Building Blocks

This article is authored by Doug Scott. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. Coach Scott has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1999 and has served as a Physical Education teacher and Strength and Conditioning coach since that time. Doug designs workouts for both male and female student athletes competing on a variety of Varsity and Junior Varsity athletic teams, including many county, state, and conference championship teams. Listen to Doug’s podcast on iTunes by clicking here.

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Not too long ago I was in Lower Manhattan and past the construction site for the Freedom Tower. It is truly a marvel in design, strength, and commitment to excellence, but still has a ways to go before it’s completed. Construction sites are like that. They start out as a pile of materials (bricks, steel, etc.) but with skilled labor, careful planning and effort these ordinary “building blocks” become something special. One brick or one steel beam will not make a building, regardless of how strong or well crafted it maybe. It takes thousands, if not tens of thousands of sturdy bricks laid on top of each other before the building will take shape. Getting stronger and more fit is the same process. Only we use workouts, not bricks, to take our bodies to new heights. One “hard” workout will not get the job done. It takes thousands of workouts over the course of many years to reach your full potential.

In order to get stronger you must commit to training and avoid missing workouts. On average you need to be training 2-3 days each week. It is also important to have a routine and stick to it. Resist the temptation to change your workouts too frequently.

Weight training / conditioning is not easy. It takes hard work and focus to reach your goals. The weight room is not a social environment or “hang out.” When the time comes for you to begin your workout, this should be the only thing on your mind, forget about the outside world for now. Think about the exercise and what you are trying to accomplish. Control the weight and drive the resistance upward, when the exercise becomes difficult “lock it in” and finish the last few most productive reps.

In order to become great you must understand that today is a building block for tomorrow. If you have poor training habits such as missing workouts, skipping exercises, not using your workout card or distracting others, then you are setting yourself up for failure. You must hold yourself to a higher standard and have the discipline to “seize the day” and not waste a single workout. In the end, “where the rubber meets the road” and hard work needs to be done, it’s all up to you. Rise up and challenge yourself to new heights.

Today is a brick . Are you going to use it to build a pillar of strength or let it sit in a pile? It’s up to you.

Doug Scott believes that strength training is a “means to and end” and should be a part of every athlete’s lifestyle; and it’s the coaches job to facilitate learning and put the athlete in the best position to get the most out of themselves and ultimately succeed. Mr. Scott has also worked as a personal trainer and has written a number of fitness-related articles and chapters. Coach Scott is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and hold the title of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can contact him at