Blog | Michael Shukis

Michael Shukis

Origin of Me


My name is Michael Shukis. I am just a man from a small town Homer, Nebraska. I would have been amazed if someone told me I would be coaching and bettering student athletes.

Michael is a beautiful family name and I’m grateful to honor my father’s and grandfather’s name. My mother was initially not a fan of the name Michael. However, my father persuaded her to love it and here I am. I come from a family of hard working farmers. Helping around the farm, stretching with the cows, jogging with the horses, lifting with the tadpoles, and running with the chickens were lovely memories of my childhood at Homer.

My full name is Michael Olaftus Shukis. My grandfather immigrated from Russia to the United States in 1953. My last name is quite ironic, it means “To comb” in Russian but my father was bald, my grandfather was bald, and I’m balding at age 29. I take great pride in the last name Shukis. I understand my ancestors worked hard to put me in a great position. I truly love my job and healthy lifestyle and want to share it with you! This website is a way for me to express my life experiences, my opinion on health, my opinion of my wife, my hair loss, and anywhere else in between.

tags: personal journey

Light Weight Makes You Worse


People like to say that numbers don't matter. That all you need to do is show up and do the program and you'll see results. The rumor is that you can get the same benefits from light weight as you can from heavy weight. That makes sense, right?

News flash: this is a lie. The weight you lift is the only thing that matters. The number on the barbell matters.

If you want to lose or gain weight, weight matters. If you want to run faster or jump higher, weight matters. If you want to stay healthy or feel better, weight matters. The weights you lift are important no matter your goal.

The internet is littered with gym hunks full of bad advice. They say light lifting gave them their rock-hard abs and bulging biceps. But how can light weights lead to those results? It can't. And it doesn't make any sense. Results don't work that way. You need heavy weights if you want to create change. The body is adaptable. But only if you give it a reason to change. Otherwise, it stays the same.

People who fear heavy weight will tell you to lift light. And they're usually the same people who don't make progress. They avoid heavy weights because they worry about getting hurt. But they're the ones who get hurt. Would you listen to a financial advisor in debt? Would you listen to a fat nutritionist? Would you take advice from a weak, injured coach telling you not to lift heavy? No. And you shouldn't.

There's a lot of bad advice out there. But there are people you should listen to. They're the ones who study and train themselves. They are doing the work in the arena. “Only those who risk going too far," T.S. Eliot said, "can possibly find out how far one can go.” Listen to the people taking risks. Ignore the couch potato coach.

People will tell you that heavy weights don't matter; that they're unsafe, unnecessary, or uncalled for. This is a lie. Similar to what Eliot said, the only people worth listening to are the ones who push themselves far. No matter what the internet says, you can't get better lifting light weights.

tags: training

Coach People


Coaches take pride in their plans. They plan practice so teams can (hopefully) perform well in games. Strength coaches spend hours planning training down to the second. The stronger plan usually beats the weaker one.

Planning is good. You should prepare and try to prepare others. As a coach, preparation is your job. But planning isn't everything. If you don't connect with people, plans are irrelevant.

Planning easily becomes distraction. It needs to be done, but it shouldn't be your only focus. People matter more than plans.

Remember that you're coaching people, not plans. You are responsible for guiding and inspiring young people.
There is no higher priority.

This doesn't mean planning should be neglected. It means planning is a prerequisite to good coaching. If you don't know how to plan and prepare, you shouldn't coach. The majority of your time should be focused on people, not planning.

Being a coach is a great responsibility; there might not be a more important role. Don't let the excitement of planning distract you from your job: helping young people. Someone might need your help right now. Don't let your desire to plan distract you from giving it.

tags: coaching

Good Players Don't Care About Winning


It's easy to get caught up in results. Winning is fun. Losing isn't. Watching teams win and lose works the same way. But win or lose the results don't matter.

The more you focus on results, the more you get the ones you don't want. Success runs from the person trying too hard to catch it. Ignore the results.

To most people, success means winning. Players are successful if they score and assist. Coaches are successful if they win games. Teams are successful if they win championships.

We have it wrong. Our view of success is getting us in trouble.

Success blinds us from things that matter. Things like being on time, cleaning up, and being respectful. Other things like a positive attitude, being a good teammate, and effort are important. They're more important than we realize.

Some people don't think these things matter. They might say they do, but they believe there are bigger issues to worry about. So they ignore these small things. And that is a fatal mistake.

The more teams win the less little things seem to matter. They get lost in winning and focus on things that don't matter. Things like the team's record, individual statistics, playing time, pictures, money, and fame. These are attractive, but they don't matter.

Success is funny. The more you focus on winning, the less you win. Statistics, playing time, and money are distractions to winning. It's best to ignore them.

Play the game for the right reasons. Do your job. Focus on the small things. Good things happen when you work hard, have a good attitude, and control what you can control. If you do these things, you're already successful.

tags: winning

Effort and Execution


There's a difference between trying hard and getting the right things done. You can try as hard as you want, but the effort must be aimed correctly.

Effort is a difference maker. No doubt about it. But not if you fail to execute. Getting a lot of the wrong things done doesn't matter. It's just a waste of time. You'll never be able to out-effort a bad plan.

Any plan is better than no plan. But a good plan is better than a bad one. Try hard. Give effort. But aim the effort in the right direction. Think through your plan before you implement it. And then act. Don't waste your effort by pointing it in the wrong direction.

tags: effort