This is a powerful mindset video I want to share with our athletes in Manasquan, Edison and soon Scotch Plains…..
The mind is so crucial to success not just in sports, but in ALL areas of life.
Being a Champion in Sports but mediocre or “good enough” in your academics and social life is unacceptable.
That’s NOT what we teach at The Underground Strength Gym.
Be GREAT in ALL areas of your life. Consistency in your Relentless Pursuit of Excellence must be expected from yourself first and foremost. When you hold yourself to a higher standard, you make yourself better and everyone else around you better.
If you’re a team sport athlete, I always remind you, your team is only as strong as your weakest player.
Do you want to be great?
Wondering when or how your success will finally happen?
Watch this important video and share with any coaches / parents / friends who would benefit from this video.
This Morning was the FINAL Morning Summer STRONG session at The Manasquan Underground Strength Gym.
This was our 3rd Summer! Time flies……
I signed the lease on this Building 1 month after Hurricane Sandy.
The building was a mess when I walked in there with my wife and kids. I remember standing in the dark, empty building and it looked like something out of a horror film, seriously!
The walls and beams were covered in grease with saw dust was caked on top of the grease! I wasn’t even looking for a Gym in Manasquan. I had been looking in the areas about 10-20 minutes north of Manasquan and a few days before my birthday I saw this warehouse for rent in Manasquan and checked it out.
I didn’t even know Manasquan had warehouse space!
I will admit, I went through a tough time after Hurricane Sandy so my mind was in a strange place.
I didn’t even have home damage nor did I lose anything and I can’t imagine what people experienced on so many levels who DID lose homes and more.
I remember taking a bike ride passed the barricades that blocked the streets over the rail road tracks just 2 weeks after Sandy.
I rode my bike through Manasquan past the train tracks and the moment that F–ked me up was when I saw on the sidewalk a mattress, a blender and a stuffed teddy bear. It crushed my heart seeing that Teddy Bear stuffed between a mattress and ruined furniture on a sidewalk.
That image stuck in my mind for months and years, I don’t know why, it just did.
I think it made me think if it happened to my own kids…..
That inspired me to want to help the kids & families in Manasquan….. I felt so compelled to help and it was on my mind 24-7, how can I help Manasquan.
I e mailed ALL the coaches many, many times once The Manasquan Underground Strength Gym opened…..
I called the Guidance Dept multiple times and offered free training to ANY family / athlete who was affected during Sandy…..
I sent them e mails, left voice mails and more…..
I spoke with The AD and e mailed him many times…..
I learned that you can’t help people until they WANT the help.
I learned that just because someone NEEDS it doesn’t mean they WANT it.
This morning’s group in Manasquan was unique in that it was all of our younger athletes.
Seeing Zach Goodale here made me feel similar I assume to how his Dad, Coach Scott Goodale probably felt when he started the program at Rutgers Wrestling.
ALL the naysayers come out of the wood work and tell you what to do, how to do it, then they tell you that you can’t do this and can’t do that……
It’s stressful because ALL you want to do is share your passion and help others succeed and you’re confused as to WHY people don’t want to have any part of that. The naysayers sway you away from being passionate and try to convince you things can never change for the better.
Deep down you KNOW the answer is to work your hardest and do the right thing…..
Ignore the naysayers, stay relentless.
You learn that the MOST important people are those who are standing on the front lines WITH you, especially during the TOUGH times. These are the people who would “go to war” with you if there came such a time.
THOSE are the ONLY people who count……
Those Gossip Queens & naysayers are on the sidelines advising you on things they NEVER dared to do, those people must be ignored. They will always be there, being negative and dramatic. IGNORE THEM!
I started to build momentum at The Manasquan Underground Strength Gym when my kids told me they wanted The Underground Strength Gym stickers and t shirts. I realized if my own kids believe in me, then THAT is all I need to REALLY crush it.
I got my kids their stickers and t shirts and they put the stickers on their computers and constantly wore the t shirts. I knew I had to inspire my own kids. I knew right then and there that YES, we are MORE than a “gym”.
Of course, Along the way I made some mistakes by allowing the wrong people through those “brick walls”…… Here and there, the wrong people sneak in and I wrongly assumed they were dedicated athletes with supportive parents.
If only the Seas were always so smooth, but that is never the case.
But what’s Awesome is the wrong people weed them self OUT because the athletes who ARE Dedicated create a standard of excellence that the wrong people can not handle. Their intensity pushes out the kids who don’t want any part of consistent, hard work.
There were days in the beginning where it would be just myself and 1 athlete.
We would train together and in my mind it didn’t matter if there was 1 kid or 20 kids in a group. What mattered was having the RIGHT kids…..
Kids who were work horses.
I always said, I’ll burn this gym down before I let lazy people take over. I won’t stand for it……
The crew this morning just DESTROYED the gym. They reminded me how LUCKY I am.
Of course, the harder you work, the luckier you get. I learned that lesson LONG ago.
This morning was special though…….
These athletes worked their tails off and smiled the entire time.
When I see the kids who are here, finding The Underground tucked away behind other stores and the Manasquan Train tracks, I USED to think we needed a “better location” because for years locals would tell me they didn’t know we were there.
But I realized we’re back there, tucked away for a reason.
From Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
“The brick walls are there for a reason.
The brick walls are not there to keep us out.
The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.
They’re there to stop the other people.”
These athletes in the photo above travel here from Howell, Toms River, Spring Lake, Barnegat and Wall.
The Underground Strength Gym NEVER stood for being for everyone because NOT everyone wants this type of work. For years I found myself wanting it more than some of the kids or caring more for their success than their own parents.
The athletes and their parents who ARE here understand what we do.
They accept our intensity and “craziness” because “normal” actions achieves normal results……
The teams with losing records year after year…..
THAT is NO accident.
That Mediocrity is Earned through “normal” work.
The teams with winning records year after year…..
THAT Success is NO accident.
Success is Earned Through The RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE.
Thanks to ALL who have helped make The Underground Strength Gym what it is…..
Including those who told me not to do this and that, you can’t do this, just do bla bla bla……
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
To stop me, you’re gonna have to kill me. Sounds crazy to the normal people but as I always say, I don’t want to be normal and I don’t want to work with normal people. You have to be a little bit crazy to be successful in this world, not just in sports but in life!
THAT is the dedication I have. THAT is the dedication I will ALWAYS have.
Kyle Snyder just became America’s Youngest Gold Medalist in Wrestling at age 20.
At age 19 he won The World Championships and The National Championships in Wrestling.
To put this in perspective, I’ve seen MANY parents hold their son back and switch around schools and we see 19 year olds who are NOT winning state or even conference titles.
The bottom line: You can NOT avoid the work and dedication, regardless of the “age advantage”.
In this 9 minute documentary video on Kyle there are MANY lessons you can and should pick up on.
The biggest tip on Kyle’s reason for success is when you hear the coaches talking about Kyle’s dedication being on Level 10 while others are on level 4 or 5.
And this description of his behavior:“He understands hard work, he understands responsibility, if he makes a mistake there’s no blame, he goes back and fixes the problem…..”
Watch the Video …..
What level are YOU on?
How hard are you pushing in training?
How often do you set goals, revisit goals, reassess your training to ensure you achieve your goals?
Are you a level 10 on Nutrition? Most are on level 2 or 3 if we want to be honest.
What about your lifestyle?
Opportunity is ALWAYS knocking for ALL of our athletes. This movie is NOT just about wrestling, it’s about being the BEST YOU that YOU can be. Watch it MANY times and you’ll keep learning more lessons. Of course, ultimately, you must take action with those lessons.
You’re either an action taker or an excuse maker. You can’t be both!
Before I share some Great News, I want to share a favorite quote we must start implementing in our LIFE.
Apply these words to your training and your life and you WILL begin achieving more success as you push outside your comfort zone.
We call this getting comfortable being Uncomfortable.
CONGRATS TO THE MEN IN THE ARENA
Manasquan & Edison Underground Strength Gym
Many of you like to stay quiet about your accomplishments and I like that. Stay Humble. Always.
I like that a lot. You don’t brag and you don’t make excuses for your losses either. Many excuse makers quickly point the finger for their losses with “I got ripped off” or “We don’t have our own wrestling room” or “We need turf….”
You must OWN your setbacks, not just your success.
At The Underground Strength Gym, Your success stories will inspire others to aim bigger, both our current athletes and athletes of the future who will train here. I am often sharing stories with our athletes because I want them to see that the blue print is there.
It’s another reminder that it takes HARD WORK and Consistency, NONE of the success stories happen in 6 weeks or 3 months. It is a process. That is The TRUTH.
And because We are a private club vs the type of place that allows anyone and everyone to train here, we set different standards than the norm and we push for greatness and reject mediocrity.
NOT all of our athletes and parents understand this type of commitment just yet.
Some think we’re too serious, but, I see it as loving the hard work and going out there to have FUN, competing at your best ability. Why would you compete and not prepare yourself as best as possible to succeed?
Sounds crazy to me but MANY athletes are competing and do ZERO work in the off season to get better.
Our BEST athletes have Supportive Parents.
– Parents driving them to sports clubs
– Parents driving them to The Underground Strength Gym
– Parents stocking the cabinets and fridge with healthy foods
– Parents who do NOT enable excuses for their son
Making yourself better is about LIFE, not just about sports.
Putting yourself out there, challenging yourself, working hard to achieve goals, refusing to be “normal” ….
THAT is FUN, and, there is PLENTY of time to live a balanced life by training a few times a week. Too many athletes are delusional about what it takes to succeed and they think if they can’t sit at the beach all day or they can’t be at the mall all weekend that their lives will be uprooted.
The thing that is NOT FUN is to show up and giving half hearted efforts.
When you make excuses you are competing to LOSE and be Average at best.
To compete in your sports and not even try to give it your best is to sacrifice your own gift. You will grow old and NEVER KNOW what you could have achieved and what type of success you could have become.
THAT is NOT FUN. So STOP thinking that you have no time when the truth is, we ALL have the time. The difference between Champions and those who don’t achieve success is that The Champion OWNS his Life.
The Champions takes 100% responsibility and accountability for their actions.
It’s always more FUN and rewarding when you go out there, day in and day out doing your best. When you TRULY give it your ALL, you can walk tall for a lifetime.
At the end of the day it’s up to YOU.
All Americans & MEN IN THE ARENA from Manasquan & Edison Underground Strength Gym
– 2 weeks ago Luke Niemeyertook 1st at War at The Shore as a Freshman in the 14 YO Division
– Luke Also became a Freshman All American this past weekend placing 8th at Freshman Nationals at 195 lbs
More All Americans
– 6th at 138: Robbie Cleary (Edison)
– 3rd at 160: Bryan McLaughlin (Woodbridge)
Congrats to Eric Keosseian of Howell who has been competing like a madman, chasing the challenges and hunting down Gold Medals!
Flo Nationals where Eric placed 8th to become an All American then Va Beach Nationals but unfortunately came down with a stomach bug on his 2nd day. Eric is fired up to succeed. That’s how we must ALL be, fired up and self motivated.
Self Discipline Leads to SELF Motivation.
Advice from a Navy SEAL (Jocko Willink) on Disciplining Yourself……
What You Need Is SELF DISCIPLINE
– Your parents can NOT give it to you, neither can your coaches.
– When it’s competition time, all the screaming, shouting and coaching will not help you “Rise to the Occasion”.
– The TRUTH is, You FALL to the level of your Training.
– Train HARD and Train to WIN and you will WIN more than the athlete who makes excuses. Period.
That’s ALL you CAN do.
Give it your best and Nothing Less. Your efforts are under YOUR control. Do it NOW because time goes TOO fast and before you know it, you’re a senior in high school scrambling to make it all work.
You’ll regret all those excuses for the rest of your life….
Or, you’ll live a life pretending it never mattered.
It DOES matter.
That goes for training, school, social life, academics, work and all other areas of your life.
What a GREAT success story I have to share of Brian “Curls” Pascal.
From slowest and weakest athlete to BUILDING HIMSELF into 1 of the Strongest, Fastest and Most Powerful Athletes I have ever worked with.
I posted this on my Instagram but I want to link it on the blog as “Curls” stopped by the gym the other day and I shared his story very briefly with the athletes.
You see, Curls was in 3rd grade when I began teaching Physical Education and I remember him being tagged first during almost every tag game.
He always worked hard and kept his head held high, even as a young kid, he had a GREAT attitude.
Time flew by and although he was chubby and slow in elementary school, he was active and played 3 sports; Football, Basketball & Baseball.
When I transferred to the middle school to teach and Coach, Curls was now an 8th grader.
He was tall and looking strong and athletic.You could see he had muscle on his frame and was growing / building himself UP.
He was getting into sports on a more serious manner and was doing lots of calisthenics on his own: push ups, squats, sit ups and pull ups he told me, every day.
Our most successful athletes are always doing some form of training on their own.
This ownership and self motivation has a BIG carry over to your success as an athlete. The kids who can ONLY train when Coaches or told by others what, how and when to do it never become BIG success stories.
When I began training athletes from my garage, Curls was a sophomore in high school and although big and strong, he lacked the athleticism and agility. He could move big weights in the gym but needed more power and overall athleticism.
We built the speed, agility and athleticism into his overall training and he transformed himself BIG time. His transformation was a result of ALL the things he did, NOT just the training.
THAT is where MOST kids miss out.
They train but then have EXCUSES for poor eating, poor lifestyle choices, lack of self discipline, etc. Too many Excuses and Not enough Reasons or Goals to drive them to Succeed.
Read on and Learn How to Change That…..
1)He would have eggs, oatmeal AND a protein shake for breakfast.
Curls would wake up early and make his own breakfast. MANY athletes blame Mom “didn’t wake me up” or “I don’t have time”. We MAKE time when we WANT something, we make EXCUSES when we don’t want it. WHAT do YOU do?
2)He packed his own strong & healthy lunch.
He made his OWN lunch. NO buying the garbage school lunch that doesn’t support being a strong, successful athlete.
3)He ate a protein bar for snack during school or packed 2 pieces of fruit. Eat Strong to be STRONG!
4)After school he would lift with the Football Team AND then get home and have more healthy food for a post workout meal. This is critical for recovery and muscle building.
5) Then, AFTER training at School he would lift at The Original Underground Strength Gym (Edison, NJ), the garage OR, travel to the warehouse when we opened up! Today I hear COUNTLESS athletes making excuses that they trained at school and now they can’t train at The Underground.
6) If the High School weight room was closed, Curls would hit sprints and calisthenics on his own. Other days he would play pick up Basketball to build speed, agility and overall cardio.
** Your Competition LOVES Your Excuses **
Here’s some early days footage of Curls from High School:
– Curls would train after school, then, come to The Underground. Often times he would lift after school, then play pick up Basketball at the park for speed, agility & conditioning.
– He was a multi sport athlete through high school. He trained with us Year Round.
– He trained 4 x week at The Underground in ADDITION to his own calisthenics, sprinting, pick up basketball games and high school weight room.
In college he did the same, coming back to The Underground as soon as college finished training through his 3 months of Summer.
As you can see, Curls EARNED his success.
Train like everyone else and you will NOT have the edge. You’ll sit the bench and be Joe Average.
There were NO excuses for Curls, ONLY REASONS to do the work.
He attacked training and lifestyle, Living The Code 365 like a Champion does.
The blue print for success is out there. What Curls has done and what others continue to do at The Underground shows you the way. The most successful athletes here train and LIVE like Curls.
The athletes who struggle or remain average never go beyond “normal” and in turn, they get normal results, aka AVERAGE.
Excellence is The ONLY option.
Want Success? Prove it through ACTIONS.
Success starts when you punch your excuses in the face and get dedicated 365.
You can have results or you can have excuses but you can’t have both!
Live The Code 365,
The Underground Strength Gym Is Located in Scotch Plains & Manasquan.
Parents – Schedule Your Child’s FREE Intro Assessment Workout Today Before The Competition Does.
Some of our athletes quietly come to The Underground Strength Gym, doing their training with a RARE, quiet intensity. They don’t say much but their intensity speaks quite loud….
I find out about the success stories of our Manasquan & Edison athletes through following a newspaper reporter on Twitter or Facebook.
I get a text message or perhaps an e mail from the parents or the athlete telling me how they did at a recent competition.
Some of our athletes and parents are private, they don’t want to even tell me about their success stories. They feel as if they are bragging so they don’t tell others.
I understand both aspects…… The quiet intensity AND the pride and desire to tell others about your success.
You fear that if you tell others it will look like bragging, but it is not bragging.
We LOVE hearing your success that comes through your dedication and hard work.
You EARNED your success.
Remember: You Get What You Earn!
This morning, I came across some posts from coaches and parents and saw some great news I want to share with some powerful lessons behind them.
– I saw The Santaniello bros placed In States.
Vincent placed 5th and Anthony 4th.
They are both work horses, these 2 boys.
We’ve been working together for a long time now at The Underground Strength Gym. Anthony started in 5th grade and Vincent began in 7th grade.
Weekdays, Weekends…. These boys are here on the attack along with our other middle school athletes.
Often times I give these boys the opportunity to finish their workout and then I turn around and they’re doing what we call “Champion Workouts”.
This is when the athlete trains through his OWN desire. You give them the opportunity to stop or leave and they refuse to stop, they go and train more. Their inner drive guides them to work harder than the competition.
I’ll see The Santaniello bros and the other boys from our “middle school wrecking crew” climbing the rope, doing pull ups, pushing sleds and more.
When I see the extra work, THAT is the difference maker.
We Can’t Make You Do the Extra Work, YOU Must WANT It Yourself.
After seeing the news of Anthony & Vincent achieving All State Honors….
I saw a Facebook Post about 1 of our Edison Underground Strength Gym Wrestlers, Anthony White of South Plainfield.
The post I caught was from Steve Giordano, 1 of the best coaches and athletes I’ve ever known.
Steve was a very big inspiration to me as he was a few years ahead of me in my younger years and I would see Steve in the newspaper or at the local gym tearing the place apart with his intensity.
I STILL remember seeing how intensely he trained at the gym. The memory is imprinted in my mind and that was dating back to the Summer of 1991!
The Post Said….. “Congrats to Anthony White. STATE CHAMP.”
I saw the post around 11 AM on Sunday and I was in shock and also a bit confused for a second because after every training day, my coaches and I check in with one another regarding who trained that day, who skipped their workout, who cancelled, who worked hard, who didn’t work hard, injuries, etc……
And the E Mail from SUNDAY morning says “Anthony White was in and he killed it…..”
I start thinking to myself if we have ANOTHER Anthony White because I JUST saw that Anthony White won the states by PIN yesterday. I’m asking myself how the heck he trained the day after winning a state title?!?!
I’m also thinking and assuming that Anthony would probably be exhausted the day after winning a state tournament and would need to sleep in Sunday morning, especially being it was day light savings AND he probably needed the rest after battling through a state tournament??!!!
So I e mail Coach Rosa to double check and he tells me YES indeed, Anthony not only killed the workout but he also didn’t look the least bit tired.
This story reminded me of how Dan Gable went running the day after he won The Olympic Gold Medal.
Anything more that needs to be said about Anthony’s work ethic and dedication is a waste of time & energy if you don’t understand what this young kid is doing through his OWN motivation and how this applies to your success or perhaps your lack of success.
The Other Side of The Story…
Last week I had an athlete on a JV team tell me he missed workouts because he maxed out in the high school weight room.
If you’re on Varsity and the top recruit on the east coast, OK, maybe you’re busy doing a LOT of work.
If you’re NOT dominating the competition, WHAT excuses can anyone have that is truly valid? The answer is None!
Let me explain…..
Maxing Out in high school doesn’t exhaust you. We’ve been training Football Players since Day 1 and the BEST always show up even when doing these “max outs”.
And by the way, high school athletes who max out are often NOT technically or emotionally ready to hit their best 1 Rep Max AND use safe, proper technique. At The Underground we test every workout, BUT, it doesn’t have to be a 1 rep max. We push for regular progress but it ALL comes down to doing it right.
When you’re in shape as we train you to be, the training we do does NOT interfere with your sports practice or your lifting outside of here. You CAN handle lifting or sports practice and then come to The Underground.
The Champion wants MORE than the norms. Joe Average will make excuses.
WHO are you?
What type of athlete are you?
The norms are doing exactly what your teammates are doing.
The norms are doing what the competition does.
Do NOT get comfortable because maybe you’re the best kid on YOUR team or the strongest athlete in the weight room. “Big fish in a small pond” scenario.
Or, you live in the past……
The glory days….
Your team USED to be good or USED to dominate. The past is GONE. Stop being delusional and taking pride in how your team USED to be. NOW is what counts. Period.
I’ve seen MANY “Gym Strong” athletes who can bench heavier than everyone else BUT, their training does NOT carry over to their sports performance. When we train you at The Underground Strength Gym, the goal is giving you the edge BOTH physically and mentally in Your Sports.
The training has what is called “Transfer of Sport” so it makes you better in your sport. When you win a Football game, Wrestling match, etc no one asks you how much you bench? You either win or lose.
No one asked Anthony White how many pull ups he can do or how fast his 1 mile run is. He won the GOLD medal and is a NJ State Champ. Results Count!
This is why we don’t give a crap when an athlete tells us “I maxed out at school and Squatted 365.”
Then, the same athletes squats with us, yet he is Squatting 165.
WHY the 200 lb difference?
Because of EXCELLENCE. We do it right. Half reps don’t get approved here.
Technique and Sports Performance, THAT is what counts. The half rep, dangerous technique max outs and round back lifts do NOT aid your sports performance. Period.
Those who dog it in their training, making excuses and avoiding the work, eventually, it catches up to them and the lackluster results show up.
I see it ALL the time in ALL sports. Baseball, Football, Wrestling, Soccer, Swimming, Basketball. The truth catches up to you! You get what you earn.
Even though this ad below from Ernest Shackleton is a folk tale, I wonder which of our athletes would apply if this was related to training for sports?
Sounds crazy, and if people wanna call me crazy that is ALL good by me, because the “normal” people never achieve greatness.
I WANT to work with the Crazy Athletes who are hungry to become Champions.
In fact, We ONLY want to work with Hard Working, Highly Motivated, Hungry, Dedicated Athletes …..
THESE are the Young Men Wanted for The Underground Strength Gym of Edison and Manasquan.
IF the Coach is more fired up than you are to attack training, you’re not digging deep enough. You don’t want it bad enough. You think you’re good enough.
Good Enough is the Death of Greatness
You’re just “playing sports”….. That’s how many see it. Just happy to be part of the team, not caring about that losing record year after year.
What we do in Sports is sooooo much more than “playing sports”……
It’s a journey you take in life, where you face obstacles and must slay your inner demons, slay the dragons on your back that try to hold you down and conform you to become like “everybody else”.
I get into the recliner and if the house is quiet I just might be able to watch a movie…..
The other night I watched the movie Creed. I pushed back the recliner and kicked up my feet. Although I don’t think Creed came close to what Rocky III & IV did in terms of motivation, I DID get inspired watching Adonis Creed training.
As my feet were kicked up and I laid back watching Creed in training, I realized the BIG difference.
When I DID watch Rocky III & IV I was a young kid, capable of putting my body through the hellish training to prepare for combative sports.
But this time, I realized my time has passed.
And sure, I can go and find something to compete in but it will NEVER be the same.
The time is NOW. Maybe you can do this in your 30s, but do you have the dedication of a Tom Hruby, driving from Indiana 1.5 hours to Northwestern at 4:30 in the morning while also being a father of 4?
I doubt it.
The truth is most people don’t wanna drive more than 15 minutes let alone 90 minutes.
For the athletes of The Manasquan and Edison Underground Strength Gym:
– What regrets will you have at age 40 when you sit back in that recliner?
The excuses I hear now…… They are horrific at best.
And, when parents want to see their child “Dominate the competition” yet you only show up once or twice a week, then every other week you’re MIA, well, you will have a LONG list of regrets when you kick back in that recliner at age 40.
I promise you that.
You Can Have Results Or You Can Have Excuses But You Can’t Have Both!