In Art Of Coaching Podcast

Today on the show I’m joined by a coach, painter, powerlifter, poet, and former professional football player. No, this isn’t a roundtable discussion… This is a conversation with the one and only Jim Davis. Jim is a graduate of Harvard University, Northwestern University, and Knox College. He was named NASA Powerlifting Coach of the Year in 2018 and Runner-Up in 2019. He and his team at the Good Athlete Project are devoted to maximizing the potential of athletics as education.

As you’re listening, make sure you download our free podcast reflection. These reflection sheets are an easy way to make sure you are getting the most out of the episode. I urge you to not just consume, but reflect and question what you hear today.

In this episode we cover:

  • If you were a movie character, how would you act?
  • The good and the bad sides of creating a recognizable brand
  • “Anchor and tether” – why clarity and adaptability must coexist
  • The Good Athlete Project and how it has changed during COVID-19

If you like what you hear on the show today, you’ll love our Apprenticeship™. We are hoping to get Jim at one soon, but you don’t have to wait. Join us July 25-26th in Charleston, SC or click here to see upcoming events near you.

Connect with Jim:

Via their website:

Via Twitter: @coach4kindness

Via Instagram: @GoodAthleteProject

Don’t forget to check-out and download our new free resources.

Podcast Reflection Sheets: Click Here

How to Find a Mentor Guide: Click Here

Sign up for my course: Sign Up Now!

Follow me on social media:

Via Instagram: @coach_BrettB

Via Twitter: @coach_BrettB

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here

Learn More About My Courses, Clinics, and Live Events At:


Brett Bartholomew  0:02  

Hey guys, you’re jumping right in to the conversation with myself and Jim Davis, we were doing a little pre show kind of chat about, you know what to expect, like I do with every guest. We talked to them about how it’s conversational. And then Jim asked just a really thoughtful question, in the midst of it all, is he just said, How are you doing? It’s something I don’t really asked myself a whole lot, very much. But then we started talking about life and family and training. And, you know, I had gone through my rigmarole. And then I asked him, you know, about how his training has taken a hit his personal health or training during this time. 


And the conversation was too good that I should stop, man, we’ve got to record this so you guys are jumping right into the conversation to give you the context. And I do want Jim to get back into it, is I just let him know, you know, things that had been altered in my life, not from a business and family standpoint, but also just mentality, right? Like, saying yes to too many things is something I’ve dealt with the fact that I’m not able to get as much reading or learning done as I’d like, because I’m teaching so much more. Right now, virtually and what have you, and it’s hard to keep up? 


And then I said, you know, am I alone? Jim, I go, has your training. Do you find that sometimes when you’re overwhelmed, you start to lose attention in your own training, sometimes in gym, if you wouldn’t mind picking back up there. I’d love to hear it.


Jim Davis  1:18  

Yeah, we were talking about what essentially, in this strange moment goes to the wayside. And I think maybe it’s the things that you’re most comfortable with, and even the things that you love. So like, I love training, and I think I have great enough confidence that I feel like I can work through maybe 30 40 minutes, efficiently, but then scrape some off the back end. And just as you were kind of recapping that for people. I’m gonna go deep real quick. I hope that’s 


Brett Bartholomew  1:43  

Yeah by all means. 


Jim Davis  1:44  

All right, so I wonder I compare it to as I met, like, consider this, in this post quarantine moments, some of the things that fell to the wayside. Little bits of training, which is unfortunate. But as I compare it to like, the relationships in my life, I’ve reflected on this before, I think sometimes I’m toughest on the people I love. And I’m going to try to connect this to the metaphor to the relationships thing. You know, like, I’ve been very tough on my little sister before, throughout my lifetime. 


Brett Bartholomew  2:13  

How much younger is she? 


Jim Davis  2:14  

She’s about a year and a half. Pretty cool. And we’re very close. 


Brett Bartholomew  2:18  

And how old are you just to give the,  because I can see, but the audience can’t. 


Jim Davis  2:21  

Right. Well, I’m 36. Now as of fairly recently, so 


Brett Bartholomew  2:26  

Happy belated. 


Jim Davis  2:27  

I appreciate that. So yeah, she’s just she’s a little younger than me also in education, athletics. She’s an incredibly accomplished field hockey coach, and even better, I think is a wife and a mom recently. But I recognize that I’ve been,  tough on her. And I think one of the reasons I’ve been tough on her, it’s sort of twofold. I obviously want the best for her. But I also kind of believe inherently, that she will forgive me that she will be there. And if I’m working through maybe a tough patch in life, and I’m short with her shorter than I should be. 


I think that’s one of the first things to go, oh, might be super nice to the cashier at the grocery store. But I’m short with my sister. And I think part of it’s because it’s believed that, you know, we’ve been together. There’s love and respect and that I believe she’ll be right there on the back end. I wonder if I’m, you’re kind of like I said, you’re making me think deep. I wonder if I’m feeling the same way about trading. Trading is not gonna leave my life anytime soon. So things got a little crazy. I worried that maybe I shorted this thing that I loved, in part, because I had confidence that it’d be there on the back end. 


Brett Bartholomew  3:29  

Yeah, well, I can appreciate that. I think even our listeners that you know, aren’t in training or strength conditioning do I mean, because I have friends in the corporate space that you know, many of them are avid training people that they train avidly. So whether it’s triathlons, Ironman, I even have one friend and he’s in banking, and he’ll do powerlifting and what have you. So I think everybody can relate. I know, for me, a lot of it has just been continuing to second and third guests and things. One, you know, it always makes me I think this situation and just life in general, especially owning a business made me smarter in programming as a whole, because I realized that, you know, when I used to program as a GA, or just even as a young strength coach, when I didn’t have many worries, right, I could recover tremendously. 


And people are very quick to attribute that to age. But it’s also just a lack of other stressors, right? You’re not poking holes in the bucket. And so, you know, then it’s easy to forget then that you were programming for student athletes, who had class and girlfriends and all these other things and what have you. And so a lot of times, you just thought you could throw anything at them. And in many ways, you can at certain ages, right, and they’re gonna bounce back. But now that I have, you know, whenever you get bills to pay and family and life, stress and business stress, and oh my gosh, and little things that crop up. I’ve just really learned that the smallest stressor, it can really be that straw that breaks the camel’s back. 


And then you’ve gone to the garage and you’re like, Man, I’m supposed to be around 80 85% Today on my lifts, but you know what, this shit, we’re just gonna get it in and there’s this devil on the shoulder. That’s like, bah. You know, you’re saying oft go soft, that’s like, and then the other means like, I’ve really had to think. And I consider and I’m not trying to be indelicate, but there’s just so many people in our field that are blown out by the time they’re 40 and 50. And I’m like, what? If I feel like doing a goblet squat today, instead of just loading up the bar, like old me would maybe save my I’d rather end up squatting? 


Like, no, let’s say somebody’s like, well, you’re going to be if you take that attitude, you’ll be weaker and old age and whatever because if doing some things now that auto regulate, make me quote unquote, weaker, but save me from a blown back or a blown up alone, whatever, I’ll take it, you know, like, I’m not gonna, I’m sorry, you know, also thrown out with the best of them when that devil is on my butt. Like, I don’t need to prove myself to myself every five seconds every morning anymore.


Jim Davis  5:48  

No, I totally agree with you. And actually, that that maps on to a lot of the thinking that I’ve been doing over quarantine as well, which is like, like you said, it’s not the 85% Plus, today, that’s going to necessarily lead to anything. Long term. I think the real skill over the course of a lifetime is prioritization and identifying what one’s clear purposes, I gotta throw this out there, I hope I’m not. I think you’re thinking fast and deep, and a lot of metaphors. So this is going to be, this might be a challenge for some listeners, but I like it. I just think there is such a cool opportunity to identify what we always say what I say in my life, and we say the projects all the time is there are really three key components that we’re dealing with. 


Often, it maps on to like, it is conscious coaching, in a way, you know, it’s self awareness, purpose, and self management. And those are the three sort of buckets that we try to put things in, it appears to work very closely. You know, the self awareness part when I go into the gym now, and I think, well, I’m supposed to hit, this is the number I’m supposed to hit for this amount of reps, have to have the self awareness to sort of take stock of whether or not it’s appropriate, I have to have a clear purpose in mind. And you mentioned an interesting one, if I if I’m worried about losing strength long term, if that’s my purpose, and the number three, self management isn’t just slamming weights around, 


It might also be a reconsideration, like, Well, where am I today? Well, I slept for five hours last night, because I’ve been thrown off by this whole thing. I’ve got a weird thing going on in my hip. Maybe I toned this down, hit some goblet squats, do some single leg variations. And the next time I’m asked to come in and squat big, I’ll be even better for it. And I won’t have to deal with injury. So if you talk about purpose as sustained strength, lifelong health and wellness, in that moment, that day takes on a much greater perspective.


Brett Bartholomew  7:39  

Yeah, and I think I can relate to that, as somebody that again, you see a big way that I worked through my depression as a teenager, was through exercise addiction, really, you know, and what I think what people always in, especially in our field, but others as well. I know I talked to my friend, Carla about this are afraid to admit is really, if you’re pretty strong. And we can talk about strength standards or what have you. But if you’re pretty strong, pretty fit many times the groundwork has been done, right? Like I’ve dead lifted a certain amount. I’ve done this, I’ve done that. It really isn’t that hard to keep those neurological adaptations, people overblow that all the time. 


They do, you know, what is not easy is coming back from injury. And so that’s where it’s like, and you see it a lot with endurance athletes and what have you, they’ll just keep going and going and stress fractures. And I’m always surprised. I mean, as you and I are talking, we did a 15 hour road trip recently, and this is coming from a guy Jim, that if I sit for four hours, like on a road trip, I’ll lose it. So frame of reference of what 15 hours doesn’t my mentality. But my mother, you know, had been she was going to turn 69 And she hadn’t seen the baby in a very long time. Our babies six months, I hadn’t seen my niece who’s 10 months, my brother hadn’t seen his nephew, yada yada yada. So we drive up to Omaha, Nebraska, 15 hours, drive back down. 


Well, there were some miss training in there. I mean, because all the hotels, we stayed at their gyms were closed and I took a kettlebell in the car, I could do some swings this and that. But when you roll into town at 3am, you know, again, old knee may do that and still new. So me today well to a degree, but you’re going to limit it. But bottom line, I maybe got two days of training in real training. In about four and a half or five, I take a little I have this sled that is about 12 inches wide, that I learned I can pack into my car and I took a weight plate up there. That’s how you know, I’m kind of psycho. 


But the point is, is I came back and last night I was hitting the heavy bag and I just expected to feel like dog crap, whatever. You never really feel as bad as you think you do. But there are so many people out there with exercise or training addictions, even if they don’t look at it. Because I think there’s a lot of people in our field and other fields that think they have a healthy lifestyle. It’s really an addiction.


Jim Davis  9:47  

Totally, totally. And when I have this conversation with people, I feel like once or twice a week it’s like and the more you care about. It’s this thin line between obsession and how achievements. So for consent, the more accomplished you are as an athlete, the more you’re toeing that line, which sometimes makes the drop off post career even 


Brett Bartholomew  10:10  



Jim Davis  10:12  

Before we go down that road, I think it’s important what I just I’m gonna throw this out there, there are two things that really resonate from what you just one is the maybe the most obvious one that is, we had some student athletes too. Once this quarantine hit, we’re like, well, there goes.


Brett Bartholomew  10:28  

And how old are they so that the audience knows. 


Jim Davis  10:30  

My day job is at a big high school, nuture High School wonderful place with wonderful kids. It’s a 4000 person school. We work with a lot of athletes. And we just thought, man, we were having a great offseason, across the board primed for some spring sports. And all of a sudden, boom, nothing, nothing and nothing concrete to say when or how we come back or if we would. So we’re trying to train athletes. We have trained heroic, we’re trying to administer programs from afar. We’re trying to zoom motivate people through zoom, and they’re doing the best we can. When we when some students had access to a barbell, they found this is crazy. 


But they found over the first two weeks when we thought they would drop off. Some of these kids are maintaining or even gaining. And when you think about some of the things that you mentioned, it was the app, we thought it was going to fall off. It was actually the absence of stressors, I think, oh, so these kids are recovering. For the first time in years. We did we sent out Google Forms to check on just wellness reports. They’re sleeping for eight or nine hours for the first time, I’m telling you in six, seven years.


Brett Bartholomew  11:37  

Yeah, well, it makes sense. Because anybody that knows in strength and conditioning history knows that that happened with one of her Kachinsky students or athletes is she was pregnant, right? He wanted to continue the testing and monitoring during that time, you know, to see what the strength decrement would be. She came back after giving birth and blasted it. And that was really the birth double entendre bad pun of super compensation. And we’re really seeing that we see it all the time. And that’s what I mean, it’s a lot of it is just like I’ve talked about this on the episode before my father, having been in finance is easy. Just said, there’s no get rich, quick. It’s compound interest. It’s steady. If you got 50 to $100 a week to invest in the market. Do it if you got $5 A day, especially with the apps available now. 


I use Wealthfront No, I don’t get paid to use that or whatever. But when my dad retired, we were like, man, like, you know, I’m not gonna sit there and pick my own stocks. I don’t know enough about trading options here in there. And, and, you know, he’ll always do that for us. But he helps my brother run a restaurant, but whatever we can afford, we put into the market. And that’s compound interest. And then yes, even when there’s a huge dip, right, like there was in March. Well, guess what, we’re in it for the long game. And I think that’s what we’re talking about here with training, what have you no matter what your vocation is, you got to be in it for the long game. And you got to reevaluate what that means. 


Because here’s the thing. And we are, our train heroic programs called adaptable. And that was because one time I had to have a strong come to Jesus with myself of being like, Hey, am I being smart? Or am I just giving myself an excuse to be soft with my training now? Because I know I love training. But again, like just the mental stressors have taken some of that away sometimes, right? Maybe get three movements in or whatever. Then I thought, no, here’s the key. What’s the role I’m playing in my life right now? I’m a father. I’m a business owner. And yes, I’m a coach. Well, if that was a movie role, right? What would this character look like? 


Would this character look like some hulk out dude, that is just spending two to three hours in the gym, or even just two hours or whatever, just maxing out every day food, prepping all this stuff with this dude maybe look like somebody who, you know is strong, but relatively lean, depending on it’s a matter of tight, somebody that also can run to a meeting and run to the mailbox at the same time. And somebody that doesn’t hurt when he picks his kid up off the floor. I’m like, Yeah, that’s what he would look like. And so then I thought, I’ve started approaching my training now, like, as if it’s a movie role. 


I’m like, what role Am I, because you see that with actors and transformation, let’s look at Christian Bale. There’s a time in the mechanist. And the machinist, however, anybody wants to pronounce it. I’m not sure which one’s the right one in that context. But he had to drop, you know, I think 50 pounds. He said he did it basically drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, you know, but then he had to bulk up to play Batman. Well, so now I look at that here is like the role I played at 25 to 30 is very different than the role I play right now in 34. So if my trainings the same, I’m a dumb strength coach, 


Jim Davis  14:34  

That’s so interesting. I would say that I liked that metaphor. And it goes back to that, you know, that purpose identification. If you’re in a movie role, there’s a clear purpose identify who you are this. I think what a lot of people probably are lacking within their training is, you know, I am this or I’m trying to be this, you know, 


Brett Bartholomew  14:52  

Because they’re chasing everybody else. 


Jim Davis  14:53  

100% . 100% And it’s funny, and I’ll shift immediately to that. I think you Instagram and social media has been one of the biggest source of blessings for communication, allowing people to stay in contact. But it’s also a real problem if you don’t have a clear purpose. What you want out of your training, it’s obviously a real problem, because of the comparison effect, 


Brett Bartholomew  15:15  

It’s kind of like, you know, when people blame social media, as opposed to a lack of self awareness or self restraint, I always compare it to fire, right fires a blessing, if it’s in your heart, it’s controlled, or if you’re smoke doing the smoker, right, which we’re going to do today, because we have some in laws in town. Fire, however, uncontrolled is a huge issue. And so I don’t think a lot of people understand that it’s not the tool, it’s the blaze that they let the tool create, and the landscape of their life is comparative to their social landscape internally and externally.


Jim Davis  15:50  

100% I’m so, okay. Do you see this book? 


Brett Bartholomew  15:56  

Yeah, yeah, describe it. Describe it for the audience. Here.


Jim Davis  16:00  

It is Lev Vygotsky. thought and language it’s the revised edition. It’s fairly new. Vygotsky’s a psychology educated, intersection of psychology education, thought and language.  I’m telling you, I’m marking it up right now. There’s some notes all over the place. Man, I wish I could find it fast. I swear this is it’s so funny that use that metaphor, because he refers to fire in the same way. And he’s okay, I found it. This is too deep. Just cut me off at a time 


Brett Bartholomew  16:28  

No you’re fine. We have a wide range of listeners, man, people will appreciate it no matter what. 


Jim Davis  16:32  

Perfect. So he thought Okay, so let’s see properties of water. So think about this. So water is H2O, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Hydrogen will put out a fire, or let me think, Hydrogen will burn, hydrogen will burn. Oxygen will fuel the fire. Combined, they make water and put it out. But it talks about this all these just did essentially like how the way that we named things influences so much of how we see them so like you said, fire is not automatically bad. In some cases, fires is absolutely good. Instagram, social media, these things, it’s not automatically one or the other. It is just like fire tool. 


Brett Bartholomew  17:13  

Yeah, well, I mean, he was big on socio cultural, like cognitive development, right, which is like having a baby right now of like, basically saying, you know, and I don’t want to oversimplify it, you know, So correct me on whatever part you’d like. But, you know, cognitive development of children, so to speak, is advanced through their social interactions with people more so than anything else, right? It’s inherent to cognitive development, which pretty hard to argue with, when I see my six month old baby boy, interact with my brothers 10 month old little girl, who is crawling and doing all these other things autonomously. 


And he you know, at six months, isn’t crawling yet. And he’s like, rocking back and forth, like getting upset, because he wants to do whatever she’s doing. You know, and, you know, there’s a whole hot part of mirror neurons and all that. But you of course, we learn from our experiences, interactions, were the preeminent social animal on the planet. ,


Jim Davis  18:05  

Yeah there’s no doubt. And without a doubt, you learn from experiences and interactions. And then just to sort of catalog all the experiences, interactions you’d have you start seeing things, and those names take on extra meaning. And I think you got to be careful about how how strict you are with definitions, man we could go all day with that alone, especially given this moment in time, your experiences influence, the way that you name the world, and how eventually that slows down. Your thinking was speeded up, but it actually inhibits you. And if that’s not too abstract, and we could go down that road, it was Juneteenth yesterday, but any sort of ism, you know, racism, etc, is sort of based on sort of a flawed or immobile actually to reference your work. You talked about adaptability and improv all the time. 


Brett Bartholomew  18:54  

Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely learned. I mean, that post, I put up a post a while back, have two little kids, you know, both have different races running towards each other. This stuff, is learned. And, you know, in my neighbor back in November, October, people can go back into the catalog. I interviewed Greg Baker, one of the first black police officer police chief’s in the outskirts of Chicago, small community there. You know, I just went across the street the other day, and they have to quarantine pretty heavily because his wife’s immunocompromised, having been a breast cancer survivor. And I go, dude, isn’t this crazy? And we must have just had a 30 30 minute to an hour long discussion about this. You know, he’s in his 60s. So I just love, I don’t have a grandfather. Right? 


So like a Greg’s like a grandfather to me in a way. And I just kind of talked to him because you know, we had a strength coach even reached out. And around that time well intentioned, no doubt, but basically said, hey, you need to do a podcast episode on racism in this industry right now. And I’m like, whoa, whoa. I’ve already done a podcast on prejudice and racism. We have a diverse audience, right. I’ve had a lot of women on this show. We’ve had a lot of folks from different nationalities backgrounds and will continue to do so that’s how I was raised. I mean, I was a competitive boxer, a boxing gym was the best environment for this, right? 


Like, there was one time where I was in a Bible study and whatever anybody’s beliefs are their own, that’s fine. It’s not about this. But I was sitting next to Hispanic gentleman who was a former drug dealer, a black guy that was you know, a young athlete and trying to figure out his way, you know, a white guy that you know, had didn’t have a perfect mirror. And it was like the best I had ran away from, like, all these spiritual religious Bible study things in the past, because it was like, you went to him in college, and everybody was in neatly pressed khakis and bringing brownies and talking about how great their life was. And I couldn’t relate to that. 


And I went home that night. And I’m like, Hey, I think I actually found a group that like, I like, after we box and beat the hell out of each other. We talked about some real stuff. And I’m like, if that’s not a microcosm of life. I don’t know what it is. But anyway, I asked his strength coach, I said, well, listen, if you want to come on and share your story, you know, by all means, and he never responded. And that’s where it gets problematic to me is when these things are learned. And people don’t want to stand up and say something or share their story because other people can learn through them. On the other hand, the extreme that scares me is this culture where it’s never enough, right? 


And I learned that I can do a post, I could do a podcast, I could do this. I could whatever. And it’ll never be enough. They were talking about it the other day and athlete’s wife basically made a comment on social media. And they talked about this on Joe Rogan’s podcast saying all lives matter. And then this guy got like, the athlete got ripped to shreds. And it was like, But wait, she wasn’t saying like, when we’re to the point where you’re getting in trouble for your spouse saying all lives matter where in the 1500s somebody stood up and go, Hey, all lives matter. He would be like, Well, yeah, dummy. 


You know, but now it’s like that, even if you didn’t have mal intent with that, that means something. And we I think we were kind of prepared for this in s&c Not the racial divide by any means. I’m not talking about that. But like, the content, because if you say I use conjugate method, or if I say, oh, single leg training is this or if somebody says anything? Man is our field, angry and defensive? Right. I could say this bottle is green. And people are like, Well, that depends on the spectrum of light, which.


But yeah, I just think that it’s you’re right. It’s all this social interaction. And now my whole point of saying that is I think our society is just learning to be mad. Yeah, they are. They’re just learning to be. And I’m not this has nothing to do with the race. Part of this is well before that, because the racism thing, we have a right to be mad and pissed off. But everything else is like, everybody’s just mad when you’re blaming for like, remember, when somebody was winning the Heisman, and somebody pulled up a tweet from when he was 14, who was here in the Oklahoma quarterback, man, my brains dumping on me. But then people will try to find a fort a tweet from when he was 14. Are you kidding me?


Jim Davis  23:05  

Yeah. It’s, you bring up so many good ideas. The first one, I’ll say is this. Within all of this, this great conversation, it does seem to be in reference to your boxing experience does seem to be, I’m so excited to be in sports. Because I do think athletics will play a major role. 


Brett Bartholomew  23:06  

100% bringing it together. 


Jim Davis  23:11  

Yeah, in whatever, you know, it’s the great equalizer. You know, whether I mean basketball is basketball, where I met in Chicago, where the project was founded in Boston, or down in Haiti, where we’d been like basketball is basketball. Let’s start there. And we can build out it’s a fantastic equalizer. You also bring up an interesting point that I’ve heard within your stuff before in the podcast before. It does feel like, I call it the left tackle rule or I make a comparison to the left tackle the left tackle plays 80 plays over the course of an NFL game. 


And he scored and he’s got 95% success rate and a solid A he’s gonna lose his job. Meaning meaning the 5% You know, if he gets beat for a sack four times, the guy that beat them, you know, the guy that’s at a 5% success rate is going to the Pro Bowl, that tackle might lose his job. I read that sometimes on social media. And maybe it’s polar, because some people are really moving toward like, let’s find the positives and all this. But then there’s also very real and massive to your point handful of folks who feels like they’re just looking to poke holes. Oh, well, that 5% 


Brett Bartholomew  24:41  

Yeah, I mean, listen, even when people listen to this podcast, they’ll do it. And that’s what concerns me. We put it out on our newsletter on art of coaching. I do a bi monthly newsletter. I’m scared that we’re turning, we’re creating a society that and this is a broad spectrum statement that is turning haters into heroes because is when you can have anonymous people who reach out and say these people with these platforms are never doing enough. And they’re never doing this and look at what this? Yeah, they’re not doing anything, right like it’s this race to an impossible level of moral purity that doesn’t exist. 


And people I talked about this in an article, it’s called schadenfreude people are wired inherently to see others that have a certain platform in life, or a certain level of threatening success or just anything, it doesn’t even have to be success. Just some, you might have a T shirt I want. They want to see these people fail, look it up. It’s tremendous research. It’s very interesting. And it goes into the posterior cingulate cortex where we’re so quick to make judgments. But that’s what concerns me because there will be somebody that reaches out and says, You’re not doing enough. And it’s like, Hey, man, I’ve done an Instagram post. We’ve had podcasts, we’ve had very frank discussions. 


Who are you? And at what point does somebody turn on these people and say, You guys are the extremists? You’re the ones trying to make everybody angry. I mean, you read the headlines, right? Like, I have a friend whose husband is in Swat, I support the thin blue line. But I also worked with Colin Kaepernick for two years, and had a great experience with cap. Great experience. Right? Yeah, I don’t think these things are divergent. What people are missing is, this is absolute as extremists and crazy people versus the rest, right, 


Jim Davis  26:24  

You’re so right. And what I think what I’m afraid of is that if you go too far to one poll or other, you start to limit the platform of the people who actually have something really good and legitimate to say, yeah, there is like the civil unrest going on right now. It almost should happen. I was talking to a good friend of mine, we were talking when things first sort of kicked off with the writing and it was like, you know, again, metaphor as it was, well, a protest is like a conversation a city and this is the physical manifestation of a conversation, we have something to say nothing hurts, we’re gonna do something physical. 


A riot is like a is a yell, you know, a riot, you know, it’s like we haven’t been listening for so long. Let’s pick up our voices and yell. The person I talked to, I won’t name this person. But he lives in the Southside of Chicago. And he’s seen a lot of things firsthand. He says, Well, if a protest is a conversation, and a riot is a yell, then looting and beating and hurting people. Well, that’s just crime.


Brett Bartholomew  27:26  

Yeah 100%. 


Jim Davis  27:28  

And I think the unfortunate, and it’s almost and like I might get backlash, just for saying that because like, in my opinion, the writing is understandable. There’s no, I’m in Chicago, the racial divide, there’s a lack of racial equity the way you know, people are not all treated the same. And there’s so, I mean, that could be eight podcasts simultaneously, we wouldn’t get to the root of it. But it’s true. And there are things that need to change. However, if we go to either poll, we start to distract from that really important idea? 


Brett Bartholomew  28:01  

Well, I mean, to go within that, to complement that there’s people that even though we didn’t even plan on going here with our conversation, there would be people that would be like, hey, it’s great that you’re talking about this, but neither one of you are black, so it doesn’t matter. And it would be like, wait a minute, like, we’re having an organic conversation, this podcast isn’t scripted. And if you want that there’s plenty of other, you know, things that we’ve done that have talked about those things, but like, at what point can’t we just be happy with trying to make progress? And this whole podcast was started to talk about leadership stuff that’s often swept under the rug, because I got tired of being on shows that were like, Hey, what’s your definition of agility? 


What was six by four or four by six? Hey, you know, and I was just like, no, like, we needed to go somewhere. But this is why and I will plug it I don’t care. This is why and I’d love for you to come to one. Like, we started the apprenticeship communication workshop, because it was just like, first, like, again, there’s people that are scared of failure. There are people that are scared of this. There’s people scared of other races, there’s people scared of all these things. And it’s because here’s the funny thing, who gets trained, in how to communicate and in life, the most difficult scenarios 


We practice training under constraints, we practice all kinds of things. And martial arts has it the military has it medical field has it, but nobody practices who receives communication training, right now? Is there a better time in history for people to not come together and work on that? And we do it through some light hearted, kind of comedic, kind of Whose Line Is It Anyway stuff. But then we inject the real shit. You know what I mean? We inject like, it just bugs me out, then people are like, Nope, I’m good enough at communicating. None of us are. That’s why this shit is happening.


Jim Davis  29:41  

Communication is a life’s work, no doubt. And I and to both points, I think the only real shame so to be clear, neither one of us as far as I’m hearing you and I know this is true for me. We’re not speaking on behalf of anyone. We’re only talking about our own experiences. And I think the real shame would be If the worst thing that could happen right now, is that you shut down conversation this, you know, we should everyone should be involved recognize their part, of course, you know, I don’t have much, you know, to say on particle physics, but I kind of know what it is. So you know what I mean? I’ll bring it to the table. I can’t, but


Brett Bartholomew  30:19  

We’re going in now we’re doing it. We’re going in. And now when we’re talking about particle physics,


Jim Davis  30:24  

I say that as an example, you know, I know enough to know that I don’t have enough experience to be an expert on it. But I still want to be


Brett Bartholomew  30:31  

You’re voicing. Yeah, well, I’m this is what I wanted to ask you. Right? This is the first, I guess, official question. And this is already on the way of becoming one of my top 10 favorite episodes, just from the conversational nature, by the way, so you’re doing, it’s phenomenal. Having somebody that just enjoys, I can’t wait till we can have like, a meal together or a glass of wine or whatever. So there was an, we were having a discussion that, you know, a friend of mine was saying there was obviously some stuff in the news about, you know, professionals in a wide variety of fields getting in trouble, right. And I said, Well, you know, it’s interesting, sometimes I wonder if you know, especially in strength and conditioning, we talked about, we did an episode called the sin of self promotion 


Because I don’t know how you were brought up in the field. But I was brought up that you don’t have a brand you shut your mouth strength coaches should be heard not seen. But here’s the thing, let’s say a strength coach gets accused of something. And let’s say that they’re whether they’re guilty or not as not for us to say, but let’s say and in this mock scenario, they’re not right. They didn’t say these things out of context. They didn’t mean it like that, whatever. But this strength coach is somebody that’s very insular, right, there may be known in their community, they’re known at their place of business, or school, or whatever that is, but they don’t believe in having a brand right. They’re the old guard what I was brought up under the old guard 


I actually think, and what I want to know is, if you agree, and if not, why, and if, yes, I actually think our fields lack of a willingness to have a brand and meaning be a part of the conversation, put your thoughts out there more frequently in public forums, hurts that person. Because then where’s the benefit of the doubt ever come from? Right, like the people in this organization may know, he or she is a great person, they would have never said that this story is getting blown up. But nobody else knows that because their thoughts are not on record. Now that can work both ways people could go back into these podcasts. 


And I’m pretty unfiltered. Anybody, especially with deep fakes. Today, I’m sure somebody could make a deep fake that makes it sound like I’m good Lord, in the future, they probably will. That’s really terrifying technology. By the way, maybe a Jay Z raps Shakespeare, I don’t know what they could do with me. So again, if you’re listening to this, in the future, please give me the benefit of the doubt that it was probably a deep fake, if somebody said something really bad, but I just think that like if you had a body of work that shows your clear thoughts or opinions on something, you’d be better off to a degree, don’t you?


Jim Davis  32:51  

I definitely do. And I think, you know, what are the three things that we look for I know you have standards, as you hire, the three things that we look for our initiative, creativity, and follow through, was the first three, and then we go immediately to and once we can sort of guarantee those things, then we talked about adaptability, but one of the reasons that we put initiative first is because you can’t get feedback on an idea or a training method, or whatever it might be, that never sees the light of day


Brett Bartholomew  33:22  

Perfect. I mean, Done is better than perfect. Many times 


Jim Davis  33:24  

100%. And that’s, you mentioned fear a couple of times, I think what we find is people often don’t, because they’re afraid of feedback, well, if there’s trust within an organization, or within a field, and we could somehow we could start tamping down all the criticism, and make it more communicative and optimistic than holy, then the field will take a massive jump forward, instead of putting stuff forward that says, like, look how right I am. Imagine if we did this, here, you know, you write about what you’re doing. You share your programs with the world, you say, here’s what we saw, here’s where we thought I was successful. What does everyone else think if we could break that open? Maybe way further down the line? 


To your point and to answer it very directly. I mean, we’re on the exact same page, there’s not someone who everyone was in my day job and nutrient within the good athlete project, anything I’m involved in, we ask people to compete, so they know what competing is like, yeah, you know, still even you know, and whatever it is, could be best common a 5k could be a powerlifting, whatever it is, we also have everybody, right? You have to write for sake of publication. It could be like, you know, something very short. It could be 800 word op ed, and whatever it is, to that same point. We were just trying to break down the barrier of sharing 


Brett Bartholomew  34:39  

So it doesn’t have to be some super in depth research article that’s perfectly crafted and all that just get them writing could be as simple.


Jim Davis  34:47  

Exactly. I’m trying to think we had one person I’ll pick the three recent ones. We had one person write fairly, it was pretty well researched, it wouldn’t qualify as peer reviewed journal. But yeah, on blood flow restriction and he really dug into it because he liked it. We had another another guy just wrote and published something on we talked about just essentially the balance of stress and recovery and and how essential challenge was to any setting. He talked about how when he’s go up into space, have you heard this before? 


Brett Bartholomew  35:22  



Jim Davis  35:23  

When they brought these up in shuttle mission one time


Brett Bartholomew  35:27  

Killer bees, hopefully, 


Jim Davis  35:29  

They weren’t Killer bees


Brett Bartholomew  35:31  

The homie honey bees, the one that does


Jim Davis  35:33  

Just the honeybees and I think they were they were like dying off. They were dying off because without the gravity, you know, usually they’re their wings are going like I don’t know, super fast all it depend on the challenge of being pulled back down to 


Brett Bartholomew  35:47  

Oh love that 


Jim Davis  35:48  

You know, I’m saying so he wrote about that and other one of our coaches I’ll be,


Brett Bartholomew  35:52  

I can’t wait, we’ll put that in our podcast group. And yeah, we might share that on our newsletter, too. That’s cool. 


Jim Davis  35:58  

I think it’s cool stuff. And then really to get back to your idea. It’s like, you got to do you got to put it out there. You have to I think you have to invent you have to think closely about the things that you’re thinking about and not be afraid to share those ideas.


Brett Bartholomew  36:14  

Yeah. And I’ll be the first to admit, like, I understand if there’s people listening the hesitancy to do that. I mean, but there’s so many mediums like so for example, you know, I obviously wrote a book, but I don’t really like writing and mainly because with through conversation, my thoughts flow a lot more freely. There’s a lot of peop le that say writing forces clarity, couldn’t agree more. But for me, so to social interaction, and there’s some things that I’m going to speak that never would have come from my hand. Right. And that’s why even when I do write, it has to be some things that I’ve already spoken out and what have you. 


But you know, Instagram for me was always like, Oh, wow, I never wanted to pressure of doing a blog. Because in our field, people expect everything you write to be so I mean, look at conscious coaching, right? I did in text citations for a book, because it that was a prime example of where I felt that pressure. Because there were so many people that wanted to make it sound like communication wasn’t a science. But when Instagram came about, I was like, interesting, it can only be done from the phone. So there’s not this expectation that you’re going to write like Proust, right, like, and I can do brief things. So Instagram was basically just a block for me, you know, 


Now the podcast was a way for me, this is my preferred medium, right being able to chat as opposed to live. And we do a lot of work on this too. There’s great research that shows different mediums and the effect they have on interpersonal connection, trust and buy in. And it’s not always as straightforward as you think most people think, hey, face to face always wins. But that depends. So what we have is we have a communication pyramid internally for art of coaching, that says, hey, for these situations, whether it’s a staff update, whether it’s an internal conflict, whether it’s dealing with a customer complaint, whatever this is, we have a medium that is most appropriate for that. 


And we teach this at the apprenticeship as well, we go through eight components of communication that the research says matter. There’s of course, like the interlocutors or the people communicating. In this case, it’s you and me, right? Were the people and not just you and me like everything about us? Right? You’re 36? I’m 34? Where are you from? Originally? 


Jim Davis  38:15  



Brett Bartholomew  38:15  

Chicago, right? So I’m from Omaha, Nebraska, we have a Midwestern connection. There’s all these things that when people ask, How do I build buy in, you know, in a simplistic way, I say research relate and reframe. But on that research part is knowing everything about the two people communicating. But then there’s the medium, then there’s the channel, then there’s the context, which is the situation circumstances and setting in which communication happens. There’s the code of meeting right, like, Could I flash you a gesture right now like a thumbs up? You know what that means? non verbally or para verbally if I were to, but in another culture, that means something else. 


So the point being, there’s so many different ways communication can break down. But we don’t look at those asymmetries where if I watch you squat Jim, and I see a subpar squat, like for me, you would see that right now, because my ankles are tight. My calves are stiff, right now, you’re gonna see a lot of bending forward at the waist if I was going to do it cold. Well, we have progressions and regressions for that. But we haven’t created that for the interpersonal process, right? We haven’t said, Man, Jim, and I got off on a raw start here. We weren’t on the same page, and whatever. And I’m making that up. Of course, you’ve done wonderfully. 


What could we have done? And I want to ask you within you working with high school kids, and we’ve talked about Vygotsky and everything, where do you see and it’s okay to pontificate here, right? I’m not asking you to psycho diagnose, where do you see some of the earliest social breakdowns that you think, ah, that’s concerning that that kind of interactions taking place or that lack of self awareness? Where do you start to see most social breakdowns occur with high school kids? It’s sometimes from a lack of self awareness and a lack of competence you find and I’ll guide you here because I’m giving you a broad view. 


Jim Davis  40:00  

I like it. I really liked this question actually. So, because there’s I’m thinking of 1000 ways, what would be most useful? 


Brett Bartholomew  40:07  

You just start start with any of them, it’s okay to talk your way through it. It’ll give somebody an idea. 


Jim Davis  40:11  

Well, I think, you know, even in this moment in time, I’m thinking back, okay, so when you and I were teenagers, we didn’t have to deal with social media. So that’s us, we’re more clear. But there are also I’m thinking about this. Omaha in Chicago, you gain cues, like what this means, you know, thumbs up means and what sort what a smile means and all the things from the people around you. And they have different meanings for the people around you. I wonder if in the social media atmosphere, that’s a bigger and taller task, meaning it’s not super clear, always. 


What to do, and I think that’s why TikTok is a thing, because if you know, if likes are the new currency follows is the new currency instead of, you know, if you’re running around the block, you make a friend spend time to get it, that used to be the validation, it likes the new currency, then all of a sudden, a TikTok dance in your bikini, or with shirtless and for the guys. You know, that really starts to throw people off.


Brett Bartholomew  41:13  

So what about the people that aren’t on social media? Because here’s the thing, we do talk a lot about social media. But there’s just as many coaches, people, leaders, educators, high school kids, whatever, that maybe aren’t active on social media, but they still don’t have a healthy way of seeking validation. I think that would be an interesting turn. What are unhealthy ways that people that do not engage on social media seek validation in today’s day and age? I know, Oh, go ahead. 


Jim Davis  41:39  

No, I was just saying it’s a really good point because I’m kind of criticizing TikTok and things like that the likes, but the truth is the currency of your environment. You know, if you are a coach, sort of rewarding the wrong things,


Brett Bartholomew  41:52  

Certifications, maybe? Yeah, I think in our field, like a lot of that certifications, and this never ending case of alphabet soup behind your name, and whatever. I think also people trying to just talk about the organizations that they work for using that as a blanket of like, well, I’m right, we see this a lot of somebody and it’s no different than lawyers, if they get to a big law firm, just like it’s trained coach gets to a big school or what have you, they tend to use that as a way to kind of commoditize themselves. We’re also the strength numbers, maybe 


Jim Davis  42:25  

There’s a strength in numbers, right? There’s there’s also the way, it’s interesting. So when you ask the question, how do you know where the initial breakdowns? I think more often than not, this is gonna sound stupid, but I think just people are people and we respond to validation and critique. So it’s the environment that people are in is that that’s what you know, you’re always looking out and trying to figure out who you are based on the feedback you’re getting from your environment. So that’s why the work that we’re that we try to do is, I believe so essential, because we’re really just trying to help people craft environments. 


I got to bring this up. So it all kind of fits together. You mentioned the Zoom stuff. Lisa Feldman Barrett is an adviser to the good athlete project. He’s a wonderful person. She wrote a book called How Emotions Are Made. And you’re reminding me of, you know, communication breakdown in like facial expressions. Her work is so interesting. I could never sum it up in a quick 30 seconds, but essentially, it’s this idea that there just might be a flaw in the way that we perceive emotions and others. 


Brett Bartholomew  43:33  

Oh, without a doubt 


Jim Davis  43:35  

Like a smile. Like what does a smile mean? Yeah. What does you know? And even if you if you just took a moment and wrestled with that question, what does a smile mean? The truth is, you have no idea. 


Brett Bartholomew  43:46  

No, because it can mean something devious, deceitful, we see people that it was a comedic thing of showing the face we all make once we’re done recording on camera, right? So if somebody does do a social media posting, they’re like, Hey, guys, Amber here with your tip of the day. And then once they hit stop, they go from like this. I’m right now if you guys can’t see me, obviously, but I have this big cheesy, you know, fake smile on my face, and then the minute they hit stop, they go, and it just goes right back to it. 


Jim Davis  44:15  

So she actually brings up in her research. A Paralympic swimmers. She’s using a case study of Paralympic swimmers who, on the platform, I don’t know who it was, I don’t think they name it, but the person but they’re getting there a gold medal. And they’re up on the platform and they’re smiling ear to ear smiles and waving to the crowd. But these people are blind in this in this specific event. So they’re blind. They just won a gold medal waving to the crowd. As soon as they get behind the podium. The smile goes away.


Brett Bartholomew  44:46  

Impression management. Is that Yeah, yeah. Erving Goffman talks about you know, and this was a Shakespeare thing, like we’re all actors on a stage. And it talks about how there really is no authentic self. We’re all an amalgamation of the social Exam. impulse we learn, and everybody without a doubt. So in my online course Valued, we do a whole section on this it’s called impression management. It’s not bad or it’s not good. It just is, again, it’s another tool like fire or physics or anything else. But yeah, every single person engages in impression management to some degree based on the social context


Jim Davis  45:21  

I totally agree. And this is ultimately getting back to that. Where does the breakdown happen? You know, I think it’s the interpretation of the impressions of other people. That’s number one, I think


Brett Bartholomew  45:34  

We’re not taught how to interpret emotions and expressions, instead, we internalize them based on how we feel at the moment, if you send me an email, and I’m pissed off, no matter what that email was about, I’m gonna, let’s say you were just given feedback on something and I’m mad. Well, I’m going to read that email and think that you’re coming at me with it. And instead of, let’s say, I just won the lottery. And I read your email. I’m like, oh, yeah, that’s a great idea. Of course it is. I just got 30 million in the bank.


Jim Davis  46:01  

No doubt. Exactly. Exactly. Right. And that is, and it’s funny that you say that, and then I’ll bring the suit, you just touched on something that we’re really that I can go all day with this.


Brett Bartholomew  46:13  

You’re gonna you’re coming to it. By the way, I am going to come to you for any apprenticeship you want to come to say, yeah, that’s, that’s the end. That’s dude, that that’s an 899 value. And you know, but like, the point is that you’re bringing up such great points of things that we talked about that we would get so much value from you just coming in, I think you’d really enjoy it. We have one July 25 and 26th. In Charleston, so get your butt there. But anyone you want to go to. But yeah, keep going. But that’s the least I can do for you as a guest that’s passionate about this.


Jim Davis  46:46  

I appreciate that. Man. I really do. I look forward I accept via podcast, I will definitely be joining at some point. The idea to go back to where some of those breakdowns happen. You know, this swimmer, this pair of blind paralympic swimmer who put on a big smile, because he was sort of a learned social thing, but then went behind the podium and smile just immediately fell off. The assumption this from Lisa’s work is like, that person was no less happy than they were before. But they just they didn’t feel the need to put on sort of like to signal that to other people


Brett Bartholomew  47:21  

If you go to your grandparents house, and you eat something they made, and it’s not that good. You know, I know, we all have great feelings about grandma’s cookies, or like my grandma used to make she was German and heritage. She would make goulash. And it was, but there were some things that it doesn’t have to be your grandma, right? I have to get away from anybody that’s like, well, it could be anybody but they make something you’re gonna be like, Oh, that’s good. Right? And even if you don’t mean it, and it’s a white lie, but then that’s I think that’s a great theme for this episode. And I know it’s a big part of a project I’m working on as greatness is in the gray area sometimes, right? 


Like what we’re seeing is getting very scary with the black and white thing in terms of what side of the fence you sit on. And that’s not a race metaphor. I mean, the absolute the extremists or the whatever, is can we come back to the gray area, we always used to joke that the Midwest was a great filter for the craziness that exists on all the coasts in the United States. And guys, this is playful. So if you’re a hardcore person on the East Coast are down, get offended, right, like, but we used to say, hey, there’s vanity on the west coast in 


Yes, we know there’s vanity everywhere. Again, this is playful. There’s vanity on the West Coast. I felt like the East Coast is is hyper stressed out, go go go down south, you have some lovely people, but you can also have some radicals, you know, up north and farthest north you have some weirdos Yeah, I’m talking about my North Dakota in the woods. And again, just messing with them. In the Midwest, we’re always kind of just the folks that would shake your hand, but still punch you in the face if you offended someone. But I just I wish we would get back to this gray area, because I think that’s where fantastic leaders can be born 


Jim Davis  48:57  

Without a doubt. And, you know, our brains, our efficiency machines, and they run on efficiency. So batch processing is something that we do all the time. That’s understandable, but the truth is always going to be in the nuance. And that is there’s an Emerson quote not to get floaty 


Brett Bartholomew  49:14  

No, please 


Jim Davis  49:15  

But and I’m not giving you get it right, probably but. But essentially, it’s something about like, truth is the essence of being truth is like that’s the pinnacle of being an injustice is the application of it to one’s affairs.


Brett Bartholomew  49:28  

Can you repeat it one more time for the people that are listening. 


Jim Davis  49:31  

And I may not have it right


Brett Bartholomew  49:32  

That’s fine, it’s fine. They get it they can look it up.


Jim Davis  49:35  

So truth is the essence of being. That’s the pinnacle. Justice is the application of it to one’s affairs. Interesting. So in which makes kind of this does sort of involve a lot of things that we were talking about. 


Brett Bartholomew  49:50  

Where does Batman fit on that spectrum then?


Jim Davis  49:53  

Who I would doubt that’s a podcast of its own? Because it’s so hard though. hard part, you know, we call for justice, we call for all these things that we should. But the difficult part is, like digging through the nuance to find the truth. Yeah, we can take that. And then apply it to to bass process to strictly to not look for massive through the gray area for like the nuances of experience and communication. All of that would essentially, you almost create absolutely a situation where truth was on identifiable, you then move to one of the poles and the application of the concepts at one pole or other to the world. That’s obviously wrong. 


Brett Bartholomew  50:37  

That’s what drives me nuts, as we talked about system one versus system two thinking to use economism. And like you said, our focus and I liken it to health care, right, where healthcare is so reactive, instead of being preventative? People think that if you just identify these two systems, and oh, if we could just get people to think more rationally, no, you know what, it’s actually okay to make judgments. I’ll say that what’s not okay is not to be self aware about where they come from and work on. And why I say it’s okay to make judgments is because it’s just natural. If I see something that like an animal that looks threatening at one point in time that saved us, right, like holy, is that a saber toothed Tiger? 


Now, because we don’t have those threats, unfortunately, we inappropriately placed judgments, but you’re not going to be able to rip that out of the human DNA. What you need to do is educate them on being aware of your own bias. And that’s why we videotape people at our apprenticeships as biases and things like that are and judgments are going to happen emotions are going to happen. We just want to train you to aim them more appropriately, instead of illogically. But I just I feel like we have this idea that and you know, a friend of mine named Pratik Patel, at the time of this recording is with the New York Giants. He had made a statement recently because I think LeBrons I don’t think he’s a dietician, let’s just say LeBrons trainer, I don’t know what it is, made a comment about, you know, something that he does with Lebron supplementation, it’s not worth going into. 


And, you know, all of a sudden, there’s this Twitter thread of a million RDs being like what an idiot can’t believe he said that this is inappropriate this? And sure is what this guy said, correct? No, not in terms of, you know, the true scientific context and what have you. And I don’t know him. And I don’t know LeBron, and I’m not getting into that. But like, what upset me is like, on one end, all these RDs had a point to be mad, right? It’s how we feel when somebody’s like, Hey, want an intense workout? And it’s like 500, burpees, and whatever. But at the other point, listen, LeBron doesn’t give a shit what these people are saying. 


And what they’re not understanding is for LeBron, whatever his perception is, and whatever he’s talking about here works for him in a way. So like, why are we creating these spectral divides? Yes, in an ideal world, everybody would abide by what the research states and shows and proper vernacular and terminology. And there’s certain people that trust charlatans, and again, I don’t know LeBrons guy, I’m not claiming he’s a charlatan, I could care less about that. But what I’m saying is, what if we had this space? Could you imagine where people that had sound knowledge and practices also knew how to relate and build trust? I mean, that’s why I named my book conscious coaching, as I was saying, like you think LeBron or his trainer, or anybody else is going to read those hundreds of tweets of Mad RDs and be like, You know what? Oh, my God, they’re right. You’re just wasting your life trying to be right.


Jim Davis  53:33  

You’re so, in essence, you’re spot on. And I think and where I would try to distill all of that is, like, it’s what I think is the anger and the emotion takes over. Maybe those RDs are maybe, and I’m gonna go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt real quick, maybe they just don’t have a clear enough purpose. Because if their purpose as a dietitian is to help people get healthier, you know, to use nutrition to you know, help enhance lives, then calling people out on Twitter probably isn’t the way to go.


Brett Bartholomew  54:07  

But it’s easy, right? That’s the thing. And that goes back to what you were talking about with initiative, creativity and follow through. People will waste their life trying to be right. So they’ll go to the easiest thing, just like the body with asymmetries will always go the path of least resistance, the path of least resistance for many of these experts or social justice warriors, or trolls or anything else is to tweet, it’s to tweet and tweet is a metaphorical term for whatever the, back in the day, right? It was like these. It’s just today’s version of witch hunts. What it’s going to be tomorrow. Who knows? But it’s like, go ahead.


Jim Davis  54:49  

Yeah, no, I You’re You’re exactly right. And yeah, it didn’t work. We’re we’re using tweet as sort of a concept but it makes sense. There’s a couple of things this reminds me of one of them is one of my old bosses. radiogram to mentor mine, one of the, maybe one of the greatest human beings on earth, we’re working in sports. He essentially said and in a very patient and calm way, and this was a former football player and coach who moved into administration is very calm, he said, sat behind his desk, anyone knows and would recognize, as he just said, you know, took a pause. He was like, Yeah, anyone out there can tell you, it’s raining. But there are not enough people that are going to get an umbrella or building a shelter.


Brett Bartholomew  55:31  

Matches in the dark. Nobody wants to light them. They just want to, you know, complaint 


Jim Davis  55:36  

Right? You’re right, it’s easier. And you get immediate confirmation. If you say, man, it’s raining in this metaphor, calling out a problem, you can get a lot of people saying, Yeah, that’s right, it is raining? 


Brett Bartholomew  55:47  

Well, it’s a lack of skin in the game. Right. And we’ve talked about this on other podcasts too, because I used to be guilty of it, I would, you know, before I was on social media, or I’d put anything out into the world, it was very easy for me to criticize things. And then you know, when I did start to put a book out in the world, that people can judge and do whatever they want. Examples of my programming are out there, right? We have an online training program with TrainerRoad that anybody can join any time. So the and I know you work with them as well. I have blog articles, podcasts, people can judge whatever they want. 


And that’s why you know, but growth happens from that, right? So when we put out a book, like conscious coaching was a great example of we wanted to make it science based enough that it showed that we had done our research, but not so sciency that nobody would want to read it. You know what, while that may have pissed off some PhD, that’s mad that I didn’t use this one. Like we had one guy that got so mad at the term buy in so mad, I mean, it was his life’s work. The way they phrase it as buy in, and they wrote a whole article about it. Buy in is basically a phrase that will destroy the industry. It insinuates that we’re salesmen and whatever. And I’m like, oh, Lord, buddy, you know, it’s a word that is used the world over. 


And everybody knows, you know what that means when they look at it, right? Like buy in is trust plus commitment is how we define it, as opposed to like, compliance or what have you, but the point is, is they got so mad, they’re like, this should just be called trust. And, you know, even a friend of mine, I love him Dave Tenny. I remember one time we were on a panel together, and he used the term buy in, like if you want to use that word, and yeah, Dave, I’m looking at you, I caught that eye roll. Now Dave didn’t mean anything by it. He’s a huge supporter. But what this becomes as a term hits, and then it becomes more popular, and then there are certain people that try to use it unethically. But why are we not pointing at the like, Okay, well, that’s unethical. People that aren’t using the context. Don’t demonize the term. 


But that’s the thing. I mean, these RD say, Oh, we hate the word clean, just like strength coaches hate the word lean and toned. Just guys, it exists everywhere, but you’re wasting your life, you’re wasting your life. Like what you have to realize, if you want to affect change, what I’m getting at here is you have to find a blend of the other person’s language and your information. Right? That’s what we call unconscious coaching is content and relation oriented communication. 


Content is the message itself. Right? It is saying you are Jim Davis, this is what right relation is how you wrap it is it in a metaphor simile, I’m not going to spend hours telling an athlete that it’s not lactic acid that they’re feeling that it’s really hydrogen ions. And guess what, it can be converted into pi root. They don’t care right now, if they do care, the time to explain that after a session, not on Twitter, shut up. People are so in love with their opinions, then guess what? Put them out there. When people want to criticize that go great than write a book or make you know, do something requires effort? That’s going to be a solution. 


Jim Davis  58:45  

Yeah, you’re right. And that actually, that kind of is a really good point in this moment in time? Because I don’t know, I think probably you’ve been going through a lot of this. We certainly have what is our business model? We are, by the way, we’re a nonprofit organization. So we don’t have a business model in a true sense. But I say that he brought up Kahneman before, I think we’re all in business, and we’re all economists. So our thought process was it’s all product consumer distribution, you know, and when the quarantine hit, our product isn’t changed, you know, education training programs. Consumer didn’t change, although their needs might have a little bit. Yeah, because they’re home. But the real challenge was distribution. How do we get this to people from afar? 


And in what you were just talking about is a really important component of it is how you wrap it up, like, you know, this idea of being right. I can’t tell you how many locker rooms I’ve been in. Whether, you know, and I won’t get more specific than that, but like, are just conversations even that I’ve been in where people are like, well, I sent him an email. I told him what they had, you know, they’ve essentially been right I gave him the information well, if the person that you sent the information to didn’t access it didn’t understand it, you know, you gave him an eight, maybe you gave him an eight, the equivalent of an eight page email, upset whatever it might have been


If they didn’t think for whatever context you mentioned. If they did, if they weren’t able to access information, then they were something off with the delivery. And it’s as simple as that. And it’s not about being right. It’s about being successful, and adaptable and its success. Absolutely. To be successful. You have to be adaptable. In fact, if I could go, I’ll give you one of our metaphors, I knew you like metaphors, because so do I actually, I don’t know if I put this in my bio, but my first graduate degree was poetry.


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:40  

Yeah. In your bio, we talked about how you’re a poet and a painter, Bob Ross style, 


Jim Davis  1:00:45  

Exclusively Bob Ross


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:47  

Exclusively Bob Ross inspired paintings on the Pro that Bob Ross had prior to painting at your easel.


Jim Davis  1:00:55  

Listen, I feel very fortunate and supported by a lot of people had a lot of pallette. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:01:00  

I think it’s awesome. 


Jim Davis  1:01:01  

So, but I do love a good metaphor. And one of the big ones that we use is and it really just matches the work that you do very well, I think that’s why I was attracted to your style of thinking in the first place was called the anchor and tether method. And essentially, is it to anchor a process or anchor a concept in something that is well researched, thought out a blend of experience and research and application. Awesome. So really anchoring on something solid that you believe in is essential. 


Some people are missing on the anchor side of things. Within the tether part is like if you imagine throwing an anchor into the water, the tethers the rope, which can be led out or brought in based on context based on skill set, based on whatever it might be in a given situation. But to not understand that sort of both of those are at play. I think that’s I don’t know what you’ve seen. But but that’s a mistake, you know, so we have some people who can be incredibly creative and adaptable, but are solidly anchored to a place


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:04  

That and they’re not dissenters, they don’t seek to understand. Like I said, somebody could take any clip they want from this podcast, and take three seconds, five seconds, 12 seconds, slice whatever together and make it sound like we had the most offensive, socially deaf conversation ever when it was in fact, the opposite. Right? And so you actually, yeah, for anchoring and tethering, and a lot of that it fits hand in hand with discerning and relating. I mean, listen, it’s been the whole theme of this wrapped in a package. 


Right, wasting your life trying to be right and not being adaptable. Is what we talked about the beginning with your training, are we stuck in our training? Because we’re playing the wrong role? Are we not listening to the voices of social activism in a complete way? And understanding what’s really going on here? Are we not wrapping our messaging in our content with our athletes, clients, customers, whatever that is, are we not doing all these things, it’s all comes down to being adaptable, relatable, and using anchoring and tethering responsibly and appropriately. And that’s just I mean, again, it’s why I thought you were perfect to have on this show. 


And I can’t tell you again, enough, how I appreciate your patience. You were totally understanding. You’d be surprised, man, there’s some times where we have to reschedule a guest. And they get really angry. You know, we had one guy that was kind of like, hey, you know, it’s harder to get on your schedule than it was, you know, one of the President’s kids and what have you, and, and I said, Listen, I mean, and then they compared, it was also hard to get on the schedule harder than Dana White, because they had interviewed Dana White, and they meant it playfully. But I said, listen, here’s the thing, those people have a little bit more help than I do. 


I’m a dad, with a company of four people, one of which is my wife, doing the best I can during a pandemic, you know, with all these other things. All these other people have a lot of people that I’m not saying their lives are easy, they’re not. But they have other people that can get those things out of the way. But we do have some people that just get hangry. And it’s like, hey, like, but you were super, you were great about it, you came with such great stories. And it would behoove me if I didn’t give you an opportunity, I want to. I want you to now anchor and tether and tell us a little bit about the good athlete project and how our listeners can help support what you guys are doing. Because as somebody that’s a part of a nonprofit myself with movement to be, we need to get involved with these things. So go.


Jim Davis  1:04:20  

I appreciate that. Man, I think I have to build on your comments. And that’ll be the line that takes us into the project, maybe well, or maybe I’ll do that slightly in the opposite direction. We work with a lot. We do team workshops, professional development workshops, and with a very small handful of partners in depth consultation. So we essentially go through the deep thought work with people to develop schemes and create cultures that fit their context and their environment in their needs. It’s been effective and powerful, and I’ll talk more about it in a second. But one of the things this is sort of giving it all away. 


It’s one things I’m most excited about, regarding what you were Just saying included, we have this communication model, we call it OCD. So, I think we do have to be mildly obsessive about communication. But I’m certainly an obsession, we do a lot of work on the mental health side of things as well. But the OCD is an acronym. It’s optimistic assumptions over optimistic assumptions. Meaning like, if you are in doing work with people, if you get on the front end of that work, decide that you have a similar purpose and you’re moving the same direction, that is essentially on all parties to maintain optimistic assumptions. 


C, is clarify as needed. So it’s, you know, and that is in, you know, this, it’s just, it’s bi directional thing we might give something to an athlete that we think is spot on, that we talked about the delivery, but if it doesn’t resonate with them you got to pivot and try again try again. But we also throw this back to the people, especially when it’s in an organization that they you know, if they didn’t get it, they’ve got to be clear with us they aren’t, we want to empower them. In this state of optimism, and in a place of trust. We want to empower them to clarify as needed. So we, you and I can’t always know what within the messaging went off. 


But if we start to empower people to clarify and come back to us with thoughtful questions, now we’re really working on something together. And the D is real simple, it’s Don’t talk shit. And depending on the context, and notice, don’t talk smack sometimes just don’t talk badly about people you’re working with. But it’s funny, I appreciate you know, the way that we’re interacting on this. You know, when it comes to, I was excited to have this conversation with you. So the circumstances and in the logistics of getting there, you know, I really do live, that thing that we share to people


It’s nice to hear you say that because you didn’t blink, I had him in bad night, you know, you know, if schedules adjust, it’s just not, it really just is not a problem. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:50  

It’s life 


Jim Davis  1:06:51  

It is life. So to have, I mean, it’s so close to what we call, we call it practical mindfulness, which is just like, it’s just my being mindful in the world and sort of examining, I think if you examine why you’re frustrated about things enough, eventually, you can get to the point where you just can pull back and not be frustrated about those things. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:11  

Yeah, you can control without respect 


Jim Davis  1:07:14  

100% 100%. So as long as you’re doing good work with good people, then it becomes easier and easier. So this is very been very enjoyable for me. But okay, so the good athlete project, I don’t want to do an elevator pitch, because I’m really careful to make


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:29  

Everything will be linked below. So as we wrap here, everybody will see in the show notes, everybody will have all that. So, you know, don’t do the work for them. If they really are the type of people that are going to help you guys out and get involved, they’re going to look, you know, I just want to make sure that they have a feel and an understanding of what you’re trying to do from a positive standpoint.


Jim Davis  1:07:48  

Totally Well, I would say that just in general, you know, the origin of this is, well, I won’t go into the origin story, but I’d be happy to talk about it. At some point, if you want to hear more, please dig in. But the basics of what we do, we you know, our mission is to maximize the potential of athletics as education. And we do it in two primary ways. We have two verticals, we call them we have events, which is hosting events that really highlight the power of athletics done well. So lots of powerlifting meet strength banks, bass competitions, pretty straightforward, but really, we are really explicit about the quote unquote, life lessons that come out of those things. 


So highlighting athletics done well is one sort of column for us. And where we’ve been putting a ton of energy recently, is the education part. So that is we talked about for that team workshops and professional development primarily. But we’re also in the process of building out resources to support people from afar. So we, you know, we’ve got, we’re starting a video series, it’s much lower quality than the one that you’ve got. But you know, very whether it’s video, audio, written publication, we’re really kind of doing our best to share the real good stuff with people. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:01  

It’s good, we need that


Jim Davis  1:09:02  

I think we need to do in one way that I think you definitely are doing this. There’s a handful of other people out there that are doing it really well. We tried to do this. And this is sit at the intersection of research and application like, you know, the people in the academies and the people on the front. So like our advisory team with the good athlete project. It’s all a bunch of super smart folks like Harvard, MIT, the director of surgery, Johns Hopkins, that are influencing the way that we think 


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:28  

And this isn’t a hobby, you got some legit players involved. 


Jim Davis  1:09:31  

Yes, exactly. And then but then are on the ground. People are what we think are people like you very thoughtful practitioners. And then if the more we can sort of bridge the gap between those two places, here’s what’s going on the front, what we need more of what isn’t working the way we thought it was, etc. That conversation. And then in the academy, when when you can study and build a body of research on these things. How can you bridge the gap between those and create something that’s sort of digestible enough for someone to pick up in Run with and and it’s been really, really rewarding work. 


Because when we have the very fortunate opportunity to settle in with a group go to a school and work with a team, due to feedback, it’s like, I swear this this year, we made a commitment early on we, you know, we and it actually, this actually maps on our conversation really well. If we can make it quick and easy. It’s the good athlete project shoe, it makes you run faster, jump higher. That’s not what it is. It’s a relationship that we build, to help enhance a culture. That is not a quick one off, easy thing to do. But we’ve been very humbled by how effective it’s been. And I think that really does feed back into everything that we’ve talked about. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:10:42  

Without a doubt. Well, like I said, we’ll be sure to link that in the bio and I want to connect you let’s do this offline with Kara Shull who spearheads a nonprofit I’m a part of movement to be and I think there’s a lot of co linearity there between that what we’re doing with our apprenticeship workshops I mean we’re having couples come to the apprenticeship workshops to learn how to be better communicators for their marriage and this is what we should want to see right like just like these things are branching off from just athletics to using lessons learned as coaches and athletic style businesses marriages, things like that 


Because if came the other way right we’ve all learned from business books and education but now it’s really time for I think strength coaches performance realm to you know expand like get your role see broader see bigger this is so much more then that sets and wraps and that’s what we’re all about man so I appreciate you I have to run I owe my family a Saturday you couldn’t have been more gracious we’ll put it in the show notes but real quick where is the one most impactful place people can go to follow? Is there a website is there a social media link you want? What’s the most impactful way


Jim Davis  1:11:48  

I think ad good athlete project on Instagram and for no other reason that’s where we’re operating most regularly and we can say the website the YouTube page all those


Brett Bartholomew  1:11:59  

awesome well listen Jim you thank you for going in depth thank you for being so great and and unscripted format and coming into the arena. It can be harrowing for some but there’s no doubt people took a lot from this and we deeply appreciate you. 


Jim Davis  1:12:12  

I’m grateful for you and all your work man. I look forward to keeping this conversation going.


Brett Bartholomew  1:12:16  

Alright guys, this is the art of coaching podcast and please remember I know we say a lot of episodes, leave a review share this with five friends. We only continue to grow and build off of you guys spreading the word so we try to bring you all this stuff for free. But we do need your support to keep the movement going. Alright guys art of coaching podcast, Brett Bartholomew Jim Davis, signing off.

Leave a Comment