Tony Holler’s 666 Theory

Coach Holler has been coaching for literally as long as I have been alive.  He came onto my radar about two months ago and I’ve enjoyed his perspective on training (his focus being mainly on speed for track and football).

I bring this “theory” up because I thought it might provoke some thought or discussion.  Not only because the 666 stands out but also for the reason that it appears to almost be unmotivating at first glance.  “What do you mean I can’t be different tomorrow?  I’m ready to make a change for the better in my life today!”  Yes, positive habits and lifestyle changes do need to be practiced one day at a time and they’ve got to start somewhere.  Change can begin today.  However, in the bigger picture I see two important points

#1 Results take time.  Most things worth doing will take diligence, work, and grit.  In the world of training and performance most of us want results yesterday, not 6 months down the road.  That’s not to say that some results can’t come quickly but it’s a process.  Consider how long it’s been that you’ve been living or eating a certain way.  Or, when something is brand new, understand it going to take a while.  No one just picks up an instrument and immediately it all comes easily.

#2  Some days your “workout” (I still dislike that word), training, or practice will not go well.  This crappy day does not define you.  What’s more important is the accumulation of great work over the long haul (6 weeks, days months, etc) rather than one bad day.  On a personal level I have dealt with this situation more than I care to admit.  Every now and again at Highland Games practice I stink at one or more of the nine events.  And I mean, it looks like I’ve never done the event before, kinda stinks.  Like, I can’t believe I’ve been practicing this for a few years now because I feel like a baby giraffe that’s learning to walk, kind of stink.  What I do to combat a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is remind myself that the amount of quality work I’ve put in over the last 6 weeks, etc. far outweighs today.  Today will not define me!

From a non sporting perspective, image that you are terrible human being for the majority of your life but today you’d like to make a change and treat people better.  That’s a great thing.  But, it’s going to take a while before people actually see you as a decent human being.  Just because you’ve turned it around this week doesn’t necessarily make up for a lifetime of indiscretions. Perhaps we can talk again in 6 weeks or 6 months………

When I heard Coach Holler explain his thought process it was in reference to making changes “before the big game or meet”.  He wanted to show that trying to make significant changes today isn’t going make you a better runner or football player this weekend.  What is more important is the focus and practice you’ve dedicated over the past 6 weeks, months, and years.  That’s what will ultimately show itself on “game day”.

  • Mike Baltren