Monday, August 22, 2011

InVINCEable Video Series: Exercises That Are Featured

Hi Guys,

The InVINCEable Video Series is a couple weeks from being released. It took a long time for this project to be completed but it is well worth it.  Video Creations from Kennebunk, Maine has done a great job dealing with the magnitude of footage.  This was not an easy task. Video Creations and myself have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this production.  Anyone who thinks that putting a video of just about every exercise Vince taught is an easy thing to do, needs to think again.  To have a professional quality video requires high end video camaras and equipment, and professional photographers and videographers.  Once all the raw footage is taped, the producer and editors (Blake Baldwin, Lee Cote, Mary Tibbetts) must edit all the content to fit on a DVD.  The software that was used in the making of the DVD's is not imovie, it is the same software used in Hollywood movie sets. We spared no expense in this production.  I wanted to pay tribute to Vince and to produce a video that I could feel proud of.  This project would not have been possible if it wasn't for the great folks at Video Creations. Thank you guys.

I hope that you will learn from these videos and incorporate these exercises into your training programs.  They are unique and are the best exercises for developing a classic drug free physique.

Here are the exercises that are featured: This was a lot of work.

Concemetric Crunch
Half sit-up
abdominal vacuum
bench knee tucks
frog sit-up
hip roll
mini trampoline
table/ bench crunch
stiff leg raise
serratus dips
ab planche
weighted curl ups

Back Exercises
45 degree row
low cable strap row
low prone row
mid cable strap row
strap alternating row
high cable row
short pulley row
raciing dive lat pulls
one arm cable row
seated lat pulldown
overhead pulldown
scapula rotation
daryl's speciall pulldown
alternating dumbbell bentover row
bentover row head on bench
high bench row
high bench dumbbell row
head on bench dumbbell row
long pulley row
low lying prone lat pull
mid cable bar row
wide grip pull ups
v-bar pull ups

Bicep exercises
pro bicep curl
standing two arm dumbbell curl
standing alternate dumbbell curl
bentover barbell curl
preacher stand dumbbell curl
preacher stand reverse side dumbbell curl
spider bench curl
high bench prone bicep curls
standing incline bicep curl
bicep pull ups
incline dumbbell curl
lat pulldown bicep curl
incline alternating dumbbell curl

Smith machine calf raise
hack machine seated calf raise
hack machine calf raise
alternating calf raise
smith machine standing calf raise
dumbbell calf raise
seated calf raise
walk off alternating calf raise
donkey calf raise
one and a half smith machine

Chest Exercises
Decline dumbbell scoop
neck press on decline bench
incline dumbbell press
dumbbell flies on flat bench
incline dumbbell fly
neck press
the gironda dip
Fulcrum push up
pulley crossover
vince's ring chest fly

seated 90 degree posterior raise
high bench laterals
seated lateral raise
kosloff lateral raise
dumbbell alternating press
dumbbell circle
dumbbell upright row
dumbbell side swing zorros
dumbbell press and negative lateral
scott shoulder press
barbell upright row
clean and press
military barbell press
smith front and back shoulder press
dip stand shoulder press
alternate front raise
dumbbell incline lateral raise
power posterior dumbbel raise

off bench barbell wrist curl
hammer curl
squatting wrist curl
reverse body drag
reverse preacher forearm cul
zottman curl

Hamstring Exercises
dumbbell hamstring curl
bicep femoris hack squat
prone hamstring curl low
prone hamstring curl high

seated tricep overhead extension
one arm power extension
tricep bench dip
high bench tricep kickback
tricep pullover and press
pulley power pushdown
tricep elbows wide pushdown
narrow grip neck press
elbows wide pressdown

Quadricep exercises
frog squat
dillinger squat
jefferson squat
cable adduction
smith machine frog squat
power leg extension
45 degree hack slide
the famous sissy squat
half lunges
front squat

tags:  Daryl Conant, Vince Gironda, Ron Kosloff, humna cell human cell human cell human cell


I would say that a high percentage of folks who exercise are overtraining. It is important to keep the nervous system healthy and working efficiently.  Performing too many reps, sets, and using an intensity greater than threshold repeatedly will result in poor synaptic transmission.

When the action potential fires from the nervous system to the muscle the muscle contracts. The more action potentials  the weaker the synaptic transmission becomes. What this means is that the intensity of the stimulation to make the muscle contract becomes less.  This is why during the normal lifting sequence we get fatigued on the last set and can't perform as many reps.  The synaptic transmission has been depleted.  So, if you continue to work the muscle and nervous system beyond the effective limit you will produce an overtraining effect.

You don't have to work a muscle at 100% intensity. This will cause a loss of anabolic hormone and cause cortisol to release. Working at 100% overstimulates the motor units. Whenever the motor units are overstimulated the natural secretion of anabolic hormone is not released.  Our nervous system is very sensitive to any kind of external and internal stimulation.  Working beyond threshold will weaken the nervous system.

I suggest that you use a weight that is 65-85% of your maximum.  Workout with the higher end percentage at the beginning of the week, and the lower end percentage at the end of the week.  The reason for this is because your nervous system will be able to handle the heavier load at the beginning of the week because you are coming off a rest from the weekend.  As the week progresses the nervous system becomes weaker, due to physical and mental stress (from work, family, etc).

For some reason we were taught at an early age that more is better and that the heavier the weigh the better.   But this is not true.  The more is better philosophy will only hurt you in the long run.  It is better to train smarter than to over train.

Bottom line: Your nervous system is very sensitive. It is the gateway to muscular contractions. When it becomes weak, muscle contractions become weak.  Poor muscle contractions = no gains!

tags: Vince Gironda, Daryl Conant, Ron Kosloff, human cell, human cell human cell, human cell

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Greatest Fallacies in American Nutrition and Fitness History

Here are the greatest fallacies in American nutrition and fitness history. By Daryl Conant, M.ED CSCS

1. Red meat is bad for you. And we should all be eating chicken instead. or beans and rice.  

2.  Eggs are going to kill you.

3. Cholesterol is bad for you and we should all have the same cholesterol level. 

4. Processed foods are good for you.

5.  Drinking wine, coffee,  eating dark chocolate are healthy for you and everyone should consume these three items.

6. "Weight loss" works.

7.  Treadmills and other cardiovascular training machines are best for fat burning.

8. Weight training for women will make them muscle bound like a man.

9.  Exercising more than 45 minutes is beneficial and makes a person more fit.

10. Calories is an accurate way of determining if the food should be consumed or not.

11. Banana's are a great source of potassium. And all people wanting to lose weight should eat bananas. 

Here are my answers to these ridiculous fallacies.

1. Red meat is bad for you.  I know the vegetarians and cardiologists that read this blog are going to become enraged when I say this, but I stand firm in my belief.  TRUE ORGANIC RED MEAT  is the second best source of protein that humans can consume.  Our own muscle tissue is red meat.  We must replenish our muscle tissue with a protein that is as close to our own makeup  as possible. Red meat is the best assimilated protein for building muscle.  There are a tremendous amount of nutrients in red meat.  Red meat is a hormone precursor food.

Poultry (chicken, turkey, foul) is considered to be the healthy meat.  Millions of Americans consume chicken every day.  Poultry is a terrible protein for building muscle.  It is a low hormone precursing food.  Just because it is chicken doesn't mean that it is better for you than red meat.  Real organic red meat is the best form of meat to eat.

Beans and rice are complimentary proteins that provide the correct ratio of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  However, beans digest very slowly and are encased with a lot of fiber. By the time the protein is broken down, much of the value has been degraded.  Due to the slow uptake beans are not a hormone precursing food.  In addition beans are hard to digest for many people, which can result in digestive distress (gas, bloating).  But beans and rice every once and a while is sufficient. Bean protein is good for the cardiovascular system more so than building skeletal muscle. Red meat is still the king for building muscle tissue. 

2.  Eggs are going to kill you. Anyone who knows me knows how ridiculous this idea is.  Intelligent humans know that eating eggs won't kill you.  Nor does eating eggs increase a persons bad cholesterol levels. This is physiology 101.  In fact, eggs can help lower cholesterol levels.  And eggs are considered the perfect food. Eggs are the best protein source available. Eggs are the best hormone precursing foods to consume. 

The cholesterol in eggs helps to ignite the master hormone Pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is a derivative of cholesterol. This hormone can be synthesized into various hormones; progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, adlosterone, cortisol, Lutenizing hormone, etc.  To help increase the production of pregnenolone, hormone precursing foods need to be established into the body.

When a person cuts out their cholesterol intake they are at risk of producing inadequate amounts of pregnenolone, therefore, resulting in dysfunction of the systems.  Weight  gain, depression, anxiety, muscle loss, psychological imbalances can all result from insufficient amounts of hormone precursing foods. Another great advantage of pregnenolone is its ability to boost the immune system reducing the inflammation factors within the body.

Eggs are EGG-CELLENT!!! Get cracking.

Note: Avoid eating eggs that are hard boiled, or over cooked. Never cook eggs in a microwave.

3. Cholesterol is bad for you and we should all have the same cholesterol level. As mentioned in #2, cholesterol is essential in the production of many hormones in the body.  Doctors love to manipulate blood cholesterol levels with medications.  Everyone who gets a physical has their blood cholesterol levels tested.  Some people have high cholesterol levels while other might have low.  If the cholesterol level is considered too high then the doctor will administer a statin type drug to block the production of cholesterol in the liver.  But I feel that this doesn't solve the problem nor is it always the best approach.  If I were to get my cholesterol tested it would most likely be high.  This is because I bodybuild and am constantly tearing down muscle tissue.  Naturally my cholesterol levels would be high to help in the repair of the tissue.  Cholesterol is not the bad guy. In fact, cholesterol helps increase the anabolic properties necessary to increase lean body mass.  However, I would probably be told by the doctor that I would have to take a drug to block the production of cholesterol. This would be disastrous for me because it would be going against what my body is capable of producing to help support my physiological make up.  To say that all humans should have exactly the same blood cholesterol level seems strange to me.

Cholesterol is necessary for healthy functioning of the human body.  If you really want to get nit picky then I would say stop eating refine, processed sugar. Sugar is the problem for blocking the coronary arteries-- not cholesterol.  Sugar scratches the interior lining of the arteries, cholesterol is released to help patch up the scratches. The more sugar that is consumed the more cholesterol is produced, until eventually there is so much damage to the artery wall that the cholesterol builds up and occludes the artery.  So when the surgeon opens up the person and sees that the artery is blocked by cholesterol they assume that the person's heart attack is a direct result of cholesterol, when in fact it was a result of eating too much sugar.  The cholesterol was only trying to help repair the artery wall, but the person kept eating sugar causing damage to the artery. Cholesterol is not the bad guy, over consuming sugar is.

4. Processed foods are good for you. The number one contributor to obesity, cancer, and other ailments  of the body is from the use of chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, anti-biotics, excocitoxins, nitrates, carcinogens, synthetic steroids, cement, food coloring. Processed food is what is destroying the health of humans.  Our food supply is so tainted with cancer producing agents that I get angry thinking about it.  The reason why we have processed food is because it is a cheap way of making food last, and helps satisfy population control.

The Earth is becoming depleted of its natural food sources because the human population is increasing in astronomical proportions.  If we had to resort to only eating natural organic healthy farm raised food there wouldn't be enough food to keep up the the human population.  This would cause disastrous results. So in order to satisfy the population processing food was developed. Now you can take a piece of corn and produce enough junk food to feed thousands of people.  You can homogenize and pasteurize milk to last for months, as opposed to a week with raw milk.  So you see that food processing, unfortunately, has become a necessary evil.  The goal is to try and feed billions of people without losing the entire natural food supply.  My guess is that the Earth's natural food source will be completely depleted within the next 100 years.  Once this happens the only food supply will be from synthetic and processed foods.

Processed foods, over time will contribute to the death of the body.  Eating small amounts of toxins over years will eventually produce ill effects that the immune system cannot defend. I had an older women (80years old) tell me that she eats junk food everyday and has been for years and doesn't have any health problems.  I asked her how many medications she takes per day and she told me that she takes between 8-12 pills per day, for high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, depression etc.  She was proud that she ate junk food but I told her that if it wasn't for the drugs then she would have died years ago.

Drugs are the regulator of processed food now and for the future.  Drug companies are constantly making up new concoctions to combat the poisons that are in our food.  The interesting thing is, is that most food companies are owned by drug companies hmmmmmmmm, makes you wonder doesn't it?

5.  Drinking wine, coffee,  eating dark chocolate are healthy for you and everyone should consume these three items.
This is garbage. People are so gullible in believing that eating dark chocolate, drinking coffee, and drinking alcohol is healthy.  "But Daryl they are loaded with anti-oxidants and doctors recommend a little wine everyday."  That is the argument I always get when I tell folks not to drink wine.  Let me clear this up for you.  There was a study in England a few years back that suggested a little red wine was good for reducing free radical production in the bloodstream.  After this study was done doctors all over the world agreed that red wine in small amounts consumed daily is beneficial.  Well there is truth to this, however, I don't like it.  Yes! there is a small amount of anti-oxidants in the grapes that make up red wine.  And having a little will be alright.  But the amount of wine to be consumed is only a shot glass in size about 1 oz. of actual fluid.  Most people consume way more than this per drink. Drinking too much alcohol causes a person to become poisoned (buzzed, drunk), which taxes the liver.  Years of drinking will eventually cause more harm than good.  There are way more anti-oxidants in broccoli than red wine. Eat broccoli everyday for all of you anti-oxidants needs and forget about the wine.  

Another silly thing is eating dark chocolate to get your daily anti-oxidants. Dark chocolate, like wine, has some small amounts of anti-oxidants that are proven to help boost immunity.  However, the amount of dark chocolate necessary to receive this benefit is the equivalence of 1-hersey kiss.  Unfortunately, many people can't eat just a small piece, they have to consume a handful or more.  Over consuming dark chocolate will cause digestion problems. And there is still sugar in the dark chocolate, so eating a ton will increase your blood sugar levels causing insulin to spike. 

Coffee is considered to be a mood altering drink. It helps boost energy in those folks that are tired.  The caffeine helps stimulate the sympathetic nervous system giving rise to increased energy. Unfortunately, this effect only lasts for a short duration. Once the caffeine clears the blood system, blood glucose levels are low. The person then resorts to another cup of caffeine to boost their energy again. This type of habitual cycle will cause the adrenal glands to get fried.  Coffee also produces high levels of cortisol. Cortisol is directly linked to an increase in abdominal and visceral fat.  Once the adrenal glands get fried the chances of losing abdominal fat is greatly reduced. 

Though these substances mentioned are not the most evil things to consume, if consumed only in moderation and in small amounts.  The problem is that most people over consume these addicting substances, and that is the problem.

6. "Weight loss" works. Weight loss does not work.  It is incorrect to lose weight. The human body is not designed to lose weight. It is designed to burn fat. Losing weight is one of the biggest marketing schemes of all time.  People associate losing weight with being young and fit. This is bogus. When you lose weight you lose vital tissue that the body needs to sustain healthy functioning. The end result a regain of the weight lost, in addition to having a higher fat percentage.  The focus should be on fat loss not weight loss.

7.  Treadmills and other cardiovascular training machines are best for fat burning. Cardio machines are only good for increasing the heart rate and improving the cardiorespiratory system of the body. Machines are overrated for fat burning and too many people depend on them for expecting magical results.  It is better to do functional training exercises and circuit style weight training for improving cardiovascular system. 10-20 minutes of effective training is all you will need to improve your cardiovascular fitness.  I am always amazed at places that have a bunch of cardio machines lined up row after row.  You see all of these people running like gerbils on wheels for hours trying to get that super buff body. Their goal will never come true if they only use machines to burn fat.  The problem is that the body will adapt to the intensity after a couple of weeks. The person becomes more fit at the intensity. Their heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output improve reducing the stress on the heart and lung system. The muscles become more enduring and they burn less fat.  In addition to machines not being the most effective way to burn fat, they are rather boring.  I would much rather do fun circuit style training for improving cardiovascular function.

If I thought cardio machines were worth more for burning fat and increasing lean body mass I would have rows and rows of cardio machines in my gym.  Resistance training is the most effective fat burner-- not cardio machines.

8. Weight training for women will make them muscle bound like a man. This is virtually impossible for most women. In fact, more women should be lifting weights more than men.  Women, for the most part, have a lessor concentration of testosterone and growth hormone than men. These two anabolic hormones are essential for building lots of muscle.  Women have more estrogen than men. Estrogen gives the women their feminine qualities.  They tend to carry more natural body fat than men due to higher estrogen and progesterone levels.  The woman's body is designed for child bearing. Their make up is much different than a males in terms of reproductive hormone regulation.  In order for a woman to have muscles like a man they would have to have a higher concentration of testosterone and growth hormone than the average woman. It is not impossible for a woman to be muscle bound, but chances are that most women will never attain that much muscle mass.  Age is also a factor. The older the woman gets and the closer to menopause they get it becomes much harder to put on large amounts of muscle mass.

Most women need to perform resistance training exercises for the health of their endocrine system, skeletal system, reproductive system, nervous system, muscular system. All of these systems will breakdown during the aging process. By using weights these systems will be working against a resistance and will become stronger, more enduring and have a greater functional capacity.

9.  Exercising more than 45 minutes is beneficial and makes a person more fit exercising for more than 45 minutes is a waste of time.  If you are not exhausted after 45 minutes then you are not working hard enough.  Growth hormone levels begin to drop the moment you begin training. It continues to deplete at a fast rate during the workout. By 45 minutes growth hormone levels plummet. When growth hormone levels drop too low cortisol levels increase. Cortisol inhibits muscle cell receptors ceasing any further fat or sugar metabolism.  In other words, you are wasting your time training and only increasing the risk of injury or catabolism.

10. Calories is an accurate way of determining if the food should be consumed or not . Calories are the biggest myth in nutritional history. Calories are only a measurement of heat. You can't eat calories. That is to say that you are eating a production of heat.  Which is basically expired Co2.  Because when the temperature of the tissue raises one degree celsius the hydrogen and oxygen combustion results in expiration. The end product is CO2 release.  So how can a food that hasn't been heated up  cause an increase in temperature be a true way of measuring the value of food-- it doesn't.  The calorie idea is a made up phenomenon to provide people some way of classifying their food.  "If it has fewer calories then it must be good for you."This is how people think regardless if the food has any nutrient value.

It is all about nutrient exchange and how nutrient dense a food is.  One time I was doing a book signing and I was giving away free Raw Revolution bars at my table.  This woman came up to the table and picked up a bar and said "oh, this has too many calories in it" and then put it back on the table. I asked her what she meant about the bar having too many calories. She said that it 100 calories was too much for her to eat.  I then replied by saying, "did you know that calories are only a measurement of heat and there are so many nutrients in those bars that they make a great snack. She then asked me, "what are nutrients?" This is exactly my point.  Most people know about "calories" but don't have a clue to what a nutrient is.  This is the problem. The body craves nutrients and the more nutrient dense the food is the better it is for you.  We should be reading the label for the nutrient content and the value of the nutrients-- not the silly calorie idea.

When you go to fill your car up with gasoline do you tell the person at the counter that you would like to fill up your car up with 100 horsepowers. Horsepower is a measurement of heat. "Hey Joe, how many horsepowers does your car consume?" "You need to cut down your horsepowers, your car is looking a little fat."

As you can see the calorie idea is ridiculous.  It just doesn't make any sense to base the value of food on a imaginary phenomenon.

11. Banana's are a great source of potassium. And all people wanting to lose weight should eat bananas. Banana do have potassium, but they also have a very high concentration of sugar. Bananas are high glycemic. Meaning that they have a very fast sugar absorption rate.  People that are really lean and fit can eat bananas without much concern.  People that are sedentary and trying to lose body fat from eating bananas will only increase their body fat percentage. Bananas are a weight gaining food. The extra sugar will increase insulin production in the body. When the blood system is infiltrated with too much sugar, insulin is released to open up fat cells to store the extra blood sugar.  And for the potassium, there is way more potassium in broccoli than there is in a banana.  But most Americans are addicted to sugar and eating fast and quick foods. Bananas are easy to eat and go down easy because of the high sugar content.  Avoid bananas if you are concerned with your fat percentage.

So, there you have it. My list of the greatest nutritional and fitness fallacies.
vince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince girondavince gironda

tags: daryl conant, vince gironda, ron kosloff, tiger woods, PGA Championship,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Protein Suspension Factor

This is something I have come up with to help describe what happens to protein when we exercise.  Building muscle is not an easy thing to do.  There are many variables that must be considered when building muscle; genetics, age, anabolic properties, muscle cell size and number, and protein suspension factors.

* Genetics: is the DNA coding of the cells that provide the information necessary for constructing the body and keeping the systems operating.  If there is a code in the double helix that is written, chances are that code is not going to change. For example, if the code transcripts that a person will only have so many muscle fibers or will only produce so much anabolic hormones then that is what the person has to work with.  Some folks have the gift of great genetics and some people have poor genetics.

* Age:  This is common sense. The older we get the less protein we can suspend. The cells are fewer in number and the hormone concentration drops considerably.  However, by avoiding age acquired dangerous habits (poor diet, smoking, alcohol, drugs) a person can reduce the aging effects.

* Anabolic Properties: We all have a central nervous system.  Within the central nervous there are two subdivisions; the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.  The nervous system is the electrical transmitter source of the body.  All tissue is stimulated by the nervous system. This excitability forces the cells to turn on and work.  The electrical charges are influenced by hormones in the body. There are two major categories of hormones; anabolic and catabolic.  The anabolic hormones are the ones that are responsible for providing growth and stimulation of cells. Catabolic hormones help to regulate cellular activity by turning off receptors. Everyone has a certain amount of both types of hormones.  How much a person has is dependent on genetics and cellular activity.

* Cell Size and Number: We are born with a certain number of muscle cells and the size of those cells are also pre-configured.  This is the unfortunate aspect of bodybuilding.  A person can only build their muscles so big based on the number of the muscle cells they have. The only gains they can make is by building the size of the muscle cells.  Guys that have a high concentration of fibers have the ability to build enormous muscles, while guys that have a low concentration of fibers can not build enormous muscles.

*Protein Suspension: In my book InVINCEable I introduced this concept-- protein suspension. This is something I have come up with to help discuss how muscle is transient.  When we lift weights we are trying to influence an anabolic affect on the muscle.  Making the muscles bigger is the goal.  Weight training causes a temporary breakdown of the muscle cells.  During the recovery phase the muscle is recovered and the protein reestablishes itself.  After each training and recovery cycle a little protein is sustained, I call this protein suspension.  The reason why I call it protein suspension is because that is really what is happening.  We are forcing more work on the muscles, therefore more protein is needed to keep up with the cellular demand.  It is as if the protein is suspended in the muscle.  This is why we get bigger muscles. The protein demand is greater and absorption is higher.  But the moment we stop training or stimulating the muscle with high intensity muscle cells shrink back to their original DNA make up-- muscle atrophy.  We lost the protein suspension and the muscle no longer holds onto the added protein.  The key to bodybuilding is trying to find ways to keep the protein suspended in the muscles to last longer than the DNA coding allows.  We are constantly fighting our genetic make up.

I have noticed that I will be totally pumped up and feel that my muscles are full of protein one day and then a week later my muscles feel small and the protein concentration has dropped considerably. I have gone into a catabolic affect.  Maintaining muscle tissue is not an easy thing to do. Anyone can weight train, but not everyone can maintain their gains for long periods of time.  At some point the protein will deplete from the muscle and the muscle will shrink back into the original genetic code.

Some people have it easy and have a greater protein suspension than others. They are able to suspend protein for months, even years, without much loss. While the rest of us are unable to suspend protein for more than a couple days or weeks.

When I got into bodybuilding I never expected the difficulty it is to keep the muscle.  I can notice changes with my physique almost on a daily basis.  I know my body well enough to know when I am losing protein.  I have to really be on my diet and supplement schedule to avoid catabolism.  The key to it all is protein suspension.  By mastering protein suspension you will be able train hard, recover and increase the net gain of muscle protein.  There is a fine line between anabolism and catabolism.

tags: daryl conant, protein suspension, vince gironda, ron kosloff, muscle building.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Day I Got Schooled in Golf By an 8 Year Old

I was an over confident twenty-two year old who thought he was pretty good at golf.  I could hit the ball well over three hundred yards (not always straight though) and felt good with having an 11 handicap.  However, this would all change when I was asked to watch my nephew for the day.  My sister Cheryl told me that, "One thing you can do with him is play golf. He likes to play golf. In fact, he can really play and hit the ball 200 yards." Now I was thinking to myself, there is no way this little 8 year old kid can hit the ball that far, let alone have any kind of consistency.  I just felt like my sister was like every other proud parent who believes that their kid has some super power or are a phenom.

We have all heard the embellishments coming from parents all over the nation, " my kid can throw 80 miles an hour and he is only 5 years old", or "my kid is going to be a pro football player" or "my kid can dunk a basketball and he is only 6 years old." So, naturally I took my sisters accolades about my nephew with a grain of salt.

My nephew came down out to the car with his little bag of clubs and was well dressed.  I have to admit he was such a cute little kid growing up with his blonde hair and smile.   He was wearing a white polo shirt, plaid bermuda shorts and a fitted blue hat. I put our clubs in the car and headed off to The Wentworth Country Club in Jackson, NH.

It was a saturday morning and my nephew and I walked into the clubhouse only to be greeted with stiff old members looking at us like we didn't belong there.  I asked if there was any tee times for a two some. The club pro said, "is he (pointing to my nephew) playing with you. Because we want to keep the play moving along." Being a little protective I told the ornery pro, "that my nephew and I would be keeping things moving and that if we cause any problems then we will get off the course."  The pro and the other members viewed my nephew as a detriment to the other golfers on the course, thinking that he is just a little kid. Reluctantly, he let us play.

On the first tee, still feeling a little apprehensive about the little guys ability, I told him to hit off the women's tees.  I figured that he really couldn't hit the ball like my sister said, hitting off the women's tee would have been a shorter distance to the hole for him.  But my plan didn't work.  He looked up at me and said, "why do I have to hit off the women's tees? I play from the men's tees." Oh great! I am thinking to myself. Now we are going to be holding people up and we will upset the members.

The little guy steps up to the ball and cracks it way right, into the thick rough behind a mound of dirt and tree.  In my mind I am thinking to myself, here we go. Where was that 200 yard drive that my sister said he can do?  I hit my ball into the fairway and we both moved on to the next shot. My nephew headed into rough with a club.  I yelled across the fairway, "just take the ball out of the rough and put it into the fairway. You don't have to hit it out of that stuff." Then with a confident humble tone he replied, " No Uncle Daryl I don't have to, I can hit out the rough."  Now I am thinking this is going to be a long, long day.  Then suddenly the little dude swings and strikes the ball. The ball clears the tree and lands on the green four feet from the hole.  I stood there in astonishment.  Boy was that a lucky shot.  We both made par and moved onto the next hole.

I drove my ball about three hundred yards to the left side of the green. My nephew hit it better on this drive, down to the right side of the fairway about 150 yards.  I told him I would meet him on the green. I messed up my second shot and ended up making a bogey on the hole.  I asked him what he made on the hole and said par.  In disbelief I counted up his shots to confirm.  Sure enough that little stinker made a par. I was thinking that is just a lucky couple of holes for him.

For the next few holes my game started to decline.  I was quietly building up an intense anxiety inside thinking to myself-- I CAN'T LET THIS LITTLE GUY BEAT ME! I never led on showing my frustration.  I continued to compliment my nephew on every shot he made and every par he racked up. He even made a couple of birdies.

By the ninth hole I was a complete wreck. My ego was being tested and I began hoping that the little guy would freaking mess up so that I could beat him on a hole. But it never happened. In fact, I got worse. This was my Master's and I was trying so hard to beat the little guy. He continued to walk down the fairway, Mr. Happy Go Lucky (did I already mention how freaking cute he was as a kid?) just hitting shot after shot with no worries or cares in the world. Me, on the other hand, was tense sweating profusely and developed a tremendous headache.  No matter what I did I couldn't hit that damn ball.

We were on the seventeenth hole and along the right side of the fairway were houses. I figured I would give one more try, so I hit the heck out of the ball and it went clear into a house on the right side.  It was at that point that my life would change.  My nephew looked up to me and said very calmly and sincere, "YOU STINK AT GOLF UNCLE DARYL." I stood their blank. I felt like about as big as an ant at that point.  I replied by saying, "YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, I DO."  Then I followed up with asking a question.  "So, what am I doing wrong." He told me, "well Uncle Daryl you are swinging too fast and your thumb is too far over. Slow your swing down." So here we were at the seventeenth hole and I was taking a lesson from my nephew who was only eight years old.  I was humbled. He ended up shooting a 78 (7 over par), I shot a 87 (sucky over par).  My sister was right he is a phenom. 

Where are they now?
I continued to play golf and eventually focused only on one part of my game-- Driving. I got to a point where I could consistently hit the ball over 340 yards.  I would end up competing in Long Drive contests around the New England area. I won a few matches and even made it to the regional finals-- the qualifier for the Nationals in Mesquitte. But soon kids and a business would end all that.  So, now I play once or twice a year for fun.

My nephew on the other hand went on to become a NCAA golf star at Tennessee Tech. After college he played on the Hooters Tour, and Nationwide Tour.  He qualified for the PGA Tour in 2011. And has been playing well on the PGA Tour.  His Name is Scott Stallings and he just won the Greenbrier Classic this past weekend.

Congratulations! Scotty Robby