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Friday Night Journals

Written on June 2, 2009 at 5:11 am, by Eric Cressey

I usually write my blog posts a few days in advance – and that’s the case with today’s blog, which I’m actually writing on Friday night, May 29. It’s 10:31PM, and I’m not going to lie: I’m absolutely exhausted (and, I guess it technically should be called “tonight’s blog,” even if it’s published four days after I write it).

My fiancee had a pre-graduation party of sorts to attend with some classmates, and because I was covering the gym until 5:30PM (and Friday traffic in Boston is a pain in the butt), I wasn’t home in time to tag along.  Since I’m pretty beat and I missed out on my chance to have some fun tonight, I decided to make lemonade out of rotten lemons.

Sure, I wrote a few programs for athletes and answered a few emails, but the “excitement” for my night was a chance to get better as a coach.  You see, I delved into the folder I keep on my desktop entitled “Overhead Throwing Journal Articles.”  Essentially, this folder is full of PDFs of all sorts of studies relating to baseball – from injury prevention, to performance, to characteristics of successful athletes.  Call me a dork, but it’s a Friday night, and I’m psyched to be reading this stuff.

Why?  Well, I want to be the best in the world at developing baseball talent – for my sake, my family’s sake, and most importantly, for the athletes who trust their development to me.  Baseball players account for 74% of the Cressey Performance clientele, and I feel it’s my obligation to them to be as on-top of things as is humanly possible.

I don’t want this to come across as a “hooray for me” post, so I’m trying to choose my words wisely – but I can honestly say that I HATE not knowing something.  It’s a hatred that’s driven me to read everything I can get my hands on and make the most of the valuable experiences I’ve been afforded and relationships I’ve cultivated with bright minds in related fields of study.

A few weekends ago, during the Q&A section of the Perform Better Summit in Providence, Al Vermeil – quite possibly the best strength and conditioning coach of all time (has won multiple Super Bowl and NBA Championship rings) – came right out and said (paraphrased, as I recall it), “I’m tired of hearing about people in the fitness industry asking about how to make more money.  The only thing I ever focused on was becoming a better coach.  Get really good at what you do and then you’ll make enough money.”

It really rang true for me, as my mindset all along has always been to just keep getting smarter and smarter: something that’s easy for me to work toward, as I genuinely love what I do.  I often get asked how I have accomplished so much by age 28, and the answer is that I really love it, and work has never been about a paycheck.  It’s been about gathering, interpreting, utilizing, and disseminating information – to my athletes and reading/viewing audiences.

So, I guess you could say that a Friday night with a collection of journal articles isn’t such a bad thing.  I’m guessing Al Vermeil had plenty of “Journal Fridays” along the way to all those rings.  When was the last time you set aside a Friday night (or several of them) to get better in your chosen field?

8 Responses to “Friday Night Journals”

  1. Daniel Says:


  2. Billy Meyer Says:

    Man… I wish there were more of you guys out there. I deal with my own injuries so much, and read so much… that’s what I”m interested in. It’ so frustrating when you dont’ know something but there’s always something to know. Even buying books with the expense of staying healthy, to learn, can be difficult. Thanks for putting your nerdy self out there. We all appreciate it. I sweear, one day I’m going to make it to Boston and let you have a look see at me as I played ball and have shoudler problems and my knees and hips are starting to go too. Dr’s already looked at me and in my non-expert opinion they have very limited vision. Thanks again dude for your passion to help others. I’m a coach, and I apply alot of your stuff to my athletes, and even bought copies of maximal strength for several of them as the coach says: you need to get stronger. Well, no crap… they are 14. I’ve added a few mobility drills for some of the guys from MM and I/O to maintain scapular stability. I just can’t do too much for liablity reasons. Thanks for yoru passion. It’s like on a team, it is contagious. So again, thanks for all your hard work… even though it’s only you being you.
    Billy Meyer

  3. AB Says:


    Can we get a list/titles of some of those articles/journal studies so we can add to our resource libraries?



  4. David Coggin Says:

    Hello Eric, I tain many overhead throwing athletes in CA and was once one myself. I had a great trainer when I used to play that would have pitchers throw long toss right after a bullpen, and the results where the best and strongest i have ever seen a ball travel. I have started doing it with my pitchers and have seen amazing results and confidence in the pitchers. Have you any thoughts on why the arm respongs so well and if you have ever done it. thanks David

  5. Paul Says:


    My hat goes off to you. The vast majority of people are promoting ways to get more money using business practices but are forgetting to actually get people better at their jobs! Get better results and the money will come!

    In many ways i have modeled my approach to coaching and lecturing to other health professionals from you. Every time I lecture my students always get a list of textbooks and articles to read to back up what I have said but also to make sure they take the in initiative and learn for themselves.

    Thanks heaps Eric,

  6. Robbie Says:

    Everyday I study, everyday. Everyday Im always wanting to know more. I too have a hatred for not having an indepth knowledge of something.

    Eric you are an amazing coach and an inspiration to me to be the best I can be. If I turn out to be half the coach you are, I’d be a happy man.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Luka Hocevar Says:

    I’m glad you were the one that influenced my development as a strength coach because I think that “hating” not knowing something rubbed of on me.

    Apart from the fact that I’m completely intrigued by anything that improves the performance of the human body and I love researching and reading everything about it, I am still completely inspired by your knowledge in the field. Im just constantly working on being as smart as that Eric Cressey guy 🙂

    I figure its a good path to follow because I may neve catch up but it drives me and makes me better at my craft. It’s a journey with no end….and that’s a good thing!

    Luka Hocevar

  8. Rob Says:

    I appreciate the time and effort you put into your articles, website etc. You clearly have a passion for what you do. If you love what you do then it never seems like work. Using a Friday night to catch up on reading becomes fun since it’s the only free chance you can get during the week.

    I once had a professor who made it a point to read an article every morninng when he got to work. Over time this became a habit. It is amazing the amount of knowledge you can obtain by this practice.

    Not only does one become more knowledgable, but it comes across to your clients. They can see the passion when you are working with them. Also, when they ask you questions, the answers are right at the tip of the tongue. This gains the confidence of the client further.

    Also, by taking the time to read articles and better yourself you in turn increase your success. This leads to more access to hot girls! Why waste time getting polluted at a dive on a Friday night when you can be reading an article?

    Keep up the good work!

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