SWAT Football Blog

Stop learning… stop earning.

There was nowhere to post our family vacation pictures in the spring of 1984. There was no Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to post my pregnant wife and two daughters on the 50-yard line at the University of Michigan after the spring game that concluded their coaching clinic. This family vacation cost us a fortune.

There was no Disneyland in Syracuse, New York but Syracuse in the spring of 1985 was beautiful. Coaching clinic and spring game. More pictures. The manager of the hotel where we stayed looked exactly like Jo Polniaczek from The Facts of Life, my daughters’ favourite/favorite 1980’s TV show. My daughters thought she was the real Jo Polniaczek.  We still have the picture. You can’t tell them apart. This family vacation cost us a fortune. But it got us a ring.

Our family vacation pictures choke me up, literally and figuratively. Every family vacation centered on coaching clinics. I took notes, interviewed coaches, and brought VHS tapes of my players to help them get recruited. No amusement parks, no beaches, no cruises. Who can forget our most cherished vacation souvenirs – orange pens inscribed with “Syracuse University Coaching Clinic,” colouring/coloring books with a blue & gold M on the cover.

All our family vacations were the cost of losing. The best way to become obsessed with life-long learning is to get the hell beat out of you. Winless seasons are the best motivation to become a student of the game. There’s nothing like a prolonged losing streak to get you addicted to higher learning of football. I disguised every coaching clinic as a family vacation. I’m blessed that my family still talks to me.

The moment you stop learning, you stop earning. Football is the most complicated sport in the history of civilization. No sport demands more knowledge to coach. No sport demands more commitment to life-long learning. Every time in my 40-year coaching career that I thought I knew it all, my team took a big fall. Every time I thought there was nothing more to learn, reality hit – literally and figuratively. There’s nothing like falling into the darkness of the basement to turn on the light. Nothing wakes you up more than getting shut out – points and playoffs. Nothing will motivate you to invest in learning than turning your team’s won-loss record upside down.

Every word I’ve read in coaching books or heard at coaching clinics has had an impact on my coaching career to some extent. Even the parts that I don’t believe in, will never use, or can’t use at my level of football has opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart to the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to survive in the ultra-challenging world of coaching football.

My coaching education still costs me a fortune. Its’ part of the price I have to pay to earn the privilege of being called coach. You don’t win the title of coach by decision or by default. You win the title of coach by winning the fight – the fight against apathy. Personal apathy and team apathy. If you’re unwilling to pay the price to learn, you won’t earn the title of coach.

Blunt Talk Podcast is committed to #FightApathy. Our upcoming guests in 2016 include Coach Christian Vitale, Coach Teddy Keaton, and Ken Taylor, cornerback – 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX champions.  Blunt Talk Podcast has been blessed with inspiring guests throughout 2015, including Charles Coiner, owner of FirstDown Playbook. Their insights will impact your coaching career. Every Blunt Talk Podcast episode is free. Each Blunt Talk Podcast show is permanently archived at:

Blunt Talk Podcast is committed to coaching development. There is no finish line to coaching education. The more you learn, the more you earn.

Blessings & all good things.


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, and list of SWAT FOOTBALL Books are at:

His books include:

4th & hell: seasons 1 and 2, 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.” The first stage of his new Blunt Talk e-books is now for sale. His latest book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage. He is writing three other non-fiction novels book called Working with the dead, Midnight Shift from hell, and Another Bar Fight.


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