I had the classic small-town (
At the age of 10 (1994), armed with just a smile and the word “hi”, I arrived in
After my first intercollegiate basketball season, I wanted to make a change. I was sick and tired of being unhealthy, lazy and lethargic all the time. I wanted to be able to feel good inside and out. Gaining control over my weight became my main goal. By the start of my Sophomore year, I was 5’7”, 140 lbs. In five months I lost 50 lbs. That opened a new interest in my academic life. I became interested in exercise physiology, human performance and nutrition. That sparked my decision to major in Kinesiology at San Jose State University (SJSU). I choose that curriculum because it allowed me to venture over different disciplines (i.e. sports nutrition, biomechanics, sports psychology, general health programming, sports management, etc).
While at SJSU I never lost my own will to compete. Along the way I have learned various sports skills related to soccer, tennis, softball, football, martial arts, dodgeball, track and field, table tennis, street hockey, surfing, racquetball, Olympic lifting and volleyball. This wide background enabled me to learn and pick up on qualities from different sports that could be use for enhancing others. For example, one summer (2007) I started using tennis and racquetball as off season sports for football players trying to increase lateral quickness and conditioning. To me, formal education is important only to a certain degree. I feel its what you do outside school that truly molds your career.
In my final semester at SJSU , I received a job offer to be a personal trainer at South Bay Athletic Club (SBAC). Working at a health club exposed me to a wide variety of clientele. Before SBAC, my way of training revolved around sports performance enhancement. At SBAC, I was exposed to middle age dads, soccer moms with extreme low back pain, obese to morbidly obese office workers, ballerinas struggling to lose weight, autistic kids, CEOs with hernias, grandmothers with diabetes, librarians with hypertension, kickboxers with shoulder problems, just to name a few. Overwhelmed at first, I took this as a challenge to be an autodidact (self taught). During this time, I realized learning is best done in three ways: reading, experiencing, and modeling. I dedicated myself to reading all kids of books and actually putting what I read in to practice. Furthermore, I went to as many seminars and conferences to learn from the already established people in my field. Lastly, I also used my self as a “guinea pig” and along the way learned a ton about myself and how my clients will respond to different training protocols. Working at SBAC has been a great way for me to test numerous diagnostic and training protocols.
In 2007, thousands of hours of study and training people lead me to develop a system that “gets results”. I called it the Fusion Training System (FTS). It is a collection of principles gathered from a wide array of disciplines to achieve one goal – unlock any individual’s highest performance potential. I consider it to be my duty as a Human Performance Coach to help people become the best individual and performer that they can possibly be (e.g. the best dad, the best teacher, the best student-athlete, the best grandma, the best fighter, etc). With the FTS, I empower people to consistently live and perform closer or at their potential at all times. Currently, I am implementing and perfecting the FTS and still trying to learn as much as I can. I believe in a simple formula for success in life “the more you learn, the more you earn”.
2008 looked to be a promising year for me as SBAC is being converted in to a Performance Enhancement Center. At the age of 24, I have the opportunity to build a facility based on my training principles and vision of what a fitness facility should be like. Unfortunately, situations at SBAC didn’t work out and I left on August 2008. Most of us have probably heard the famous quote by Alexander Graham Bell “When one door closes another one opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, which we do not see the ones which open for us.” I took that quote to heart and within days of leaving SBAC, I accepted an offer to coach the Volleyball Team at Leigh High School and be the teams Strenght and Conditioning Coach as well
In my first season as a coach (volleyball and basketball), I was guilty of matching the expectations I had for my young athletes to the expectations they had for themselves. I didn’t really played favorites, but rather I certainly had higher expectations for the kids who worked hard and wanted more than I did for the kids who seemed to be going through the motions and didn't really have any direction or ambition. I realize that is the wrong approach. Kids meet the expectations you place on them. As a Coach and mentor to these kids, my job was not to accept the place in life that all my young athletes had for themselves. Part of my job is to raise their level of ability and self-esteem. They need to know that I believed in them and any dream or desire they may want for themselves. Placing positive expectations on my young athletes is the very essence of coaching. As I’ve said before, I refuse to be called a Personal Trainer. I am a Human Performance Coach. I have been asked many times why I have such a strong inclination towards the one versus the other. The coach implies that I do beyond “train”, I also and more importantly “teach”. I've developed a passion to teaching!
Personal Trainer = Someone who works with a client to plan or implement an exercise or fitness program. Somebody that “trains”.
Coach = Someone who gives instruction, advice or direction. Somebody that “teaches”
I enjoy coaching young kids because I get a chance to hone in my leadership skills. I always use to think of “leadership” as the act of being in charge of a group and perhaps becoming their mentor. Upon reflection, after the end of the high school season, I had an awakening. True leadership isn’t simply about acting as a leader or mentor. It’s the essence of being able to.
During this time, I decided to volunteer my time coaching basketball for the San Jose Ninja Youth Organization (12th and 8th grade) and continue coaching basketball and boys volleyball at Monta Vista HS. I also maintained my list of clientele but has shifted most of my focus to sports enhancement in the Junio College level. I started helping out local JC coaches (basketball, volleyball and football) to develop their athletes. Im primarily using the data, experience and knowledge that im garnering to complete my newest project: Havoc Training Module.
I still have a lot of little goals to accomplish: Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the collegiate level, training an Olympian, publishing a book, owning my own fitness facility, etc. My ultimate career goal in life is to be one of the most recognized expert in the realm of Performance Enhancement. I am nowhere close to achieving that goal but I am making great strides towards it this past year alone. I hoped for 2009 to be a landmark year.
Biggest lesson learned in 2009, in regards to deciding to accepting or rejecting a new project/opportunity. “Only Take on Projects That Are In Line With My Current Values and Fulfill Me Beyond Just The Money”. From now on a project must fulfill me in some way BESIDE just money. Simply "just chasing a buck" is no way to live. I truly believe success doesn’t sleep so it seemed liked I worked practically every hour of the day. My website was growing exponentially in popularity, I started training clients seven days per week, as my in-person clientele had rapidly grown. It seems like my phone rang off the hook for about 2/3 of the day … I was getting really crunched for time. It seems like every day in I was exhausted and stressed – but absolutely, positively, “living the dream” that I’d always wanted. Every business development coach out there would have seen a “simple” answer to all my problems: stop training people in person. Just write, consult, make some DVDs, and give some more seminars. It would have cut my hours by 80% and still allowed me to earn a pretty good living – and enjoy plenty of free time. There was a huge problem with that, though; it wouldn’t “fulfill me personally, be fun, help a lot of people, and build and be in line with my current brand and brand equity.” I like doing evaluations, writing programs, coaching, sweating, training with my guys, cranking up the music, helping people get to where they want to be, collaborating with and learning from other professionals, and watching my athletes compete – whether it’s at some high school field or your local park. Giving that up wasn’t an option.
Im glad I didn’t cause 2010 turned out to be a great year. To be very candid, though, I don’t consider myself a very good “businessman.” I dont search high and low for new revenue streams to push on my clients. Rather, I try my hardest to set clients up for success in any way possible – and trust that those efforts will lead to referrals and “allegiance” to Fusion Training System. I ask what they want from me and modify my plans accordingly. Along those same lines, I don’t measure my success based on revenue numbers; I measure it based on client results. The college scholarships, state titles, individual honors, and personal bests in the gym are all fantastic, but I’m most proud of saying that I’ve dedicated myself to keeping athletes healthy so that they can enjoy the sports they love. The same goes for my non-competitive athlete clients. The fat loss and strength gains they experience are awesome and quantifiable, but beyond that (and more qualitatively), I love knowing that they’re training pain-free and are going to be able to enjoy exercise and reap the benefits of training for a long time.
At least once a month, I get an email from an up-and-coming coach asking for advice. When I get these emails, I think about how 80% of fitness coaches leave the industry within the first year. In most cases, this happens because these people never should have entered the fitness industry in the first place – because their intentions (money) were all wrong. They usually leave under the assumption that they could never make a living training people, but in reality, these folks are going to have a hard time making a living in any occupation that requires genuinely caring about what you do and the people with whom you work, and being willing to hang your hat on the results you produce. As such, the first advice, in a general sense, is obvious: do it for the right reasons, and do it the right way.
Aside from being a Human Performance Coach, im fullfilling my passion of "teaching" by currently working part-time at Carden Academy of Santa Clara as an Elementary School PE Teacher and for the Golden State Warriors as a Youth Coach for their Basketball Camps. With the new year upon us, I got to thinking about how excited I am for all that 2011 has in store for me. Last revised 1/25/2011