Inspired by the book of the same name, Ron McKeefery’s CEO Strength Coach discusses the meaning and importance of “Making the ‘Big Time’ Where You Are.” When on vacation I re-read his book and this segment really made me think about how I can implement this into my company, and I decided to ask the NHSSCA Facebook group about how they take on this concept in their strength programs.
This blog is an aggregation of their answers with the last one being from Coach Mac himself:
This is an everyday thing for us. I believe that making the big time where you are is all about the desire & passion to become the best that you can become with the resources that you have. Always looking to grow and get better daily. Finding better ways to do things and be more efficient. Taking the answer no and finding other ways to make things happen. It’s about the relationships with the athletes the coaches and diving into them to make them great. Growth Mindset, Passion, Energy Giver!
Matt Nein, Director of Performance at Salisbury University
From the Frosty Westering book by that title – “When we learn how to feel good about ourselves, we then take ordinary things in our lives and make something out of them” “Make the big time where you are – it’s not a place, it’s not the state of your mind – it is the state of your heart”
When you understand the influence you can have/the importance of your position – you can feel great about what you do, and take the things in your life (the kids you work with, the school you are at, your relationships at home) and make something significant out of them.
Kevin Vanderbush, Head Strength Coach at Ben Davis High School
By not trying to use my school as a stepping stone to make it to the collegiate/professional level. It’s more of an attitude of trying to give these kids a place to come in excited to work. It’s a mindset rather than actual things, at least for me.
Joe Aratari, Head Strength Coach at Penfield Central School District
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This can mean many things. With the track team in with making it big time there is giving the absolute best and still believing we will win every meet even though all we had was one bar and 4 weights.
With the basketball team it means that for the 6 hours
I’m with these kids they get everything I can offer them that they can continue the legacy the school has built.
Though I know I can be terminated at any point it means making a big impact on both programs that even if I leave I have made a positive change in these kids life.
I spoke on this specifically at the VA NSCA clinic, and I just spoke about it to my intern today. Most everyone starts out thinking/wanting to be (insert big name school/job’s) head strength coach. Goals are good to have but they should outshine your current opportunity. I think its vitally important to take advantage and create what you want where you are at for however long that opportunity last. Does that mean you cant go else where if the right opportunity comes, no. What that means is that you invest now as if youre going to be there for the next 5,10, or 15+ years. If you do that you will leave fewer stones unturned, create an environment where athletes enjoy and want to train day in and day out. Is it about us and our ego, no. For me its about what I can do to make sure my athletes walk away in four years and can say Coach Smith gave his all to help make us better athletes and people. If you do a great job, it may not come on your terms, but opportunities to grow will come your way. Most of the time the place to grow is where your at right when youre looking elsewhere.
Thats a bit of a long winded response. I just fully believe if you give your athletes what you would want/expect as an athlete, then you’re doing all you can.
Ed Smith, Head Strength Coach at Lynchburg University
I really had to think about this when I read Coach Mac’s book, because I never wanted to go to a “big time” university. I felt really cheated by the “coaching” I got when I was in high school. So for me big time has always been the idea that I want to give my athletes the best I can, the best equipment, programming, coaching… etc. I want them to have the best, they deserve the best, and while trying to deliver this I created a program I don’t want to leave. Now my school has a lot of issues that can make things really really difficult, but I work each day like I am not good enough to be there, because I don’t want any of my athletes to have the inferior experience I had. No matter who I work with they all should get “big time” training.
John Girton, Head Strength Coach at Robert E. Lee High School
I keep Frosty Westering’s book “Make The Big Time Where You Are” on my desk to remind me to make focus on the job I am doing and make it better than I found it. Early in my career I would think about all the jobs I wish I had. What I have learned from my experience that although the school or program may be bigger, gear a little nicer, etc each was made up of a group of players that all had the same needs. My job regardless was to pour 100% of myself into them. And when I did that regardless if they were a NFL player or small college the joy and pride in the job was the same.
It also means to me to focus on how you can improve the situation in all areas so that when presented with additional opportunities it becomes clear to you that you have accomplished all that you can and left the situation better than you found it for the next coach.
Ron McKeefery, Head of Performance and Education at PLAE