Lunch with NFL Strength Coach, Johnny Parker–wisdom from the trenches

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I was very blessed and humbled to be invited to meet with Coach Johnny Parker and a number of other coaches/athletes for lunch yesterday.

My good friend, USA Weightlifting US International Coach, Rich Lansky set up the meeting with Coach Parker, Stefan Visk (IMG Academy), Shawn Pitcher (IMG Academy), Matt Faller Exercise Science student and Thrower at Florida Southern.
Here’s a few of the nuggets (they are not quoted, just notes on the concepts):

  • Know what each athlete is capable of and demand it from them every day
  • Instill a sense of fear, though not physical fear, which leads to respect.
  • You want athletes to do their best because they know you believe in them and they don’t want to let you down
  • Eventually they will want to do their best because they like how it feels to truly give 100%
  • You can always lighten up, but you can’t always tighten up
  • Don’t ever compromise what is most important to you
  • Have a sense of urgency
  • Don’t let anything slide
  • Know the person you are talking with
  • Stick to your non-negotiable exercises
  • If I can’t evaluate you I can’t teach you
  • I have moved away from 1RMs
  • Don’t ever give up on a kid (note: Coach Parker calls his athletes kids) you might be on the verge of a breakthrough
  • Make them feel special
  • Love the kids not the weights
  • Have a few simple principles that guide your life
  • Confrontation does not have to be combat
  • Find ways to create circumstances that allow you to do what you want

Coach Johnny Parker is a gold mine of coaching experience, proven “in the trenches”.

I highly recommend his book called “The System”.

Learn more about Coach Parker here

Published by ironcave1

I was the owner of the Cave, a strength-based, veteran-owned, unconventional coaching facility, which closed on May 31, 2022 after almost 12 years. My full focus is now on bringing our steelclub and mace training called Mace Fit out to the public. Follow us at and @2slingsteel.

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