In the field of strength and conditioning, sports performance, or personal training it is of utmost importance to make sure your clients/athletes are in the right mental state and ready to work. In this video Mason Baggett talks about some of the ways he likes to keep his athletes focused and in the moment.

One of the things Mason states is that it is important for his athletes to be comfortable being uncomfortable. This means getting athletes out of their comfort zones of doing X many reps for X many sets and then moving on. It’s important for the athletes to try and get into a position and state where they don’t necessarily want to be, but need to be to accomplish their goals. No one wants to be sitting on the hip press cranking out reps at 1,000 pounds, but that might be what they need to be doing, and they need to be comfortable being pushed to do so. It’s then the responsibility of the staff to have created a culture in their weight-room where comfort zones don’t exist.

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Even with a purpose of making the athletes uncomfortable and keeping them on their toes, the athletes still know the general template of what to expect. When an athlete walks into the weight room they all know to expect to be pushed. The athletes know the rules and standards that have been set by the coaching staff. They also know that they’re going to be pushed to do something that might be new, but will definitely be uncomfortable and challenging.

The daily uncertainty programed into their sessions allows the athletes to remain focused and in the moment. It’s hard for anyone to stay focused when they know that they’ll be repeating the same cookie cutter workout that they might as well have gotten online from an Instagram trainer. The environment needs to be such that simply going through the motions and performing the bare minimum is unacceptable.

The take away here is that everyone needs to be pushed out of their comfort zone to create a new normal. This includes both coaching staff as well as athletes. The normal of everyone should include always searching for new ways to push the envelope and stay motivated. Normal is being actively engaged and focused moving at 100mph. Everyone else’s “normal” should seem monotonous/slow paced, otherwise you may not be pushing your athletes or yourself enough.

Check out Mason Baggett, football strength coach at the University of Maryland, as he shares his passion about this topic on the video below.

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