Strength and Conditioning Client Highlight – Keegan

It’s 5:20am on a Monday morning.

Dark, cold, quiet.

I turn my garage gym lights on, one by one.  The Texas State Flag on the wall is illuminated.


The energy begins to surface.  Music, heater, another sip of coffee. This must be what Mr. Hockers felt back in 1976.

Let me explain.

When I was growing up in Austin, a lot of my 12 and 13 year old neighborhood friends trained in a neighbors garage before school.  His name?  Mr. Hockers.  I, though, never trained there.  Never even saw his garage.  But I was aware of him.

Nearly 40 years later, I have become him.

Keegan, a 15 year old high school freshman walks down the gentle slope of my driveway.  The sound of deer scattering is heard over the feint beat of rock and roll coming from my speakers.

We go through a quick Q & A, weigh and stretch.  Within 10 minutes we’ve begun this mornings workout.  We’re doing:

  • Deadlifts
  • Pull Ups
  • Barbell Upright Rows
  • Neck Work
  • Conditioning.  Today’s conditioning is a Crossfit workout called, “Fight Gone Bad”

I workout with Keegan 99% of the time.  It’s the only way I can:

  • teach intensity
  • earn respect

If I ask Keegan to do something in the gym, he knows that I will do it too.  This is how it must be done.



Keegan weighed 165lbs when he first started coming to my gym in December 2014.  Through gut busting determination, consistency and a willingness to learn, he now weighs 180.8 lbs as of March 2015.  He currently runs a 4.8 40 yd dash, bench presses 225lbs, squats 320lbs and deadlifts 365lbs.  No supplements except a vitamin/mineral and protein drinks.  His goal is to play linebacker on the Cedar Park High School varsity football team.


Other than exercise demonstrations, target reps and encouragement, we focus on the workout.  Talking is kept to a minimum today.  I’ve been talking about mental toughness, preparation and focus with Keegan and the weight room is an excellent place to practice these hard to master skills.


Keegan is only a freshman but his performance (strength, speed and ability) is right up there with the Seniors and Juniors.  He’s making a statement in the gym which has a carryover effect in the classroom and onto the field.  He recently earned the “Dark Horse” shirt by blowing by his Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift goals.  Below is the shirt that he earned as a reminder/reward.

905 represents the total of his 3 lifts


We’ve only been training together since December 2014 so I consider Keegan to be operating in “1st gear” in terms of his performance and potential.  He’s got at least another 2 gears to reach.  Now that he’s accomplished his initial strength goals, it’s time to attack “2nd gear”.  I expect great things from Keegan.  The number one trait that he has that will help him get to “2nd gear” is being “coachable”.

“Coachable” – capable of being easily taught and trained to do something better

Most of the great ones have this trait.

To grow to potential an athlete needs to begin by listening. This requires active listening. Active listening requires the athlete to focus on what is being said by the coach, and not thinking about what they want to say in response. When the athlete is thinking about what they want to say in response, they are not open, they are defensive and guarding their ego instead of accepting that they do not know everything and may learn something from their coach. In a nutshell active listening means “be open”. (1)

The bottom line with Keegan’s progress has been his desire, consistency, effort and willingness to be coached.

Congratulations to Keegan, my first highlight client of 2015!





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