I am excited to be joined by Pratik Patel of The New York Giants on episode 34 of the Art Of Coaching Podcast. Pratik Patel is in his third season as the Giants’ Director of Performance Nutrition/Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Patel came to the Giants from the University of Oregon, where he was the Athletic Department’s Director of Sports Nutrition since October 2014. Patel’s job was to develop and direct the Sports Nutrition Department and manage the daily nutrition needs for 18 athletic teams and sports.
Patel is a Registered Dietitian and board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
-The unique challenges of an NFL Training Camp
-Navigating the politics of professional sport
-Pratik’s tactics for getting younger players to buy in and assessing their knowledge base
-The complexity of people dynamics within a professional sports organization
-The benefits of understanding economics and business in the S&C field
-Examples of Groupthink and avoiding being the outcast
-What will be the tipping point to force S&C coaches to evolve?
-Pratik’s advice on networking
-Valuing what we do
-Pratik’s self-critique and where does he see room for self-improvement?
Reach out to Pratik:
Via Twitter & Instagram: @pratik7patel
Via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pratik-patel-8685a593
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Brett Bartholomew 0:01
Hey, everyone. So as promised, we had an awesome response to the giveaway that we had been announcing in the last few weeks. If you’re just joining the podcast now we gave away more than $6,000 of free courses, apparel, books, all of that. Now originally, we were going to shout out all the winners on the podcast, but some folks that signed up did not include their entire names. So I’d hate to butcher your last name. So what have you. But we did select over 20 winners were given away over 15 courses, originally, we were only going to do 10. But we had a lot more people enter than we thought. So if you want, you can expect to hear from my team. In the next week or two, you’ll get full access to the courses or we’ll be getting your address and sending your books or your momentus product or anything your way. Again, if you’re just listening to the podcast, make sure that you guys are subscribed to the art of coaching newsletter, when we do giveaways, we announce live events when we do discounts anything like that. It’s always gonna go through the newsletter first. So I know some of you are audio files, you love listening, you don’t really like to read. And that’s great. We’re always going to announce some of these things on the podcast. But for everything kind of. It’s a nice little wrap up, right? It shows what we’re doing across the board on YouTube, and everything else. It’s all going to be on that newsletter. So if you want to go there, and you’re confused, and you’re like, hey, well, I don’t really know where that is. It’s a real simple one. I’ve put it in the show notes. Couldn’t be easier to you can just go to artofcoaching.com/begin. So again, thank you, for all of you who left a review for the podcast entered, you’re getting $500 worth of free courses, each and every one of you and over $6,000 in total was given away. That’s enough for me. I think you guys are gonna really enjoy this episode with my friend Pratik Patel. We have a unique history together, he has even more unique insight. And I’m probably going to get some blowback from one of the things we talked about. But that’s the nature of the podcast, right? We want to talk about some things that you know, through the pot intentionally, but in a way that drives deeper discussion and isn’t meant to be disrespectful. Sometimes guys, it just is what it is. keep your feedback coming. We have some great episodes on the way now let’s get to Pratik.
Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew. I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me and now let’s dive into today’s episode.
Welcome back, everybody to another episode of The Art of coaching podcast. This is a special episode for me. I’m not going to tell you why just yet. Well, save the surprise of how my guests and I know each other in a moment. But just to formally introduce you. My guest this week is Pratik Patel. Pratik is the director of performance nutrition and an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the New York football Giants. Pratik what is good,
Pratik Patel 3:22
man. Oh, we just got back earlier this morning. Got three hours asleep have the guys in for a quick lift. But I’m ready to rock and roll. I’m glad to be on your podcast.
Brett Bartholomew 3:32
Love it. For those of you that may be listening to this in the future. We are recording this on August 30 2019. So they’re wrapping up the preseason in the NFL. And Pratik, you know, just and everybody knows, like, coaches love to use the word Oh, it’s a grind. It’s a grind. But, you know, give us something that’s not cliche about like, what’s your take on the unique challenges? The preseason provides not just you as somebody that works in the NFL as a member of support staff, but also the players. What’s something we may not know that things like hard knocks don’t really show the average, person will talk about your feelings of Camp real quick before we dive in.
Pratik Patel 4:10
Yeah, I mean camps, such an important time for us because, you know, the offseason training program grows from April to June. But then players get about five or six weeks off. And with that five or six weeks, and hopefully they’re going to somebody like yourself, who knows how to get them ready for the season. But some of these guys will end up very much enjoying their time off and not really staying in shape. So when we get them we have no idea what they’ve been doing. We don’t know if they’ve been accumulating any high speed running, hit some decent distances. So they’re ready to meet the demands of what our practices are. So for us, it’s kind of like you know, we got to stand back, do a quick reevaluation and figure out what do we necessarily need to do on the spot to make sure they’re prepared for practices and then it’s not like college where you go through the entire camp and then you have a first game? For us. It’s where, you know, we can have two weeks in the camp and then we’ll We’re at our first preseason game, which is actually a blessing in disguise for somebody like myself, because we have a variety of new players on the team. And we’re just really starting to get used to who they are, what their quirks are, you know, how do they operate during practices on game day? So it gives us four opportunities to kind of see, what exactly do we need to do? And how do we find two things once we get into the regular season. And as you mentioned, it’s a grind, yeah, that’s just the requirements of the job, whether it’s college, whether it’s pro, you know, we’re in early, we’re out late, and the players, they’re going through it as well. And it’s just an understanding of what needs to be done to get the team ready. But a lot of people kind of look at preseason, like, Oh, these games don’t matter, you know, and for us, it’s , they really do matter, because we have to find the 53 best guys on the team, whether it’s ones we currently have, or those that are scouting department, personnel department are looking at, but also getting a chance to, get used to our own, you know, habits and what we’re gonna end up doing for them in the season. And, you know, this could be the last time some of these players ever stepped out on a football field on the team, or their only opportunity to play professional ball. So it’s easy to say, these games don’t really matter. But in essence, you know, they really do for a lot of our guys, and it’s their only opportunity, it’s only opportunity, we get to see them play, you know, three quarters or a full game and get to see, you know, these guys work their whole lives to have this tiny sliver of an opportunity before they move on to something else, because some of them might not get claimed with another team, or they’re just going to continue to work out. So they get free agent tryout. But yeah, that’s the way you know, I kind of see preseason then approach it too.
Brett Bartholomew 6:38
Yeah, it’s I mean, it’s an ongoing assessment, isn’t it? And I think that, you know, one thing that’s often missed, and I think most people in the field know this, but there’s a lot of people that listen to this podcast that are not in the performance field, is this the business as well, you know, and I think that gets passed over a lot, especially when you look at other coaches, it’s, you know, the experts are always out of town. And it always fascinates me this time of year to see people online, who want to criticize people in the team setting Oh, because there’s a pulled hamstring, or there’s this or there’s something else. And, you know, a lot of times it’s people outside of the walls that think they have all the answers. But you know, the reality is, there’s a lot of politics on the business side approach for too are there not like, what role does that play in regards to, you know, guidance and leadership and the buy in element of things? You know, was that a surprise to you, when you first got into the NFL of how much you had to navigate there, as opposed to, you know, all the nuances of sports, nutrition and everything else?
Pratik Patel 7:31
Yeah, it definitely was something that didn’t necessarily caught me off guard, or surprise, but since I hadn’t experienced that before, people were like, all the NFL is a business, you know, it’s very political. And you don’t necessarily know until you’re actually in that situation and living it and seeing what’s going on with, you know, our roster is a living document, you know, our GM is going to want to bring in the best players for position groups we have of need. So it’s not a guy we currently have, we’re going to continue to bring in free agents so that my first year, we would have free Asian workouts like weekly, and I’m like, holy crap, these guys are here to take somebody else’s job. And hopefully, you know, if they’re good enough, then they’ll be able to support and contribute to the team. If not, we’ll continue to do this reevaluation process of every single one of the people on our roster. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a draft pick, you know, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, whatever it is, if you’re a veteran or the second year player, everybody’s getting evaluated. And obviously, there are some in the league who pretty much say that you haven’t got the roster spot regardless. But, you know, that is a part of the politics of it. And same thing when dealing with veterans, and how much do you practice them? And how much do you are, we got to give them a day and this and that, you know, obviously you don’t want to try to do that with at the college level. Because you have the kids for about four or five years, but here, you know, we have 16 opportunities to try to win a game and we need our beds ready for game day, not necessarily practice. But we also want to make sure that we’re not just favoring somebody just a favor on because then that can get queued in the eyes of other players to say, Why is this person getting preferential treatment, and then I can start acting that way too your political part of the NFL is very much a lot of
Brett Bartholomew 9:14
and you answered that perfectly. I mean, as the director of performance, nutrition and an assistant strength and conditioning coach, I mean, you’re inundated in a lot of different research, right. And I think that we continue to fight this battle where, you know, we always have to have this stuff makes sense to the players. And if you look at the research, adolescents are typically defined as people that are 10 to 24 years of age, and within adolescence, we know that, you know, the logical part of our brain isn’t really fully developed. So the way we have to frame things up, right, you read complex research. Now you have to frame it up for essentially people that you know, they tend to react a little bit more emotionally or viscerally to stuff what are some tactics you use, when you’re trying to get an athlete to improve their diet to make small changes like when it comes to speaking their language? What It’s something that works really well for you to what are some things and tell us some things you failed about to, like failed on to because there’s, there’s gonna be folks that inevitably like, they can hear all the tips they want, but they’re more freaked out of failure than they are anything else. And that almost sets them up for that. In general, can you talk about some of the challenges you face there? And also strategies that have worked for you?
Pratik Patel 10:21
Yeah, it really, since we have players of all different ages of all different levels will, whether it’s a rookie, or whether it’s a 14 year vet, kind of just understanding where this person at in their career and where they’re at mindframe wise and trying to just get a handle of, you know, what is their knowledge base in terms of training and nutrition and recovery? Like, what are they currently doing? Is there anything that they could be doing to help them out and kind of approaching it from that aspect, you know, luckily, I’ve been with the guy for three years now. So now I don’t necessarily have to play the whole, I’m gonna start slowly and develop rapport and be really, buddy buddy, that way you feel comfortable around me, and then I can try to provide some, you know, knowledge or recommendations based on what’s going on with them, you know, some of these guys, I’ll just be straight up with them, like, you’re not fucking doing that you need to do it. Because if you don’t just have fun making this team are getting slimmer and slimmer, as opposed to trying to get a new person in, you know, yeah, we can give them an assessment form and try to get a little bit of a background, but sometimes, you know, they’re not going to be 100% honest. So they’re just going to circle things to say dot and handed off somebody else, and then we’ll end up on my desk. But really just kind of seeing where this guy that. So sometimes, you know, I know that obviously, injuries and negative things that happen on the field, or, you know, anything in their lives aren’t necessarily what you want to see with your players. But sometimes I’ve looked at that as a blessing in disguise. So if somebody has an adverse effect in practice, whether, you know, they’re low energy, they’re cramping, or they just don’t feel very well, they slept poorly. You know, the weights, not where it needs to be body composites are off, you know, hydration test isn’t good. That allows me or gives me an in, say, hey, you know, look at this information really quickly, try to get some background data on it, ask them a couple questions, so that I have some recommendations, what do you think do you want to try it out. And a lot of these guys is this level, and this age and stage of their careers are more willing to try things out, because they know, okay, if it works, and it helps me get better, and keeps me on the field, then I’m going to try because they understand the purpose of my job. But sometimes that approach doesn’t necessarily work with everybody. And we have guys that we just drafted or players that come from different teams, and I’m trying to, you know, use some of the data we have, or things that have happened in them that haven’t gone their way, as an in, that doesn’t work with everybody. So that means I got to find a different way, maybe I got to talk to a higher profile player in that position group to say, Hey, this is kind of the situation that’s going on. I know, you see it too, you know, would you mind talking him for me, because I know you buy into this stuff, maybe you can, you know, use your powers of persuasion and be a little bit of a mentor in this aspect. Because, you know, looking at things from different perspectives, and trying to not only myself attack the problem, maybe it’s another strength coach that has a really good relationship with that person, or somebody else in the building that has a really good relationship, because you know, I’m not going to have the best relationship with every single player on the team. But, you know, accumulatively, as a strength staff, or as a performance staff, all of us together can somehow find a way to talk to this person or that person. You know, in the past, doing things like printing off sheets, and putting it at their lockers or just texting them sometimes doesn’t work, because everybody’s trying to give them a piece of paper, there’s 30 people in the building that are trying to impose their own work agenda on these guys, and their minds are just going 100 miles a minute with everything football related, and then everything on their phones, and then their money situation in their house and family, you know, and everything else that they have going on outside of work. It’s just trying to find the appropriate time to say I, you know, this is what’s going on. I think you can improve on this, this and this, what do you say? Yeah, trying to go from there,
Brett Bartholomew 13:55
it comes down to I mean, they’re like, what you said here is there’s a lot of influence factors that that these guys are dealing with, and one of the most important determinants of managerial effectiveness and I don’t care if that means you’re a coach or director, you own a business, you oversee a kitchen, you know, whatever, is being able to influence subordinates, peers, superiors and other people in the workplace. I mean, that’s been something that’s talked about in organizational literature research since the 80s 90s. And what have you and so I think you did a really good job of explaining this I just want to put a cap on it for the listeners is, you know, one thing we haven’t talked about a lot on this podcast, but it’s in one of my courses Bought In is the element of like, how you can almost kind of periodized these influence attempts, right? You mentioned like, get somebody that has a great relationship with that player, if you’re having a hard time getting through with them. That’s, a coalition tactic. And there’s all these different kinds of most coaches are used to using what’s called a rational persuasion tactic where it’s like, hey, you know, essential amino acids are going to make a bigger difference than you supplementing to death with branched chain amino acids, which is something I want to ask you about, you know, but people will try to give people stats and facts instead of trying to relate it and talk in color, you know, and just like we can lift weights at different speeds and different loads and different vectors and all that the direction of influence can happen laterally, downward, upward, you have to influence a lot of people in an organization. Which brings me to my next question. I talk a lot about buy ins and specifically with athletes and some of my resources, but I also make it a point or at least I tried to make a point that those same principles principles of human behavior, persuasion, influence organizational behavior, just human nature in general, apply to those you work with to write in different departments at different levels. That’s what I meant by lateral downward upward and what have you. Can you talk about that? Because we do often say it’s all about the athlete, but it’s about other things going on within the organization to like, these politics and people dynamics are way more complex. Can you talk about that a little bit? Because I know it’s something you have a lot of insight about?
Pratik Patel 15:55
Yeah, absolutely. And this is something that I’ve been more wary of over the past five or so years or so on, like, my career. And as I’ve kind of progressed, and learned a lot more things in depth and more of a growth mindset is that, you know, yeah, it isn’t, though, it is all about the athlete, and at the end of the day, they’re the ones that are gonna have to perform and do well win games with the coaches for us to keep our jobs. But at the same time, you have hundreds of people working in a building in different departments, and it’s so easy for us to just get caught up in our own shit all the time, you know, from a strength, conditioning and nutrition perspective. It’s all about Alright, what do I need to do for the players to get this done? You know,, I’ve been in the lead for three years, and I’ve been doing this for 10 years, I know exactly what to do. Sometimes, we forget that we work with all these other groups that have their own goals and mission statements and agendas of what they want to try to accomplish. You know, it’s obviously about developing connections with the athletes, but also so much developing connections with all the other departments that we work with. And it’s so easy to, like I said, get caught up in our own shit. And forget that, you know, other people are important too. And, you know, I wasn’t hired to help with some games, I was hired to fill a niche and contribute positively to the performance team, for an area that had been lacking for a while within the organization. And sometimes we just think we’re so much more important than we really are. And that’s the unfortunate circumstance. And the tough thing is, the longer you are at a place or the longer you are in your own situation, it’s easier to get caught up and feeling really comfortable. And it’s easy to point the finger at somebody else, and something doesn’t go right. You know, and this, this kind of actually happened to me, at the last game we just got back from New England. Now a couple of things were going my way, I was getting really angry and started getting mad and sort of thing about what’s this person’s fault. So I’m just following on equate that I haven’t had these conversations with this group before have I made it clear, like sometimes we just expect things to get done, or we expect people to know things without actually reaching out and communicating with them, we spend so much time focusing on our athletes, not necessarily building bridges amongst each other, instead of just staying in our own silos. And I think that’s a big thing that can continue to improve upon. And that’s something I want to continue to work on myself to making sure that everybody’s kind of on the same page. You have so many groups in the building. And there are a lot of groups I don’t really know a lot about. And I see these people every day. And I’ve been working with them through these five days a year, the past three years or so. And I think that that’s such a missed opportunity. It’s not, you know, we have to be buddy buddy with everybody. You have to be best friends with, you know, the video guide equipment guy or whoever. But I think there’s so many more opportunities for us to sit down and Alright, he just started the week was going on and practice Alright, who’s doing X, Y, and Z or, you know, when we travel, when he’s XYZ we’ll go out to the fields is doing XYZ to stand back needs help, or whether the goals and successes have been reevaluating that after the week. At the end of every week, I do an evaluation of myself. But I don’t I share that with my boss, but sometimes, you know, if I knew what went well with another group, or what didn’t go well with another group, I could say, hey, I can help out with that. Or somebody could say, hey, I can help you out with that. So I think that’s an area that sometimes gets overlooked quite a bit.
Brett Bartholomew 19:01
Yeah. I mean, it’s something that even I struggle with trying to get the word out about, you know, it’s constantly I’ll have coaches that will reach out and say, you know, what’s your advice on this? What’s your advice on that? And they never really ask the questions about these kinds of things, the interpersonal politics, right, everybody grows up. It’s kind of like everybody wants to grow up to be a pro athlete initially, and they don’t really realize like, let’s say a pro baseball player, right? They have no idea what that process is like, those guys got to go through the farm League, they have to go they don’t make much money. It’s not glamorous, right? Of course, there are certain guys that make the big bucks and, and that’s great, but most people have no idea what goes into what they think they want. Same thing with people that want to get into team sport or a pro sport or collegiate sport at the highest level is it is not just about all those other pieces, right? You’ve got a periodized for people as well. And it’s what’s ironic about it is it’s a lot of what I’m doing my doctoral work at, but I’m also failing at it because I’m like the the Instagram and the Social media level because I realized that the mainstream is so detached from that the mainstream just wants to know, hey, how do I make my shoulder quit hurting? Hey, how do I look ripped? Hey, how do I do this? Right? Like they don’t, realize what they really need to know. But no matter what they go do, I don’t care if you’re going to be a firefighter, you’re gonna have to ask somebody to do a new task, you’re going to have to ask an individual to do an existing task with higher quality, somebody may ask you to change your policies or plans, somebody’s going to ask you to provide advice or help somebody is going to ask for approval to sign off on something. And if you don’t know how to navigate the intricacies of these relationships, that’s where the back channeling goes on. And, you know, like that stuff is pervasive at in any elite setting. This is not just elite sport, right? In any elite setting, there’s always going to be back channeling politicing. And, you know, in a field where like Pratik, if you don’t mind me asking how long initially was your contract? When you first went to the NFL? How long was your contract?
Pratik Patel 20:59
Luckily, it was for two years. So you know, you sign on for two. And after every year, the goal is to get another year extension. So you actually have one kind of in the bank. But unfortunately, you know, my first year 10 games in there was rumblings of, because we hadn’t been doing well, we only won one game, you know what’s going to happen with the coaching staff. And then with four games left to go on the season, or GM and head coach will let go. So all of us as a strength stuff kind of sitting there for a couple months, like, we don’t know what’s going on. Because no one told me anything. Because we don’t have a new GM, we don’t have a new coach. We’re just, you know, kept our heads down and kept working and finished out the season. And still, we’re in a state of limbo for a couple of months after that,
Brett Bartholomew 21:35
right. And the only reason I bring that up is you’d love to believe that your contract is going to get renewed based on how strong you are. Right? Or how much research you provided the players with? Or hey, did you really bring in the best? Supplementation and nutrition support? You know, did you guys monitor all the load correctly? You know, and all those things, but the reality is sometimes it’s likeability, sometimes it’s intangible. Sometimes it’s Well, what was perception? Did the performance staff or performance nutrition staff play nice with medical? Did the medical do this? Right? Like, sometimes it’s those things and more often times than not, you know? And so, you know, where do you think coaches need to go with this? I mean, you’re at a level that the vast majority of coaches that are going to listen to this, you know, are gonna say, Man, I really want that, like, what is something that you think applies from the weight room to the boardroom of like, what people need to know about that political dynamic, and the role it plays in making sure like, you keep your job and you get that, you know, you’re able to work effectively with most people? Does that make sense as a question?
Pratik Patel 22:39
Yeah, I think the important thing is just understanding, you know, How are you essentially being evaluated, because we kind of learned this with our new head coach and GM, last year, at the end of the year, the players get a chance to evaluate all of us. So you know, we’re in a team meeting, look about the board. And then you know, our head coaches regard them and evaluate the coaching staff, games, gonna evaluate the head coach, President, and owners are gonna evaluate the GM, and so on and so forth. And the players have their opportunity to go through each one of the different staffs on the bottom floor on which you know, ends up being, you know, medical nutrition, strength and conditioning, performance, EQ, all that other stuff. So, you know, from a perspective of trying to figure that out and understanding Alright, well, who’s doing the evaluating, you know, how much is influenced by, you know, x y&z the players? Or is it from upper level management, that way that gives you an opportunity to set your goals and what you hope to achieve over the course of the entire year. So then when you look back at it, you know, the evaluation can ring clear here or not, and that sometimes people keep doing the work, they do things without understanding why they’re doing or how they’re going to get evaluated. And I think that’s important to understand. Because then, you know, based on what you put together with your little long year long goals and protocols of what you hope to achieve, and what you’re going to be evaluated on. That’s how you work. So if you’re in the market for a raise, and you said, Well, I hit everything I did at the best level, but I also did X, Y, and Z. And I helped tie in these things with these other groups, then whoever’s doing salaries are contracts for the next year, whether it’s the GM or assistant GM car, we saw that and that’s the way to do it. Or sometimes, it’s not always like that in every situation, you just work, work, work and not necessarily know what happens or how you’re getting evaluated. But I think it’s important to know that there should be somebody you should ask this question to and this should hopefully have an answer for you. That way you get a little bit more clarity. And then also gives you the opportunity to say hey, this is how we’re going to work instead of always bitching about Oh, someone so makes more than me and like well, why did they make more of the your water they make less than you you have a specific quote as you’re trying to meet or, your goals that you set with your boss and your GM? I think that’s a good way to look at it.
Brett Bartholomew 24:55
Yeah, and you’re right, you have to get an idea of how you’re going to be evaluated because it’s not always gonna what you think and what you agree on. I mean, we see this in athletics all the time. It wasn’t that long ago that I met, an athletic director from a major school got removed. Even though the students were getting tremendous GPA, and they had reached a tremendous average GPA, they had done a lot of great things on the academic side, sports just weren’t doing it. And you know, like, it’s good, the guy was given the boot, then we had another guy, that, you know, sports were great, but all kinds of other academic issues, given the boot, you know, you see that in the corporate world all the time, a company might post great earnings for a certain quarter. But they were really lacking in innovation, somebody wanted greater product design, you know, and then somebody might come out with all kinds of products, and the innovation is great. And maybe they even made money. But there wasn’t any long term sustainability growth, and they didn’t secure their share in the marketplace. And I think, and I want you to check me on this, because I am trying to always like, check my bias in this space, but like, how much do you think just a basic understanding of economics and business and things like that would help people in our field, because it’s something that most strength coaches don’t get at all? Formally. I mean, it was a big reason why I made my course Valued, and brought in a financial advisor to talk, you know, about those kinds of things. I got advice from a lawyer of like, what, should be in the course, so we could talk about contract negotiations, just kind of all this ugly stuff. And I think like, I just think that it’s something that I got business lessons way later in my career that I really wish I would have had at a younger age now, like devil’s advocate, if I would have had that early on, maybe I wouldn’t have focused as much as I did on the training, backbone, and all of that, and I’m really glad because I went down that rabbit hole deep and dirty early, and that’s all I cared about. But I still do think that like, you have to have this foundation, because otherwise what tickets like early specialization for coaches, right, we tell our athletes all the time to Oh, movement variability, oh, make sure that you eat a colorful plate, oh, make sure you do this. But then coaches get really siloed in their own development. I mean, maybe they go to a kettlebell workshop, or maybe they go to like, you know, workshops and talks about mobility, but like, how many coaches actually go to a business based workshop or a marketing thing? Or a psychology thing? Like, do you think that has a place and feel free to call me batshit? Crazy on my own podcast? Like, it’s good discussion?
Pratik Patel 27:19
No, I think you just hit the nail right on the head. And I think there’s something that’s really going to help diversify, you know, the field, not only coaching, but also the field of sports dietetics, in general, because we get so fixated on just learning as much as we can within the field, that there’s so many other pieces that come into play when working with athletes or being you know, a director, being mentor leader to some of those younger coaches and younger dieticians in the field, that there’s only so much you can really learn from reading textbooks and getting your certs to the point where like, I’m gonna nutrition front, I haven’t read a good nutrition book in years, because it’s all saying a lot of the same things I will say, recently, I did read peak by Mark Boggs. And that brings in a lot more of progressive modern day sports nutrition application. And you know, the same thing holds true with, you know, strength and conditioning, we’re not just training and conditioning our players we’re dealing with, you know, the psychosocial aspects of it, you’re dealing with the mental health, recovery, sleep, everything that goes with anything that has to do with being a human, you know, we’re trying to constantly sell ourselves to our players. So having an understanding of behavior, change, advertising, things of that nature. You know, I’ve talked to a lot of people in fields on both sides to say that it will, I haven’t really gotten much out of going to these major general conferences, because no one information is kind of saying the same thing, the same thing. I’ve talked to athletic trainers that say the exact same thing, that they’re just learning more about stuff they already know about not different avenues that they can take and directly apply it to their work. So they’re just going into conferences to get their CPUs, which obviously you need to do and you should be doing, but is that the best way to stay upon continuing it just going to a conference signing your name? Or are you actually diving into these deeper pools that you can actually pull from and apply and with your athletes? You know, I think it’s becoming more and more apparent that we’re straying away from just the the expert to create more of these expert generalists and then evidencing with range, I don’t know if you’ve read that or not. I just finished it a few weeks ago. Because it’s showing, yeah, yeah, it’s showing how, when you start looking at things from different points of view, you can actually solve problems or you can actually improve what you do within your work, and come up with creative solutions and think outside the box. And really improve your overall effectiveness as a worker instead of just an underlying thing. And thinking in one single mindset. So I think that’s one thing that I’ve been fortunate enough to do in my career and why, I guess, you know, my major professor candidates that have had a meteoric rise from, you know, being a gratis Since then, grad teacher to ending up at the NFL with no specific mentors, you know, on the strength and conditioning, side or nutrition side, that I sought out a lot of different work experiences and opportunities and try to make the most of them. So I’ve done teaching, I’ve taught youth athletes, I’ve, you know, conducted research studies have taught at the collegiate level, I’ve been a contract dietician, I’ve had to work my way up from building a program with nothing, no resources, no money. So I’m at a few different places to jumping in and being a director of one of the biggest programs at Oregon when I was there a few years ago, having to learn administrative tasks, hiring people letting people go to developing interns, learning about sport science performance, to working really closely with medical staff at one school, my previous job, I worked really closely with the strength and conditioning staff. And now you know, I have a job that encompasses all of that, and I wouldn’t have been able to get it if I wouldn’t have had those experiences. So if I would have just stay on this straight, narrow path of just focusing on nutrition and sports dietetics. And, you know, I don’t think I’d be where I’m at now.
Brett Bartholomew 31:07
Yeah, here’s the thing. I struggled with math, because you’re right. But here’s the thing I struggle with, and not to go Joe Rogan on people and try to like, seem like I’m being contentious, but, I gotta think of how to phrase this. I don’t think our field I think that even it’s so funny, right? Because we belabor the fact that we can’t get certain people to change your behavior, whether it’s an athlete or somebody else. But strength coaches are probably the worst at changing theirs a while ago, when I started doing my online courses are talking more about this stuff, especially talking about the career stuff and valued. I had a good friend of mine and it was Ron McKee free. Ron’s like, Listen, man, I love what you’re doing. I just, I don’t think that our field is going to change. And if it does change, it’s going to take a long time. And I was like, You know what, man, you’re probably right. Like I said before, on this podcast, I’m a firm believer, that all either kind of turned into Jon Snow or John Wick, because I’m like, I tried to do the right things by being like, Yo, you guys gotta like, you better pay attention to the business side and you better pay attention to the psychology side. But I feel like I’m either gonna get like shot up or I feel like I’m gonna get like banished. But like, it’s just it’s really interesting, because it’s very clear that coaches in every sector are struggling to some degree. young coaches listening to this may not be there yet, because they don’t have to worry about shit other than lifting and like putting stuff in the crock pot. But like, there’s not a lot of viability in our field, right, like we say that the most important ability an athlete can have is availability. Well, the most important trait a coaching career track can have is viability that it’s a literally Oxford Dictionary 2019 The ability to survive work and live successfully. But my point is, man, like, Yeah, I’ve seen it now. Like we’ve launched the course two or three times and it’s done well, but we still get some people that are like, Yeah, I feel like this is only for young strength coaches on my bro, have you gone through this? The first part of the Course talks completely about like how the old way is broken, and you can’t just rely on research and resumes. You got to learn the other shit. But the back half of the course is all about you know, Ashley Jones, a guy that works in rugby, a tremendous coach, you know, is saying like, this is stuff that I continue to deal with, because like no coaches really retire. No coaches really retire if they do. It’s forced retirement like, and then let’s say man, like, I saw a coach in the, you know, the other day posts on social media, him and his wife went on a safari, they went on vacation, they were doing, you know, a bunch of awesome stuff. And somebody in the comments section is like, Yo, shouldn’t you be coaching. And it’s like, it’s crazy to me that we have that culture, you know, it’s kind of like, but I don’t know, if coaches are ready for, like embracing the things that you’re talking about the things that I’m trying to talk about, I still see a culture that at the end of the day, if they have a choice between something that can give them an edge in their career, right at any stage, or something that can teach them how to do a new programming method or a new periodization scheme, or a new supplement or whatever. They’re always, well, not always because you know, I hope, but they’re more than likely always going to choose the other side. You know, like, what are your thoughts on that? Like, do you think it’ll ever change? Do you think we’ll ever take our own advice and kind of recognize our own narrow mindedness and how we’re kind of approaching this field and look like because most coaches just think, Oh, if I consider the business side, that’s entrepreneurship, and that’s making money and that’s pure. It’s like, No, it’s not dude. It’s just it’s periodizing your career, it’s thinking about these things. And like, the main point I’m getting at is I don’t think coaches consider like, oh, yeah, maybe this athletes not listening to X, Y and Z. Not because they’re a pain in the ass because it’s something
Pratik Patel 34:38
completely right. And, you know, something, we hope to see, you know, not only just from strength and conditioning, but also you know, on the nutrition side, because there’s so much groupthink and it’s easy to jump in to the larger pool of thought, especially when it’s coming from people that are highly regarded or they’ve been practicing for so long. But sometimes those people aren’t necessarily the ones that everybody should be more modeling their behavior and their careers after because you know, what was done 10 20 30 years ago isn’t going to be as effective as it is today, which becomes really dangerous when working with modern day athletes. And the same thing holds true when we’re working with athletes in terms of nutrition stuff that was once known or well thought out 20 30 years ago doesn’t really hold today, because practical application is so much further ahead than science. If you’re waiting for science to validate, you’re already going to be five to 10 years behind. You’re really right, because Go ahead, sorry, no,
Brett Bartholomew 35:34
I was gonna say keep going with a group thing thing, because that’s where I’m going next with this is like, what examples of groupthink do you see in our field, and that you think most people aren’t aware of, but you’re on a roll, keep going?
Pratik Patel 35:44
Yeah, and you know, interesting can be so dangerous. And you see it all the time, like I said, you know, you have to see in nutrition as well. You know, there’s a lot of thought about how strength coaches should act, what they should wear with this dress, you know, the movements that should be done, you got to be the first person in last person to out, you got to look a certain way, you got to have a shaved head, tuck in your shirt, whatever be the strongest guy in the room. But that’s not necessarily what’s going to always connect with this modern day athletes and the modern day athletes are the ones that you have to change their minds. And you’re the ones that have to buy in, along with the coaches and the staff members and everybody else that you’re working with. So if you just stay fixed in one way of thinking and having the same dialogue and conversations, then you’re not going to be able to reach the people that you need to reach or change the minds of the kids that you need to change whether it’s high school athlete college or professional athletes, because I’ll tell you, I have guys on the team that are older than I am. And they still act like fucking kids. So you’re still having to continue to mold the way that you talk to them the way that you coach them up the way that you show them how to do certain things. You know, on the nutrition side, too, it’s so easy to say the same things that have been said, for 5 10 15 years, right? All three to one ratio of artists to protein, peanut butter is a good source of protein. Talk about this talk about that it’s like, well, you know, you’re kind of just throwing an umbrella that doesn’t actually fit every single person because everybody’s needs are so different. And sometimes, you know, when that groupthink does start, everybody falls in line because they don’t want to be the person that says what they’re truly thinking or what they really feel is actually on their mind or in their hearts. Because, you know, nobody wants to look like the outcast, because it’s easy to fall in line with everybody else and just nod your head and say, Yeah, you know, he’s right. You know, you shouldn’t be doing this with your athletes. Everybody should be doing bench squat deadlift, all of our athletes should be doing snatches and cleans and X Y and Z Because that’s the way we’ve always done it. But when you look at it was so many different ways to skin a cat, the same thing on the nutrition side, there’s so many different ways to put together a meal or set up a fueling station or, you know, do initial assessment with an athlete that you can’t just stick to one certain way, the way that we have so many different athletes will you wrote about in conscious coaching, there’s so many different types of athletes, and not every athlete is going to respond specifically to your one way of coaching. So you have to mold and change it up and one athletes back and respond to the programming that you’re doing for them, whether they just have a movement dysfunction, or they can’t do it. Or, you know, there’s something else going on and using that just alter it or during a prior history of injury, anything like that. So that’s something that you know, we try to do here is we’ve got a million different ways to get one thing done, but not one thing to do for everybody.
Brett Bartholomew 38:28
There’s a lot to digest in this episode. So far, I think you guys would agree. And one of the things that makes this podcast unique, hopefully, is a fact that I encourage you guys to stop periodically make sure you’re hitting pause, take notes, or find five different ways you can apply something that somebody has told you in this podcast. So during this break, I also want to take a moment to recognize our sponsor, as always Momentus, Momentus is a big reason why I’m able to give you guys a lot of the free content that I try to give you whether it’s on this podcast, whether it’s in different articles I share or anything else and we try to make sure that we highlight not just who they are and what they do, but also what they have because I know you guys are busy, you don’t always have the time to be able to look these things up, especially if you’re driving. So we’re going to talk about three main products Momentus offers just real quick. One is their standard whey. And this is what’s called absolute zero. Now it’s grass fed whey isolate includes pro hydrolase enzymes to help digestion. It’s one of the things that right in the morning, it’s what I’m gonna tend to take, then they have ArtFire and this is meant to be the recovery after strength or intense workouts. This is also grass fed whey isolate a little bit of rice maltodextrin D ribose, creatine monohydrate, and includes l glutamine. And then also the pro hydrolase enzyme blend which again, if you’re somebody that typically has trouble digesting whey, or any kind of issue with dairy in general, this really makes this a non event. I know this because my wife and my father had both had issues He’s digesting some form of dairy or whey in the past. And both are able to use this without any issue, as are many of my athletes, the majority of which forget to eat breakfast the half the time. And this is something that we work on constantly just getting them to eat real food. But I always make sure that I have some sample, packs of Momentus with me, so that I can get something in their system, whether it’s that or a banana or anything else before we train. And then finally is redshift. Now, redshift is really about recovery after endurance workouts. And we’ll do separate profiles on this in future episodes. This is grass fed whey isolate rice, maltodextrin, D, ribose, potassium citrate, and also the enzyme blend. Now the point here is no matter what you’re looking for, no matter what your goals are, it’s just a matter of finding which combination of these and the timing of these is going to work best for you. But remember, they are all NSF for sport approved, they’re all informed choice approved, guys. It’s the only company I’ve ever gotten behind, you know, publicly in this way, because it’s the only one that I’ve ever been able to put my full weight of endorsement behind. You know, I’m not a big product guy. I’m not a big supplement guy. I try to just encourage like, Hey, are you eating? Are you hydrating? Are you sleeping, but even with my schedule, and as much as I travel, I realized that we all do need support of some kind. I think Momentus does an excellent job of that, and an ethical, high quality way. So if you meet any of their team, make sure to thank them, make sure to at least learn more about them. And now we’re going to get back to the episode.
Now, and it’s always gonna be an ongoing shit show. I mean, like, I always I tell my wife, I tell her I go, you know, it’s so funny. Like, people get so concerned with the group thing, same thing of even like, trying to find the answer, right. And like, it’s such a weird pattern. It’s like, okay, I’m looking for something new. Oh, this seems new. Okay, let me go all in on this thing. And then they’ll go and they’ll go, and they’ll go in there, realize it doesn’t solve all their problems. And then it’s like, rinse, wash and repeat. And like, there is no one answer. Like, it’s funny, man. Like, I’m convinced. So getting back to that I told as I go, watch, I go, I guarantee you if I would have taken a job in pro sport, cat opportunity a couple years ago, if I did that there were certain people and I’m sure there still would be let’s say I took a job and pro sport or whatever tomorrow. And let’s say the team had a losing season, there would be people that wouldn’t chomping at the bit to be local whole, Mr. Conscious coaching looks like the buy in didn’t work. So many pulled hamstrings. Like, you know, if you’re like, if you think that there’s like one magic thing, right? Like, if you think that like all of a sudden you could whether it’s that side of it or that you could hire some tracks superstar to teach all your guys speed and you’re never gonna have hamstring issues? Or that you could hire the foremost medical guy or, or like, haven’t we been through this? Right? Like the group thing thing you think would be washed out? Like we people went all in on sports science? Has that solved all of our problems? No. Does it help for sure. People just keep going all in on shit. And it’s like, Yo, going back to the business example. This is the stock market guys, are you just going to buy like the hottest stock right now you’re going to invest all in on the IPO? Hell no, you’re gonna invest in a wide variety of shit. And you’re going to know that there’s going to be ebbs and flows with the market. And what makes you good as a coach is your ability to adapt, not your ability to sit there and just go down the one rabbit hole that you think is going to make the latest and greatest difference. But like, you’re right, man, like there’s so much groupthink. And there’s so many people that want so many other people to fail. And there’s so many other people that just want to say that they were right. And it’s like, no, you gotta admit, we’re in a field that is an art guided by science. It requires constant tweaking, you’re never going to be right. And you mentioned a great if guys, if you’re not following Pratik on Twitter, you’ve got to, in April, you had a great tweet. It was like how we learn someone tells us and we know what to expect, right? We make a decision and go with it and end up getting the outcome desired, which can be a little bit of luck, as you mentioned, or we make a somewhat uneducated attempt, with no prior experience, fail, but learn. So you’re either taught formally, you have a little bit of luck, or you experience growth through failure, which you said number three, and I agree, is by far the most impactful. So my question is this after that huge rant, what is it going to take? What’s the tipping point for coaches to like, evolve and realize Holy shit? Like I do need to start like looking at other stuff I do you need to break away from the herd. I do need to not just so I can say I’m different. But because I realized that we too require a diverse skill set outside of this specific domain. What’s the tipping point? What will it take? When will it happen?
Pratik Patel 44:46
Brett Bartholomew 44:47
Pratik Patel 44:48
I mean in my Yeah. It’s going to be so different for everybody because people won’t change until something drastic happens. Or you know They continually don’t get the desired effect. So for coaches coaching one way thinks, you know, the high school level or collegiate level at a smaller school and wants to make it to the next step doesn’t have a ton of contacts and knows a few other position coaches or head coaches in the game. But it’s constantly, you know, fixed mindset type person likes to do the same things over and over again and sees whether it’s their own staff members, or colleagues with the same level of experience getting continuing to grow and getting better jobs, I mean, that’s hopefully going to be one thing that’s going to open up the mind of that coach, or that coach continues on with the same path of what they’re doing. And they get a new group of athletes for one year, and all of a sudden, you know, there’s not that much improvement, and everybody else is improving, except for the teams that this coach is coaching and the head coach is pissed off. The ad is like what’s going on, or there’s a ton of injuries or something happens like that. It’s the same thing that happens with, you know, people every day in America, and nobody really does anything to fix it until something happens. We say that rings true about our health, you know, nobody starts to eat, well try to get more rest breathe correctly. You know, eat fruits and vegetables. And so Oh, shit, you went to the doctor get a checkup, yeah, your cholesterol levels are through the roof, you’re borderline hypertensive, you’re pre diabetic. Now you want to start making choices. And some some I don’t even make any decisions upon changing their behaviors. And lifestyle factors, even then, until something else happens, it could be a heart attack. And right now they want to start making changes, but they want the quick fix. So they start popping, you know, cholesterol blocking drugs, like Lipitor, or, you know, hypertensive drugs. It’s tough to say and you know, you hope it would happen sooner than later. But I guess, devil’s advocate point to that is that those coaches that actually do realize this, and make those conscious changes and continue to grow, are going to be the ones that continue to progress in their career. And those that don’t make those changes that keep doing the same things over and over again, gets back to the same rut. So that’s going to really separate those that are trying to grow and get better than those that aren’t. And that’s just the way of life. You know, Fortune favors the bold. And that’s kind of what we want, with our players, with our staff, with everybody that we work with our co workers. And we want to be around the people that want to continue to get better, that are going to make us better, and those bills that aren’t are going to hopefully fall by the wayside. And we don’t have to deal with them. So that’s really going to show who was who, who’s worth, what, and those that aren’t. So we can’t have everybody doing, you know, the right things at the right time, every single day in every single field. Because then, you know, how do you separate yourself? Right, so just to bring your counterpoint to use the yeah, I’d rather continue to do what I’m doing community to grow and let everybody else, you know, be who they want to be. If they don’t want to change, it’s tough on them, I’m gonna continue to make money, I’m gonna continue to grow the field and be, you know, mentor. So everybody I can get my hands on and talk to, and if they don’t want to do that, then that’s on them.
Brett Bartholomew 47:59
Yeah, man. The issue with that, though, is, you know, and you’re right, a lot of it goes into, you know, Fortune favors the bold. It definitely doesn’t favor the prideful over the long term. But the only issue with that is there’s a lot of people in our field, that are heavily influenced by people that have what it’s called positional power, right, like, so there are a lot of people that have roles in elite level sport like yourself, although this example doesn’t. You’re not included in this example. There are people that are head this director that that, you know, still are very much a part of that whole old mindset of like, Nah, you know what I mean? Like, I’m not going to take the time to do this. I’m not going to do this. I, you know, I’ve talked about it on previous podcasts, I met one guy that it was almost like, you would have thought that he was saying that he cured cancer by talking about how much pride he had that he had to do podcasts and didn’t speak at clinics. I mean, man, going back to the roots, and I shouldn’t say this on a podcast, but you know, that’s the I got a podcast and I’m gonna say because I’m honest, I remember going back to Kansas State, like you and I both went to Kansas State, just guys that are listening. Pratik and I actually, were in the same fraternity together. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, laugh it up at Kansas State. That’s how we knew each other. That’s the Easter egg if you were continuing to listen. And we were both able to go back as you know, it was just, I don’t know, it’s a huge honor man. And congratulations for you doing it. But you’re getting the Alumni Award. And I remember like, when I got it like too like it was one of the most meaningful it still is one of the most meaningful days in my life, because Kansas State was just a really special place. Right? And if you guys haven’t listened to the episode, yeah, it was just a unique place. And I we’ve talked about it, like, we do whatever we could for that university and the people in it, but I remember going back and I got to see our mutual friend Scott Trouch, and I got to meet their athletic director and you know, they were just like, Hey, would you chat with the staff a little bit. I straight up got big time to buy their head strength and conditioning coach. I looked around and their whole staff was there. Nice as could be awesome, guys. We had a great discussion. And I didn’t even really know I was going to be talking to him as totally impromtu but I was like, Hey, where’s coach, so and so and they’re like, you know, they were pretty tight lipped about it, which they, you know, I’m sure they didn’t know. But at the end of the day, like, just the guy had no desire whatsoever did like I reached out to him after, like, there’s no desire. And there are coaches like that. And I’m sure he had a great excuse, I’m sure there’s something going on probably with his family and whatever. But like, that’s just not how I was raised. And that’s not how I think leaders in the field need to be, that’s just the reality, you know, and this will no doubt stir up a lot of shit. But I think sometimes people in positions like that need to be called out, because I don’t think it’s a virtue, when you’re in a position to meet or mentor folks in a different generation, or folks that are trying to do something helpful, or folks that are trying to learn or folks that would even pay for your time. I don’t think that is a virtue for you to insulate yourself. And I think there’s a lot of self importance in our field. That’s where I’m getting at. I think that, you know, there’s a lot of people that and I hear it all the time, oh, I don’t do this because I’m too busy. I’m doing like, what are we brain surgeons? Is somebody creating neural link? Because I’m pretty sure Elon Musk runs Tesla, SpaceX, he’s doing neural link he does. God knows what else, and you can’t keep the dude off social media. You know what I mean? And I’m not saying that everybody needs to be like that. But like, I just find it hilarious when our field like thinks it’s a virtue to insulate itself, as opposed to mentoring. I think that’s my answer on like, I don’t think this shit will get any better, until we have people in positions that all these other coaches look up to, because whether you like it or not Tik, like more people are gonna listen to your episode, because you’re involved with the New York football Giants in the NFL, right? Like, that’s just the truth. There’s a lot of people that if you just coached at a high school, even though like high school, we need more high school strength coaches, it’s such an awesome role. People get really hauled to the shield. And I think more older coaches like that have to be not called out that’s not the term cuz I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I’m trying to be convicted, like, just get over your shit. Cuz you have a generation of people that want to learn from you, I probably cost myself, we’re gonna get in trouble for this one. But fuck it man. Like, that’s just the reality you have a responsibility as a mentor.
Pratik Patel 52:10
No I understand. And the funny thing is, I think when I went back to grad school at Kansas State, I was a graduate teacher. By that time, I was a dietician who was really trying to get my foot in the door to learn more about sports nutrition, I reached out to a few coaches at Kansas State. And one of them got back to me, one of them didn’t, the one that didn’t, I think is the same person you’re talking about, which I think is kind of funny, because, you know, and I understood why but at the same time, I was willing to volunteer my time for free, because at that time case, they didn’t have anybody, right. And I was willing to do anything, you know, as you get older and age in your career, your desire to be as spontaneous and willing to do any and everything continues to decrease, because that’s just how it is. But I would have ran through a brick wall that anything worked 10 hours a day, scrub toilets, whatever that person wanted me to, but I didn’t necessarily get the response back. And now, when you’re thinking of it, you know, how is it able to progress in my career, I’m with you, you know, if we want to see change in the field, both fields, whether it’s in strength and conditioning or nutrition, we have to be open, willing to sit down with potential interns, students, volunteers, young coaches, dieticians, whoever, because we can’t continue to be talking about the same same things without having a solution to it. It’s you know, Doug Gordon’s no complaining where we can continue to complain about it if you don’t bring a solution to the table. Now, if you bring solutions to the table, and nobody’s willing to buy in and keep complaining, but also keep bringing new solutions to the table. So, I’ve been more than willing to talk to anybody, whether it’s through LinkedIn phone call. At the same time, if you are reaching out to an experienced coach, or an experienced dietitian, or experienced athletic trainer, kind of bring something to the table, have questions, don’t just show up to say, Hey, this is who I am. Are you gonna show me around and not have anything to ask? Because yeah, our time is valuable, you know, we’re willing to spend a little bit of time with you, knowing that we’ve got 30 Other things to do on our to do list every single day, whether it’s, you know, regular tasks or gain task, whatever you but at the same time, you know, be a really good I guess. Interviewer interviewee
Brett Bartholomew 54:24
No, you’re just lead with value. Yeah. Lead With value like think about. Yeah. And like, if you guys go back to the Brianna Battles Episode, I think it’s episode six. Briana talks about the same thing. And teak makes an excellent point. You know, and I’ll play devil’s advocate to the point I even made earlier or the one you made, you know, there is somebody could easily say, oh, yeah, well, easy for you to say make time for people. You charge people for your time. Well, yeah, beyond the point, you know, but I also am on the board for a nonprofit. I also put tons of information online for free. I also put tons of free download like I do this podcasts I do this. Right? Right. So like beyond a certain point, with a wife and a family and a business with two employees and a kid Yeah, hell yeah, I’m gonna charge for my time. Just like you know. And I always think that’s funny like that the private sector gets called out for that. Well, shit, like, Who do you think’s paying those folks in the team roles. Somebody’s always paying for your time, it just comes from different pockets, but that’s just respectful, right? Like, I can’t reach out to my lawyer and be like, Hey, can you look over their 16 week program and tell me if it’s liability proof that dude’s gonna send me an invoice for 300 bucks. So Brianna makes a great point you did too lead with value. If you’re reaching out, you know, for mentorship, or, you know, sometimes you’re gonna have to pay or help promote something like I always did that, like, Dan, John was somebody I looked up to tremendously as a young coach, I’d share anything about his book and this and that, I hope Dan John made a killing off of it. There’s no way he did, because I didn’t have any following at the time. But like, I love it. You know, there’s certainly and this is another thing you and I share Tik. We love music, right? Like how do you think these artists get paid because people share and promote their music? Because they provide value of it shit music, nobody shares it. Right. And so, and that’s a whole nother podcast man, I’m about to do when we might have to bring you back on for it. I actually think that
Pratik Patel 56:10
I’m up for it.
Brett Bartholomew 56:10
I actually think the strength and performance industry is the music industry. And I got a whole theory on that. But like, it’s just interesting. Like, what were some ways can you give people just some tactical examples? Because we get this question a lot. Let’s say you’re back in that situation again, right? Like you’re young Tik, you’re reaching out to somebody. And let’s just say you want some advice, right? What are a couple ways you’d frame up your email? Or what are your a couple ways? Actually, let’s redo this. Where are you not reaching out to them? Right, like, because I’m saying and I want to make this clear. I tell people like don’t reach out to me via DM, one, if you’re reaching out for me the first time like, I very rarely see all my DMs, I certainly don’t always get back to them. And when you’re trying to make a great first impression, it’s not an awesome way to make a formal introduction, right? Like, especially if you’re like, Hey, bro, can you send me a program? So what are some hard do’s or don’ts for anybody reaching out to a mentor? What’s something you believe in?
Pratik Patel 57:07
Alright, I’ll start with the don’ts because I’m usually the type of person who will actually at least respond back, whether it’s through email, or you hit me up on LinkedIn. Don’t spell my name incorrectly. That’s just I know, it’s, unique. And it’s not of the norm. But my name is pretty much littered everywhere. If you Google me, you’ll be able to see my ugly mug shot with a giant polo on. I’m not a doctor, by the way. I’m a Patel, but one of the three non Indian Dr. Patel’s in the world. So I would say you know, just a good start. Second, don’t start your question or your correspondence with Hey, I have a question. I legitimately just got that four times in the past two weeks, this person reached out to me, these people reached out to me on LinkedIn messaging, and I have a question like, What the No, I’m not, gonna respond to that. I don’t know who you are. Most thing is, it depends on what social media platform using, but I’m not really active on Instagram, I have an Instagram account, I post stuff randomly. I know you’re bigger on Instagram than Twitter. I’m more active on LinkedIn and Twitter. So if you DM me on Instagram, I might not even see it because it doesn’t pop up normally. The next is don’t ask for work experiences, or if I have a job opening. Like one is I don’t control that. And like that’s obviously the goal is to continue to progress. This performance nutrition department, you know, I’m an assistant strength coach working on performance, we’ve got our strength staff set, the only thing we hire for our strength interns every year. But I don’t have positions open. So don’t just reach out to me say hey, do you have a position open, especially if you have no experience in the field. Another thing is if you reach out to someone or myself, and I tell you, Hey, I don’t have any positions open. I can’t give you any work. But I’d be more than happy to talk about the field with you. Take that offer up. You don’t know how many times people just don’t respond back to me because I tell them I don’t have a job for you. And then they get butthurt. And then they look to respond to the next, you know, strength conditioning coach or dietician or whoever. Like there aren’t many people in the world that run a dual role like I do. You know, there’s three domestically that I know of, and doing at a really high level. So there’s a lot of range that I can teach you about pretty much encountered almost any and everything that you can find in sports nutrition over the past 10 years. And obviously it’s a young field but it’s continuing to grow Mike continue to learn to but I have a lot of insights I can provide you. But on the flip side, do you know be courteous, be respectful, kind of research, the background of the team, I’m with the teams that I’ve worked with and what experiences I’ve had that way I can actually tell like you’re not cold calling me or contacting me and 30 other dietitians or strength coaches just trying to get quick information or a job because then you actually know you Reaching out to somebody who, you know, has specific experiences and you find them valuable. And unless that happens quite a bit, because I’ll have, you know, other colleagues text me and say, Hey, did this person reach out to you? I said, yeah, they send you this message. Yeah, great, this, this person is just throwing out fucking dark on the dartboard trying to see if something stick I do have a specific set of questions. If, you know, I, myself or somebody else respond back to you, instead of just trying to have a bland dialogue. Because there’s a million things in our minds, there’s million different emails to go through. And the last thing I remind is trying to respond back in this back and forth conversation through LinkedIn or through Twitter, with an intern or students. Yeah.
Brett Bartholomew 1:00:44
Yeah, no, keep going, by all means.
Pratik Patel 1:00:48
Yeah, I mean, that’s all I really have to kind of go back to what you had spoken about in terms of people asking for your time. And I think, you know, early in my career, and a lot of us have done a lot of free volunteer work, intern work, or we’re not paid to where, you know, might take 5 10 15 years to really feel comfortable about asking people, you know, if they want information from us, and we provide it to them, say, Yeah, you know, I’m going to charge you or if you do, it’s going to cost this amount. And I think, you know, years ago, I would have felt very awkward about doing that. But now, because, you know, I have an organization that pays me a responsibility to that if, you know, there’s something that I need to do for presentation, or for a webinar or this and that, you know, way earlier in my career, it could have been just used as a resume builder. But now, you know, looking back, you know, those other things that I’ve done in the past, I probably should have asked for payment. Because, you know, if I’m bringing something to the table, I’m doing the research, I’m spending the time putting it together, making it look good, sound good. And other people that have asked me to do it are very happy about it, they should be willing to pay and want to pay. So any young strength coach, any young guy, just whoever’s out there, if somebody asks you for something, and you’re gonna have to put your expertise and time into it, and not just print off something from the internet, don’t feel bad about asking the pay is like breakfast, you know, I go to my dentist and say, Hey, can you get my teeth, you know, a quick checkup and not expect to pay them and then the other expect to get money back. That’s ridiculous. Same with any other field. So we shouldn’t value what we do. Doesn’t matter what side you’re on. Coaching, dietetics performance. Because it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of time, effort, money struggles to do what we do to get the experiences that we do, just give it away for free, especially if you’re established is kind of a slap in your own face, not the face of the field. But why would you want to sell yourself short?
Brett Bartholomew 1:02:44
Yeah, no, I’d say this to on the other end of it. Yeah. Don’t, be afraid to be the bad guy. You know, I think Eric Cressey has brought up some good points about this in the past about trip wires he puts into his into an application process that basically will, you know, a bunch of people will apply, but if they don’t send and I’m oversimplifying this so you’ll have to you guys reach out to Eric on all this. But you know, essentially there’s there’s many different trip wires, but one of the biggest ones is everything needs to be submitted in one PDF. And if it’s not like That’s right there, like you’re not paying attention to detail. And like I’ve This is the advice I would have given myself even two years ago because I’m a people pleaser. Certain people reach out and it’s just like, I can tell they’re not ready to be mentored yet. Because like you said, they don’t even spell your name, right. Or they don’t do this. And it’s not that’s not like a pride thing. Somebody’s like, Oh, I saw this on Twitter one time, somebody had said something. And they’re like, Oh, you’re worried about your name being spelled right. It’s like, yeah, man, you know, what, that’s being a professional. That’s called being like, just do your due diligence, you know, and, do those things, because the small things matter. But most importantly, somebody, you know, they reached out, and it was like, they demanded a bunch of these things. And they had their shirt off and a profile photo. And they’re you know, their social media had a lot of just really interesting, like, stuff that was you could tell they were just trying to be controversial. It’s like, Hey, you’re not ready for this yet. And again, I always try to be aware of the devil’s advocate, if somebody could be like, well, that person might need the proper guidance and that, but yeah, but they at least I gotta do one thing, right? I don’t, you know, it’s one thing if you spelled the name wrong, and I can tell you’re trying and you’re from Cambodia. And you know, it looks like you’re doing your best to train people with minimal resources, and I can look at your stuff and that, like you can it’s certain things are just like, did they pass the shit tests? Right, like, and I think sometimes you just have to be like, you know, I asked one guy, he’s like, Hey, can I come shadow you? Can I come do this? And I require them to sign nondisclosure agreements, if they want to come watch some of the pro athletes. It’s not for me, I’m not worried about what you know what they’re going to divulge here. But like, I had a bad experience once where a guy came, took a ton of photos of my athletes, put them on the internet, things like that. And so I don’t mess around with that anymore. So I’m like, Listen, man, if you’re willing to come, you need to follow these rules. This is time for the athletes. This is not about you, you’re not to make it look like you’re the one, training them doing this stuff doing that stuff. You have to put up some barriers. And I talked about it once to like, all I’ll ask people to send resume this, that whatever if they’re looking to get hired, but they’re also going to have to pass an interview. And they’re going to have to do some kind of improv based thing to just kind of see, you know, how do they deal with certain circumstances. So these things aren’t things that I do all the time. I mean, I’ve had I had four or five people come shadow me, this offseason, none of them had to sign any of that, or whatever. But like they have to, pass certain things. And they came as recommendations from friends who vouch for their professionalism, but sometimes you just gotta say, like, Nah, man, you know, or the last one I’ll say is somebody came out once. And then they wanted to ask 20 different questions about my philosophy. And I think this is just where I’m different. And again, I’m fine being an asshole here. If I was going to go intern under you. Right, take, I would be very familiar with anything that you’ve written. I would listen to your podcasts, I would do a lot of that, you know. And so I just I suggested to him and one thing that might help is if you read the book, you know, anything like that, just because it’ll, give you a lot of context of why I do things the way I do. If you can’t read the book, no problem. I got a YouTube channel, we got some videos that spell things out there. And some guys like So wait, I have to do all this just to come shout. I’m like, No, you don’t have to do all of it. But I’d recommend that yeah, if you’re reaching out to me for a reason, I would imagine you’d want to be familiar with kind of what’s going on. So anyway, I just think people have to be they can’t be afraid to be the bad guy even turn some people down. There’s times a year where it’s like, no, this isn’t a good time, I’m traveling a lot. I’m doing X, Y, and Zed. Like, reach out to me here. I’ll be happy to help wherever I can. But I can’t take that right now. So I think you brought up some great points, man, like, so what’s next? What kind of what’s next for you? Where are you looking to grow? This year? What are some things you’ve mentioned, you evaluate yourself a lot Pratik and in different ways, like whether just on the technical side or the social side, when you rip yourself apart? When you critique, Pratik? What are you looking at?
Pratik Patel 1:07:05
Critique Pratik say that five times fast
Brett Bartholomew 1:07:07
Pratik Patel 1:07:10
I think, you know, it’s obviously with the two different hats. So the nutrition side and strength and conditioning side, and, you know, work with a lot of really good strength coaches that have a lot of experience. So what I try to do is observe as much as possible and emulate a lot of what they do, because again, I don’t have the 20 years that our head strength coach does, but I want to continue to progress in that avenue to make sure we’re doing the best or I’m doing the best we can for our athletes. So it’s just, it’s subtle things, you know, how do I approach each one of our training sessions? And what are my responsibilities for that training session? What group do I have? Do I make sure I know every single one of the players that are coming in, I know the ins and outs of their workout any adjustments or changes that workout that they’ve been going through? You know, what’s the injury list look like? Because obviously, they’re going to be some alterations based on that, instead of just getting caught, sometimes just standing and nodding say, oh, yeah, great job, you know, good job on that said, trying to be a little bit more hands on with the athletes and explaining like, this is good about that, I want you to work on this for the next one, instead of just saying that was a good rep. Thumbs up for some of the athletes are like, well, I don’t know what you meant by that. And also not being afraid to, you know, stop a player if they’re doing something wrong or being more forceful with them, because, you know, we have a lot of different personalities under one roof. And, you know, one, athletes not going to take coaching cues the same way. Another one is just making sure that I’m on top of that. It’s a constant evaluation, re evaluation process with the strength conditioning found on the judicial side is just making sure that I’m on top of any and everything that we have going on. So, you know, I don’t want to be the last person to know something about a change in the schedule or a change into something went wrong with the roster or anything like that. I think you know, it’s, more fine tuning things. And being like I said, on top of everything that’s going on.
Brett Bartholomew 1:09:09
Do you spell that out perfectly, just continuing to sharpen that and make sure that you continually reflect on anything you’re doing. And it sounds like you have a process to your self awareness at least right? You’re not just throwing darts at a board. You’re somebody that I’ve always known as expose yourself to new things and thought critically about me man, like, we went down the rabbit hole sometimes on the dumbest subjects like even on like a song or a rap artists lyrics in college, you know, you and I are both hip hop fans and things like that. So I think the main thing that I want people to take away from you though, is how reflective you are and you’re purposeful about it. And I think another area I connect with you man is I think you’d never like breathe in your own smoke. Like I am constantly unimpressed with my work. I say that all the time. I can’t even listen to my own podcasts half the time you know, I just can’t like either because there’s always some shit that I pick apart and it’s just like you No. And I think that that’s one thing that has always made me kind of, you know, respect you is you’re the same way, man. Like, you’ve just never. You’ve never let that grasp for you. I think both of us are fine being like, yep. Oh, you heard that interview? Yeah, we were wrong about two thirds of that. But you know what, at least we have the discussion. And I think that’s the thing that separates it. Like, if I didn’t compass what this whole talk was about, it’s like, have the discussion, be willing to say something controversial, that you believe in strongly, and if it’s not, right, you know, like, that’s, okay. Like, at least you’re expressing something and your thought about it, and you’re not just holding that shit and all the time. Because sometimes, man, it’s, the stuff that you or I think, is trash, that hits somebody else’s ears at a time where they need it the most. And that’s what I appreciate about you for what that’s worth.
Pratik Patel 1:10:48
Now, you hit the nail on the head, you know, I just gave a webinar a few months ago. And, you know, the group that I gave it for thought it was really good. It’s probably one of the better ones that’s happened. And then over the course of it after it was done, I’m like, Man, I sound like a fucking idiot. And there’s so many things I would have said differently. But I think that’s just the constant evaluation process, that we’re never going to be happy with the work we do, even though it’s perceived to be good, and that Cisco is going to keep us in the game, because we’re always going to want to constantly get better evaluate ourselves, not, you know, pat ourselves on the back, but also not drive ourselves into the ground and finding that fine line between always wanting to improve.
Brett Bartholomew 1:11:29
Yeah, Spot on so Pratik if People want it, you mentioned that you’re really active on Twitter. I know you got a lot going on. And it can be hard to get back to people. But as we wrap up, man, can you provide us with some of the links or the best ways to contact you and as always, everybody, these will be in the show notes. But I strongly suggest that you reach out to Pratik, Pratik fire away, man, where can we reach you?
Pratik Patel 1:11:51
Yeah, so my, Twitter is @pratikxpatel, PR a TI kx. Pa t e l try to get my first name, but somebody’s already taken it. There’s like a million Pratiks from around the world. And my Instagram is the same handle. So all very convenient one place and then I’m decently active on LinkedIn. Just because I think it’s a nice platform to reach people not in the field because your post is sometimes pop up and somebody in advertising or general sales or whatnot, you know, it comes across their feet. And you know, they can communicate with us, which I think is really cool. And you know, if you need to get a hold of me by email, I don’t mind putting my email out there. It’s the number 7Pratik. So the email@example.com.
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:42
Perfect. And like I said, guys, I will put this in the show notes. Pratik, I appreciate you coming on man. Like, you didn’t shy away from any of these questions. And that’s the point of the podcast and you know, just to continue to unfurl, you know, some of the stuff that gets swept under the rug. And I think you did it in a way that again in for the discerning listener, it is not hard at all to remove athlete coach and fill in what you do. I know that a good friend of mine is a firefighter and he’s like we deal with this stuff at the station. We deal with this stuff. And you know, there’s people that say they deal with it in organizations. But thank you for not shying away from any of this. Thanks for being bold and your statements and most importantly honest with it. And I look forward to talking to you again, man.
Pratik Patel 1:13:21
Absolutely, look forward to it.
Brett Bartholomew 1:13:22
Oh, you’re still listening. Listen, I’m glad that you stuck around for a little bit. I want to make sure you guys know about the newsletter that I put out each month. I’m not somebody that tries to inundate your inbox or anything like that. So you don’t have to worry you’re not going to hear from me every day. I have a job and family responsibilities much like all of you, but I do put out a newsletter that has helpful links. It’ll showcase new episodes, new events, it’ll tell you where I’m gonna be and what I’m going to be speaking on. So if you’re interested, make sure to go to the show notes. Or you can go to artofcoaching.com/start. Again, that’s artofcoaching.com/start, join the newsletter. It is the absolute best way to stay up to date with everything. I announced anything I do there first. It always gets announced through the newsletter first and then social media and everything else. So artofcoaching.com/start and again, I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Appreciate you joining me