Hey Coach Elliott,

I just graduated from high school. I was not as good as I could have been. I was plagued by injuries. I broke my thumb in the 5th game of my senior year in football. I had 3 pins put in it. I recovered just in time to play goalie for my school’s soccer team. We had the first ever winning record in our school’s soccer history (about 7 years) and made the playoffs. I however got kicked in the 3rd to last game of the regular season and had a level 3 ankle sprain. I was in a splint for a week, a cast for 3 weeks, a boot for a week, and then an ankle brace for 4 more weeks.

It still bothers me to. Well because of these injuries i have been unable to work out much over the last 9 months and it’s starting to show. My goal and the reason i purchased your book is because I would like to get strong and fast enough in the next year to try to walk on to my college’s football team next year. I know that is possible except that I am going to the University of Alabama which is a major D1 college. Do you think my goal is possible or completely ridiculous? Please be honest with me. Regardless of what you say I still plan to work out using the stuff in your book . Currently I am 6? tall and weigh around 170. Do you think you can help me develop a work out routine to accomplish my goal?

– Kory


The first thing that you need to start doing is, STOP GETTING INJURED! Shit happens, but you’ve got to cultivate an attitude that says, “I NEVER get injured, just a little banged up”. Your ‘Self Explanatory Style’ dictates much of the results you receive in life. Never speak of your situation in negative terms or let anyone else speak about you in this way.

The most important thing that you can do is assess the way you are thinking and speaking, and then adjust it to support you. For example, in February I was battling with a cold. I WASN’T SICK! Nor would I allow anyone to even ask me if I was “sick” – I was simply, Fighting Something Off!

This set my subconscious mind, which in some way controls my immune system, to FIGHT MODE… a resourceful state to be in, when Fighting Something Off.

When you say, “I am sick” or “I am injured” you have associated all of your being with a weakened state. It’s just like saying ” I am stupid” or ” I am useless”… how much more resourceful would the phrase – “I’m still learning” , be?

Another point… you are always BECOMING! You are a PROCESS and are never static. Always aim to phrase your assessments of your situation in that manner. Never say “I am poor.” YOU are not poor… you may not be in the possession of much money, but you are never poor. To phrase it in terms of a process, you may say, “I am building my fortune.” or “I am leaning how to make more money.”

To quote you and to assess your Self Explanatory Style lets examine your phrase, “I was plagued by injuries”.

You weren’t “plagued”, you were just recovering from a few bumps and bruises.

My point is not to make light of your situation but to make you (and anyone reading this) aware of how insidious Negative Self Talk can be. Most people are negative, and they will puke all of their negative vomit all over you if you are not aware. Notice if you are using the language of winners or losers.

Sure, you DID break your finger and you DID sprain your ankle… but how you think and subsequently, how you speak about the situation is more important that the so-called facts about it. Facts are relative. So, please don’t be offended.

Now, about walking on to The University Of Alabama’s football team.

You ask me if I think your goal is “possible or completely ridiculous”. If you’ve read my book, you KNOW that I would never tell you that your goals are ridiculous.

Ridiculous would be to back down and NOT try to walk on. Put realistic aside for the moment. You make possible what you COMITT to making possible.

How does this list sound for realistic:

  1. I can talk to a man in India via a piece of hard plastic that I carry around in my pocket. (and have him schedule my laundry pick-up)
  2. I can jump on a 4 ton hunk of flying metal and take a nap… in a few hours I’ll arrive in Europe.
  3. I am sitting in front of a “TV” with a bunch of letter buttons attached to it, writing a letter to some friends who live hundreds of miles away… and they will be able to read it instantly.

Was Columbus “realistic” when he hopped aboard a ship and decided to sail to the “end of the world”?

Was Gandhi “realistic” when he protested English rule?

Was Jesus “realistic” when he walked on water?

Was Kennedy “realistic” when he started the space program and placed a man on the moon?

Was Ford “realistic” when he said that every American will own a car?

Was ATT “realistic” when they said that every home in America will have a phone?

Was Fred Smith “realistic” when he said that packages should be delivered by ‘next day to anywhere in the world, no matter what?

This is stuff that we take for granted, but at the time that these people set their goals… everyone thought they were out of their minds!

I tell my kids to dream and COMMIT to their dreams. Most dreamers are just ‘pie-in-the-skyers’. They like to think about making big shit happen but they never COMMIT to making it happen. Edison failed at making the light bulb work over 15,000 times, but he didn’t give a shit – he was committed to make it work and it did. And thats one of the SECRETS, you may not succeed the first time, second time or third time but you KEEP GOING!

You may fall on your face 10 times before you reach your goal but it doesn’t matter – you are committed! Most people “pack it up” and run at the first sign of a true challenge or in the face of “failure”. Don’t be afraid of failure. Learn from your mistakes and try again!

Perhaps Im a little psycho, but I dont give a shit. If you wanna be an freakin astronaut, be it! If you wanna, play pro ball, play it (look at the Doug Fluties and Kurt Warners) If you want to move trash for a living, then GREAT – just do it with 100% of your heart and soul and be the best goddam trash collector in the freaking world!!!

Elliott Hulse

Chris Barnard
Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard is a strength and conditioning coach at Strength Camp, a hardcore athlete training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as author of multiple performance programs. He has worked with athletes at all levels and from many different sports to produce the highest level of performance in each. He currently resides in St Petersburg, Florida and continues to pursuit breakthroughs in athletic performance.