Business Fitness Football Leadership

Won One

I’m writing a business book. That’s one of my current projects.

Three reasons why:

  1. I’ve been asked a lot about business advice.
  2. Being a business owner is the toughest job I’ve ever had.
  3. I’m tired of reading the same old business bullshit that has no relevance to my reality.

My business book is extremely unconventional. It’s another soul-searching exercise that challenges popular myths. I’m trying to update my business playbook like I did with football. In my rookie season as a high school head coach in 1984, I went to a football coaching clinic. I used that pro team’s playbook. Hell happened. Instead of win-win, we won one. Winning one game out of eight is hell. Burning hell. The one game we won was a product of divine intervention.

We didn’t deserve to win that game either. I would much rather have gone winless because:

  1. we deserved it
  2. zero is an even number
  3. it would have made a better story. Because the next year we went undefeated. 10-0 championship.

Three reasons for the turnaround:

  1. I started my own system. The pro playbook that I learned had zero relevance to my team. None whatsoever. It was an act of insanity to believe that a pro playbook had any relevance to a hapless, hopeless highs school program that had never won anything ever.
  2. Lifting. My team was iron deficient. Weak. Weak bodies, weak minds. My team starting a 365 lifting program – year-round.

I romanticize the past. Just last week I told a fairy tale to a gym member about the past. He asked me how football was going. I said, “Man, kids today are lazy. They’re F’d up zombies addicted to Facebook and video games. And Tweeting. Man, it’s F’d up today. My team won’t lift like they used to. Never had this problem before.” What a foolish statement. In 1985, we won an undefeated championship with only 26 players. That’s it. That’s all who stuck it out. At the end of our first week in pre-season, I was urged by two people to fold the team because it looked hopeless. Lost cause. That was 26 years ago. When we didn’t lift the year before, our roster was packed – 51 players. And lost. When work had to be done, they cut themselves. They were no cell phones and no Internet to blame. It was the same then as it is now. The more things change, the more things stay the same. Hardcore 365 commitment to lifting in football was the same in 1985 as it is now.

My 1985 system evolved into the most unconventional football system and ideology in the world. That’s a bold statement but it’s true. I don’t have conventional playbooks on offense or defense. The offense is connected to the defense. The offense is an extreme limitless passing machine that operates at warp-speed, one play every 8 seconds, with the build built at the line of scrimmage using a decision-making model. And I don’t kick, we go for it. Always, anywhere, any time.

I never have and never will see what’s so complicated about one guy throwing a football to another guy and having other guys block for that guy. I don’t see the complexity of telling 11/12 guys to chase the guy who’s holding the football and then knock him down. And I never have and never will understand the greatest contradiction of all – not going for it despite all the tough-talk bullshit that coaches pile up about character and adversity and all the real-life hell that happens away from the insular artificial world of football. If coaches truly had balls, they would not have turned football into the game that so many like to dislike – soccer. I never have and never will understand the appeal of the guy wearing the cleanest uniform kicking the ball over the heads of the guys they couldn’t get through. One side tries to move a football forward across a line. The other guys try to stop it. The only issue really is who has the bigger balls and who stays stronger longer. That’s what it boils down to. Biggest balls, stronger longer. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how much money you have, how pretty you look, and how big your stadium is…no balls, no strength – no winning.

My football system is not a conventional playbook. I never have and never will understand the conventional wisdom of expecting players who are starting from scratch to memorize hundreds of pages of Xs & Os diagrams and then try to recall them when the shots are flying for real. My system is limitless. No playbook. It’s a system about basics, fundamentals, out-working, decision-making under pressure, and pressuring the other team until they break. That’s what my business book is about. No conventional playbook. A simple limitless system that solves real-life problems if you spill you guts by executing to perfection especially when you think you can’t go on.

Xs and Os don’t win in football. And they don’t win in business. The difference between winning and losing in football is the exactly the same as the difference between winning and losing in business – who has the biggest balls and who lifts the most.

Gino Arcaro has written 12 books. He started his writing career by writing 6 best-selling academic law enforcement textbooks. Then he changed his focus and wrote 6 non-academic books to compete on a new stage. The first book is Soul of a Lifter, available in paperback and e-book. The book is about how lifting is a life-saver – lifting others and lifting weight. Dual-purpose lifting. You can review all Gino’s books them by clicking here.