Pictured above, you’ll see NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton running hills as he often did. Walter Payton ran hills to condition himself for the grueling demands of the National Football League. There were no ulterior motives. He wasn’t seeking attention or approval from those around him. Instead, the goal was simple. Become a better athlete on the field.
Effectiveness vs. Attention Seeking
Times have certainly changed. Training is no longer just about physical improvement, but instead an attention seeking contest. Never before have I seen so many exercises invented. Unfortunately, new rarely equal better. And I don’t say this to suggest that there won’t be opportunities to improve on the past. I’ve just been around long enough to know that such instances aren’t nearly as common as some would like you to believe.
Listen below as I share some additional thoughts on the subject.
Effectiveness vs. Popularity
I’m sure some readers are thinking, “Yeah, but if the old school is so effective, why don’t we hear more about it?”
That’s a great question. Listen below for the answer.
Stand Out With Results
Whether you’re an athlete or coach, it’s important to realize that your success will always be defined by results. No one cares about what methods you use to achieve those results. You don’t get extra points for being original. And as I’ve said before, originality is overrated.
Thus, while many old school exercises may lack flash, they’re loaded with substance. And that’s just another reason why it’s useful to study athletes from the past. They weren’t vying for attention on social media. Their sole focus was quite simple. Get the job done as effectively as possible. Plenty can be learned from that simple observation.
Speaking as a professional boxing coach, my job description is also quite simple. I prepare my fighters to win. I’m not paid to be original or different. I’m paid to be effective. And while that may sound obvious, I believe it is an important statement to make (particularly in today’s age).
I don’t make a living on social media, and I don’t get royalty checks because I’m using exercises from the past. I make my living offline as a real coach with professional athletes who would fire me if I wasn’t effective. Therefore, when I talk about the old school, I’m not doing so because it somehow benefits me. I’m just sharing what we use and what actually works.
And once again, I’m not suggesting that we should never look to improve upon the past. We should always strive to improve at whatever we do. It’s important to realize though that there will always be more opportunities to improve an individual than there will be opportunities to improve the methods used by that individual.
“Originality is way overrated. To make, you need to take. All great artists do.” – Darby Bannard