Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Leadership: Football & Life – Jackson Michael


Guest: Jackson Michael

Release Date: 2/14/2022

Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.

Steve Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I am your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and ultra Fitness Business 101. On today’s episode, I speak with Jackson, Michael Jackson. Michael is a historian of football and also an author of many football books.

The game before the money is one that we hint at here a bit because he talks about Vince Lombardi and some quarterbacks and leadership and what it took to be a leader. And that’s what we’re going to expand on in this conversation is how does that transcend into everyday life and into being a business owner like a fitness business owner, and just taking ownership and agency over your life and those leadership skills to become successful? It was a really fun conversation.

Obviously, this is the day after the Super Bowl. So I thought it was very fitting to just step outside the box and have a little bit different conversation, especially being that I am a lover of football. So I hope the audience enjoys this conversation. No further ado, here’s Jackson, Michael Jackson, thanks so much for joining the Trulyfit podcast. Why don’t you give the audience and the listeners a little background on who you are and what it is that you do?

Jackson Michael: Sir Steve Yeah, I work as an oral historian, a podcaster. And audio engineer and also as a musician, so I’ve got to wear a lot of hats. As you know, with podcasting. There are a lot of things you got to do. I grew up in Wisconsin, grew up a big sports fan, and a fan of music. And I live near San Antonio now with my wife and our two rescue dogs. And yeah, it’s great.

Steve Washuta: My wife is from Madison. So I’ve been in Wisconsin a lot visiting her family and being around their beautiful place. Great, great sports city, obviously.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, that’s actually my hometown. Yeah, so I grew up going to badger games as a kid. I’m Elroy Hirsch, an NFL Hall of Famer. When I was in third grade on a field trip when we went to the Badger stadium, Camp Randall was there on a field trip, so yeah, and one unique thing about Madison is the only North American city built on an isthmus. Ah, ah, yeah, there you go. Little trivia for the Trulyfit.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, crew. If anyone’s looking to go to a college football game, and they and they haven’t been to Camp Randall, I suggested I’ve been too close to about 25 stadiums now. And it was certainly in the top six or seven experiences in college football. So

Jackson Michael: yeah, it’s great. It’s great, especially with the band, you know, during the fifth quarter and yeah, just a great atmosphere. Yeah.

Steve Washuta: You know, in college football atmospheres, you have a little bit of everything, so you can go to places. You know, I went to West Virginia University. Morgantown is a little bit rowdier and ruckus as far as the fans yelling at you. And you can go to somewhere like Texas a&m, where all the fans are gentle and light.

There they’re a little bit more welcoming. Camp Randall has a good mixture of both right? They have the student section is going crazy. They’re doing jumping around, but they also have very welcoming adults. And I think it’s it’s it balances college football in a good way. Yeah, yeah, it’s

Jackson Michael: great. Yeah, I even worked there as an usher as a teenager to get into games for free. That was my thinking. I wasn’t thinking about making money. I was thinking about how can I get into games for free? So I worked as an usher. And yeah, had a lot of experience working with the fans and yet didn’t have any negative experiences at all.

Steve Washuta: Tell us first a little bit about your book. And what maybe gave you sort of the impetus to write your book.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, the first book was a game before the money voices of the men who built the NFL. It’s an oral history of pro football, I interviewed players who played pro football between the 1930s and the 1970s. And that was published by the University of Nebraska Press, I really felt it was important to document the lives of these people who built the league into what it is today and who helps footfall to the cultural phenomenon that it is, I mean, if you compare it, you know, maybe to Hollywood is maybe more popular than football right now, but as an excellent source for the American culture.

Football is, you know, very, very high up there. So, what else is also interesting is, you know, pro sports is one of those rare professions where you get a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds. A lot of different personalities, and yet they’re all able to come together and go towards one goal as a team.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s very true. And I think, you know, today our conversation is going to be shaped around the kind of leadership and how that plays into sports and football and how that can cross over into professions and things of that nature.

But, you know, being one of these sorts of revolutionary athletes, let’s call them who started before there was money in it, you need it, that sort of leadership from a coach’s perspective, from a quarterbacks perspective, from a player’s perspective, because you’re rallying guys to do these very remarkable feats and tasks for no compensation, more or less, right.

You needed a bigger rallying cry, it’s, it’s you today, it’s much easier to go into a huddle and say you’re making $3 million a year, you better block that guy, as opposed to, you know, you’re protecting me, we’re doing this as a unit. And you really need sort of a central authority leadership figure. And I think, you know, the, I’m not saying we’ve lost that with time, but obviously, as times get easier, leadership may lessen for lack of a better term. 

Jackson Michael: Yeah, and a lot of times, if you look at successful groups, or successful teams, a lot of times it’s, it’s not really even the financial motivation, or it’s the motivation not to let my teammates down. A lot of players would talk about that, while garrison in particular from the Cowboys, he would talk about like I did, I wanted my teammates to know that I was a good teammate.

You know, in separate reading, I read the couple of biographies of the guys, that Band of Brothers was based on, and fighting in Europe, and none of them really talked about democracy or American ideals. Throughout the book, they talked about their friends, defending their friends, and making sure their friends made it out. Okay. With them. So

Steve Washuta: that’s a great point. And when you talk to either veteran of the war or retired players, and you say, What do you miss? It’s always the camaraderie between the guys that they miss more so than anything else, they don’t, you know, they that’s what they talk about, sort of the locker room environment is what they miss.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Succeeding, you know, not only by yourself and for yourself, but, you know, with somebody else, and I think trainers can take that, you know, also because you’re working with someone else towards a goal to make them stronger, to make them feel better about themselves. You know, what was important to you, it becomes important to the other person as well. It just kind of create that synergy. And I think, on, you know, teams have a greater number of people that grows into a powerful force,

Steve Washuta: completely, you’re right. And then you know, there are actually some fitness mediums, that Stoll that CrossFit in particular, where they use very, very much the same idea where we’re, we’re competing, right, so CrossFit has held competitions themselves, but even within the training for it in the classes, they have competitions, where you have to meet certain goals, or you have to do a certain amount of repetitions during a time and everyone’s working together. You’re cheering each other on and it’s very difficult.

And they do these Yeah, they’re essentially classes, where, where they’re grouping that together, I think it is important for people to know and I’m not even talking about from like a marketing perspective to like, just get more money. But this is from achieving your goal perspective, it’s important to make sure that you have other people around you who are pushing you and you’re pushing them. Yeah,

Jackson Michael: Yeah, exactly. And that creates, you know, a lot of synergy for everybody to succeed.

Steve Washuta: So, want to shift the conversation here and talk a little bit about the leadership. Typically we think of coaches and quarterbacks when we’re talking about football in these leadership roles. Is there anybody that comes to mind right away and why did they come to mind for you? 

Jackson Michael: Yeah, there are a lot you know, of course, bars star and Vince Lombardi with the Packers in the 60s. They kind of set a standard for that and, you know, Johnny Unitas with that great comeback in the 1958 NFL Championship. He comes to mind and other coaches, you know, Paul Brown, certainly Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, and even in today’s game, you know, Bill Belichick, you know, definitely fits in that mold,

Steve Washuta: his leadership, the central character that is setting these guys apart, is it just leadership is it knowledge is a combination of the two. And if you believe is leadership? Is there an anecdote from one of these coaches you can describe, to show their leadership ability? 

Jackson Michael: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting that you asked that because all of those people generally had different personalities. Even Lombardi said, you know, leaders, leaders are made, they’re not born. I think all of us who, who are leaders, you know, and I think everybody is a leader in some regard, and we can, we can talk about that more, but we learn as we go, we learn leadership skills as we go.

AAnd as we mature, you know, so I think two things that really stand out, and when I asked Bart Starr, you know, what, what leadership meant to him, you know, a lot of it was a commitment to the cause. And a lot of it was based on setting the standard, you know, he would say that coach Lombardi said, we’re not going to be a good team, we’re not going to focus on being good. Just good is not good enough for our team, we have to be excellent.

And when you think about that, and whatever you’re doing, you know, whether you’re training, whether it forms on an exercise, are you doing a good job of it? Or are you? Are you doing an excellent job of it, are you doing a good job of communicating, are you doing an excellent job? That makes a big difference? You know, is this a good workout? Or is it an excellent workout? Which would you rather do? And, and, you know, translated into football, that’s what made the Packers a little bit better than the rest of the teams, I think.

Steve Washuta: And I know, and running a team is a business, right? So the Packers are a business in a sense, and personal training is a business and I think that also comes into play here. It’s because you’re facing other businesses. If you do all the things a little bit better, that 1% better, you’re going to be more successful.

I think that plays into it from a leadership role, but also from the sort of a CEO role, let’s, let’s call it which essentially is supposed to be, you know, the leader of the company, or the, you know, the football team, in this case, it’s the head coach, but you, we’re as personal trainers, all individual CEOs, of either our clients, or maybe our group fitness class, or maybe we own an actual gym, a small gym, or a large gym. It is important that we do those things, like you said, one step above the competition because there is a finite amount of money and people working towards personal training so that the better job you do you know, the more successful you’re going to be.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, that’s, that’s very true. And then the other side, you know, that we were talking about is a commitment to the cause. And it’s like, you know, what, cause Are you committed to, you know if you’re training somebody is your main cause to make them better. I mean, I’ve had two great trainers that I’ve worked with, and I’ve, you know, I’ve worked with several trainers, like most people, but the two that really stand out, they were really committed to making me better and to make sure that I learned to exercise properly, and then I was lifting properly and that I was eating properly, and they really, you know, supported me.

And I could feel that, that they were committed to that cause if you’re committed just to the marketing and, you know, the salesmanship of it, you know, people can, people can, you know, they can, they can feel that too, you know, and it kind of tones it down a little bit.

Steve Washuta: I couldn’t agree more. And we talked about that a lot here. People are intuitive, they’re gonna know if you’re just trying to scale basically and get as many clients as you can. There’s a big difference between the trainers who message their clients on a weekend and say hey, how’s everything going? Are you feeling okay? Are you still sore from the last workout? Let me know if I can do anything.

The trainers who know their client’s dog’s name, right they might know both of your rescue dogs’ names and your wife’s name and where you got your dogs from and that, you know, you every Thanksgiving you travel back to Madison or what you know, those little things that you do matter in the grand scheme of things and no different with coaches, coaches that know their players or they can tell one of their players are having a difficult time and they come over and say, Hey, Dan, you know, I know this has been a tough week for you talk to me what’s going on and that makes a heck of a lot of difference when you’re in the battle in the trenches fighting for you know, a win. 

Jackson Michael: Yeah, yeah. It creates that glue in that relationship that makes you want to work harder. Not just for yourself, but for your trainer and you know, for the team.

Steve Washuta: So you mentioned it before a little bit that the training, excuse me that leadership styles are very different. So you have Someone like Eli Manning, who I guess you can, you can maybe consider him a leader or not, we can talk about that. But you know, he won multiple Super Bowls, he was at the helm of the New York Giants.

And then you have somebody who’s a little bit more vocal, like Drew Brees, who’s, you know, in the middle Leading the chance with the offense and the defense and he’s more of a vocal leader, but he’s also a winner. And you do it in different ways. I know you’ve interviewed dick for a meal, who is sort of known for being more emotional and crying with his players, and really talking about how much he loves them, as opposed to maybe a more of a hard-nosed coach like Mike Tomlin, these people are all winners for all leaders. So is it that you can just use your skillset to be a leader and that there is no one particular characteristic that lets you be a leader?

Jackson Michael: Yeah, yeah. You know, um, leaders come from all different kinds of backgrounds, and they have a lot of different approaches, you know, take for a meal. Yeah, sure. He’s emotional. He’s also, you know, the hardest working man in show business. And one way I mean, that guy, he would sleep in his office, you know, um, he was 24/7, work as hard as we can, all the time, if we work, you know, 22 hours a day, we’re going to be a better football team than if we work 21 hours a day.

Then there’s a coach like Bump Phillips, you know, from the Houston Oilers, also a very successful coach. Kinda was like, Okay, guys, how are you feeling today, if you guys aren’t feeling it, today, we’re gonna take it easy. If you need to rest do that you guys are all professionals, I’m gonna let you guys decide what you guys need to do.

That’s style works well, too. You know, the key is you got to have players buy-in, you got to have people buy in. And that’s even in a one-on-one training situation, you got to have, you got to have your client buy-in. And you got to have success at something, you know, if all your clients are out of shape, you know, or if I’m working with a trainer, and I’m still out of shape, I’m not buying in, if a football team, you know, has the same coach for two, three years, and they’ve only won a couple of games they’re not going to buy-in. So and some of that stuff is not within the control of the coach, you also have to kind of have certain personalities that match that sort of style.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, and that was a great way to relate that to training. There are multiple ways in which you can reach a client’s goal. You may work with me Jackson or another trainer, we both may be successful with you. But through different mediums, right, maybe I decide that the way I do things is more bodyweight and bands and the other trainer does things with more dumbbells and cardio equipment, it doesn’t necessarily matter.

As long as we get to that goal. We’re knowledgeable in getting you there. And we can show you that we are successful in doing it. Those are the things that matter. I think that that works, both in sports and in fitness. When you find people that are two, this is a very college football term dyed in the wool. There’s only one way to go, right. That’s where you should typically run away because there isn’t one way to do a lot of things, right.

There are wrong ways to do it. But there’s typically not one right way you watch Phillip rivers throw a football, and you watch Tom Brady throw a football, they don’t throw a football the same. That doesn’t mean they both are not great quarterbacks, but their arm angles don’t change who they are as leaders and who they are as quarterbacks. They just do things a little bit differently.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. Um, it’s also important to remember like, though, as, as you are, if you’ve got a certain style that works for you, you know, you can stay with that style. And that’s, that’s kind of your, you know, you talk about big 10 Smash Mouth football, that’s kind of their brand of football, that’s what works, you know, the big 12 to air it out. You know, that’s what works.

So you need to be flexible to your client’s needs, of course, but you also can’t stray away from who you are. Because you’re not going to be as good at it. You know, I play you know, I play guitar really well. But if I tried to pick up like, a trumpet, you know, I’m not gonna be able to play the trumpet, you know, to get a gig. You know, that’s not serving anybody. Well, I try to try to you know, play the trumpet.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great point. I mean, you need a bass, for lack of a better term, you need something that kind of defines you the things that you do best in the personal training world. We usually have like a general base. And then we have like, you know, like a niche of some sort, you know, a little bit of everything. But you’re known for one thing in particular, right.

So for me a lot of my early career, I was known for working with seniors. So they’re a lot more difficult. They hand you their health history form, and they have a lot of things going on wrong, or they have a bilateral hip replacement, they have diabetes, they’re on this medication on them at this. You have to know all of these things that go on.

A lot of these things compound if you’re on one thing, how does that react synergistically with another drug? That was sort of my niche and my window, I can do a little bit of everything. But that was my specialty. And I think, you know, that works in sports. And that works in business as well.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, yeah. People know what they’re getting into. And you know, when teams hire dick for a meal, and when players you know, are playing for they, they know what they’re in for, you know, and when they’re playing for Mike Tomlin and they know what they’re in for. And certainly when they were playing for Vince Lombardi or Chuck Noll, they knew that too.

Steve Washuta: So you know, Vince Lombardi grew up in Brooklyn, I believe, right? He was coaching in the 1960s. So he grew up, whatever, you know, 3040 50 years before that, and in a very tough time.

So you’re coming from parents of immigrants from Italy, and you’re living in tougher times? Do you think that that helps really shape some of these people and who they are more so than now when it just might be a little bit easier for people to climb to the top? They don’t have that sort of difficult background?

Jackson Michael: Well, I think everybody has their own journey to success. So but it’s certainly you know, who they certainly come through and what they learn along the way. In Lombardi’s case, you know, he played college football at Fordham. You know, he’s part of the seven blocks of granite. One of those guys is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So he’s always been around successful people.

He was an assistant coach with the New York Giants before getting the Packers job. And the other assistant coach on that team was Tom Landry. So he was always around successful people. He worked for red Blake and the army as an assistant coach. So um, and then yeah, you know, a hardscrabble upbringing sometimes helps people, you know, because, you know, maybe they don’t take things for as for granted may be, and, and it helps them and more adverse situations.

And so, yeah, there are a lot of benefits and whatever people are good at, generally, it’s got some tie, tear back around. That that helped them get to that point, or somebody helped them along the way.

Steve Washuta: Yeah. Good. That makes sense. I also, just want to comment on what you said about Landry. I didn’t know that. But I do think that that happens a lot in various industries, especially in the fitness industry, where you end up working with someone who is either your boss or your equal, and they go on to do great things.

And it’s good to be interconnected with these people and keep really good relationships. Because, you know, for, for coaches, let’s say that could be your, your key, your golden ticket to maybe being an assistant coach, for trainers, that could be your golden ticket to being getting hired to a bigger gym. So it’s important to maintain professionalism and good relationships within your sort of your climb to ascent in your profession.

Jackson Michael: Oh, yeah, yeah. And in the music industry, you know, one of them, one of the sayings is always you meet the same people on the way up that you do on the way down. So, you know, there’s that too, you know, but yeah, you know, and it’s just good practice, you know, to treat people well, to have good relationships. You know, that’s, that’s part of being a leader to, you know, taking the lead and having good relationships. That’s, that’s a that’s an important all-around leadership skill.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, I also think, an important leadership skill. And this is going to kind of lead to my next question. Slash statement is, you know, practice what you preach, and also be good on and off the field, right? You see a lot of these people who might be successful on the field, but if you have a lot of issues off the field, it’s hard for young men and other people to look up to you as a leader.

So, you know, in college football, you have someone like Kurt Ferenc, who’s been an Iowa for who knows 20 plus years now never has any proprieties off the field graduates kids, does all these things properly. Is there a lack of that? Are we just looking for winners now? Or do you think that that that this maybe is something that should be changed a bit and we should be looking for more people like this?

Jackson Michael: Well, and before Forenza at Iowa, they had Hayden fry, you know, so they have had, they’ve had two coaches since you know, the late 1970s I think so. And my point here is the consistency of leadership. That’s, that’s key to building a successful program company. That’s really helpful too. I think at the college level and the high school level, I think character development and developing people who they, who they are. That’s, that’s really important.

And I do think that you know, overall,, from the coaches with whom I’ve spoken, they, they put that as a pretty high priority, if not the highest. I know Mack Brown, Texas, University of Texas Head Coach, when they won the national championship with Vince Young, in the locker room afterward, he said, I’m paraphrasing here, but he said something akin to Don’t let this moment be the highlight of your life.

You know, there’s you got your whole life besides this, don’t let this be the biggest moment. And that’s, that’s a, that’s a head coach who just won the national championship. And when you get paid to coach that’s, you know, wins and losses on the surface are generally your job. But I think at the college and high school level, I think a lot of coaches are oriented to player development on and off the field. At the pros, I think it’s you’re kind of expected to be certain at a certain level by that point.

I know, one of Chuck Knowles’s sayings was, it’s not my job to motivate you, you should already be motivated as a pro football player. So yeah, but there are, there are a lot of different ways to look at it. But I do think that, by and large, a lot of coaches are the majority are really into player development. And they know their responsibility is important in that regard.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, I mean, that makes sense from again, a leadership standpoint where the people around you not that they’re doing this to for this purpose, but people around you are going to buy in, if you care about them, from you know, the full perspective, not just if they gained 150 yards, but also if they’re getting A’s, if they’re doing the right things in the community and those sorts of things.

And again, that plays into the personal training, we’re also, you know, our how our clients sleep, how the relationships are, how they do at work, all of these things factor into working out so much so that, you know, I have sort of like a check down list that I when I working with them personal trainers or things to do to make sure they’re getting their clients the best workout for example, if you’re getting off of work at five o’clock.

You tell me, Steve, I want to work out at 630 I go home first, relax, and then come, I say no chance. Because there’s such a high probability that you’re going to go home, and then get a phone call or open the fridge and go, You know what I’m out of eggs, I gotta run to the store or something is going to happen, or you just lay on the couch and go, Oh, there’s you know, whatever. The 1967 Packer history is on the NFL Network. And before you know it, you cancel on Steve.

So and even if I’m getting that money from you, even if you cancel, I get that money, that’s still not worth it to me because I want your progress. So I say Not a chance. If you’re 15 minutes away, and you get off work at five, I’ll see you at 515. And, and those things are important and to check in with their clients.

Are they sleeping properly? Are they doing all those things and making sure that you have a, again, a well-rounded approach to getting them to their goals and not just the one hour you’re working with them? Right the coaches. It’s not just the one hour they’re on the practice field leading the team. It’s the other 21 hours that Dick formulas in the office watching a film, making sure his players are doing the right things that lead to success.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. And, you know, I spoke to Drew Pearson A while back, I was able to interview him for the Texas Sports Hall of Fame podcast, which I also host and produce. And he was talking about Coach Landry looked for four things in his players. That was a lot of his criteria.

And talent was the fourth, you know, there were there other character characteristics that he was looking for, you know, and, and that’s, that’s important too. And, you know, you know, things like dependability, and, and, you know, just talking about it from a trainer perspective, you know, dependability. If, if you show up and you do a good job every day.

That’s even if you’re an average trainer, you might get better results from somebody who’s fantastic, but isn’t as reliable. And you see that in sports a lot, where you get players who might have all this athletic skill, but maybe they’re not as reliable. Maybe they’re not that great of a teammate. Maybe they’re doing some things off the field that are distractions, who’s you’d rather have on your team? And an above-average player who doesn’t do that, or, you know, a player who has a tremendous amount of potential, but kind of as these other things get in the way?

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great point. I think, too, that ties into like the long term perspective, where if you’re going to be good at anything, football, or a trainer or health, right, if you’re the, if you’re the client trying to be good, you have to have a long term approach, you can’t just be somebody comes in, you know, you’re going to have some wide receiver coach come in, and I’m going to work with you for a week and get your footwork on, and then I’m going to leave, you know, it’s the coaches who are there for a year, two years, three years, like you just talked about Iowa, having two coaches and 45 years, that can continue to slowly build you up in the proper way and stay with you.

And I think that’s, that’s an important part of helping clients help helping build your own business being a leader is, is sort of having that that long term approach to you, of course, during the way you have short term goals with your clients, your short term goals with your business, if you don’t have that long term approach, that 510-year approach, you know, that it’s, they’re going to sniff that out, and they’re going to know that you’re not there for them.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, and I think the college coaches also, and the high school coaches also understand that if they build up better people, they’re going to have better success on the field. You know, as a trainer, if you build up people, you know, they’re going to have better results, people at the gym are going to kind of see the people you’re working with. They’re going to see what kinds of people they are. They might want some of that, if you will.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s a big part of it. And I think I’ve gotten a lot of clients through word of mouth, that’s still the best marketing there is, but also just people watching what I do, and then stopping me after a session when I’m not working or in the hallways at a gym and saying, Hey, I, you know, I kept my eye out on what you were doing.

And I was very intrigued. Can you tell me a little bit more about how you could potentially help me with my problems? And I think always acting in a manner in which somebody is videotaping you, and that you are the CEO, and then you are running a team or you’re running an organization, having that sort of leadership mindset is what makes people good, right? It’s, it’s almost like a little insecurity. And being too nonchalant, always doing what you want, and not worrying about those things is what will lead to your downfall.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, complacency. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. 

Steve Washuta: So we’ve talked a lot about what these leaders can do that sort of the everyman can do. Right. So is there anything else you can think of that maybe some of these leaders in sports do that kind of translates to, to any profession or the personal training profession?

Jackson Michael: Yeah, I definitely think again, you know, the commitment to the cause, is a big one. Because if people are looking to you for leadership, and they don’t see commitment, you know, they’re less likely to be committed, it’s hard to stay committed, when the person is supposed to be leading you doesn’t appear that committed.

You know that’s, that’s, that’s one and, you know, setting the standard for excellence. You know, if you’re a leader, and you set a laissez-faire kind of, you know, close enough for rock and roll kind of a standard, then that’s, that’s gonna, that’s going to seep through the group. But if you set a higher standard, and it doesn’t matter if if your title is a manager or your title is, you know, clerk, you know, mail clerk, if you set a higher standard, people are going to feed off that. You know, Steve Tasker was a special teams player for the bills during their AFC Championship days in the late 80s and early 90s.

And you played so he did such a good job on special teams that inspired the rest of his teammates to raise up to it to a higher standard so he’s he is on the semi-finalists. Yeah. As we’re speaking for the 2018 class. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So yeah, I think those are two things. And you know, We’re called to lead in different situations, you know, we’re called to lead in our family, at some point, we’re called to lead in our own lives. You know, and we’re called to lead in our community.

Sometimes, you know, even just somebody’s asking for directions, you know, I mean, there are a lot of different ways to approach that scenario where you’re asked to be a guide, it might seem like just a small thing, but if you do, do a good job and show that you care, even in those little things, it’s gonna grow into, you know, throughout your life.

I think a lot of these athletes who played, you know, for a lot of these great coaches like Lombardi, and, you know, as I spoke with Leroy Jordan, who got to play for both Bear Bryant and Tom Landry, you know, what they, what they did in, in smaller areas, you know, ended up working in bigger areas, just because of that foundation that they had the high standard, and a commitment to the cause.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I think, again, for trainers to relay that it’s in our own individual workouts, how meticulous one maybe, of writing everything down and making sure that, you know, we’re getting this amount of cardio in, or this amount of nutrients, and or all of these things, well, you know, that sort of the same sort of dedication needs to be put towards their clients, and your business and your client’s success and all of those things, because like you said, it all carries over.

That’s all, that’s all-important. You never know when you’re going to have to, to really motivate your client to do the next thing. I think, you know, an issue with a lot of the issue that a lot of trainers have a lot of young trainers I work with, is they start working with someone, it’s six months in, maybe that person’s met some other goals, but they probably plateaued, the person is not complaining, so they just carry on, right, I work with you, we meet for an hour, I don’t really push anything, you’re not complaining, I’m getting my money, and it’s over.

I think that that creates sort of, this is another pocket that’s that creates a sort of a sense of burnout, because you’re not working towards something, and you’re just going through the day today. That’s a problem, unlike coaches, who have an ultimate goal, like winning the Lombardi trophy. You know, trainers sometimes don’t have that ultimate goal. But you can set one, right. You can set ultimate goals. Or at least small goals along the way to make sure that you don’t get complacent. As you said, which is a big problem. 

Jackson Michael: Yeah, and a couple of things, you know, to bring up there. One, when I spoke with the players who played for Lombardi. And I’ve gotten to speak to maybe half a dozen. Almost all of them brought up at some point. That Lombardi could tell when a player needed a kick in the pants. So to speak. Or needed a hug, you know? And so it’s kind of recognizing what your clients need. Do they need a little extra motivation to get to that next level. And the other, the other thing that ties into that is, you know, championship teams.

You know, they have everybody watching film, trying to figure out what they do, how to beat them. So the teams that stay on top for the longest amount of time adjust. And sometimes you got to adjust people’s workouts, you know, when they when they plateaued? We all know that. I mean, that’s basics. Even I’m not a trainer, but I do know, my body will get used to something and I’ve got to switch it up.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, yeah. But not only that, that’s That’s exactly right. But also, just from a mental standpoint. With your clients, make sure that they’re continued to be invested in by changing things up. Right, that nobody wants to be bored. It’s the same thing with a coach over and over, you can’t just do the same things. You have to keep your players guessing. And you have to do different things for them. To make sure that they buy-in and they understand that you’re always working in the background towards their betterment. That you’re not just writing out some prescription that you wrote out that you gave to everybody.

And you’re saying, This is what you’re going to do. It’s like, well, there is no coach that’s been doing the same exact thing for six years. Because someone would have figured it out. That coach would have lost all the games and he would be gone. There shouldn’t be a trainer who has been doing the same exact thing for six years with their client. Because now their client is not succeeding. They’re not involved in it. And they know that the coach, or trainer, in this case, isn’t invested in their long-term success. Rather just trying to make $1 as easy as possible.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, then and I know I wouldn’t want to do the same workout for six years. Yeah.

Steve Washuta: So why don’t we tell the audience, Jackson. Where they can find your book where can listen to your podcasts? And where they can maybe reach out to you directly. If they ever have any questions about whether it’s football, oral history, or anything else that you do?

Jackson Michael: Oh, yeah, that’s great. You know, a lot of it is centered around the game before the A lot of stuff is there even my email address is in my About section. And you know, the game before the money podcast is everywhere you listen to podcasts, you can get that. And you can also located on the website, which has a lot of great football history articles. Scott links to the game before the money book, also.

The red wire and Columbia blue chasing the dream with the 1979 Oilers book. That I wrote a couple years ago, and my fantasy football winning strategies book. There are links to that too. And also the Houston Oilers documentary that I did. Called we were the Oilers the love you blue era. So I’m all that, you know, the products are for sale on Amazon. But if you just want one hub, that would be the

Steve Washuta: Yeah, and I recommend it. I have not seen the documentary yet. I will certainly do that. But I do recommend all of Jackson’s content. For those of you who are football fans. And if you’re not a football fan and your father or brother or uncle is. Send it away to them. It’s good stuff. And especially for real diehard football fans, it’s we already know everything about what’s going on.

Now, it’s important that you learn about the past, because the past repeats itself. And I do think there is an unfortunately. There is there’s an era of people who only know basically, Dan Marino on and anything before that. They don’t even believe it exists. So it’s important to learn about the past.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, and you know, just the, the people that made the game, what it is. And learning their backgrounds. It’s a lot of times very inspiring. And I always say football history is American history. So you learn a lot about our country. Through hearing the stories of these people.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, even in a sort of, you know, Vince Lombardi as far as like race relations was concerned. I’m sure you’re familiar with this. In the early 60s. When in the NFL wasn’t necessarily sort of hip to making sure that there wasn’t racial profiling. For lack of a better term. Vince Lombardi took that ahead of the game here. So he, I think, when he started with the Packers, there was one African American player. And you know, by 1967, he had like 13 on the roster. And he was very authoritative with this player saying we will not deal with discrimination on this team.

Jackson Michael: Yeah, there are some coaches who are much more proactive team owners. Who are much more proactive in that regard. You know, the Steelers, they had scouts and going to, you know, HBCU schools, scouting talent. I know a guy who’s got it for the Colts in the 60s. And he did too, you know, so, and there were other teams that weren’t as on board with that.

And, you know, that’s, it’s, it’s interesting to think about, you know. Then yeah, you know, with coaching opportunities, too. You know, that’s, that’s something that’s, that’s been worked on over the years, too. You learn the history of our country a lot of the time and kind of the fabric of our country. And the trends through the player stories.

Steve Washuta: Jackson, this has been great, very informative. I will link all of your stuff below the podcast. Thank you so much for joining the Trulyfit podcast.

Jackson Michael: Thank you, Steve. I really, really enjoyed it. I appreciate you having me on. It’s a great time.

Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again!




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