My last day-My first day

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Today was my last day at West Point. I turned in my resignation 2 weeks ago. I’d delayed saying something publicly because I wanted to speak or contact all my athletes (which can be quite difficult when you coach at a school that sends many of its kids around the world for internships and military training for much of summer). To answer the most obvious question- ‘where are you going?’, I’m not leaving for another collegiate coaching job. In fact, my future is slightly unchartered right now. Why am I leaving? Since I’ve been at West Point, I’ve basically been working 2 full time jobs. During the day, I’d coach and recruit the future leaders of the free world as a Coach at the U.S. Military Academy. Then I’d come home around 6:30 or 7 and spend a couple free hours with my wife and daughter before starting on my second job as the owner of a blossoming athletic development company. This second job (HPC) typically saw me working from 11pm to 3 or 4am and then again from 9-10am in the morning every week day. On the weekends, I was ALWAYS working Saturday and Sunday with one or both jobs either coaching at a meet, speaking, or doing consultation work. On top of that, 10-15 times I year I found myself coaching at a USMA meet on Friday or Saturday and then scurrying over to the closest airport to catch a red-eye flight to the West Coast for consultation work on Sunday and then another red-eye back so that I’d be back in time for work on Monday.
There were pluses and minuses to this arrangement. It certainly was exciting. In many regards it was like I was living a double life and in many ways I had the best of both worlds. My day job allowed me to work with some of the finest young men and women on the planet. This is the thing that I will miss the most about leaving West Point and the only thing that kept me there last year (because I actually resigned last summer). HPC allowed me to keep working with elite level athletes in a variety of sports and supplemented our family income enough that despite living in one of the most expensive locations in the country, I could afford (barely) to have my wife stay home with our daughter. On the flip side, it left me with little time for my family and little time to finish the doctoral dissertation that was 90% complete when I had left LSU but is only 95% done 3 years later.
So with these thoughts in mind, along with dozens of other factors, I’ve decided to take the plunge in to uncertainty. We’re temporarily moving to OH tomorrow where we can be closer to my wife’s family. I’ve got quite a bit of private coaching, consulting, speaking engagements and contract work lined up over the next 2 months that, when combined with the lower cost of living in OH, will allow me to work one job (HPC) and still have more time for my family and my doctoral dissertation (which has to be done by December). In fact, the second I’m done unpacking my life belongings in OH I will immediately be heading to USATF Jr. Nationals in Columbus, OH where HPC will be running some High Performance video analysis centers as part of USATF’s High Performance Plan. After the heavy period of coaching, consulting, speaking engagements, and contract work is done in August, I’ll be able to focus on my doctoral dissertation. When I’m done with the dissertation (probably in mid fall), I plan on opening up a facility (somewhere in the South or out West) and pursuing the business full time. I’ll basically be doing it from scratch and depending completely on my own financial resources. It took quite a bit of time to come to this decision as it is obviously quite a risky proposition that affects not only me but my family. In the end though, I think it will be for the best. I don’t want to be 90 years old and saying to myself ‘what if?’
Will I ever return to the collegiate ranks? I’m not so sure. I guess it kinda depends on how this pans out. There are 5-6 positions in the country that I would LOVE to work at but right now I’m focusing on the plan I’ve laid out. I plan on starting a separate blog once things get a little more settled so those interested can follow the uncertainty that is sure to be my life over the next couple months (years?). My new life starts tomorrow morning at 7am when I hit the road with a trailer of stuff in tow as we relocate temporarily to Southeast Ohio.
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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young

@mikeyoung

@AthleticLab Owner. Strength/Speed Coach. Former Fitness Coach of #WhitecapsFC. Sport Scientist. Entrepreneur. Coach Educator. Fitness Enthusiast.
It’s shocking to see the increasing number of obese children knowing they are likely destined to a lifetime of health issues (2/2) - 5 hours ago
Mike Young
Mike Young
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