Sum of the Parts

Do you think you’ve got something new…unlikely!  Do you know something others at a higher levels haven’t already figured out…probably not!  My dear old Dad always told me when I was a boy…”Son, there’s always someone bigger and always someone better!”.  Grounded in humility - good way to be.  Thanks Dad!

Back to business...I’m not trying to put anyone down, I’m just stating a fact.  None of us is original!

We are all the sum of those that influence us across the course of our careers.

Just like the gritty tones of Neil Young and the punch of the Buzzcocks can be heard in many Pearl Jam tracks, so too are we a function of the coaches we’ve worked with, the lectures we’ve attended and the books we’ve read.

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose who you learn off.  Don’t be afraid to be unashamedly direct about who you want to learn off.  The great part about strength & conditioning coaching is that there is no absolute one way to do anything.  Sure, some ways are better than others, and some things are just plain stupid, but within reason you should be able to learn something off everybody!

The great stoic philosopher Epictetus famously stated…"say what you would be, then do what is required”.

My take on the ancient Greek legend…"say what you would be, learn off those that have been there, then do what is required”.

Don’t be afraid to steal ideas…we’ve all done it…regularly!

"Every new idea is a just a mash up or a remix of previous ideas”  Austin Kleon; from Steal Like an Artist.  Kleon goes on to make a great point…”There’s an economic theory out there that if you take the incomes of your five closet friends and average them, the resulting number will be pretty close to your own income”.  You are only going to be as good as the stuff you surround yourself with!.

Picture pinched from Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon (fantastic read!)

Can you grow an idea?  Or are you more the cut and paste kinda guy?  Many unfortunately are.  The logic in stealing ideas is to take the bits you like and use them as the spark of enlightenment and grow it…not copy it blindly.  Take the idea you stole and morph it, mould it, combine it and re-arrange it to make it do what you want.

Think systems…not isolated ideas.  Steal as many ideas as you can then build a system that represents you and all you believe.  Building systems is unique and takes immense skill.  No two sporting environments are the same, and if you are lucky enough to survive in one job for longer than five years you will find that the environment you thought you had is well and truly changing.  Your systems must be founded in solid STRATEGY and then it is the intelligent use of TACTICS that allows you to adapt.

I see and read a lot on the internet that looks to me like blind regurgitation, mindless babble that does’t demonstrate insight or experience.  In fact most of it sounds like extremist dogma.  Don’t get caught up in “cult-like” ideals.  There is no one-size fits all solution in this game.

I don’t consider myself creator of ideas…I consider myself a multiplier of ideas!

I think I have successfully taken what I have learnt, and applied it with rigour to develop my system

Sharing random ideas is one thing…cultivating them into something meaningful is something quite different.  if your aim is to stay in this gig as a career, then commit what you believe to paper.  Don’t be afraid to adapt it as you grow and gain more experience, but have an opinion, be informed and get off the fence!

Stay sharp!


Interested in my view on Strategy and Stealing?  Check this out...



Everybody gets a better/different view of the world standing on the shoulders of those that have come before them. If ideas were truly independent of previous learning then things like the Theory of Relativity would have be conceived by a pastry chef or a janitor not a budding physicist, in which case ideas would then be a product of randomness not intellect. Personally I favor intellect. I appreciate your perspective and thanks for contributing!


Interesting article- yet I totally disagree. If people didn’t have new ideas we would still be eating berries without fire or wheels. There are innumerable things waiting to be invented. Keep on searching.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published