If you go to your favorite search engine and type the word “leadership” in the search bar, it’s going to pull up thousands of articles and quotes online on the subject of leadership and characteristics of great leaders. You’ll find pearls of wisdom from world leaders, sports figures, legends and icons past and present.
I don’t presume I can give better insight into the subject of leadership than so many greater men and women have already done. Instead, I want to take what has already been said and try to apply it to our everyday lives -- to give tangible examples on how to live into the principles of leadership.
Leaders Have A Clear Vision
“Action without vision is only passing time. Vision without action is merely day dreaming. But vision with action can change the world.” - Nelson Mandela
It’s essentially impossible to lead when you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing. Without a goal or purpose in mind, it’s also very hard for anyone to “buy in” to you as a leader. When you have a clear vision worth working toward, I believe you’ll find yourself alongside others working to help you achieve that vision.
No matter where your leadership role is -- on a team, in a business, or within your family or group of friends -- you’ll have a much greater impact if you can cast a clear vision and plan on how to get where you want to go.
Leaders Build Relationships
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Take a brief moment to think of the best leaders you’ve had in your own life. I’m willing to bet whoever just came to mind had a few of very important things in common:
Who wants to follow someone who doesn’t care about them? I’ve heard several horror stories about people who hated their jobs because of how terrible their boss was. In the vast majority of these cases, the issues were personal not professional -- they didn’t feel valued or cared for as individuals.
If you want to achieve your goals and fulfill your vision, you’ll need the help of a team. To keep that team in tact, you need to invest in each and every one of them. Don’t just tell them, but show them they’re valued and build a personal relationship with them. In short, treat them the way you want to be treated.
Leaders Empower Others
“Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” - John Maxwell
That theory was put to the test here at DST this past year. When the Los Angeles Angels reached out to our owner to join their staff, Lee could have passed on the opportunity because he was needed here. Instead, he took the interview knowing full well what the results here could be. That decision instilled great confidence in our team. By moving forward, he conveyed his trust in us to thrive without him here.
Empowering others is a process. It means focusing on the what and not the how. It can mean giving up control and relying on others to operate in their own styles and methods; or letting others make changes, try new things, and even fail on their own. But it’s an ability leaders need to ultimately succeed. Because at the end of the day, leaders aren’t making followers...
Leaders Make Other Leaders“True leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders.” - Tom Peters
Everything athletes do - from training, to sleeping, to what they are putting in their body - are all small, important pieces to a much bigger puzzle. One vital piece is nutrition and with this month's Trigger Focus being Nutrient Density, I figured I'd address an important question: "Are all calories created equally?" The simple answer is, of course, no. To explain why, I did a comparison case study on what 3,000 calories looks like: healthy, nutrient-dense foods vs. a beloved fast food chain that starts with a 'W' and ends with 'hataburger.'
“ Don’t talk to me about recovery when you're living out of a fast food window .”
I can still hear my collegiate strength coach telling me this as though it was yesterday. He was right, my nutrition habits were trash; I was so used to eating whatever I wanted because I was young, so I thought my body could handle it. I can probably count on one hand how many of us even knew the term ‘nutrient density’ let alone what it meant. So today we are going to EQUIP you with this knowledge.
Simply stated, nutrient density means how many nutrients you get from a food, given the number of calories it contains. A.K.A getting the “biggest bang for your buck”. Why is nutrient density so helpful? Because it gives you concentrated amounts of valuable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients , to name a few. Adequate consumption of foods high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals is essential for a healthy immune system and for empowering your body’s detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms. This helps protect you from cancer and other diseases. Nutrient-dense foods also provide necessary micronutrients - which are highly overlooked - that are important co-factors in reactions that produce growth, repair tissues, and increase oxygen transport. Being deficient in this will negatively affect performance and could keep you from reaching your athletic potential.
Now let me show you the difference. 3,000 calories at Whataburger looks something like this:
People typically dedicate themselves to a goal or purpose they feel adds meaning to their lives. How dedicated are you to your daily schedule? Your family? Sports? It all depends on what is most important to you. What is going to help you be the best version of yourself in everyday life? What is your ‘why’ ?
Sports have always been a very big part of my life. In high school, my passion for baseball grew and I realized I wanted to be around the game every day. I started to love the game more than anything because it had taught me more life lessons than I ever could have imagined. Over the years, I’ve noticed people who don’t have motivation typically find themselves in dark holes and tend to have a hard time getting out. They have not found anything they can dedicate their lives to. They haven’t found their ‘why’.
Being an athlete is a privilege. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the skill or money necessary to play sports. I believe it’s important to be dedicated to any sport you’re fortunate enough to play. When athletes come to DST, they aren’t just working out. They are striving to make themselves a little bit better every day . Our goal is to help every athlete who walks through the door - whether they are a professional, high school, or youth athlete - leave knowing they have improved in some way.
If sports have taught me anything, it’s that you have to be willing to work your tail off because there is someone out there who is working just as hard (if not harder) to achieve the same goals. That’s why our team is dedicated to helping each athlete maximize their potential to achieve - or even surpass - their goals. Without that dedication to our athletes, we’d just be another gym.
Find your ‘why’ and use it as fuel to get where you want to go. There aren’t any success stories about athletes who gave a 50% effort and made it to the top. Those stories are reserved for those who have dedicated their lives to living out their dreams. Whatever your dream may be, you’ll need a healthy dose of dedication to help you get there. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Proper scapular and rotator cuff stability can help guard against injuries while also provide a strong foundation to build a strengthened press or pull. Good balance and proper activation of the scapular muscles will result in proper scapular motion during vertical or horizontal movements. Scapular mechanics enable the rotator cuff muscles to contract close to their ideal length so they can effectively stabilize the glenohumeral joint with maximal force.
This exercise is working to gain optimal scapular upward rotation. It can be used as an axillary exercise or as part of a post-throwing arm recovery routine. The bottoms-up kettle bell carry teaches the athlete to relax the latissimus dorsi (lats), while firing up the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers with movement in the frontal and saggital planes.
This exercise is beneficial to any athlete whose sport is specifically overhead dominant.
What do you think of when you think of stress? Paying the monthly bills, final exams coming up, getting that job you wanted? These are all forms of stress that can have a profound impact on our lives.
The human body does not know the difference between physical, mental, or emotional stress . All the body wants is homeostasis and that is the sole focus of the responses your body experiences.
When you're stressing out because you're on a crowded highway and late for work, your body is being flooded with different hormones like adrenaline and cortisol . While this response is not abnormal, it is not ideal to be in this state for a long time, as heart rate and blood pressure will increase while immune function will decrease. Overall health will plummet if too much time is spent in this state, so this kind of stress is not optimal for our health.
Is all stress created equal? Well, kind of. The human body does not care if you are stressed about an upcoming test or because you performed physical work. The response will be the same: get back to homeostasis .