Football Gino's Blog Leadership Motivation Soul of a Lifter

Dream-fulfilling or dream-killing


“Your dream is my dream.”

In 1997, I was head coach of an expansion AAU-style summer football team for 19-under football players who were trying to get recruited. On day one of off-season weightlifting orientation, I informed the team of my pledge: “Your dream is my dream.” I vowed to make their dreams come true but they had to pay the price in the gym and on the field. Scholarship, turning pro, whatever their dream was, I adopted their dream. As I did since 1984 in my rookie head coach season, I asked each player to handwrite their dream and give me a copy. There was no email, no texting, no Facebooking. Research shows that handwriting boosts brainpower. Nothing has changed in the post-Internet era. Handwrite your dreams. No texts, no email, no Facebooking. The psychological impact of handwriting a dream and distributing it is powerful.

One of the players wrote that his dream was to play university football but his high school head coach told him he wasn’t good enough. The coach warned him to be careful of false hopes. I scheduled a private meeting with the player and told him: (a) Never listen to anyone who tells you you’re not good enough. (b) The head coach was a pessimist either because he was bitter and jealous or real-life had beaten him down.

Two years of working out, playing, and mailing film worked out. He received a partial scholarship to a small university. Then he quit in his rookie season because he was homesick and missed his girlfriend. Dream-suicide.

The beauty of football is the opportunity to fight for the next level. The bad news is that the odds are stacked against next-level football dreams. Football Darwinism is cruel, relentless, and unforgiving. It cuts nearly body-temperature percentage of high school players – 98.6%. The same odds apply to university players who dream of turning pro.

The good news is that football dreams are exactly the same as real-life dreams. I taught college law enforcement for 20 years. As program coordinator, I told 600 students on orientation day the same message I told my football players each year: “Your dream is my dream.” I vowed to make their dreams come true but they had to pay the price in the gym and in the classroom. Annual statistics supported the 90-10 Professional Darwinism Rule: every year, over 90% of law enforcement applicants get cut. Less than 10% make it. The good news is that 10% represents a lot of dream jobs. There’s room at a higher level if you make room for spilling your guts.

False hopes are delusions: hoping for the best but investing the worst. True hope is never false. The lesson learned in true hope is the full investment paid, whether you make it or not. The royalty treatment that has become fashionable in the recruiting process is not the price I’m referring to. The full investment is the lesson of spilling of guts that will last forever, regardless if you get cut or make it.

The Sandro Deangelis story is an underdog story about a student-athlete who beat the odds with iron-will, literally and figuratively. He committed to lifting. His weight room high-performance translated to high-performance on the field. Sandro earned a scholarship to the University of Nebraska and then won a Grey Cup Championship ring in the CFL. Sandro was recently a guest on Blunt Talk Podcast where he shared powerful insights about his professional journey. The podcast is free, permanently archived at:   Guaranteed to lift. Blunt Talk Podcast is compliments of my gym X Fitness. Our mission statement is two words – To Lift. Dual meaning. Lift weights and lift souls. It’s the same mission statement of my gym X Fitness and every football team I’ve coached in 40 seasons.  Blessings and all good things. #Peace

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

Football Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football

Gym Owner – X Fitness Welland Inc.


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. Currently, he is finishing another book in his non-fiction series: Mystery of Murder: Working with the Dead. His website features the rest of his books including:

Football coaching and non-fiction books: SWAT System: Offense and Defense, SWAT Tackling Video (with accompanying eBook), and 4th & Hell: Season One and Season Two

Business Books: Selling H.E.L.L. in Hell, True Confessions, and eBooks: Soul of Selling, and, Real Business Relationships = Sales

Fat Loss Book: Fat Losing

Workout System: eXplode: The X Fitness System

Motivational Books: Soul of a Lifter, and eBooks: The Pledge, and, The Focus

Children’s Books: Be Fit Don’t Quit, and, The Beauty of a Dream

Policing Textbooks: Arcaro’s Interrogation Case Law

Gino Arcaro’s books are also available on, www.Chapters/, in both soft cover and eBook format.




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