facility would fit their mediocre goals better. A record board was the best idea ever created because my athletes will do anything to get on that crazy thing. Just as important as excellence is fun because athletes work harder and longer when they are having fun. As an example all of my athletes young and old know that Friday is “Max Out Friday”, and they know that we are trying to set personal records on that day. We treat Friday as a holiday, and we just have fun from open to close slamming bars, killing PRs, crushing 40 yard dashes, and murdering vertical leaps. We celebrate daily when athletes improve. I am a coach that targets when an athlete does something well. I correct bad mechanics, but I celebrate good mechanics.

The biggest reason that we are successful at Mash Elite is the community. We are family! We hang out together! We laugh together! We cry together! The whole reason that I put a smoothie bar and sitting area was to have a place for my athletes to just hang out. We also have “Chang Thai Friday Nights”, when I am not travelling so much. This is where we go to another MashEliter’s restaurant, and we all just eat and fellowship together. When athletes hang out, they feel a part of something bigger than themselves. We are a part of something special! When one of my athletes gets a scholarship offer, we all get one. When one of my athletes competes on a National level, we all compete. The community at MashElite is what guarantees that I will never work a day of my life because all that I do every day is hang out with my friends.

The last aspect of building champions is to teach technique and mechanics first. Before my athletes get a bar in their hand, they must first show me that they have proper mechanics with their own body. Before we load the bar with weight, the athlete must demonstrate that they understand the mechanics of the exercise. Running and jumping mechanics are taught every day, so the athlete’s newly added strength will transfer to a faster 40yd dash time and higher vertical leap. Something that I learned from Coach Joe Kenn of the Carolina Panthers is that a strength coach should try to get the most out of the least. That means I should get the most out of kettlebell squats before moving into barbell squats.

These are the building blocks that have made Mash Elite Performance into a factory creating great athletes. I hope that more coaches will read this, and that they will try to learn from it. These blocks have not only made our program successful, but they have also made it a fun and exciting place to be a part of. If you have any questions about the blocks, email me at:


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