Month: September 2016

The Insanity of Average vs Elite

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“Overview of How Variables Can Be Developed to Increase Resistance to Losing”


“Average Andy vs Michael Phelps 50M Fly”

And check out more average athletes competing against another super-freak:

“100m Race: Usain Bolt vs James Corden & Owen Wilson”]

The depth and breadth of highly crafted skills which the best-in-class athletes achieve is beyond comprehension for the majority of us within the bulk of the bell-shaped curve.


 The Captain Obvious moment is the superficial comparisons of what nature has provided each and every one of us.  When we initially evaluate potential, 1st and foremost we look at the “PRE” (Presence) category in our Pipeline Performance Standards.  More specifically i am referring to the Roman numeral I “Talent” category.


It is not unheard of, but accomplishing hyper-high levels of athletic successes without the anthropometric measurements, the specific neuromuscular wiring, the range of muscle composition and dimensions becomes a giant barrier to overcome.  All 0f that must also be wrapped up and bow-tied with a helping sprinkle of genetic anomaly that lends to success in certain athletic endeavors that drive the athlete to the extremely far right such as the hyper-mobile joints like the ankles and knees in swimmers: hyper-mobile-ankles-feel-for-the-water

“Ankle Flexibility With Olympic Medalist Cassie Patten” (Feel for the Water)

…or disproportionate wingspans of Offensive Lineman:


“Top 10 Best Offensive Lineman in NFL History”

…or the tree frog hand-spread in basketball:


Again, the performance world has some exceptions to the rule, but the cards are stacked against those who do not have those attributes that distinctly contribute to successes.  BUT through comprehensive development, those proverbial shortcomings can either be buried underneath a myriad of other positive factors or shored up defensively so that they are no longer a weakness.  We’ve been in a world where most develop maybe one or two variables like strength or their motor.  It is only until recently that many are taking a look past the trees to see the forest to figure out the immense areas that could positively contribute to winning.  This approach increases the probabilities that the underdog will be in a better striking distance if and when the favorite slips and falters.  A small mistake here and a door is left open where opportunities can only be seized if you are in position to take a step through before it closes.  On the other end of the spectrum are the favorites whose variables are overly stacked for them.  They should be driven to develop as many weak links as possible so as to reduce the probability that they don’t allow lesser opponents a chance, a very small chance to steal a victory.  Those who know and those who are learning will utilize these tools to create championship cultures.  The rest will continue doing the exact same things without desired successes yet still expect different outcomes.  There’s a word that many use for that habit…


To subscribe to one of our on-line training templates, visit us at: “Train Heroically with S3 by raph ruiz”: [“Train Heroically with Raph Ruiz”].  You can get your own Cordio2 resisted breathers at: [CordiO2 “Resisted Breathers”].

Please share with anyone and everyone who needs a bit more ‘ASAP’ (Accelerated Skills Acquisition Programming) in their training.

“Coaching: The Art Peace & War”

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Developing Command of the Psychology of Discomfort


As coaches, “If our plan is for one year, teach them WHAT to do. If our plan is for ten years, teach them HOW to do it. If our plan is for one hundred years, teach them WHY they’re doing it.” – Thanks William Bonney for sharing this little reminder for me that its ok to lose a battle here and there with our young athletes if our plan is to win the war. As Sun Tzu states in his eloquent treatise “Art of War”, this is only accomplished by winning the hearts and minds of those that you are engaged in battle with. (If this can’t be accomplished, the enemy must be “destrominated”, so demoralized that the enemy has zero thoughts of retribution. If this option does not exist, then warfare should be avoided). As coaches we often forget that the moment we introduce discomfort, we should be prepared for the battle that the athletes will have within themselves as they fight for self preservation and/or the displaced anger that they will unwillingly focus. The target of that hatred will undoubtedly be on the perceived source of the discomfort, which is us as the implementer of the protocol. We are “forcing” them to do what makes them uncomfortable. The best coaches develop and sharpen the coping mechanisms that the athlete will use under duress for high, positive effects. They inform the athletes WHAT to expect and more importantly HOW to utilize these tools to be successful in conditions that are designed to promote failure. The brilliance is in the most important, the WHYs. Because they know that it is the usage of the psychomotor weapons that they are forging that affords them the composure, grit and laser-focused mindset to be successful within the arenas and theaters. It is this high-level SDL (State Dependent Learning) that drives epigenetic changes towards elevating potential. The beauty of it all is the amount of inspiration that overflows to teammates and down on into the future generations that are watching and learning how they are supposed to do things, how they are supposed to act within the culture of the team.

To subscribe to our on-line training templates, visit us at: “Train Heroically with S3 by raph ruiz”: [].  You can get your own Cordio2 resisted breathers at:[].  Please feel free to share with anyone and everyone who needs a bit more ‘ASAP’ (Accelerated Skills Acquisition Programming) in their training.

riph-raph & Misfits

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“Misconceptions of Performance Training, Strength & Conditioning”


Shiver me timbers, to all you fellow riph-raph & misfits out there its Sept. 19th, so Happy “Talk-Like-A-Pirate-Day”! Dead men tell no tales, so there are so many misconceptions that exist in everything that we are not fluent in. Take this into all walks of our lives and recognize that we are all idiots in some form, shape and fashion…You may be a good athlete, but fine arts is an alien language…You maybe great in mathematics, but history eludes you…You may love sports, but you lack simple comprehension of politics because its either too confusing or you haven’t found a reason to care yet. Even within my chosen craft of Human Movement Sciences, it never ceases to amaze me when we fail to give a HS coach well deserved credit for proverbially making chicken salad out of chicken shit. But we rain down oodles of praise and worship for a S&C coach from a professional team or even prestigious university. Much more praise should be given to the professional at any level who can do more with less than the ones who did just enough working with high-performance super stars training in high-tech facilities. The spotlight will never shine on the performance coach that develops a 5.1 40yd dash guy into a respectable 4.7. Yet up high on the pedestal goes the s&c coach who walked an athlete into the door as a 4.4 guy, but also ushered them out as a 4.4 guy. When you’re working with such a small margin of error as the less-than-gifted are, details matter more. You can’t out strong everyone, you have to be smarter in your preparation. Your athletes may not be a race horses, but developing a higher level of reliability means that that 4.7 athletes will deliver that in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and overtime. Developing a higher level of sustainability means that instead of suffering from a traumatic, season ending injury, the athlete recovers well from a hamstring strain and is back on the court.  The original namesake of this profession as a strength & conditioning coach pushes the notion that effectiveness shall be measured by how much strength can we develop in our athletes and to what level of conditioning can we achieve.  We are thrust into the metrics game of evaluating and reevaluating numbers for prudence, an arms race escalates each and every day when we walk into the facility.  As goal-oriented and naturally bullheaded people, we push our goals and  aspirations onto the athletes.  Yet rarely do we remind ourselves that what we want may be either at best cost (time & energy) prohibitive to the athletes and God forbid at worst detrimental to what is most important to the athlete.  If their “efficient & effective specific skill(s) acquisition” was not the very first thing that came to mind, then their performances within their chosen arenas better be.  Weight room, record-board topping studs hold significantly less water if those numbers cannot translate to acquiring specific sport skills. When the training system develops a broader, more comprehensive movement vocabulary, then the athletes are bound less and less limited to do what the coaches are asking of them. This means that the athletes are gaining technical proficiency at a faster rate. Lastly, the systematic development of their psychomotor drive must be melted into, pressed in between and all throughout so that more composed and coachable athletes abound. In the highest circles of coaching, most will agree that most games are lost and not won. Lack of technique execution over here, a poor performance over there sprinkled with an under-duress, bone-headed decision here and there spread out over the entire roster of starters and the benefits of the philosophy of “reducing unforced errors” becomes blatantly clear. So with an ocean’s full of salt be wary of pirates’ tales of buried treasure. The unheralded knows that the best ship isn’t the prettiest one with the biggest sails, but rather the one with sturdiest hull. This is not to be confused with the flash-in-the-pan, once-in-a-while, occasionally good. We’re referencing the best-in-class, hall of famers and legends that have proven to be the most sea worthy as they were tried and proven true through every voyage through tumultuous seas. Now batten down the hatches you scurvy sea dogs!


20 years ago, i began refining S3 “Sword & Soul Solutions” by intuitively putting together scientific and anecdotal evidence to support what i felt was the most efficient and effective means for accelerating (movement) skill acquisition.  Because this methodology was so far out of the scope of what was commonly practiced, i was once left with a fairly empty auditorium as the attendees laughed, scoffed and walked out within the first 10:min.  For the bulk of my career i was relegated to those who had to involuntarily train with me under the demands of their coaches and the few who sought to reap the benefits of this unorthodox S3 system.  The composition of the later can best be described with three more sub categories.  First, there are those who are at desperate means.  They are often at crossroads in their careers, taking steps up to the next level or in the midst of a free agent year and had to perform exceptionally well in order to put themselves at a better bargaining position for contract negotiations.  The second categorical group were the injured.  They are forced to do all that they can to regain the function of high speed in order to get back into the game.  The third categorical group is the under-achiever who has tried other methodologies, programs and systems to lesser avail and are driven to rise from past lack-lusters.

To subscribe to our on-line training template, visit us at:

Train Heroically w/ S3 by Raph Ruiz

You can get your own Cordio2 resisted breathers at:


Please feel free to share with anyone and everyone who needs a bit more ‘ASAP’ (Accelerated Skills Acquisition Programming) in their training.  Thank you!

Killer Cross-Overs & Craftsmanship

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Preparation drives Potential, Performance & Persistence.


Wikipedia provides the definition as “A crossover dribble is a basketball maneuver in which a player dribbling the ball switches the ball rapidly from one hand to the other, to make a change in direction...The crossover can allow the player an open short jumper or a clear path to the basket.” [‘Crossover Dribble’ Wikipedia]


Regardless of the choice of arena, the killer cross-over is a fighter’s mentality that is born in the craftsmanship of training that gets displayed in the heat of the moments.  Creating space between you and your competitors is a indomitable mindset that drives training, practice and finally in game-time.  Encouraging our athletes to understand the superficial and deeper meanings is paramount to elevating potential and over-achieving.  To greatly sustain successes, we must inherit the killer cross-over’s mindset of the perpetual interplay between

  1. Potential: significantly increasing the probability that we will be in position to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
  2. Performance: effectively utilizing what we’ve built to create our own opportunities.
  3. Persistence: Developing a relentless, psychomotor drive combined with increased injury resistance.

Every variable that we improve in training, we create a better chance of taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves under the hot lights.  Every variable that we improve in training, we perform better and we will then create our own opportunities.  Every variable that we improve in training, we strengthen the connection & control of our emotions and how they can hyper-drive our actions when intensity is turned up high as the opposite is the standard and norm.  Every variable that we improve in training we create a more efficient system that not only withstands the rigors of high level, but thrives in harsh environments.


Congratulations to Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming and others on your Class of 2016 NBA Hall of Fame induction.

[Allen Iverson Ultimate Crossover Compilation](brought to you by House of Hoops)

“Allen Iverson: Had to overcome ‘naysayers’ to make Hall of Fame”

(by Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer)