I know what you are thinking. Coach Matt has finally lost his mind. What the heck do two dogs on a front porch have to do with athletic training?
I grew up surrounded by animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, cows, bulls, chickens, even a guinea pig, a fish, and a bird. And those were just the animals in my house and back yard. Growing up around animals you get a sense of what playful looks like and what aggressive looks like.
Imagine this. You pull up in front of a house and there are two black labs sitting on the front porch. As you walk up the yard towards the porch, both dogs sit up and stare at you intently. As you get closer, they stand up. As your foot hits the bottom step, they walk to the top step to meet you. You instantly stop in your tracks. You realize one dog is friendly and one dog is mean.
But how do you know. Is it instinct? Is one leaning toward you a little too much. Is one dog’s head lower than the others? Does one dog “look” happy and the other “look” mean?
You don’t know and I don’t know, but it stops you in your tracks.
Working with athletes for so long you get that same feeling. Sort of a sixth sense.
Athletes who train at Primal are all great kids. Friendly, talkative, all around good people. Before training they talk to each other, crack jokes, tell stories. During warm ups they still talk to each other, still crack jokes. A lot of them are actually quite shy and humble. All business. As soon as training starts you see a change.
Aggression sets in. Their competitive nature takes over. Talking and joking stop. They get this look in their eyes.
Call it what you will. The “eye of the tiger,” the “will to win.”
As an athlete, you need to be able to flip that switch. You don’t need to be mean or angry. You just need to focus your attention on the task at hand. I believe athletes who train at Primal learn how to flip that switch and focus on the task at hand.
RI’s newest home for hungry, driven athletes is Primal Athlete Training Center. Come in and see for yourself.