Call of the Hunt
by Coach John Davies

Note from the editor: For those of you not familiar with the work of Coach John Davies, his name is synonymous with athletic success. He has worked with countless professional and college level athletes and as his his track record will attest, he is in a league of his own. He has developed speed and strength programs for many top colleges as well as consulting a number of NFL teams, some of which include the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers and many others. The NFL has used him as a consultant to determine which college athletes are even worth taking a second look at for the draft. He has written articles for many well-respected magazines and his long awaited book on Renegade-style football training is now available. Order it now from Without further ado, Coach Davies...

Over the last year many readers have become exposed to my Renegade training philosophy. My training philosophy has been considered draconian to some and just simply unscientific madness by others. Yet as often the case - results speak for themselves and the extraordinary results of the Renegade athlete has validated my approach time and time again. Yet in fact these results are not borne of a blind luck but of careful, intense planning and a ruthless dedication to assail the greatest heights of physical performance.

As I was approached to write a column for Shapeshifter, I was given the luxury to discuss a limitless range of topics. After much consideration, it was obvious that while much is discussed on physical training issues little in written in an unbiased setting on preparation outside of an athletes training period. Unfortunately athletes whether young or old have a great deal of difficulty obtaining information that is written without a hidden agenda of selling some sort of product. In today's age of limitless information it is extremely difficult to sort out the fact from the hype for even myself. Therefore, with this mind the focus of this column will be to present the equally important side's of athletic development and health management of mental preparation, visualization, motivation, regeneration techniques, diet and nutrition. While the topics discussed will be practically used to enhance sports performance they can naturally be used to improve general health, motivation and work related performance in everyday walks of life. Of course by now you may be considering the title of the column. With such an ominous title I should possibly explain the concept of "The Call of the Hunt" before there is too much confusion. It is possibly best described using one of my first encounters as a guest coach to a team and seeing athletes flourish by understanding this concept.

It was early summer and I had scheduled the first practice with a new team to start just minutes before the sun rose. I remember the morning quite well as it had a menacing feel to it. The morning air was heavy with a modest chill to it and the ground was dew covered. That time of the morning is special for bringing athletes together as if they were great warriors readying for battle. Assembling before me with barely a sound they keenly fixed their eyes on me. As I surveyed the group, something was curiously unique about them. Physically, they were a ragtag group who most considered simply as average, but looking into their eyes they had that special look that screamed out that they wanted much more of themselves. They were not going to surrender until they were the best and yes emblazoned on me what the Renegade athlete was. Courteous and dedicated they listened and responded to my training regardless of pain and exhaustion. No glamour here - just a brilliant blue-collar work ethic that was relentless where others would easily "ring the bell" and give-up. Over and over as the years went by they dedicated themselves daily as if there lives depended on it. Like the great warriors of an ancient civilization they were "on the hunt" to fend for there family, their brothers, their teammates. It was if they fought on to stave off being vanquished from superior opponents as they dedicated themselves to there craft and developed into imposing warrior-athletes of there own right. As time went on their commitment and dedication was rewarded handsomely as they attained their loftiest of goals. For these athletes, they understood that the pathway to greatness that I speak of so often was through the concept of being "on the hunt".

Therefore you can see the title of the column isn't merely of what it takes physically for athletic success but equally the role of will, desire and complete focus. As we consider the parameters of being "on the hunt" it will also becoming glaringly clear how it applies to not simply those seeking athletic superiority but those who wish to take control of there own destiny. In fact, it becomes the manner in which each of us carries ourselves in day-to-day existence. For no longer do we slink through life and accept what happens but instead kick the door of opportunity open. Like a great noble warrior we are empowered to seize opportunity and answer to the toughest competitor of all - ourselves. From every vantage of life - whether it be mental preparation for sport or weight management for health concerns, greatness lays within our grasp, no answer the call.

In faith,
Coach Davies