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The S&M Club

Here’s Real-Life Lesson #7,751 that I’ve taught football players for 40 years and college law enforcement students for 2 decades – don’t join the S&M Club.

The S&M Club is the Sad & Miserable Club. The Sad & Miserable Club is the typical workplace, the typical inner circle, and the typical team on any field and in any field that brings down organizations into the slimy pit of hell.[1] The Sad & Miserable Club is governed by the 10-90 Rule of Organizational Hell – over 90% of organizations are Sad & Miserable Clubs and over 90% of Sad & Miserable Clubs are populated by the Sad & Miserable.

The Sad & Miserable Club has the same effect on any organization, any team, any program, day-in, day-out – stress and depress. Nothing gets lifted. No one gets lifted. The Sad & Miserable Club is not an exclusive club. The Sad & Miserable Club has open-admission policy. Even if you’re not sad & miserable when you join, you will become one of the sad & miserable unless you have iron will to beat the effects of conformity that afflict over 90% who are followers, not leaders.

My number-one challenge as a football coach and college law enforcement professor/program coordinator was to ensure our team and program did not become The Sad & Miserable Club. The majority of rookie football players and college freshman arrived with S&M attitudes. Changing S&M attitudes is easier said than done. The good news is that it can be done. The bad news is that it takes heavy lifting in mind, body and soul. Ordinary leadership skills are not enough to shut down The Sad & Miserable Club. You have to spill your guts, daily, hourly, minute-by-minute.

Being Sad & Miserable is a learned behaviour. No one is born Sad & Miserable. We become Sad & miserable through a complex combination of nature and nurture. Nothing kills a team more than the Sad & Miserable. The number one element of losing is The Sad & Miserable Club. If your team, program, organization, or business is stuck in Underachieving Hell, the reason is the Sad & Miserable Club. If you lose more than you win, if you’re stuck in dead-last, over 90% of your team is Sad & Miserable. Your primary leadership challenge is to turn-around the Sad & Miserable into Soul-Lifters. But the Sad & Miserable will fight like hell to stay Sad & Miserable. The Sad & Miserable will resist like hell to change. The reason is familiarity and comfort. The Sad & Miserable Club is a safe place for those who are chronically Sad & Miserable. Leaving the Sad & Miserable Club isn’t easy because it hurts. It causes Culture Shock.

The Sad & Miserable are easy to identify. They sound like hell, look like hell, and make you feel like hell. The Sad & Miserable are Energy Vampires, blood-thirsty criminals who rob you of joy by sucking every drop of life out of you until you are on empty. The Sad & Miserable are sad & miserable for one reason – they don’t lift. Dual meaning. They are too weak to lift souls and too weak to workout. Their weakness in mind, body, and soul is the leading cause of being in the Sad & Miserable Club.

My main message to students and athletes for four decades has been to never join the S&M Club. The fool-proof way of making sure that they don’t join the S&M Club is by giving them no choice but to lift. When you give your team choices, the 10-90 Rule will manifest – over 90% of choices will be wrong. Guaranteed. The worst leadership mistake is to give decision-making to rookies and freshman who have never been taught to make the right choices and who have rewarded for wrong choices their entire lives. Parents, teachers, and society in general are conspirators in rewarding wrong choices, including rewarding Sad & Miserable attitudes.

On Day One in football and college, I led-off with the same message: Real-Life Lesson #3,119– Day One is Day Won. The battle is won on Day One. You get rid of your Sad & Miserable attitude or you #GetCut.  Here’s the good news – the 10-90 Rule always manifests. Over 90% will respond positively. Less than 10% won’t. The reason is that deep down, none of them want to be stuck in the S&M Club. Deep down, they all know the truth – The Sad & Miserable Club is for sadists and masochists.

This is another chapter from a new book I’m writing called Soul of a Lifter: Part 2. The purpose of the book is To Lift. I’ve been blessed to have coached and taught tens of thousands students and athletes. I have seen potential realized. But I have seen just as much potential burn in hell. I’ve been lifted by The Underdogs who I have coached and taught but I have been depressed by those who buried their God-given gifts and talents in Underachieving Hell.

Our new website is a multi-media business. The mission is to lift. Our new website is centered on the concept of Blunt Talk Motivation that includes Blunt Talk Podcast, Blunt Talk Blog, and Blunt Talk videos. The links to the new website are the same as before and

Blunt Talk Podcast recently reached its 73rd country. Our blog had two record-setting days in May. We are blessed. We have had 170 podcast guests, all who have a soul of a lifter. Each Blunt Talk Podcast is a free, permanently archived download at:  Each episode is guaranteed to lift. We are humbled and blessed to connect globally with tens of thousands of listeners, viewers, and readers. Thank you for your patience during our renovations.

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. All published books are available on on and www.Chapters/, in both soft cover and eBook format. Additionally, his website, features 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

[1] Tribute to a masterpiece: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” – Psalm 40

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