John Shackleton is the strength and conditioning coach for Villanova Basketball and has been a part of successful sporting campaigns fueled by positive energy and supported by accountability. While the little things and everyday tasks are very important to him, Coach Shack believes that defining his role through a mission statement is a key element, possibe the foundation, of being successful. He believes this so much so that he does this in all areas of his life – his wife and kids, spirituality, as well as his job. Having a goal and/or checkpoints to work toward is a great way to stay focused and have a reference to measure up against in order to make sure you do not stray from the course.

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Having a mission statement is also a good way to make sure that different coaches or members of a team, program or establishment do not try to take on too much and step outside of their realm of expertise. For example, the long term goal of Villanova Basketball could be to improve daily and win another national championship. Within that goal, the mission statement of the stregnth and conditioning staff could be to improve speed, agility, strength, endurance and over athletic performance while decreasing risk of injury as much as possible. If the skill of the players is sub-par or a game plan that has failed repeatedly is still being implemented, it is not the responsibility of the strength coach to step in and take those matters into his or her hands. A skills coach needs to train ball handling and basketball IQ and a head coach is generally the one to develop strategies or philosophies that will be implemented on the court. That is not to say that coaches can’t get input from other sources, becuase a good coaching staff is not only made up of experts in each individual area of the program, but also of collaborative coaches who use teamwork as their most valuable weapon.

Coach Shackleton mentions in the video below that his mission statement that helps him attack everyday is to make his players better, specifically in the physical realm, as that is his area of expertise. He clarifies that in doing so he is not concerned with posting anything online or to social media or letting the outside world know what is going on in his weightroom. His sole focus is to make improve the plaers’ physical ability, and he believes that anything other than that task would be a distraction. This is a great philosophy, and one that would serve a lot of coaches, trainers, and people in general very well. In today’s society we have an obsession with letting our friends, family, and everyone around us know what is going on in our lives; sometimes we even fabricate things to make it seem on social media that it is better than it may be. Coach Shackleton is absolutely correct in saying that this is a distraction from where our focus, as coaches, should be. By having a mission statement and ways to be held accountable to it, we allow ourselves to be free of distractions and do our jobs to the best of our ability – and therefore brign out the best in our athletes.

John Shackleton, Strength Coach for Villanova University Basketball, breaks down his thoughts on this quick video below:

STT will be in Martinsville, NJ at the 8th Annual Strength and Conditioning/Athletic Development New Jersey Clinic (Check #8thSCADNJ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.) on February 17, 2018. CLICK HERE for more information and to register your staff. Take advantage of the EARLY BIRD special!

The Basketball Performance Training program (HoopsPT) at SMARTER Team Training includes instruction to improve movement efficiency, speed development, agility, power development, and strength. The athletes participating in the HoopsPT program are closely supervised and attention is always paid to proper technique and safety. Learn more about the basketball appropriate training that has helped players at all levels when you CLICK HERE.

Take advantage of the opportunity on From weight loss to strength gain, to improved confidence and stamina, you need to look into adding one session with a STT’s Performance Coach to your weekly training schedule.

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