Football Leadership Motivation

Show up or give up

Goals are important but there’s a power stronger than goals. Goals will remain as nothing more than dried ink on paper, nothing more than letters on a screen, nothing more than wishful thinking or a dream or delusion unless there is a certain force of nature and nurture driving you to those goals.

I hand out a pocket-sized laminated card to my football team every off-season with performance goals printed on the front and back. Those performance goals represent a mathematical formula for a perfect season and a shiny championship ring. I didn’t pick those numbers out of thin air. They’re evidence-based. My police experience between 1975-1990 taught me the power of evidence. Investigate something long enough and intensely enough and you will find evidence to base conclusions on. Instead of watching Youtube videos and reading Facebook posts about what works and doesn’t work, conduct an investigation and find the evidence that proves what works and what doesn’t work.

In 1984, my rookie season as a football head coach, my team went winless. Winless seasons are nightmares. It’s the equivalent of a bad dream that you can’t wake up from. But I found good news in a winless season – I found the losing formula. I discovered evidence of what will get the hell beat out of you. I uncovered the secret formula that leads you directly to last place. I changed the numbers and came up with another formula. It worked out. Dual meaning. My team reversed the winless season with a perfect season. Undefeated. And shiny championship rings. We kept the jeweler busy. A total of five championship rings in twelve years with four different teams. The formula worked out because my team did.

Performance goals are the difference between progression & regression, between fat loss & fat gain, muscle loss & muscle gain. Last night, I set July 1st lifting goals for X Fitness Women’s Boot Camp as the next phase of transformational development. Results are “guaranteed by yourself.” Here’s the definition of ‘guarantee’ – if you commit yourself to eating right, lifting right, and sprinting right, you will ‘guarantee yourself’ results. If you don’t, you won’t. The X Fitness system doesn’t fail. Failure is the result of bad exercise – the bad exercise of free will. You will reach your performance goals if you exercise free will correctly. The beauty of lifting is that it’s not a team sport. It’s all on you – the weight is all on you. Your bodyweight and the bar weight. Unlike team sports, your success is not dependent on whether your team shows up. All that matters is whether you show up.

Here’s a quote from Soul of a Lifter that I have said to thousands of people I’ve coached: “I will not drive you to the gym but I will drive you in the gym.” Unlike many coaches, I don’t beg football players to sign up or to show up. I don’t recruit. Instead, I give opportunities of a lifetime, transformational opportunities that have changed lives forever. But I don’t pester people to show up. Life is about choices. I love my football players but they have to make their own choices. We only learn to be in control when we control our decisions. That’s how you learn the winning formula, by investigating your past decisions. Show up or give up – your choice. This is a copyrighted excerpt that I’m including in a new book I’m trying to finish by the end of February called “Unknown problem –Unit to back: Lifter’s High part 3.” The book has one performance goal – to motivate you more than at any time in your life.

I struggled yesterday with a decision about what workout music to choose for this week. I decided on this one, to top the list because it sends a message out to the competition. The link is after my signature.


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

Head coach – Niagara X-men football

Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, list of books, and new PODCAST links are at:

His books include:

4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur

He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” His latest book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage. He just finished another book called “Lifter’s High.” Both will be released soon.


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