In Art Of Coaching Podcast

Today, on Episode 39 of The Art Of Coaching Podcast, we are joined by Darren Roberts. Darren was in the RAF Regiment as a Gunner & Military Parachutist from 1989 to 1998, before leaving to pursue a career in strength & conditioning. After a period of time as a private trainer, he began work part time with premiership rugby union and rugby league teams.

In 2002 Darren began to work with Red Bull UK on various high performance projects with its athletes, where he established and delivered the Red Bull UK High Performance Programme from 2008 until 2013. In January 2014 he joined ‘Harris & Ross’ team. He continues to deliver the high performance & sports medicine services to elite action sport athletes, as well as many others athletes from around the world – based in the Wilmslow clinic.

Alongside his work with athletes Darren regularly presents at performance and medical summits all over the world. He has presented on performance and rehabilitation to NASA, Nike, British Association of Sports & Exercise Medicine, European College of Sports & Exercise Medicine, Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and many others. He also writes for various action sports magazines and websites on his work with extreme sports.

Topics Include:

  • Darren on ’embracing the chaos’
  • Why some world-class athletes are world-class because they don’t do what they are told
  • Why the design of your training environment or you as a coach may be holding your athletes back
  • How athlete autonomy can facilitate improved performance
  • Are learning styles a thing or are they B.S.?
  • Is being friends with your athletes appropriate?


Reach out to Darren:

Via Twitter & Instagram: @TheRealConehead

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Brett Bartholomew  0:05  

So if you’ve been listening to podcasts for a while, you’ve heard me talk about in the past how I never had a formal mentor. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ve never learned from anybody that could be further from the truth. It just meant that I never really had somebody that, at an early age put their arm around me kind of showed me the ropes gave me some tips even held me accountable at times in my life where I probably could have used it because I was scared to take action. One of the things that I wanted to do and I’ve always wanted to do is I feel like I had to fill that void for others that I had in myself for better or worse. I just never wanted somebody else to feel unguided. And so one thing I created and this was at the request of a lot of folks that have listened in and on the newsletter is what’s called the Coalition. And the Coalition is something that we do at art of coaching that is focused on personal and professional development and it’s not just for coaches. We have people in the group right now that work in a wide variety of the industry, in different industries that people that range from 25 years old to 62 years of age, and this thing was created not because I view myself as some guru, that’s definitely not the case, but because we really wanted to have a proactive community of accountability. We found that there’s coaches and professionals out there that they’re looking for people to share ideas with, they want to vet their own thoughts and they want to see what other people are doing. And they want to do that in a safe place where people aren’t just kind of sharing surface level tips and things like that. So what they do, what we do, is we do this biannually, it’s a six month program. It is application only. And that’s not because we’re elitist or anything like that. It’s simply because we want people that have skin in the game. There’s a cost on both ends. So there is a cost to join the Coalition. And there’s a cost for me and the time that I dedicate to it but what you get is when you join the Coalition, you get free access to either one of my online courses, both of those are normally $497. So you get that completely for free. We do monthly calls, and they’re all recorded, but we do bimonthly calls that are recorded. So let’s say you can’t make it one month. You always have digital access to that you can always go and review. We have a private group. So guys are always interacting in between these calls. We do a bunch of different check ins. We have a dedicated support team for any kind of technical issues. You’ll always get first access and discounted rates to live events. And then some is that the end of those six months. We do a weekend in Atlanta, and I ran out either a lot or a huge house or we do a shared workspace and we all get together and whatever the main initiative was that you were working on when you started, we all kind of present to one another and help each other tweak it and refine it so that we can make that progress. We’re looking for cleaning professionally so the bottom line is this a six month accountability group. community really where we’re doing a lot of unique things and we’d love to have you as a part of it. So they’re reopens in February 2020. We’re accepting applications now we only open it up to about 10 to 12 members per six month interval and there’s already four signed up for this. So if you’re interested, make sure to go to Check out the mentoring tab and you’re gonna see it it’s called the Coalition. Again, it’s half a year. It’s a lot of commitment, but it’s also a lot of fun and you get to connect with people that again want skin in the game aren’t hiding and just talking about what they want to do. They actually are putting an action plan together and doing it so again, check out the Coalition sign up to Applications are accepted now. Hope to hear from you soon.


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 to another episode of The Art of coaching podcast. Glad to have you guys back. I’m here today with Darren Roberts and Darren has a incredible bio. So I’m gonna read this one off because every now and then, you know I always try to make sure the guests get a chance to read their own bio but this one I mean, when you read it, you almost don’t believe it. I think you’re gonna love this episode because there is a little twist in the head, both from the standpoint that he’s an absolute genius, but has a great sense of humor. And it’s no mystery as to why when you hear about this, so Darren was in the Royal Air Force regiment as a gunner and at military parachutist from 89 to 1998. Before leaving to pursue a career in s&c after a period of time as a private trainer. He began to work part time with premiership rugby union as well as rugby league teams. Now this is where it gets even more interesting in 2002, Darren began to work with Red Bull UK on various high performance projects with its athletes, and he went on to deliver the Red Bull UK high performance from 2008 to 2013. As if that was not enough, in January 2014 He joined Harrison Ross which is a large physiotherapy company based in the north of England. So from that standpoint, Darren continues to deliver high performance and sports medicine services to Red Bull UK what you’re going to hear him talk about a little bit here to their action sport athletes as well so many other action sport athletes from around the world. And this is a large facility near Manchester so alongside with this Darren and he’s one of the most unique presenters I ever saw. So to get the chance to make sure you go see him, but he’s presented that performance clinics medical summits and has even spoken on rehabilitation to NASA Nike, the British Association of sports and exercise medicine, European College of sports and exercise medicine, on and on and on and on. Darren Did I miss anything there that was like, have you been to the moon are you going to Mars? Is there anything that critical that I missed there?


Darren Roberts  6:10  

You missed out my role in the appearance? Yeah, on that as well. Yeah.


Brett Bartholomew  6:19  

Thanks for coming on the show and thanks for putting up with the nonsense and it’s just I’m excited to have you because the sense of humor here I hope anybody listening is is ready to laugh and man you educate and You crack me up at the same rate. So thank you for coming on.


Darren Roberts  6:34  

No, that’s absolutely cool. And it’s only taken a few takes to get to this point because obviously you kept laughing as well. So I’ll just share that with everybody that you have to restart this. So no, I’m super happy. It’s great to talk to us. It’s obviously we stay in touch, more than happy to come on the podcast and share some of my, I guess experiences and ideas. I’ve not got any sort of hard science behind me. But that’s the nature of the beast of the athletes that I work with. It’s just I guess it’s just my experience and learnings over the years of working with what I worked with


Brett Bartholomew  7:11  

I want to talk about that primarily, when you work with action sports, right, Red Bull, UK, all this you’re talking about having to embrace chaos. You’re talking about a completely different kind of athlete and we mentioned this a little bit before we started recording. One of the most common questions I get is, how do I deal with a difficult athlete? How do I deal with people that don’t want to comply? How do I it’s just a lot of how do I get these ropes to get in line and that’s actually on a hard stop where I want to start with you. Since you deal with these action sport athletes who have to just look at risks, then they have to look at the world in a completely different way. Can you talk to us about the role the emotions and everything your athletes go through and how they’re actually world class because sometimes they don’t do as they’re told.


Darren Roberts  7:55  

Well, that’s exactly it. They they generally are world class because they don’t do as they’re told and if they were the sort of athlete or person that did as they were told them, they wouldn’t be jumping off cliffs or throwing themselves out mountains. And equally, that those kind of outliers they gravitate towards those sports because that’s who they are. Now, with my military background, when I first started working with these athletes, working in traditional mainstream sport is I found it very much to be the same as the military and as far as you’re wearing a uniform, the team care and the guys are the same. The banter is the same. The jokes are the same. So coming from the military into traditional main street team sport was not very different for me. Now working with actions for athletes in the early days, it was absolutely horrendous because I did have a very much a sergeant major approach to that. And I was very much about athlete compliance. If you comply to this program that this is what’s going to make you better and you don’t train in the gym this is a disaster how can you not do this? Why don’t you squat wider you deadlift Why did you do this? What and I had a very much Sergeant Major approach to it, as I say, and the athletes just didn’t want anything to do with me. So you kind of sit down and go Well, what’s going on here and you have to come to the realization that these athletes are excellent at what they do. And they’ve got quite a long way in doing what they’re doing by themselves without being taught how to squat properly in the gym. So I had to have this kind of big overhaul, of what I was doing and how I was doing it, how I was approaching these things. And just as you say and as I say embrace the chaos is embrace those qualities and embrace those things of how they are and why they are the way they are. And how do I connect with that and not get them to comply but at least get them to cooperate and participate and kind of let them be in charge. And so just flip it on its head and that’s not because I’m some sort of genius that can work all this stuff out. it’s the athletes are the way they are and this system has to be that way otherwise it wouldn’t work for them. And I’m not saying this would work in mainstream traditional sports but certainly the actual sport athletes you have to let them lead you have to let them take control and if you’ve got a very very difficult athlete, quite often you find your most precocious, talented athlete is also the most difficult one to work with well so what. Embrace that embrace those qualities and how can you turn that around into because it’s not a negative thing? They are the way they are for good reason, which is why they’re so good. So embrace those qualities and how can you craft your relationship with them and the environment so it engages with them and encourages them to participate and cooperate especially if they’ve got autonomy. They’re making decisions. I mean, if you hire a car, you’re not looking after it, are you. I mean, Well, I say that you may look after your hire cars really well, Brett but when I worked in motorsport, the hire cars were treated like rally cars. So your own car you treat very differently. For the athletes. If it’s something they have ownership over and something they have control over and input into and they’ve helped shape it. Then it becomes their own and then all of a sudden you they’re doing things that they probably wouldn’t have done before but they’re doing it in the way they want to do it and then everybody’s happy.


Brett Bartholomew  11:42  

Yeah, and you touched on, one of the things I like that you mentioned there and I hope people wrote it down if they’re listening and hopefully not driving is it’s not so much compliance as it is cooperation or collaboration. And you also talked, touched on autonomy. Now I want to kind of provide a little bit of a case study here because I think you excel at giving tactical information. It’s one of the ways right like anybody that spends five minutes around you or even less knows you’re actually doing it day to day and not just kind of a a charlatan or a murmur, Don or anything like that. So that’s imagine two things and these are conversations I’ve had recently. Let’s imagine I’m a young coach. I’m at a new job, right? That can be at a facility that can be at a school that can be anything and I’m seeing one group is really compliant or they’re cooperating, they’re doing really well. And then another group of athletes is just like it seems like it there’s no structure right and they like no matter what I’m doing. I just can’t get these guys on the same page. The first group, it’s almost like orchestration, right? It’s clockwork, everything’s smooth. The second one, whether it’s a lack of leadership, like I said, kind of that internal leadership structure or maybe it’s just it’s a younger group, or maybe it’s a group where a bunch of people of a certain archetype have gotten together and, just kind of creates this different environment. That’s one piece or two, I was talking to a more senior level coach recently and it was a similar scenario. This coach is very energetic, right? Like, the music’s up, everybody’s going. It’s, I mean, they they respond to energy, but then there’s this other group that they just don’t and he’s trying to will it out of him. He’s trying to do whatever he can, because he just thinks if I can instill this energy, if I can get this sense of accountability and attitude and toughness, I’ll get it out and it’s not working. And it’s driving him batty. So if you’re in one of those scenarios, and it’s really same scenario, but different age spectrums of the coach one are you doing anything different across like, advising a younger coach or younger practitioner and older one, and two, were might just trying to compel that collaboration through energy alone and through motivation alone. Where does that fall flat and how do you Institute the autonomy he talked about?


Darren Roberts  13:46  

So whether you’re a young coach just starting out or whether you’re someone that’s been doing it for, you know, 20 odd years like I have it, it for me, it’s kind of the same, which is, every athlete has got their own map of the world. We all talk the athlete centered model Yeah, this is all about the athlete. all we’re bothered about with the athlete but but are we are we delivering a system and a program that the athlete fits into all the other way around? Because it’s really easy to say that it’s athlete centered, but very, very difficult to deliver on that thing. And every athlete has their own map the world if you’ve got one group of athletes that are let’s call it very compliant, they get in they get on with it. You know, we all know athletes like that in groups of athletes who get in crack on smash everything out. They actually want to do you tell them what to do or advise them what to do and they get it done and they’re absolute dreams to work with. And then you get the other other athletes that are just there lay maybe they don’t turn up. They’ve never got the right stuff with them. And you know, it’s, as I say, it’s herding cats and you’re constantly, you may spend in 80% of your time, try to get that group going Well first and foremost is always look at yourself, rather than the athlete. What are you doing? How are you doing it? Why are you doing it and are you trying to force your map of the world onto them because they are where they are for a reason. So as touchy feely as it sounds, this is all about people. It’s all about personalities. I’m not gonna say necessarily ego was really certainly about personalities, characters and people. They will all connect with something. And Nick Grantham talks about positive pollution, you know, that there’s maybe things that that group of athletes would like to do that you don’t want them to do. But if you let them do some of the stuff they want to do, it gives you the opportunity to do some of the stuff that you want to do, right. And it’s all a process of negotiation. Now, I call this hiding broccoli on the plate for any parents out there that have got children. You know, kids don’t want to eat broccoli. I don’t want to eat broccoli, and I’m an adult. So you’ve got to hide the broccoli on the pate, so that they’re getting what they’re supposed to get. And for me, that is if that involves you doing a bit of entertainment, as Ryan Horne calls it or pamphlets and a little bit or a little bit of novelty, then then why is that such a bad thing? Because ultimately, the stuff that they don’t if they don’t do any of the program that you want them to do, then it’s going to be 100% ineffective. So it’s better that they do some of it and some of what they want to do than none of it. And slowly over time, there’ll be advocates in that group. And slowly over time, maybe they’re doing more of the stuff that you would like them to do, and less of the stuff that they would but they’re never going to completely be that super compliant athlete that follows the program to a tee but so just embrace that because the more you fight it, the more you’re going to push them away and why should they listen to you anyway? They’re there for a reason. I don’t mean in an ego way but why should a world champion snowboarder? Listen to what I have to say I’ve not been upside down six times coming up with a job. So you just got to connect with them on that human personal level. You know, empathy is absolutely King and just connecting with them. I don’t know if that answers the question.


Brett Bartholomew  17:08  

Yeah, it answers a question. I think this is the thing, right? I think people they tend to gravitate to whatever anybody says, when people ask these kinds of questions, I think they have an answer they want in mind. And I get that because big reason I wrote the book was I felt like anytime I read anything relational you know, it just seemed too warm and fuzzy, right? I couldn’t find anything tactical. And so I knew when I wrote conscious coaching chapter called The trust tenants, right, and then I had to do those archetypes pieces where like people needed steps and I think you’ve hit on some of those steps. You just said the first thing I want to highlight that you said and I’m paraphrasing here or kind of summarizing rather, is essentially what I’m hearing you saying and please do correct me if I’m wrong. Sometimes big athlete actually isn’t the problem. Sometimes it’s actually the coach. It’s the coach’s inability to adapt because they think that just because they’re the expert, that that athlete should comply, but they’re forgetting that it’s a partnership model. It’s not just an athlete centered or a coach centered model. It’s a partnership model. So the school is the coach themselves and their inability or lack of awareness or just they don’t want to try a different method Am I hearing you correctly? .


Darren Roberts  18:18  

Yeah, absolutely And don’t forget, regardless of the sport, whether it’s action sports or not, these kids didn’t love going to the gym to work out. And it’s a by to by played sport, they play sport first right? So they all love playing sport. And then the physical preparation side of it, the performance side of it goes hand in hand with that, but they didn’t start out like that, did they? So it’s really important that you understand how they’ve got to where they’ve got to the journey that they’ve been on. And whilst the physical preparation has its time and place and role in what they do, that isn’t where they started. We started in the gym, as adult PE coaches that I call us. We started in the gym, but they didn’t they started on a field on a mountain on a track. That’s where they started not in the gym. So it shouldn’t be this big shock and surprise when the gym or the weight room or whatever isn’t the be all and end all of their life that the sport is and it’s just recognizing that and understanding that and as I say, their map of the world and understanding what that looks like to them because often as coaches we can be the limiting factor. And that’s the question I asked myself every day, am I the limiting factor to my athlete because I fundamentally lack the awareness to even conceive of what they see and how they see it. Am I the one that slowing them down? Not the other way around?


Brett Bartholomew  19:45  

Yeah. And I think to go with that, here’s one thing that always kind of eerie and concerning to me, too is, you know, in the past I’ve had interns do things when I’m teaching them programming and I’ll say hey, you have three minutes to write three training sessions up on the board, right? I’ll give them a case study and I’ll say you have a 18 year old athlete they’ve had this kind of injury in the past, you know other than that,I kind of lay out some other constraints. And I go you have three minutes to write at least three weight room training sessions that encompass or represent what you believe to be an adequate program for them based on this time of year of these goals. Right go. It’s kind of like seeing if hip hop artists can freestyle or a comedian can do improv. Let’s see what you know. Now, what I have found on the other end, no, when I did that with coaching, they could always get it with the programming by and large, of course, some not so much on the programming side, but everybody could at least get something on the board. But similarly, I say hey, you have one minute with an athlete This is somebody that is you know, they’re behaving in this fashion. These are the other constraints, I need you to write down three coaching strategies that are very specific, that can help you get around that barrier. And I either get one or two responses. They look at me just kind of blank, stare in the face like or they start asking a ton of questions. Well wait a minute, what do you mean, they’re not doing this? Or wait a minute? Am I allowed to ask them this? And I’m looking at them and I’m like, you tell me what would you do right now if there is an athlete in front of you, that has either not responded to something or they’re kind of going through the motions or any number of constraints, what would you do and that whiteboard more times are not as left blank. Do you think there’s other things that we could be doing from a coach development standpoint, to get them better at doing that? Because you know, like, especially action sport, those guys attention spans are pretty limited right Dar?


Darren Roberts  21:32  

So well, it depends so anything to do with anything that isn’t their sport directly. They’ve got the attention spans of hummingbirds. So you know, you have to keep them engaged, otherwise you will lose them if it’s not their sport. If they’re not on the side of the mountain or wherever doing their sport is anything but that then they are not interested. So you’ve got to make it interesting for them they have to be interested in. Why should I be interested in this? What is it to me, you know, what’s in it for me? Why should I be bothered, so you’ve got to sell it to them, and you can’t sell it to them on, the adaption that the soft tissue is going to make because you’ll never see them again, like they’re not in the you’ve got to be able to pitch it to them, to make it attractive to them and how it’s going to benefit them. And then what you’re talking about with the coaching side of it is we have a little exercise that we do with the young coaches for our place, which is you’ve got this athlete, and we’ll describe the athlete and this is the program they’re doing, but they’re not doing it. What would you think about this a similar exercise what you do and nine times out of 10 Everyone will sit there and we’ll write down about 10 things, which is everything this hypothetical athlete should be doing or how it should be doing it. And as I say, nine times out of 10, not a single one of them would have written down. I need to look at what I’m doing as a coach and how I’m delivering how I’m talking how I’m speaking how I’m connecting. None of them. Think to look at themselves first, and I know it sounds really happy clappy to say look at yourself first. But for me, you get back what you put out as communication. So if you’re not getting back what you want, what are you communicating? And how are you communicating because you’re obviously not connecting with that person. And for me, it always comes back to you as a person, your emotional intelligence you know, how are you with other people? And I think you’ve said it you know, this the shortest way to people is usually through humor. And familiarity, doesn’t breed contempt. Familiarity breeds what you want it to breed. So I am, really good. Friends with a lot of the athletes I connect with them on a personal level, but familiarity breeds only wanting what you want it to win if it breeds contempt. That’s what you’ve allowed it to do. So This leads into them, you know, being treated as adults, and treated as a peer as an expert in what they do, which is why treat them as and I say to them all you’re an expert in what you do. Not me. I’m great. That stood in the gym. You’re great at throwing yourself off a mountain. So you tell me, you know, and because they’re the expert, and they’re driving the bus and they’re the ones that are in charge, it’s about them. And then we’re moving on to the autonomy of it and well, what do you want to do and how do you want to do it? Okay. I’m there to advise and help them with how some stuff can plug into what they’re doing. Not the other way around. I don’t know if that answers a question. 


Brett Bartholomew  24:31  

No, it no it does. And you touch on two things that we’re going to dive into next and one of them is you mentioned your friends with your athlete. And that’s something that also comes up a lot is people will say hey, I’m a coach and I’m training these guys or I’m training in the in one recently just said and I try to always bring listener and audience questions in so I hope that’s okay with you and if you don’t feel comfortable and someone by all means just say hey, I’m gonna pass but a young coach recently said, I’ve been in charge of taking over this program I’m working, with youth athletes and high school athletes and a lot of the ways that I try to make these kids feel comfortable, you know, like, Yeah, I’m their leader, but I still try to be friends with them, you know in terms of, you know, I try to be supportive. I try to I don’t want to just act like some militant guy, you know, I’m trying to make sure these kids want to come here. He’s like, however, I’m getting in trouble from my boss, because he’s saying, you know,  it’s not your job to be their friend, right? It’s not your job to be your friend. You need to be acting like this. And then he’s like, how do I manage this? Should I be friends with my athletes? Where do you draw the line? And I think there’s some lines that are obviously apparent, right? There’s ethical boundaries. Like, we would always have to tell interns at several facilities like listen, you’re not going out. And you know, if you’re an intern, right, that’s one thing like you are not going out. You’re not drinking with your athletes. You’re not doing this. If you’re a grad assistant, if you’re an assistant coach in some settings,. I know, if you’re in the college environment, you better not be out at the bars with your guides, you know, and that every setting is going to have kind of its own rules and its own things, but it’s such a messy topic. I find because, in full transparency here, I had eight athletes, four of which played in the NFL come to my wedding, and they were family, friends of my wife and I and that made our day. Now granted, I had coached all of them for you know, three, four or five years. And we were really good at separating those bounds. Right? When it was time to work. It was time to work, right? And I wasn’t going out with these guys or anything like that. But the fact that they showed up to our wedding in Omaha, Nebraska, or at least our wedding ceremony, like that, to me made me stop and think like this is part of why I coach but some people would say that’s wrong and there shouldn’t be a place what are your thoughts on the whole should I be friends with my athletes? Should I not be and where do you think we start to we have to have like certain categorical drawing of the line so to speak.


Darren Roberts  26:50  

Your rise it’s a little bit of a massive topic because, you know, where does it start? Stop and but you’re also right. There’s some there’s some clear ethical boundaries that you shouldn’t be crossing and that comes back to familiarity breeds what you want it to you should have the emotional intelligence to have a friendship, on some level, whatever that means to you in the athlete without it being a problem. And that just requires, as I say, emotional intelligence. I, the athletes have come to my daughter’s birthdays. I’ve been to their occasions. Some of these athletes I’ve worked with since they were 15. And I’ve worked with them for 17 years now, but I’ve sort of so from a kid and now they’re married and they’ve got kids and you know, I’ve known what these athletes all the time and I think that it’s different. for each person it may be different for each sport, because in actual sports what these athletes do, you know the line between brilliance and high fives and fist bumps and offic career ending life threatening trauma is very, very thin. So to work with these athletes at the level that I work with, there’s got to be implicit trust there. That’s happening. Trust there’s got to be some level of friendship, right? It can’t just be this really cold coach relationship that they got to connect with me on a trust. Level implicitly. Because when I’m saying right, this is what we need to do and how we need to do it. And this is the surgeon we need to go and see and this is what they’ve got to trust in what I’m saying Not that it’s medical, right. But when I’m saying listen, we’re going to get this sorted out. This is how we’re going to fix it. This is how you’re going to come back. They need to have that trust in me and you can’t have these horrific conversations in hospitals with athletes who have got a career threatening injury. If you’ve got this really cold, straight coach relationship with them. I think it probably works in some sports, but certainly how the military works, not how our special forces work. So it’s, whoever’s in front of you. With the sports and individual athletes, everyone’s different again, and that’s where you become a coaching chameleon don’t you? You, speak to who and what is in front of you at the level that they need and some people really thrive off that kind of traditional coach, it’s there, this bank Off we go and other ones need that little bit more of a friendship relationship as a coach athlete, that again, that’s up to you to just change, you know, changes for the million. And however you deal with that in front of you, but it’s not something you should I don’t shy away from it is an  integral part of how I work with the athletes is I am completely approachable. There has to be a friendship on some level because of the consequences of what can happen to them. I’m the one there that helps, you know, literally put them all back together.


Brett Bartholomew  29:43  

So help me with this with that answer. And that’s super thorough, complete love. I try to give people one thing I always try to challenge myself with is if I really know like if I really know something I should be able to give them you know, some kind of categorical breakdown right like we do that easily with with movements in the weight room or a certain budgetary things. But so when I tried to give people like guide on saying, Hey, here’s how you kind of manage this drawing of the line and I want, I’d like your input because it’s just things that kind of come to me. So I think one it depends on the age gap. I do think that that’s important because obviously there’s a level of appropriateness there. In regards to the example I gave and I think in your example, as well, like, there’s a gap enough between me and my athletes, the ones that came to my wedding where we were all right, they all had families of their own. You know, at the time I was married, it’s not like, Hey, I’m in college, you know, and and you’re in college and we’re going out downtown, and I’m early in my coaching career, right. Like, I think there’s this age gap there. Does everybody know how to act like an adult? I think environment you touched on that. I think we collectively did like, if you’re in the collegiate environment here in the States, you shouldn’t be going out to college bars that you know your athletes are going to be at. That’s just completely inappropriate. You shouldn’t be doing those things. Private, right? You and I both know, in that private setting, you’re gonna get kind of this wide demographic, you’re gonna get some folks that, you know, might be in their 40s and 50s You’re gonna get some people that might be 10 12 11 You know, and so, there’s different aspects of that past experiences. I think you hit the nail on the head with this like where’s the implicit trust? What happened in the past of that athlete if they’ve just had interactions with a really controlling bad kind of eye of Sauron type coaches. You might need to reinvigorate what a coach is and take a little more more friendly persona approach because that’s going to skew their view otherwise, of what they can expect interaction wise when they come you know, into the weight room or the gym, organizational rules and local customs. Obviously, you got to pay attention to what the people in charge do and like, is it appropriate to be friends or do this in China? Is it appropriate to do this in this country, you need to know local customs and then I think Coach experience level does matter because they’ll recognize social cues meaning a young coach might become friends with somebody and at the age gap isn’t so wide. They don’t recognize when it’s getting a little too friendly and something could happen, where I think an older coach has maybe made mistakes in the past and they recognize this is the way like you can trust in me and I’m your confidant and that’s fine. But this is the line, Is there anything you’d add to those categories or any of those categories? Kind of some bullshit?


Darren Roberts  32:15  

No, I mean,  I think it’s because people in emotions are involved. I think it’s really tough, to really sort of pigeonhole some of these things that you came up with there are absolutely spot on. And I’m a big believer in you get back what you put out and think of separately two or three times already. If you have the emotional intelligence if you’re adult enough to be you know, I am a mullet, okay, I’m all business for the party at the back, right. So so, and that’s what I’m like at work. It’s like, this is I’m working. This is what we’re doing. We’re gonna get your fix. It’s all cool, cool, cool. But then you know, I not so much now or very rarely now, but back in the day to go away with the athletes a lot. And listen, you’re not going away with actions for a number of weeks at a time and then not go out with them. And then when you do go out with them, you’re not drinking tea if and that’s when you’re part of the back. So as long as everybody understands where the mullet is, right? Should be okay. And that’s about you putting out the right communication and being adult enough to do that.


Brett Bartholomew  33:31  

Yeah, I love tha mullet analogy. One better. I tried to give people categories and give them a picture. Right Mullet. That’s huge. Now, let’s talk about engagement. Because one thing that caught me when I saw you finish, UK, FCA, you know, you talked about the environment. And when I tried to put together this framework of human behavior of things that we know, change athletes or just anybody’s behavior in general, right, there’s social factors, there are peers and media. There’s their internal drives kind of subconscious influences their behavior. There’s time constraints, you know, and age constraints, but there’s also this environment and I watched you present on what your environment is like and how you facilitate engagement and I was blown away. Can you just describe your environment for people listening and kind of?


Darren Roberts  34:17  

Yeah, sure. So I mean, we, so I work with a bunch of, I work with a load of physiotherapist or physical therapists as you call them. And obviously as a s&c as a performance guy by trade, I’m like the Antichrist obviously with all the rest of the people that I work with. And the environment when I first went in there, that was exactly what we’d expect it to be. So it’s a clinical environment. So it’s white it’s silent. You know, there’s anatomical, nothing for company in the rooms, anatomical posters. And you know, what, if, you’re a civilian, that’s got something wrong and you want to go and see a physical therapist, that’s kind of what’s your bags. that is what you want to get. And I get that, to me, it looks like I’m going to the dentist and I’d rather not go but you know, to a civilian. I guess that’s where it looks like. When I first arrived. I was like, Look, this is no good. This is no good for the actions for athletes. in this world you know, we’ve got all the facilities and we’ve got all the equipment. I was like, yeah, that doesn’t fit out athletes so we’re in a big old place. It’s about 50,000 square feet. And it’s got fantastic gym five pools, it’s two meter indoor track and that’s that’s all awesome. But it doesn’t look it doesn’t look action sport. And it’s got to look action sport, it can’t look clinical and it can’t look gym, it’s got to look action sports. So I just said Look, why don’t I take this, three 400 square feet here as my office, inverted commas, and we’ll just hang out in there and they kind of weren’t convinced and then when the action is what athletes started arriving, you know, there’s some poor old they’re getting measured for orthotics and then one of the snowboarders is made a cat a pull out a theraband and his fire in his pants across the clinic is taken off. And you like, Do you understand now why maybe I go over here in this space, right? So like, yeah, yeah, yeah, you do that. So when it came to sort of building out this space obviously everyone’s like, Oh yeah, what weights you’re gonna have what you’re gonna get here or robe or this or what have I was like,


the athletes don’t give a shit about that. The only people that would want to come here and do and train and do weight is power lifters, bodybuilders and CrossFit athletes, and none of the actors, what athletes, they’re all not that so they’re not going to want to do it. So when I started building this space out, that was the last thing I was thinking of, and it’s literally just a little corner of where they can come and be themselves. So as you walk up the stairs to get space, and I know you’ve seen you’ve got pictures of it. There’s, you know, floor to ceiling pictures on the whole place of athletes that we work very closely with and as I always say, you know, you spend a lot of time with us when you’re on the window and these are really cool pictures of the athletes doing really cool stuff and these full length transfers that go on the window so you can see out but you can’t see in. So you can’t see into what’s going on. But when you’re inside you can see out and then I thought right? I see a lot of quotes around in facilities and places and sometimes I think it’s lip service and it’s easy to throw a quote up onto a wall. But I really thought about, you know, what do I want this athlete to think because when they’re coming up the stairs to come into this place, they’re not coming looking forward to a work out the coming because they’ve broken the leg, legs, an arm or arms. They’ve done they’ve done an ACL and meniscus and the collateral ligament that might have broken the back, you know, to the coming up the stairs, all of this is going through their head, which is why they’re with us and so I want them to feel at home, which is why the first thing I see is three pictures of three very, very well known action sport athletes who they will know who’ve been through our doors and they’re back doing the thing that they did in the first place to spot on with us. And then the quote the two quotes I’ve gotten there is obviously from Edison saying there ain’t no rules around here because we’re trying to achieve something. And you know, that sets the tone before they’ve even walked through the door straight away. I want them to feel comfortable that we speak action sport we speak what they do, we speak to what they do, and we’re completely empathetic to what they do. So straightaway, I’m hoping it’s putting the mind at rest and then when they open the doors. Yeah, there’s a rig in there and there’s some ways and there’s some physio treatment tables because everything’s I want everything you know, within sight of everybody. But on the walls is all the shirts, snowboard ski skateboards, all over the walls. Now that’s not just to make it look pretty. Every single one of those pieces of kit or a shirt that sort of sign on the wall is an athlete that’s had that season ending career threatening or life threatening trauma and has combat and those are the rules. It’s the wall of shame as I call it, you can’t put anything up on the wall of shame until you back to so we’ve got your back to sport. So they’ll walk in and now we’re surrounded by all this memorabilia of other athletes they know from all of the sports and suddenly the injury isn’t so bad and again they’re a little bit more at home and this will be a little things we do as well. I’ve got some BMX is in there because I think we should all BMX is in our gyms to be a ride around on because why not? And the fundamental I think a key piece of equipment we’ve got is Mario Kart which is projected onto the wall. So it’s like you know,


Brett Bartholomew  39:41  

you have Mario Kart projected on it.


Darren Roberts  39:46  

So we have a projector in there. Obviously people look at him but always up for work with contagions. I’m like well, you could use it for that. It’s actually from Mario and X Box. So some of the athletes like to play college up on the X blocks but mainly we play mario cart and so and obviously I’ve got disco lights in there as well because who needs normal gym lighting, so we take it pretty seriously though we’ve got a Mario Kart leaderboard in the gym, and everybody everyone who comes to has to has to race everyone races against each other. And there’s just a videos on Twitter and Instagram that I’ve put up and it gets really competitive so straight away. You know, we’re not talking about force velocity. We’re not talking about what adaption is we’re looking at the soft tissues not talking about biological healing rates of ACLs it’s we’re just treating them as people and they’ve got to feel comfortable and that they’re in an environment that is completely subject to action sports. Looks like action sports tastes like action sports, do actual sports things and we speak the language as well. You’ve got to be a sweet dude or do that that’s really important. And by connecting with them on that human and personal level, and making it look like a playground, then they’re going to engage with it more readily because that is that the environment that they want to be a playground environment with other athletes that they know. And they’re confident that we understand what they’re going through and how to get them back


Brett Bartholomew  41:16  

to break here for a moment to recognize our sponsor Momentus. We’ve talked about it on previous episodes, but I want to make sure you guys understand that if you’re interested in nutrition at all whatsoever. Momentus also has a blog on their website, and we have patients from all over that are contributing information and these are dietitians that have worked in the NBA, the NFL, even the fitness market, guys so no matter what you’re into, there’s something for you from an educational capacity on that blog at Also you guys are regular listeners and you’re looking you know just for a product that you can give the guys and you don’t have to worry about okay is this have banned substances this has anything else I need to be on alert of Momentus goes through some of the most rigorous 10 pre seizures of any company I have ever seen. Not only are they NSF approved, but they’re also informed choice. They do tons of third party testing and they’re constantly making sure that they’re staying above board on all the latest and newest regulations and guidelines that come out. They’re absolutely obsessive about it. If you guys want to learn more, make sure to go to, and you guys will get $20 off your first order by using code Brett 20 at checkout. And that’s it and just use Brett 20 at checkout and you guys will get $20 off your first order. Always want to thank Momentus for the support that they give us and now back to the podcast 


Yeah, but Darren and I’m gonna devil’s advocate here. What would you say to coaches that are saying, you know, listening to this and saying, That’s ridiculous, he’s catering and creating a playground type environment there’s no way these guys are going to be focused. There’s no way any real work gets done you know, like, a lot of coaches still have things on their wall like pain is weakness and, power on the rock and consistency. Is you know, like you’re telling me that the key to getting these guys engaged is Disco lights. Yeah, I have a Nerf gun wars like messing around. 


Darren Roberts  43:23  

Yeah, that’s the other stuff as well. We’ve got an extensive Nerf gun armory, a very extensive nerf gum armory, nerf grenades, nerf Claymore mines. So if you ever visit our facility, you know you have to be hyper aware of any door that you open or any corner that you turn around because you may get a nerf grenade or claymore mine to the face. So obviously it’s also by ongoing campaign. Of making the physios lives hell by constantly nerfing the NFL. But you know when you’ve got a career ending season ending or even life threatening injury, things are sucking enough already. And so the more clickable and steroidal it is, the worse it’s going to be. And we’re not making fun of anything or anyone but as flaky as it sounds. We’re taking the power away from any injury that we’ve got. And we’re not talking about the fact that the Orebro then we’re talking about, do you want this Nerf gun or do you want that Nerf gun? Now all of this stuff happens. The physios are there. We’re in the gym, and this is what talk about hiding the broccoli on the plate. Because if we want to do all this cool stuff, which we do also need to do some of this other stuff. So it’s a case of right we’ll have a Mario battle. And then as I say you’re gonna have to do some physical therapy. May main thing is let’s get a Mario battle done. So we get the Mario battle done. Hi, everyone’s having a good laugh. They don’t mind so much that they’ve got a dick around doing the physical therapy exercises involving a Thera band which nobody wants to do, but I assume that they’ve got to be done but no one wants to do that no one wakes up in the morning goes I can’t wait to you know, squeeze my shoulder blades together with the Thera band no wants to but you’ve got to make it so that they’re happy to do it because they’re doing that in between the Merio battle and then once they finish the physical therapy, then we’re going to go and hunt some physios down with a Nerf guns right? They’re laughing, they’re smiling. there’s always more than one athlete in all from different sports or from different injuries, and if you ever come to Arby’s, no one’s talking about the ACL rupture. No one’s talking about the legs broken. No one’s talking about the broken. It’s a case of you know what times you get on Mario which  are you gonna get your own Nerf gun and bring it next time. And in the meantime, in between all of this, they’re doing their pool conditioning session of feet, they’re doing the hydrotherapy, they’re doing the soft tissue work, they’re doing all their exercises the physios have got because as well while they’re doing all their little work or balance work or whatever it is to do with a physical therapist, I’m a nurse and while we’re doing that as well, because we’ve got to be extra vigilant, which I think adds a different take on intent while we’re doing these exercises, while they’re having to train action hyper. Well, while they’re having treatment, the physio may at any moment get shot in the back of a head with a nurse or the athlete you don’t know so everyone’s always on a little bit of edge in there as I want it to be. And it sounds really chaotic and it sounds childish, but that’s how I want it because nobody wants to grow up. it’s, you know, the creative child you know, he’s the adult that didn’t grow up, right. So you’ve got to create this environment where it’s fun. It’s cool, we speak their language, but the work has to get done as well, but it’s got to be done in the right way that they will do it. Now, if you work in a traditional sport. I’m not saying that you go in to work on Monday and say right, everybody. Let’s get the Nerf guns and Mario Kart out you can’t just suddenly introduce this stuff, but certainly the fun human element of what we do and not taking what we do too seriously, is paramount. And the reason why I say don’t take what we do too seriously, is because if you’ve got a broken back, that’s kind of serious enough. So do you need me being a buzzkill about it as well going oh my god, you know, you’ve broken your heart. That’s really sad. Let’s I roomed with an anatomical post of a company while you silently get some soft tissue work. I mean, I don’t want to do that. But you know, so that’s why we go about the way we go about they say with the closest, you know, this, the old that it’s good to have a journey to end towards, but it’s the journey that matters in the end from Hemingway women. The look is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, all these little quotes around the gym because it’s not just lip service or to look cool and the athletes enjoy that you know, and it just I just think it says the term sorry I went on a massive one then


Brett Bartholomew  47:44  

what I’m getting from it is your that Peter Pan of performance


Darren Roberts  47:50  

Green tights actually


Brett Bartholomew  47:51  

it does remind me ironically enough of a quote right now I tried is that and I read an article once I’m sorry for anybody listening. I honestly do not remember who said it but but if you reach out to me, I’ll figure that out. I’ll go back after but I did screenshot it. And because it was something that I wanted to hold on to but in the screenshot it includes who it’s from, but it said you know, scientific intervention is periodic and transactional. It happens infrequently, and deals and clearly quantifiable elements. Coaching is a lifelong daily and holistic, right. And I think this is something that drives our field nuts, sometimes not everything that we can do is going to be driven by purely quantifiable outcomes. So let’s imagine you’re up on stage and you just went through everything you talked about. And I met curmudgeon in the audience, it says, Hey, thanks for your time, great presentation. All well and good. But how do you know what you’re doing is working right? There’s always that guy or gal in the audience. How do you know? You know, it seems like  it’s great. Your athletes are having fun and there’s some self attribution stuff and you’re changing the environment. But at the end of the day, our jobs are results oriented. And I don’t believe in those soft skills because I don’t think they’re quantifiable. So how are you going to how do you convince me or how can you defend this? What’s your response to that person?


Darren Roberts  49:05  

Yeah, so Exactly. I mean, you can’t very easily grasp this sort of stuff kind of well as we can because the Mario Kart this time.


Brett Bartholomew  49:14  

came in first, what was your


Darren Roberts  49:17  

last record as well? So you’re right. Like it’s all our data written down on the board? I think that is a fair question, though. Which is like how do you know how do you get it done? What you need to get done? It’s very, very simple for me, again, Oh, sounds it’s about the athlete. So does the athlete turn up? Yes. And do they come next day? Yes. And do they keep coming? Yeah. And they’re all repeat customers as well. Every time something happens from either person, they ring and do they want to come back to us yesterday. And I think if they don’t come the next day or ever again or want to come back to us that’s when they need to ask a question why that’s when I think well, is what we’re doing working ultimately, as well do they get back to their sport and do they do we return them fitter and stronger than pre injury which is always the goal as well and that’s the kind of thing that I always say as we all do with injured athletes, this is your opportunity to come back fitter and stronger and address anything else you’ve got going on and just think everyone else has been competing and you haven’t so you’ll be fresh, it’ll be awesome. And if we don’t have that engagement if we don’t return them fitter and stronger than pre injury, then that’s how we know that we’re not doing something right. And Touchwood I’ve not come across that yet, apart from the odd athlete that has had a career ending injury that we haven’t been able to get them back from. And that’s just the nature of the beast unfortunately. But we’re a private organization essentially so, you know, the customers come back and I don’t have the luxury of being with a with a team where the athlete you know, the athletes are there whether they want to be or not. And that’s no disrespect to anyone working in traditional mainstream sports. But you know, we are a commercial entity so our success is paramount the results are paramount because those assets back out into the wider world the sale you know, went here went there, but you know, work with these guys. It was awesome. We did this we did that and they got me it’s not about getting them back any quicker but it’s certainly they came back at the level that they should come back and that the performance they want to come back and that just then people just keep picking up the phone. So that’s how I judge whether what we’re doing is right or wrong. 


Brett Bartholomew  51:28  

Yeah, I think I mean, it speaks to the fact that sometimes I think in our field, we fancy ourselves to be this holistic. minded, you know, wide range kind of spectacle. Group of discerning guys was about we really lionize strength and conditioning research or just interest in related fields, whether that’s physiotherapy whether that’s what we look, we forget about the greater research out there, right, like looking at just economics when you’re talking about what’s the intervention here. You mentioned it, do they come back? Right? Are they a repeat customer? What’s your level of engagement? I mean, Gallup that organization has research from decades and decades of top organizations that looks at the level that engagement find and all that has on heart outcomes of a business. And so when people just lionize s&c bass research or stuff that’s in the performance literature, however, why do you want to consider that spectrum? But they don’t look into the business world or they don’t look at anything else? I think they’re missing the boat because that data exists. I mean, Google is an analytics company, and I’ve talked about this in my presentation for you know, almost a decade now. You know, they know how to drive people to certain sites and why they look at certain ads. They measure engagement. So if you want analytics on what engagement can do for behavior, look no further than the search engines and everything else we’re doing, because that’s all based on some of the most robust algorithms of human behavior and what AI has learned about us. For so I think you knock at home there. There is one more contentious topic I want to talk to you about. Are you game for it?


Darren Roberts  52:47  

Good. Go on then. Yeah, absolutely. 


Brett Bartholomew  52:50  

hesitant there. So I mean, I don’t want to 


Darren Roberts  52:52  

I wasn’t sure if I had any pictures of me doing something. Duncan French’s got dirt on the board. We’ve always been told you gotta be careful about this. Yeah,


Brett Bartholomew  53:00  

you know, they don’t listen. We do have pictures. Duncan and I also have pictures of Duncan, you know, he’s just winter barley. So we know secresy They’re like, we got Dunkin under wraps. Use another word come there. No, this is what I want to talk about in specifically because you deal with action sports, and you’ve been humbled by the way this will come. You don’t really just work with like the casual action athlete, you deal with some of the most high level in the world. So let’s just make sure that’s clear. Because I know you won’t admit that. But a topic came up the other day and we were talking about learning styles and not just learning styles, but learning preferences and modal strengths, right are some people from an athlete standpoint more kinesthetically, oriented, analytical? Are they more visual? Are they more tactile? Auditory. And this argument is interesting because there’s somebody that runs a podcast and has millions and millions and millions of followers. Anything’s learning Cedric bash. And the problem with that in my mind, and this is a good debate to have is most learning style or learning preference research is done in the classroom. And we know that there is a big difference between learning and retaining something in the classroom. And then somebody doing a complex whole body movement under uncertain variable conditions, and doing that with their body where they have to navigate this environment. And it’s a part of presentation that I give and I kind of discuss both sides of the argument, but what actions work and the people that you’re working with debilitation and all these different things? Do you think that modal strings and learning preferences and all these things are a thing? Or are they complete trash a waste of time, and we should not even be aware of them? 


Darren Roberts  54:28  

Well, I think so learning styles, which I’m aware of is what you’re aware of. And really, with the athletes that I work with, I don’t think about learning styles too much if I don’t think of learning styles at all. It’s more of a way of life. It’s more of a community thing. So really, it’s just creating that community and they learn from themselves and they learned from each other. So the difference with action sport athletes, compared to a traditional sport athlete is I may have a snowboarder who’s finished a heavy run of competitions in one country to the next. And I’ll say to them, you know, that’s cool, you know, what’s your plan for this six week break? They will be going snowboarding on a glacier somewhere with the people they just be competing against. And that’s the difference between traditional action sports is that community and so with the learning styles is I don’t think about whether the audio visual kinesthetic, whatever is they learn from each other and they learn from themselves and they learn through trial and error. And you know, it’s just like a tip teachers have to walk you know, that’s how they learn now is that basically that child is that kinesthetic. I have absolutely no idea what I do you know is you put more than one of them in a room for a loan for more than 10 seconds. Then stuffs gonna start happening. Whether that’s a room a gym, where we are on a mountain, it’s you can’t bring them back. If that I have done this, I I turned my back 10 of them in the gym. And I had to nip out from it and came back and apart from being on fire. They were absolutely trashing the place because that’s just what they do. Now, not only what learning style is, that’s just what they do. That’s how they learn from each other. That’s how they progress. So I don’t know if I’m answering the question here because I don’t really know the answer, but it’s the community and they don’t know what learning style they are. So I’m not saying learning styles are trash, but you’re right when we talk about learning styles, he talks about being either instructed in a room really rather than coach so I’m sure there are some forms of people learning certain ways better than most styles. I have no idea.


Brett Bartholomew  56:43  

Yeah, no, I think you make a good point. This was part of the debate, right? We were talking about the idea of styles and that I don’t think anybody is ever born with one learning style. I don’t like the term learning styles, but we do know motor learning research and people do have learning preferences and you touched on a lot even in the environment. You know, there was research done in the 70s and reproduced in the 90s that just talked about environmental learning, like listening, like if you look at an environment, right from sound, lighting, design, structure, social, we know that there’s certain people that prefer to work alone or one on one with like a practitioner and there’s other people that want to work with peers, you know, and they want to work with groups. And, you know, there’s people that want to work environments that are really quiet and a little bit more sterile maybe and then there’s others that need a lot of background noise or they need Nerf guns, so they need different lighting. Some people want a well illuminated room. Some people need softer lighting, and listen, like most people need to combine that this is from my standpoint where people get it twisted is they think when we talked about preferences when we talked about just modal strength. I mean, we all have to instruct athletes in different ways. If that was the case, everybody would simply coach their athlete the same way all the time we get optimal results and no coaching wouldn’t even be needed right AI could just do it because it’s tell somebody to do it. Tell them one way and they all do it that way all the time. And we know that doesn’t exist. We know people need some level. of variability in terms of their inputs and outputs. So I think you’ve answered it perfectly. And it sounds like you do a really good job of implementing and not catering to but molding, you know, an environment that’s a variety of different preferences because if I’m hearing you right, you got your guys would hate to work in some sterile siloed kind of just room to be one on one. They want to be around others and wanted to be raucous and they want they want fun. And that may seem obvious to everybody but not everybody wants that. So does that make a little bit more sense? 


Darren Roberts  58:22  

Yeah, look, don’t get me wrong this certain action sports what athletes I work with that do enjoy more recognizable to a traditional prescriptive structure. Don’t get me wrong, but again, we create the environment and the community more importantly, because you know, the six athletes in they may not know each other, but we create the community because they may not know each other but there are actual school athletes and it’s all what you’re here for. Well, I broke my leg as I broke my neck twice. So I’m down and you know and then we’re on to the Mario Kart so the community have been working together and because when they’re not with their sport, they’re not with their community. And the problem with action sports is their sport is their life. Their life is their sport, right? And they’re removed from their sport removed from their friends, their community support structure, because it’s freestyle action sports, sports moving on, there’s no you know, for the 3 4 6 12 months that they’re out to sports moved on to the combat for it in strong which is what we want the board’s got to come back and then sort of try and hit the level where everyone else is in terms of technical ability. but was what you’re saying is, you know, we don’t cater to or I certainly don’t cater to one style, which create the environment, create the community, and then it sort of lends itself whatever that person wants. They can sort of shape that how it suits them. So if there’s a half dozen athletes there, you know, the main form a little pockets of three on three kinds of things, you know,


Brett Bartholomew  59:44  

so it facilitates autonomy.


Darren Roberts  59:46  

Yeah, exactly the autonomy in it and it’s as much as it’s a playground, we start with the playground, and then that’s the canvas that they can put on whatever they want to put on it, and it suits them for whatever they need to suit it for. So it’s not chaos. And running around like lunatics because I can speak think of a few athletes off the top of my head that they enjoy, they enjoy it, they don’t enjoy the super prescription clinic it’s the one it’s fairly organized without wanting to loose and the playground caters for that as well. And ultimately, as I say to all the young coaches deal with who and what’s in front of you, yeah, just do that. Just do what’s in front of you. Because if it’s the same person the next week, it might be different. So just do what’s in front of you. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:28  

For yourself like quit looking at athletes


Darren Roberts  1:00:32  

absolutely I mean, you know, just be that coaching chameleon and you have to be adaptable yourself.


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:36  

Easier said than done when people don’t have a school to go to learn this stuff, right? I know you’re talking about like that. I’m gonna have to hire you because that’s the thing that we do now at art of coaching is we provide the pyramids and our coaches of all levels can can come and they get thrown into different improv scenarios and case studies small group discussions and all this and I’ve talked about a little bit on the podcast before it’s funny you see kind of a range we mix people up in groups so that you know a really high level or experienced coach such as yourself, maybe mix with Todd or Sarah from before our fitness that you know doesn’t have a ton of experience in a performance environment is still learning and his raw and we have people go through peer evaluations and get a lot of subjective and objective feedback. And sometimes you’ll see coaches that you know, that really experiences will get mad and they’ll say, Well, what do you know about what I’m doing? Who are you to grade me on the six dimensions that we evaluate them on? And we’re always having to remind them guys like this, and this person, whether more experienced or less experienced, that you’re paired up with, in some way, shape or form represents an athlete you’re dealing with in your environment. You know, like you’re only an expert mentioned, Darren, if that athlete you know, perceives you as one so you can’t get mad if a younger or older or somewhat less experience or experience in a different capacity of coach grades do poorly in this domain, because that’s going to happen, right? Like you could be the world’s best coach and you could have an athlete that’s like, No, man, I’m not vibing with you. What are you gonna get mad at them now because they’re giving you that feedback. And this is kind of where we’ve seen that a lack of previous education and social skills take over because coaches claimed to want to be lifelong learners, but then they kind of only want it how they want it right as long as it’s a book or going to a conference where it doesn’t really attack their ego. It’s like no man like you should be challenged and you should like you’re not going to get in a perfect evaluation, because that’s not the game we’re in. So, all these things, all these things perfectly. Is there anything else you kind of want to add before we wrap up? No,


Darren Roberts  1:02:34  

I mean, like I say, I don’t know what anyone can take from this in the more more traditional sports senses. Something you can go in on Monday and you know, let the lunatic island but it’s certainly something that can be sprinkled on or introduced in. Just gives someone food for thought about how to approach things slightly differently. Florida said something brilliant years is because you know the athlete doesn’t care what you know. About until they, that you care. And I like to think that the athletes know that I care. I care about them, and I’m bothered about them and I want them to do well. And that’s why we’d go to such lengths to premium environment for them. Because we care. And that just as I say just makes them then that was more open to what they need to do and how they need to do it to get to wherever they need to get to. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:03:21  

Couldn’t agree more Darren, where can people find you reach out to you send you a gifts? Probably come you know, terrorize you and your family. Maybe even come have dinner at your house. How can people 


Darren Roberts  1:03:35  

I’ll give you my blood bank details and date of birth. So I am on Twitter, and instagram. I am therealconehead on Twitter and I am therealconehead on Instagram. Now, I’ll warn you. If you seek me out on social media, I don’t really post anything of any real value other than just mean lease or being nursed by athletes because we don’t take things very very I have some lucidity obviously, where I’ll post something. I tend to post a lot of graphs on a lot of the research I’ve done which is 100% made up of course on certain aspects of the grass look good weather, you can seek me out on Twitter and Instagram through them as well. You’ll get to see some of the stuff we do with the athletes. Which you know, it might not look what you expect, but yeah, it’s just what happened.


Brett Bartholomew  1:04:30  

I love it. Well thank you so much for sharing your time and your knowledge with us. I appreciate one thing your humor you’re such a fresh take on what it means to be a leader and a coach man and and we’ll have to have you on again soon. So thanks again for your time and everybody. Please support people like Darren, these guests come on and they take time out of their day. And you know, it’s a simple fact right like these podcasts and everything else operate off algorithms just like anything else. So your ratings and reviews do matter. Please make sure to rate and review the podcast so that this episode and those like it can get heard by others. Otherwise small podcasts just kind of get drowned out by the big boys and we want to try to help as many people as possible so please honor Darren and all the other guests by just taking a few moments leaving a review on iTunes or subscribing on Spotify or what have you. We’d really really appreciate it Darren time brother 


Darren Roberts  1:05:21  

Thanks, dude. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:24  

Wait, wait before you glad I’m glad I caught you. Listen, there’s a lot of people that think that I just have social media podcasts and YouTube. Guys. There’s so many more resources. If this stuff interests you. First of all, if you haven’t checked out the book, I’d be honored if you would. It’s on Amazon worldwide. It’s called Conscious coaching buyers. So many resources, I try to provide online free ebooks, free downloads if you just go to Check out the free resources. There’s also online courses so whether you’re interested in the coaching communication psychologies guide we have an online course called Bought In. That is a great resource. It’s research back and it applies to every profession. You do not have to be a strength and conditioning coach. Literally I use the term strength coach and athlete because that’s what I do. But just like you read an article or a book by a former Navy SEAL, or somebody that owns a company in Silicon Valley, all these things are relatable to others. Also, if you’re looking more into career management, whether that’s you trying to learn more about marketing, contract negotiation, networking, resume writing, all these things, ignore the messiness of trying to create and cultivate a sustainable career. We have a course for that as well. It’s called value. Both of those are found on Remember the podcast and all these other things you know, I can only share so much and so many other mediums so please, I’d be honored if your support we tried to make sure and donate a percentage of the proceeds every year in either fight Alzheimer’s, cancer research. We donate to local police forces. We try to do a lot of different things and we can only do that with your support. Thanks again for listening to the podcast and I hope you enjoy those resources.

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