Building toughness, confidence and faith is my job: Coach John Philbin


"To me, beside the obvious, one of the most important roles a great strength & conditioning coach plays is building a culture of toughness and the internal faith and confidence athletes must have to achieve at the highest level."

John Philbin is a former member of the USA Olympic Team and is one of the most respected Strength & Conditioning Coaches in the world. With over 35 years of hands-on-experience John has worked with elite athletes from a wide variety of sports giving John a treasure trove of insight and knowledge to share in our conversation. During his career Coach Philbin has worked with the University of Maryland, the New York Yankees, Washington Redskins and as the Director of Conditioning & Performance for the USA Olympic Training Center. The list of individual athletes who turned to John for help also reads like a who’s who in sports and includes such names as: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, Max Scherzer, and Jordan Zimmermann to name but a small few.

Philbin's experience in such a wide rage of competitive environments, working with a wide array of athletes with different personalities and needs have given John insights on coaching effectiveness, success and leadership that few other coaches in his role can claim.

Friends for over 20+ years stay tuned as Coach Bruce and John talk about the art of coaching, the art of motivation and what Coach Philbin has learned over all these years working at the very top of his industry.

Key takeaway:

  • [4:27] About John, a snippet of his journey

  • [7:34] John shares his experience working with Dan Riley

  • [25:00] Applying science-oriented concepts in coaching

  • [34:33] Understanding the art of coaching

  • [37:55] How to craft a program that serves the need of each athlete

  • [39:45] Best piece of advice for young leaders

  • [41:58] How does John inspire people that work with him

  • [49:16] What makes a great coach | Bruce's story

  • [51:27] Where to learn more from John

Notable Quotes:

  • John: "What I've had over 35 years experience and it's given me the ability to hone in my skillset."

  • John: "Some coaches don't have the wisdom to apply their knowledge in a broader sense."

  • John: "I found out early on in my career. I like to help people get better."

  • Bruce: "You've got to know the environment you're working in and your people need to see your passion for making them better."

  • Bruce: "Sometimes, you're rigidness keeps you from being the best you can be."

  • Bruce: "Different people respond to different things in different ways. If you try to cookie-cutter approach to everything, the philosophy may be right, but the application wont work."

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