Life Long Habits
Ryan C. Munoz, MS, CSCS
Head Coach, Director of Operations
When I first interviewed for a coaching position at MAD, John started our conversation off stating his philosophy, and of course a paraphrase of the old aristotle quote came up “Make Excellence a Habit.” As we talked shop about life, coaching, and future aspirations it was clear we were on the same page with our vision. I sit here five years later and that same mantra is still alive and well, in our training and overall philosophy. “Make Excellence a Habit.”
During the Shelter In Place we’ve all had time to rekindle old hobbies or find a new one. Myself being no different than our guy Andre Campbell and his fire painting game. With extra time on my hands I began to practice guitar again. Growing up I started playing around 13 years old. When I wasn’t challenged enough by my freshman year guitar class I convinced my parents to enroll me in lessons. It was there where I was first exposed to the idea which guides our company. “ We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
While completely blowing my mind with his skill during our first lesson, my teacher, Jim Damiano, showed me one very simple concept and how to practice it. We spent the entire 30 minute lesson going over the chromatic scale. A basic concept and simple exercise to practice. He told me if I wanted to be a great player I would need to practice this at least 30 minutes daily. He likened it to a great athlete warming up prior to hitting the field. “All the greats Hendrix, Page, Santana, practice some variation of this before they play daily.” That statement was enough to convince me, and made it a point to practice my scales daily.
Fast Forward to March 2020. Still love to play guitar, with my days of playing live shows some 15 years in the past. Contrary to my high school beliefs, I am not a professional musician, but I finally have the free time to practice and play guitar more often. And what's the first thing I go to? The old Chromatic Scale taught to me by Jim as a 13 year old boy. The habit was groomed through my adolescence and into adulthood, anytime I pick up a guitar, I’m practicing that chromatic scale for at least 10 minutes before anything else.
This story parallels the MAD Philosophy. The long-term vision in my mind is this. I see our youngsters as adults, most with their sports careers behind them, and into their respective professions . I envision them being aware of the importance of sleep, hydration, nutrition, etc on their performance in everyday life . I see them finding time in their busy schedules to take a proactive role in their own health. They lay down and start knocking out some Hollow Holds and deadbugs. While their goals may be different than improving a 40 yd dash time or jumping higher, they’ve been given the tools to accomplish whatever physical/ health goals they may have at the time.
That is Aristotle's philosophy and excellent habits in action. We create awareness of daily health habits through our High Performance Health survey.. We teach a foundation and mindset of how to and the importance of training at a very young age. We teach the fundamentals of functional movements and weightlifting to improve health over the entire lifespan.