#RunnerUp – dual meaning: how to be a #HeadCoach

The deepest, most profound lesson I learned as a rookie high school football head was the 10X #RunnerUp – getting the score run up 10 consecutive games in 1984 during the hell of my rookie winless season as a 26 yr old high school head coach. Ten straight games of being a #RunnerUp because of all ten opponents chose to #RunnerUp.

There are two ways to run up the score – run more, pass more. All 10 of our opponents ran up the score by both running more and passing more. The newspaper reporter asked the same question after every slaughter: “How do you feel about getting the score run-up one?”

Same answer: “Hell. It feels like hell.”

Here’s the good news – that feeling changed my coaching career, my program, and altered the course of students & athletes who broke ground to get to the #NextLevel.

Here are the Real Life&Death Lessons I learned by getting the score run-up on 10X in row.

1. Feel it, don’t forget it. The word #pain is included in the word #passion for a reason. #HeatOfPassion is one of the 26 main elements of fixing a dead program, a lifeless team that gets killed week after week for being weak. Pain does one of two things – forces you to find pain-relief by getting #strongerandsmarter or forces you to keep suffering more killer-pain until you dropout as your solution for instant pain-relief.

‘Feel it, don’t forget it’ is the best lesson I learned as a Head Coach. It changed my #headcoach career. Feel the hell, never forget the hell, never return to that hell. Ever. Make a #pledge to your team and yourself. Vow it will never happen again. Not mumbling some lame, bullshit, half-ass statement. Make an Impact Statement, a declaration that makes a seismic shift in mind-body-soul, a transformation that transcends your team’s State of Mush physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually that got you into the dual meaning Runner-Up mess.  

2. Confess. If getting run-up on hurts more than the killer-pain of admitting you didn’t do more, you will keep losing more and more and more. Admitting the truth is the starting point to start winning big and building a dynasty.

3. Revoke consent. If you want to stop your hurt feelings, stop the run, stop the pass, stop the other team. They ran up the score by running more, passing more, scoring more until you hurt more. The main reason they ran up the score was #consent. We gave them permission. They did what we allowed them to do. We invited it. They accepted.

4. Prove yourself wrong. The truth starts with blaming the right person – you. The head coach. Blame yourself. You are the offender. The opponent is not the offender. Blaming the opponent for running up the score constitutes slander – wrongful accusation of the innocent. They didn’t do anything wrong. You did. Everything you do was wrong. Blaming others for doing everything wrong instead of yourself for doing everything wrong is one of the top 26 elements of being a punk. Prove yourself wrong, meaning prove that you did wrong. Proving your wrongs uncovers the evidence of what is right.

5. Winning starts when whining stops. The more you whine about it, the more #RunnerUp continues. Whining and winning cannot coexist in the same place, at the same time. 

6. #RunnerUp leads to #RunnerUp. #RunnerUp is the Goliath Mentality. #RunnerUp is a temptation to run up the score, a temptation that is hard to resist. Pad stats against bad teams. You can inflate yourself by padding stats to inflate your team’s collective ego. The more #RunnerUps you suffer, the longer you remain a #RunnerUp. The solution is to reverse the mentality by #WorkingFootball instead of #PlayingFootball. Its impossible to out-play Goliath. You have to out-work Goliath to stop the #RunnerUp – #RunnerUp Cycle

4. #GoodSport – #BadSport. Never use the poor sportswo/manship bullshit excuse for getting run up on. It defeats the purpose of getting defeated badly. Your players will think you’re a whiner and a bullshitter. They will never buy into anything you say, teach or preach. Its not poor sportsmanship for running up the score. You’re the poor sport by teaching your team how to play poor sports. The best sportsmanship is teaching your team how to play Great Sports.

5. Context message. Getting run up on is a context message – you are incompetent. The context message tells you: “Here’s an incredible opportunity to make the deepest, most profound coaching statement – turn a chronic loser into a dynasty by building instead of recruiting and replacing.” Anyone can trade and sign better players. Not everyone can build better players. Building better players instead of recruiting better players will become your brand that goes at the top of your resume. It will separate you from the rest.

6. Investigate the crime. Getting run up on is a blessing, a sign to investigate yourself, to solve your most #PressingProblems – multiple meanings. Every investigation is an opportunity to find the truth. Honesty in, honesty out. And vice-versa.

7. Earn a PHD. Solving incompetence provides the Professional Highest Degree of leadership education. There is no better learning experience that teaches the true meaning of leadership than turning around a dead program that the rest consider a joke.


  • When they run up the score, learn to score more. 
  • Whine more or win more. One or the other. Can’t do both.

New #Podcast compliments of X Fitness at:

#MUCHLOVE #Soulofalifter 

Blessings and all good things


Gino Arcaro

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