As the line goes from one of my favorite Jay-Z songs “Public Service Announcement” – “Allow me to re-introduce myself”
HI! I’m Jay and I have been in the fitness and sports performance field for the last 15 years. What a journey it has been. But first, how did I fall in love with all that goes into performance training.
I was a multi-sport athlete as a youth. Although my “main” sport was hockey, I’m a goalie. I was, and still am the classic “jack of all trades, master of none”. My summers were spent playing baseball (briefly), soccer, and the occasional goalie camp. Falls and winters were spent on the ice and as I got to high school, the football field. In high school, I also found track and field and turned my focus to the sprints and 4x100m relay team.
When did the spark for training begin?
In my grade 12 year, our football team lost in the championship game in the fall and in the spring we dropped a relay exchange, as we were leading the 4x100m race and heading to OFSAA (Ontario Championships). These events created a big sense of pain and disappointment as I headed into the summer. As the school year finished I kept thinking “I am going to train so hard this summer, so we don’t feel that disappointment again”. Like most of us of a certain age, I had a York bench press set, plastic weights, my basement or a friends garage and we just did what we saw in magazines or heard from others. Returning to school I had gained confidence in myself that I had put the work in, so come football and track season I would be ready. But this isn’t a Disney movie, we lost in the semi-final in football and I severely pulled my hamstring during my relay leg, again as we were leading and going to punch our ticket to OFSAA.
People wonder why I am so passionate about warming up and properly preparing for practice or competition. That injury is why. The week before my friend and I had just played pickup basketball as our “warmup” for the race. We won, so the next week we figured we would do the same, big mistake. My body wasn’t prepared for the new level of completion the following week and it cost my team something we had worked so hard to achieve over the past 4 years.
Lighting the Spark
I lit the spark I had in high school, by attending the Fitness & Health Promotions Program at Humber College, and becoming a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Through hard work, great timing, amazing mentors and putting myself out there, I have been able to work in the private, collegiate and professional sectors of sports performance. I will save the many ups and downs of those experiences for a future post, but like many in the field it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
The above is the origin story of Jay "The Performance Coach”, but we are so much more than our jobs, and the pandemic we are experiencing has definitely showed us that. So here is a quick hitter on Jay “The Guy”
Music: 90’s and Early 00’s Hip Hop and R&B
Food: Curry chicken & roti or a great hamburger
Movie: Bad Boys, Karate Kid
Activities/Exercise (not including lifting): Reading (non-fiction), Mountain biking or playing hockey
Dream Country to Visit: Italy or China
I am looking forward to getting back to writing about some general fitness and sports performance based topics as well as my experiences in the field. If there are things you’d like to hear about let me know.