One of my mentors once spoke about his “ideal athlete”. This hypothetical athlete would join his gym and train just two or three days per week as a beginner. With time, he\she would see remarkable mental and fitness gains, learn how to move and think, and eventually set higher goals and increase their volume and seek to better the lives of others. Some day they would eventually train as much as five or six days a week at the gym mastering their newfound capabilities and mindset. Over time, say five or six years, they’d begin to train less at the gym and more on their own.
In my mentor’s mind, the ideal student came to his facility to be coached. The coaching would progress the individual’s fitness and mental readiness level to the point where she learned how to train and learn, and eventually would be proficient enough to need this coaching less and less. His perspective opened my eyes up to what the value of the coaching was.
The way the StoneCutter family of athletes I have the privilege of leading and coaching has evolved has changed what I would call the ideal athlete.
I believe the ideal athlete has a beginners’ heart. This is someone who commits and sees remarkable fitness and mental adaptation to the point that he\she can scale up training volume and studying to improve their skills as an athlete and human being.
They have a growth mindset that’s opening to learn and would embrace critique. For me, what starts to make the ideal athlete unique is the nearly unlimited opportunity for growth outside of the gym. The athlete who has learned accountability and earned tangible fitness and knowledge with coaching would venture out to explore a specialty to satisfy either some deficiency or genuine interest. They would eventually return to coaching with new skills and proficiency that would spiral their fitness and life experience forward. Ideally, they would continue to explore specialties and interests one-by-one soaking up every drop out of each coaching experience or even external programs they find to try and complete. This process could be repeated for a decade of meaningful, new learning. After a full exploration of every specialty discipline from weightlifting to endurance, to breath-work and mental toughness, this student could reflect on their unique and ideal quest into human movement and emotional development that StoneCutter developed, supported, and\or fostered. It would feel like they had earned a black belt in life skills (Sorry, my martial arts days coming back) and would result in being a better human physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The cherry on top for this ideal member would be a curiosity that manifested outside the gym. They would take up something new like rock climbing, jui-jitsu, charity work, a second career, surfing, etc. that along the way that would give training renewed meaning. Life would be different outside of the gym at home, at work, and at play.
I have always appreciated my mentor’s perspective on the ideal student. To expand upon his vision, my goal with the StoneCutter systems are to challenge our athletes to spearhead their specific life and training goals to deeper than the surface level.
This allows us to be responsible for more and, as a result, offer more to our family, both at the gym and our extended family globally.
Ideally speaking, we’ll have many of these “black belts” as part of our family one day making a difference to their peers and to the world in more ways than just fitness.