Tryout or workout.

Here’s Real Life&Death Lesson #21,026 that I’ve taught football players for 40 years, college law enforcement students for 2 decades, and women lifting teams since 1992: No tryouts, just workout. Multiple meanings:

  1. We don’t tryout, we workout. We never have and never will have conventional tryouts for my football teams because:

(i) I can’t predict future limitless player-potential based on limited evidence.

(ii) I refuse to disqualify any player based on antiquated tryouts consisting of irrelevant drills & tests.

(iii) I don’t need tryouts to know that our rookies are starting from scratch.

(iv) Tryouts elicit minimal #BodyOfEvidence and even less #MindOfEvidence and even less #SoulOfEvidence.

(v) Passing judgment based on Tryout Limitations is the legal equivalent of making life&death decisions based on #MereSuspicion instead of #ReasonableGrounds and #BeyondReasonableDoubt.

2. We workout instead of trying out – in the gym and on the field. Our off-season consists on open-admission to my gym X Fitness and open-admission to our on-field workout, all consisting of No-Break strength & conditioning.

3. The objectives of workouts instead of tryouts include:

  • search for real evidence of work capacity
  • testing current work capacity
  • giving equal opportunity to dramatically increase work capacity.

4. Workouts transfer hiring decision-making to the player, not the coach. Try out means try it out to see if you like it based on current weakness, current state of mind. Trying out means see if it fits, see if you fit without enough evidence to make a rational decision. Workouts are a different story. They give hope. They present an opportunity to change, to transform instead of being tested.

5. If you hate working out, the try-out is over because you ended it, not me. 

I learned this lesson at Maple Leaf Mills between 1972-75, during my high school job. 8 hour shifts of intense manual labour – no-break lifting. 1,200 reps every 8 hours. The foreman hired me without a tryout. He scheduled me for a workout on the regular shift schedule. The foreman told me that they hired students who then decided whether to fire themselves or not. His system was based on the 10-90 Rule. Over 90% of students hired, fired themselves within a week because they hated the work. Less than 10% stayed. 

The foreman didn’t even interview me. He hired me because of reverse favouritism. He said I was Antonio’s Son. He said my poor illiterate Italian immigrant father Antonio was a superstar worker and I had to prove whether I could live up to that standard. Raise the bar or get crushed by it. I lasted my entire 4 years of high school at Maple Leaf Mills. I learned the value of working out to become a 10%er instead of trying out.

6.. We don’t practice, we workout. I call #practice practice only for orientation, to get the point across to rookies who only know practice by the conventional word. Then we call every practice #workouts. Every practice is #work. Calling it work has proved to be one of the top 26 essentials of building a Blue-Collar Mentality about practice. 

7. #Workout instead of #tryout works out better because it makes the Impact Statement we intend to communicate:

  • if you’re willing to work, you have a job.
  • we will teach you to work harder to achieve the main objective of making the starting lineup – outwork everyone.
  • you will have equal opportunity to become a superstar worker like Antonio was.

New #podcast compliments of X Fitness at:

#MUCHLOVE #soulofalifter

Blessings & all good things


Gino Arcaro