November 20

The ‘No Excuses’ Football Club


Listen: I'll do you a favour.
Listen: I’ll do you a favour.

I got a ‘bake’ last week. A red-hot Ron Barassi style ‘spray.’ Whatever you want to call it, I was taken to task about my lack of Fit Chat distribution over the past few months. It’s flattering that people have noticed my absence and even better, they’re prepared to put me on the spot and ridicule my recent lack of “web presence.” Put simply, the effort has been sub standard, there’s no other explanation. Despite living with one of Australia’s leading web marketing gurus, his illustrious ripple effect has failed to lap the bow of HMAS Fit Chat.

“We’re a ‘no excuses’ football club,” Ross Lyon calls his Fremantle Dockers and Bowes Fitness spruiks the same chorus. At the end of the day, we want to see evidence of work not listen to hard luck stories pouring from the mouth’s of one time heroes. Many times I’ve articulated good and terrible fitness forays and asked for consistency above all and maximum effort as the qualifying mark.

So last week’s swipe indicates a familiar cycle of physical fitness and approaches to training. It’s common for fitness regimes and our motivation to grow tired, intensity diminishes or disappears completely, like your ‘fitness bible’ lately (done the Buddy Holly). Here’s the classic pattern:

  1. The fall,
  2. The spray
  3. The response.

Number one occurs. Shit happens. Though it’s vital to successfully deal with number two and execute number three.

Geelong (the Cats) won three AFL premierships between 2007 and 2011, one of their greatest was Gary Ablett Junior. In 2006, Geelong after a poor season conducted a very serious internal peer review, a.k.a. senior players telling the younger boys to lift their game. The unbridled talent, Ablett was first on the list. Senior player, Cam Mooney says opinion around the club was, “Gary thought he trained hard.” Geez Cam, don’t spend a morning on the Bondi esplanade.

The Fall

Everyone’s form will fall at times or sometimes you just need a reality check that says where you are now is nothing special (outside of your own opinion). Put your television remote down and get your Kangaroos (shoes) on.

The Spray (ala Ron Barassi)

It’s a dying tradition in sports, so is honesty and tough love. Delivered and received in the right manner the spray can be the best thing that ever happened to you. Taking umbrage to some hard-hitting advice is sensitive and soft. I feel like fitness coaching in the current climate is compromised by people being ‘nice’ to each other and ultimately we do ourselves and each other a disservice. The common defense to a spray is ‘defense’ but if you embrace it and take the advice on, you can benefit from it. Like the day the Geelong players sat the young Gary Ablett Junior down in an old-fashioned lock in, tough at the time but consequentially just what the doctor ordered.

The response

Champions respond. If you’ve ever heard the story that starts with, “Kingston Town can’t win,” you’ll know that story ends with, “Kingston Town wins it.”  We now know that Gary Ablett Junior was one spray away from becoming Gary Ablett (minus the Junior) possessor of two premierships, two Brownlow Medals and the most lucrative football contract in the country. What if those senior boys were too ‘nice’ to give him a rev-up that day?

Now, I don’t come within a bull’s roar of the great Gary Ablett nor is Fit Chat the Geelong Football Club but I can benefit from this proven successful case study. So can you. Do someone a favour and tell them the truth, holding your breath and taking a photo of yourself is nothing special. Then do yourself a favour and embrace a spray today. No argument, now excuses, all response.

The drop is fine.

The spray is necessary.

The response counts.

Become a ‘no excuses’ athlete.

Come 'ere son: Mentor Mooney (left) and Gary Junior (right).
Come ‘ere son: Mentor Mooney (left) and Gary Junior (right).


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