As Greg Amundson talked about in episode 3, you and I are professional warrior athletes. Listen to the podcast for his explanation but I believe it.
We wear the gear and uniform that marks us as part of the team. There is no arguing that what we do is physically demanding, and the salty vets hunched and limping around the halls of my station that look like a NFL Hall of Famer prove that.
I don’t want that. I’m scared of that.
But what would that team look like?
The Biggest Change You Can Make: Get a Coach
In this scenario, I’m the star quarterback and even despite what Peyton Manning might say, a star quarterback still needs a coach. I got a coach (actually two) when I met Traver Boehm and asked him to do this project with us. His business partner Eric Malzone talks about how to pick a coach in this episode of The Squad Room. His tips include:
- The importance of finding a coach who will meet you where you are (this’ll make sense in the show)
- The difference between a personal trainer and a coach
- The benefits of a traditional gym vs. a CrossFit gym
- 1 simple step to finding a coach
- The importance of mentors
- The importance of a morning practice.
When you watch any sport – from high school varsity to professional ranks – you see something in common on the sidelines. There is an entire support staff of professionals who aren’t in uniform who are also part of the team. They’re the physical trainers, coaches, doctors, equipment managers and others that support the team on the field. That got me thinking. When I show up for work, what is my support staff? Who helps me put on my gear, stretch out the tight spots, helps me get warmed up, or helps me monitor my health at halftime?
If I pull a hamstring on a call, I don’t have someone dressed like a zebra blow a whistle while a group of trainers run to my aid with a water boy in tow to squirt Gatorade at me. I either suck it up and limp back or leave in an ambulance. Not ideal. That’s all on me. That’s a lot of expertise to ask from one average cop. So, maybe I need a team.
A football team comes together with the pre-determined goal of winning the game. A team full of cornerbacks would be unsuccessful, so the team fields a group that all have unique skills and abilities. A quarterback, a running back, a defensive lineman etc.
Likewise, a SWAT team is comprised of different positions that each achieve the common goal. A SWAT team of snipers would be highly ineffective (despite what the snipers would tell you) without a breacher, an entry team, a perimeter team, a hot-gas guy and so on.
Who is On My Team?
I’m still out recruiting members of my team, but it’s growing. Here’s who is on the starting roster.
- My wife – Yup, not much happens without her input and blessing. If Traver is my coach, my wife is my General Manager (I’m still holding out that I’m my own “Owner/President”).
- My Coach – I got my coach, and a lot of this stuff started to fall in line. Everyone needs a coach. Listen to this episode to find out why.
- A sports-medicine chiropractor – “Sports medicine” are the key words here. Look for someone who works with local sports teams – the higher the level the better, but someone who takes a systems approach to the spine and the posterior chain.
- A sports-medicine physical therapist – I went to 4-5 physical therapists who all sent me through the same routines over and over. Just like an M.D., they addressed the symptoms and not the cause. Once I found a sports-medicine P.T., my life changed in immense ways. Ask around and look for someone who does myofacial release work. It’s a lot like deep tissue massage. It’s not relaxing in the spa weekend kind of way, but it works out the kinks.
Who Do I Want On My Team?
I’m still recruiting and looking to add people to help me achieve my goals. People I’m seeking out include a nutritionist, a massage therapist, a stretching or yoga instructor; and a mindfulness coach. More to come on all of that.
Links and Mentions in the Show
Gratitude Journal: I mention the 5-Minute Journal a few times, and Eric also does a gratitude journal. I highly recommend it, especially if you aren’t ready to give meditation a try.
Food Journal App: MyFitnessPal
Books: (*disclosure* we are an affiliate link of Amazon.com and
After being exposed to CrossFit training in 2007 at LaLanne CrossFit in San Francisco, Eric’s love for the world of fitness began. In 2009, he quit his secure corporate sales job and moved to Santa Barbara and opened CrossFit Pacific Coast with longtime friend Traver Boehm. They knew a total of zero people in the area. With their share of setbacks and lessons learned, in five years, the facility grew to over 300 members and a 5000 square foot training facility in downtown Santa Barbara.
Under the mentorship and coaching of world renown fitness coach James Fitzerald at Optimum Performance Training, he began working with clients on a private coaching basis and fell in love with the dynamics, challenges, and rewards of the “1v1” coach/client relationship. He still believes in life changing abilities that group training can offer, but it is simply not for everybody. From the growing demand for private coaching, Gravitas has emerged and is now training clients all over the world.
Eric has over 6 years experience in strength and conditioning and 2 years of mentorship from James at Optimal Performance Training. He has designed training programs for thousands of athletes with goals including, but not limited to, CrossFit, weight loss, rehabilitation, water polo, sailing, endurance, Olympic style weightlifting, power lifting, body building, and even roller derby. Eric is a competitive fitness athlete and when he’s not coaching or training, he’s enjoying the Santa Barbara lifestyle with his fiancé Marcela and furry friend River.
Eric has obtained the following certifications: USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, POSE Running Coach, CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Barbell, CrossFit Olympic Style Lifting, CrossFit Endurance, all 5 modules of the Optimum Performance Training’s coaches certification program, and currently studying to become a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist.