The One Thing Your Competition Cannot Handle.
By Gino Arcaro on May 27, 2017


By Gino Arcaro

There are a number of Real-Life Lessons that I’ve taught football players for 40 years that apply on any field and in any field. No Real-Life Lesson has been more important than Real-Life Lesson #3,993 that I’ve taught football players for four decades – stay of the offensive, never get defensive.

Coaching in Football Poverty is different than coaching in Football Wealth. In Football Poverty, there is no draft, no free agent signings, and no scholarships to fill voids on your team. Coaching in Football Poverty is the same as starting a business from scratch with limited resources – you’re the underdog. You are David fighting Goliaths – plural. You have to think so far outside the box until the box disappears. Conventional thinking will not work out – dual meaning. It won’t solve the unique problems in Football Poverty and it won’t get players committed to the weight room.

In 1984, I was promoted to unpaid volunteer head coach of a high school at the age of 26 after 8 years as an assistant coach. I was a conventional thinker. We got slaughtered. We suffered a winless season. Contrary to popular myth, there is nothing fun about a season-long losing streak. I never have and never will romanticize losing streaks because getting slaughtered on the scoreboard means you’re getting slaughtered in mind, body, and soul. The only good news about losing is investigating it. Investigate losing and you will solve the mystery of winning. Study losing carefully, figure out exactly why you lost, and change it. All the evidence you need to win is discovered by investigating losing. It’s easier said than done because the truth hurts. The truth is as painful as getting slaughtered every week. It’s easy to ignore the truth because lies, alibis, and denials are less painful because lies, alibis, and denials are effortless, literally and figuratively.

We conducted an autopsy of the 1984 winless and found the truth. Changes were made and our no-win all-loss record reversed. The next season in 1985, we recorded a perfect season. Undefeated league champions. Here was the difference between winless and undefeated:

  1. Ideological consistency. I found my true self. I stopped being a conformist. I did what I believed in, contradicting the Football Establishment’s traditional wisdom.
  2. We stayed on the offensive. We cut the fat – dual meaning. First, I changed our workouts to my personal system that I used since 1969, an extreme high-intensity strength & conditioning training program that cuts a lot of players who don’t want to spill their guts in the weight the way we do. Secondly, we threw out our playbook and created a new system. We limited our offense to five basic run plays and five basic passing concepts and floored it. We changed the pace of our offense on game-day and practice. Football became a fitness contest. And I called plays based on what I believed in – repetition. Hammer the opponent with the same plays over and over and over. I often called the exact same play several times consecutively because of the 90-10 Rule – over 90% of defenders cannot handle repetitive work. They can’t handle having to defend the same play over and over and over. Repetitive work makes over 90% quit. Repetitive work breaks them down in mind, body, and soul. The reason is that they don’t train to handle extreme repetitive work. Extreme repetitive work is the main element of the grind. Over 90% can’t handle the grind. Hammering the opponent at the same place over and over and over again will break down any Goliath. Natural talent is overrated. Unless you grow some by training with extreme repetitive work, the grind will grind down over 90% of defenses, regardless of natural talent. Your competition can’t handle repetitiveness. Over 90% will crack under the pressure of repetitiveness.
  3. We stopped getting defensive. There are two ways to get any job done – proactive and reactive. When I was a police officer between 1975-1990, I learned that there is a big difference between proactive policing and reactive policing. The same applies to proactive football and reactive football. The same applies to proactive workouts and reactive workouts. Getting defensive means reacting to what happens to you instead of making the opponent react to what happen to them. Getting defensive means worrying about what is going to happen to you instead of making the opponent worry about what happens to them.

We have VHS and Beta tapes from the 1985 season of drives where we called the exact same running play over and over and over until the defense cracked at the point of attack. The only balance that mattered was us staying balanced physically while we made the defenders unbalanced physically at the point of attack. We don’t believe in a balanced offense. We either run to extremes or pass to extremes but never in between because there’s no time in Football Poverty to achieve balanced expertise.

Football, like real-life, is a contest of balance. S/he who stays balanced wins. S/he who is unbalanced, gets flattened. Football, like real-life is complicated but there’s simplicity – don’t lose your balance. The moment you lose your physical and psychological balance, you lose all your strength. Staying balanced retains strength.

I adopted the same Real-Life Lesson to X Fitness, our independent gym that we started from scratch in 2001. Every human told us we wouldn’t survive, that we didn’t stand a chance of making it work out. It has worked out for 16 years and will continue to work out because we stay on the offensive. We call the same play over and over and over. We stay on message over and over and over. We work out the same way over and over and over. The reason is that repetitive work, works out. Repetitive messages get across. Repetitive lifting builds strength.

I’ve taught college law enforcement students and football players the same message for decades – Real-Life Lesson #4,514: If you fear the grind, they will grind you down. Never fear the grind. We don’t conceal the grind with masking agents. The students and athletes who reached the next level and turned pro in the chosen field loved the grind. The grind was an achievement. Those who hate the grind, run like hell away from it.

X Fitness is committed to lift the whole world by sponsoring Blunt Talk Podcast. Blunt Talk Podcast has included a wide range of professionals who have shared powerful insights, guaranteed to provide optimal lifting experience. In two years, Blunt Talk Podcast has reached 71 countries and over 22,000 listeners. Please visit Blunt Talk Podcast. All 157 episodes of Blunt Talk Podcast are free, permanently archived, compliments of my gym, X Fitness. Every guest is a soul-lifter, guaranteed to lift.

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Blessings and all good things.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

Head coach – Niagara X-men football

Owner – X Fitness Inc.


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of SWAT FOOTBALL Books are at:

His books include:

4th & hell: seasons 1 and 2, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT No-Huddle Offense, SWAT Defense, SWAT Tackling Video & e-book,  X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur

He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” He is currently writing three non-fiction motivational novels book called The Mystery of Murder: Working with the dead, Midnight Shift from Hell, and Another Bar Fight. Another book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage.