SWAT Football Blog

Entitlement won’t win this title.


Entitlement won’t win this title.

The second best self-improvement program to build a young person’s character is sports. But I learned the number one self-improvement program that builds a young person’s character from my poor, illiterate, immigrant father Antonio – manual labour/labor. Working in the same factory that Antonio worked in while I was in high school, carrying 1,200 140-lb. flour bags during 8-hour shift, 40-hours a week, taught me more lessons about real-life than all my other professions combined, including football. Seeing other students quit and get fired for not cutting it made the biggest impact on my future professional life. There was zero tolerance for laziness at Maple Leaf Mills in Port Colborne. You didn’t miss work because you were sore and tired. You didn’t miss work to go on exotic vacations. You didn’t call in sick because you were hung-over.  Your parents didn’t call the foreman to get you a week off to go to the cottage. There were no second chances.  You did your job or you got fired. There was a long list of applicants looking for work. Next-man-up.

Manual labour/labor teaches three main life-lessons:

  1. Rep Discipline. Manual labour/labor is the solution to being bored with repetitive work and losing interest and focus. It conditions your mind to endure eight hours of doing the same job, over and over again. Just like football practice.
  2. Separation from the rest. Triple meaning: (i) You learn the value of being disconnected from your social world. (ii) You build stamina to overcome the type of fatigue that overwhelms others. (iii) You leave your competitors behind.
  3. Humility. You lose your arrogance because: (a) There’s no time for it. (b) There’s zero tolerance for it. Work performance was demanded, not requested.

The number one question I was asked by students and parents during twenty years of teaching college law enforcement was, “What is the #1 secret to getting hired as a police officer?” My answer was always the same – find a manual labour/labor job. There is no better learning experience than doing dirty work for 8-hour shifts, 40-hours a week to get connected to reality, to develop iron will mindset, and to grow up.

Physical work is detoxifying body, mind, and soul. It cleanses the system of junk that accumulates day by day. Lifting and carrying heavy weight becomes a joyous expression of your soul. And it builds heart. But most of all, physical work teaches the lesson of earning it. Manual labour/labor jobs are the solution for and prevention of entitlement. Guaranteed. Words are powerful. Words can lift. But there a limit to how much words can lift. Work teaches that words are never enough. Work is stronger than words, literally and figuratively. You can’t build muscle mind, body, and soul by talking about it. At some point, you have to work it out. No one is born with work ethic. Work ethic is a learned behavior. And the two best ways to teach work young people work ethic is through manual labour/labor jobs and sports.

Sports and manual labour/labor share the same DNA – the grind. Gut spilling. The #process teaches the elements of highs and lows, how they happen, how you deal with them, the significance of both, and the lessons that both teach. The grind teaches you how to deal with the most painful adversity that will knock you out of the game – heartache and heartbreak.

The building blocks of all achievement are found in work – physical or intellectual investment of time and energy that builds strength instead of weakness. The true danger in any high-risk activity, such as contact sports, is weakness. Hell happens when weakness tries to compete with strength. Weakness versus strength is the most dangerous mismatch in all of sports. 

Entitled student athletes can learn valuable lesson from Vinny Paz (formerly Vinny Pazienza), five-time boxing world champion from Providence, Rhode Island. Boxing is an individual sport that doesn’t allow you to hide behind teammates or ride their coattails. Entitlement will not win boxing world titles. Vinny’s life is the subject of a new movie, “Bleed For This,” produced by Martin Scorsese. Bleed For This will be released later this year. The Los Angeles Times has listed it as a contender for a 2107 Oscar nomination. Vinny Paz was a guest on Blunt Talk Podcast recently. He shared powerful insights about what it takes to endure the #process to become a world champion.

Vinny’s interview is a free, permanently archived download, compliments of X Fitness. X Fitness is committed to help football coaches and football players around the world reach their full potential. The link to Vinny Paz’s Blunt Talk Podcast interview is:

Blessings & all good things.


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:

  1. 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
  2. Business Books: Selling H.E.L.L. in Hell, True Confessions, and eBooks: Soul of Selling, and, Real Business Relationships = Sales
  3. Fat Loss Book: Fat Losing
  4. Workout System: eXplode: The X Fitness System
  5. Motivational Books: Soul of a Lifter, and eBooks: The Pledge, and, The Focus
  6. Children’s Books: Be Fit Don’t Quit, and, The Beauty of a Dream
  7. Policing Textbook: 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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