When I was a kid in Wisconsin, I didn’t know about the UFC. I was into hunting and fishing, I’d play pickup games of football, basketball, and baseball with my buddies, but really I was a band nerd.
I played trumpet for about 20 years. When I was in fifth grade, I thought it looked cool, so I picked it up and started playing. Whatever it is I do, if I like it, I try to be the best I can at it, and I was first chair trumpet all through high school.
Later, when I went to college and I played with the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The rest of the band was made up of professional musician, and even though everyone else was paid to play, I only received college credit. I like to say that I was a semi-professional musician.
I played with them for about three years and it was just wonderful. I played with their big band and their orchestral band. I would have love to keep playing, but I didn’t feel I was good enough.
Understanding the level of those musician I played with actually helped in my career as a fighter, and eventually, when I decide to go into coaching, I’m gonna be the best coach that’s ever been, and I’m gonna have the best team in MMA.
Whether it’s music or fighting, or anything, I like to be the best I can at everything I put my effort into. If you’re going to be a musician, you gotta practice 4-5 hours a day, and it’s the same with MMA if you’re going to be a real fighter.
When I do seminars, I constantly tell aspiring fighters that if they’re gonna get to the next level, they need to train twice a day, everyday, and if you’re injured, you’ve got to find some way to adapt.
So, in fighting, just like in music, you need to push yourself to the limit everyday, and you can not accept excuses from yourself.
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