363. Jeff Lovecchio: Be an Athlete for Life, Define “WHY” You Train, Give More to Be More…

Guest: Jeff Lovecchio (Retired Prof Hockey Player, Performance Coach)
Host: Jeff Pelizzaro
Episode Number: 363
Podcast: The 18STRONG Podcast
Partners: Linksoul, 1stPhorm


Join me as I welcome Jeff Lovecchio, a retired professional hockey player turned esteemed performance enhancement coach, to share a wealth of knowledge that transcends the ice and influences athletes from various sports, including golf. Jeff’s unique insights into the intricacies of hockey training, which includes balancing gym routines with the demands of ice play, offer invaluable advice for avoiding overuse injuries and keeping the main sport in sharp focus. We also explore the rigorous life of professional athletes, delving into their schedules and travel, and how these factors affect their training and overall performance.

Listen in as Jeff recounts his personal journey from a promising young hockey talent to a transformative coach, shaped by the trials of a severe concussion and the consequential shift in his playing style. His story of resilience, determination, and the transition to coaching offers a compelling narrative that emphasizes the role of mentorship in athletic development. Jeff’s approach to training, which revolutionized traditional methods, underscores the need for functional, sport-specific regimens that improve balance and strength directly related to performance on the ice.

Wrapping up our conversation, Jeff and I tackle the broader topics of goal setting, self-talk, and the importance of fostering a positive mindset. We discuss how defining clear objectives and engaging in positive affirmations can drive success, both in sports and life. Moreover, Jeff’s mantra “give more, be more,” which he promotes through his social media and website, invites us to consider the profound impact of generosity on personal growth. Whether you’re an athlete looking to enhance your game or someone seeking motivation and inspiration, this episode offers a wealth of strategies and stories that will leave you energized and ready to tackle your goals.

Main Topics

(00:02) Performance Enhancement and Mentoring for Athletes

Retired hockey player Jeff Lovecchio shares expertise in fitness, nutrition, and recovery for athletes, discussing the challenges and demands of professional sports.

(07:32) Hockey Career and Missed Opportunities

A professional athlete’s journey from playing hockey overseas to revolutionizing training methods, his early start in hockey, and his interest in fitness.

(11:50) Building as a Coach After Injuries

A hockey player overcomes a severe concussion to continue his career, adapting his playing style and becoming a successful coach.

(17:33) Importance of Athletic Training and Health

Nature’s lessons in sports: discipline, self-investment, parental support, and holistic fitness for all ages.

(28:35) Revamping Training for Hockey Performance

An athlete’s journey to improve on-ice performance through functional training, including unilateral exercises, visual and vestibular work, and spatial awareness.

(39:00) Improve Sports Skills and Find Motivation

Skill and technique, position-specific power development, individualized coaching, and sustainable fitness routines for New Year’s resolutions.

(43:02) Goal Setting and Self-Talk Importance

Reverse engineer goals, establish a strong ‘why’, use daily affirmations, and practice positive self-talk for success.

(48:42) Hockey Career, Leadership, Starting Company

A hockey player’s journey, commitment, community support, personal growth through hardship, and transition to entrepreneurship.

(52:50) Give More, Be More

Adopting the mantra “give more, be more” and promoting it through personal and professional endeavors, emphasizing the importance of positive contributions and meaningful connections in a society that is becoming increasingly disconnected.

(01:01:04) The Importance of Reading and Goals

Mindset, books like “The Secret” and “Relentless Solution Focus,” dream golf and hockey foursomes, and social media recommendations for personal development.

Follow Jeff Lovecchio

Links Mentioned

The Secret Book

Relentless Focus Solution Book

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Want the full episode transcript? (click the “+” 👉🏻)

0:00:03 – Jeff Pelizzaro
The 18STRONG Podcast, episode number 363 with Jeff Lovecchio, retired professional hockey player and performance enhancement coach. Hey, what’s up guys? Welcome back to the 18STRONG Podcast, where we’re here to help you build a stronger game, because we believe that every golfer deserves to play better, longer. This episode is going to be a great one for you. We have Jeff Lovecchio on. He’s a retired professional hockey player and I know that sounds a little strange to have a hockey player come on a golf podcast, but, as you’re going to see, with Jeff, he’s much more than just a hockey fitness coach. He is a mental game coach. He is a mentor to a lot of the athletes that he works with, and it’s all about not just the fitness side but the nutrition, the recovery, the mobility, the stability, working on all of the different pieces of the game to train more like an athlete, whether you’re a hockey player, whether you’re a CEO or whether you’re just somebody looking to train and become the best version of yourself in the gym and outside of the gym. So you’re going to really enjoy this episode with Jeff. We share a lot of the same philosophies when it comes to training and his Instagram account has been very influential in some of the things that we do at 18STRONG and the way that we train, the way we work on mobility and the way we work on getting the golfers moving the way we want. So stay tuned.

Right after this, our partners over at Linksoul have been providing us with the best apparel for both on the course and off the course, from polos to t-shirts like the one I have on right now. Everything that they have is meant to be worn from the golf course to wherever you’re going next, whether that be casual, whether that be to the beach, there’s all different options over there. So go to 18STRONG.com slash Linksoul. You’ll get 20% off of anything in your cart over on Linksoul’s website. So again, 18STRONG.com slash Linksoul for our favorite brand of apparel for anything on the golf course and off. Now let’s get to this week’s interview,…
Jeff Lovecchio. Welcome to the 18STRONG podcast, man.

0:02:19 – Jeff Lovecchio
Happy to be here. This gym, this office, everything’s very, very cool. We’re excited.

0:02:24 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Yeah, we’re slowly but surely getting the studio set up and just kind of getting it a little fancy here. Yeah, it’s fancy.

0:02:29 – Jeff Lovecchio
It’s super clean. Man, I love it here. Well, it’s kind of brand new. Yeah, everything’s dope, don’t stop, you might fall off the wall.

0:02:37 – Jeff Pelizzaro
It looks awesome. I love it. So it sounds like you got a bunch of hockey guys back in town for the winter break and everything, so you’re running like a madman, right now.

0:02:44 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah, yeah, guys are home. I got some guys that are home for a week, some of them are home for three days, some of them are home for two weeks, kind of depending on the school or the team if they’re playing juniors. So just trying to get everybody in and feeling good so they go back to their second half confident and ready to go.

0:02:59 – Jeff Pelizzaro
So what does that look like in the gym right now? Is it like teams coming in? What’s the flow like over there?

0:03:06 – Jeff Lovecchio
Basically it’s just like my. I have a couple of different like businesses, I guess within my own business it’s like subheadings, I guess, I would say. But these are all like my off-season guys. They’re the guys who in the off-season for anywhere from four to six months, depending on what league and when they get home. They’re with me four days a week and we go to battle every single day and that’s where in the off-season, you really get your body like not only healthy, but like you try to make performance gains and stuff like that.

You work on your skills on the ice. I only do off the ice now because I’m in there all day. Excuse me, but during Christmas break hockey’s kind of it’s kind of crazy, like it’s not like other sports. I was just explaining this to at the doctor’s office. I was just at like, if you play golf, football, basketball, lacrosse, any of these other sports, you train on ground, you play on ground, yeah, and hockey you train on ground, you play on ice. Walking and skating are not the same. Running and skating are not the same.

So, like in season, when they’re doing all this athletic stuff on the ice, I actually peel back like the athleticism in the gym because I want the main thing to be the main thing. I don’t want to ever take away from the main thing. Also, you know these guys who play hockey now in juniors you’re playing so many games, they practice so much. So I also have to think about, like, what empty buckets are they not hitting? I want to fill up those empty buckets and I don’t want to overflow. The buckets are already getting More strength, you know, like prehab mobility core, making sure they’re healthy, and more GPP. Honestly, it’s way more general because what they’re doing out there is so specific. I don’t want to double up on the specific and then create overuse, injuries or anything like that, you know.

0:04:52 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good point. We see that a lot with the golfers too. Like golfers, all they’re doing rotation all day long, right, and so when they go in the gym a lot of people think, oh, I got to rotate, I got to rotate.

It’s like no, actually you need to do the other stuff you get stronger and that makes a ton of sense that they got to come in and they got to kind of reset and do a lot of the things that they’re not getting when they’re playing. What does the schedule look like, because you’re a former professional hockey player, when you guys are traveling or when you were traveling, what does that look like? And what’s it look like for these guys as far as, like, practice time, what are they doing workout wise, on the ice or on the road.

0:05:27 – Jeff Lovecchio
It really depends on the organization and if they and pro is so much different than college and everything up to pro is very structured for everyone on the team. For the most part you get to pro and you know I’ve been retired, for this is my seventh year being retired at. My last year was 17, 18. But, like, when I got to pro it was like pretty much you’re on your own, like the game you get into a city practice tomorrow is at 10am, the game’s at seven. You got to be at the rink at nine and five and then after that I do do whatever you want. Really. Yeah, you know you have to work out stuff, especially at the higher levels, right, some teams will do some like workout stuff on the road. It’s not a lot of workout stuff, but now the NHL signed a deal with anchor anchor two years ago, so every NHL away locker room has to have two of those.

So I would work out after games because, like, you can only get so much working out during the week because games are kind of like all over the place. So after a game, if you don’t have a game the next day, a lot of guys will do like something like bands or body weight If they’re on the road. I always had like a bag inside my hockey bag with bands and sliders and just so I could rip out like 12 minutes and then I looked at it as okay, like I just played the game. I do the workout immediately after, when all that’s only one thing my body has to recover from, instead of waking up on an off day and then going in and training. Well, now it’s like recover from this, I’m tired. I’m tired of recover from this. So I try to stack them whenever I could. So I think pro hockey guys work out in the week when it makes sense and then, after the last game of the weekend or whatever, a bunch of guys will put in at least a little bit of work.

0:07:11 – Jeff Pelizzaro
So did I hear that when you were playing pro hockey, you started training your teammates.

0:07:17 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah, oh yeah, man. I became the unofficial strength coach on almost every team I played on in Europe. So I played three years in the US. I had a year I was injured. I missed a whole first year of my NHL contract with a concussion. Well, we’ll get to that. Yeah, yeah, that was awful. And then I went overseas and so after my third year pro, the summer going into my fourth year, I started my training company here in St Louis and then I was already training myself. I trained myself my whole pro career and I just started training a couple of kids and then all the teams in Europe European people probably won’t like to hear this, but at least every team I played on and all the guys I played with that were on the national teams of the countries I played in.

Their training was so far behind, like what I think, where it should be, very like 1980s, like kind of a mixture between powerlifting and bodybuilding. It’s like you don’t do that, you know, like that’s really not helping that. So guys would see me and I’d win testing. Everywhere I went, it always isn’t the best shape I had to be. I wasn’t skilled enough not to so like I had to be, or else I would have been there. And then they you know I don’t like what we’re doing, I’ll work out of Vex. And then all of a sudden, everybody’s working out with me and then the coach is like, all right, you just write the workout, so I just started. And then I’d become friends with the strain coaches and talk to them about my philosophies. We go back and forth. I was never like pushing it on them, but it was always. It always turned out like a month in All right, we’re going to do what Vex is doing.

0:08:50 – Jeff Pelizzaro
So give me, give us a little background. I mean, I know your story but for the people listening watching so you’d left home at like fit age 15 to go, and that’s kind of how hockey is right. Yeah, I mean you’re probably surprised. Did you ever think you’d be on a golf podcast, by the way?

0:09:05 – Jeff Lovecchio
No, obviously because I’ve never golfed, I’ve never done a full round of golf and I’ve only hit the ball a few times. And funny, now I look back, I wish I would have learned it because I know that it would have helped me be a better athlete. And the mental side of golf I think that helps any human being at anything they want to do. You hit a crappy shot. You can’t let that crappy shot affect you. You’ve got to calm down, re-center, focus up, hit the next shot, make sure that’s good. The past is the past. You can’t change that.

That would have helped me immensely in my sports psychology journey of being a pro athlete. So I wish I would have. But we would leave the gym when I was training in like juniors and college, even pro, and like all the guys were training with me, whatever, like they’d go golf and I’d either do more in the gym or I would be like I just sweat for three hours. I’m going to go take a nap, you’re going to go sit outside at 100 degree weather in St Louis. But looking back, I wish I would have learned.

0:10:00 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Well, yeah, because several of the guys like Wides, I know like those guys they go work out in the summertime, go work out, go play golf and they’re all sticks too.

0:10:07 – Jeff Lovecchio
They’re all good. Wides is good. Freddie Roushoff I got a guy who’s like 6’7, 240 and I think he’s almost a scratch golfer.

0:10:15 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Oh my gosh.

0:10:17 – Jeff Lovecchio
I’m going to go for another really good golfer. A lot of hockey players are good golfers, probably because the swing is very similar, where the power is coming from and things like that. I think, yeah, I wish I would have golfed man, but I’m going to get into it.

0:10:29 – Jeff Pelizzaro
I might be hitting you up for lessons. We’re going to test that swing out today a little. You saw the pit over there, oh God it’s going to be terrible. So back to your start. You left home at 15, went to Chicago. I went to Chicago to play midgets.

0:10:45 – Jeff Lovecchio
That’s before junior. So for anybody who doesn’t know, basically to get a scholarship to play hockey, you go from amateur hockey to junior hockey, which is going to be probably not in your hometown I mean, there are some people who play in their hometown and then you get your scholarship out of there to then go to college. So like football, baseball, basketball, golf, it’s like high school into college. A lot of players in hockey have to take one or two gap years where they’re playing this junior hockey before they get to college, and I had. So I went to Chicago to play midget hockey when I was 15 and 16, but it was one year, and then I went and played in the USHL in Omaha, nebraska, for three years before I got my scholarship to Western Michigan.

0:11:26 – Jeff Pelizzaro
And then so the pro career comes in three years at Western Michigan right, and then, drafted by the Bruins, I signed with them as a free agent.

0:11:34 – Jeff Lovecchio
So I wasn’t drafted. So I was able to sign with any team in the NHL if they wanted me. Obviously I had a really, really good sophomore year in college and a lot of teams in the NHL wanted to sign me. I decided to stay one more year and then I wound up signing with the Bruins and left school.

0:11:51 – Jeff Pelizzaro
All right, so tell us a little bit about what happened that first year. Sounds like you’ve had multiple injuries issues. So tell us a little bit about that story, because I think that really leads into, in my personal opinion, just watching you from afar, into like, really what has helped build you, into the person, the coach that you are today?

0:12:09 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah. So the way that it works for almost every guy who signs in the NHL from college, almost all those guys. Now some guys will go straight to the NHL for some games. I have a couple who have done that of my clients. But usually they put you in the AHL for the rest of that season to get your feet wet, to learn what Pearl Hockey’s like, just kind of get introduced into the systems so that you’re ready to go for the first real year of your contract the next year. And so I did that and because I was at Western and we didn’t have a good year that year, we were bounced into the playoffs right away.

I signed with the Bruins and I was on a plane two days later. I went to Boston, got testing, done all that, signed my contract, go down to Providence, rhode Island, which is only like 45 minute drive, and I finished the season there. And I was there for like three or four months because we had the best team in the AHL ever at that point. They was the most winningest team in the regular season ever and I got to play a pretty, pretty significant role as a new guy coming up and I did really well and they’re like you know, I really like you. You know you’re going to play in the NHL one day, all this stuff and I go home in the summer to start my training and I just had like a freak accident and like practice basically was skating full speed, I went to stop.

There were bubbles all over the ice because this crappy ice rink in town the ceiling dripped and there’s these like massive bubbles and I don’t. I remember vaguely being on the ice that morning and being like guys, we got to like cut the bubbles out so we don’t hit them and I guess I hit one going full speed head first of the boards, unconscious. I lost, I lost over 12 hours on my memory that I have nothing, zero memory, almost zero memory whatsoever from um. I lost memory from the day before and uh, so that happened like end of June I want to say it was mid, mid June, maybe beginning of July and I didn’t play a real game in hockey again until a full year.

And then, like end of September the following year, yeah, I thought I was never going to play again. You know I could have taken insurance payout that was like really high for you know, just really not even playing yet and they gave me 10 games to decide. Like you get, you can play nine games, but if you play your 10th game this is the insurance company. You’ll never be covered for concussions again and you obviously won’t get this payout. If you take the payout, you can never play pro hockey again.

Um, and that’s a really tough decision after sitting You’re how old at this time I was, I was probably 23. And so, and it was like 400, 450 grand, tax free, like into your bank account and uh, really hard decision, just as far as I haven’t worked out. Like for eight months six to eight months I didn’t work out. I Lost all my muscle mass because I was not eating, because I was worried about getting fat, and then if I came back it would take longer for me if I gained a bunch of weight, just like all this stuff and and but me, who I am.

I remember that the insurance guy who called actually was a former NHL player Captain, one of my pro clients, later on, mm-hmm in my business because his dad’s played in for the Blues. He’s the one who called me and I remember where I was in the rink and he’s like okay, jeff, like you got a game tonight with the Bruins, you’ve got nine more games, or eight more games. If you play the tenth game, you’ll not be covered. If you want to retire now, we’ll give you this money. Blah, blah, blah. And before even finish a sentence, I was like nope, I’m trying. And he’s like you don’t want to ask your doctors your pain? Nope, you want to ask your pet no agent? Nope, I’m trying and work my whole life not to try.

Yeah, and although my career was different than it would have been, because, like it was always in my head, I was always thinking about it, I had to play just slightly differently of a game because I used to play kind of recklessly and kind of just like Do whatever I had to. I had to kind of change my style, but it did allow me to get paid to play hockey all over the world for nine more years after that and I am who I am today because of that and I’m a better coach because I played in different countries and had to get around cultural, language barriers, ideological barriers and so all of that stuff that I that I Went through after because of that is why I’m where I am, where I am today, why I am the coach I am today, why I approach things from a different lens maybe than other people. So you know, I always say to people if you shoot for the stars and you land on the moon, it’s a pretty good place to be. Yeah, and I think that’s kind of what happened to me.

0:16:38 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Everybody that. So you know you’re here in St Louis, I’m here in St Louis and we have several mutual friends and every this is the first time we’ve ever met sat down with each other. But everybody that I’ve talked to you has said, like Jeff just comes in and he’s just like a force to be reckoned with. Like his Attitude, his mentality is different than any coach you’ve ever worked with and and I think that that just speaks to you know, like the experiences that you’ve had and the way that you train and what I’ve seen you do online it’s really, really impressive to see how you work with not just the pro athletes but the kids too. So I want to talk a little bit about the, the youth hockey players that you work with and Just the mentality you have going in working with them, because I know it’s about more than just their fitness to you.

It’s about way, way more and so give us a little bit of your philosophy. I love, I want to get into GM BM, what that means, yep, so if you could just kind of start about you know, when you start working with the kids and the mindset mentality you start working.

0:17:33 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah, I mean first and foremost was and I don’t like saying this to people because I it sounds discouraging like the amount of athletes that play hockey and probably all sports, especially ones where there’s more people playing, the odds of you getting a scholarship are extremely low. The odds of you going pro in any sport are Astronomically even lower than that, even right and so and I don’t like saying that to discourage people because, like I played pro hockey, I train all these guys in st Louis that have played pro hockey and stuff like that it’s possible. But if we look at numbers, just the way they are, the odds of your son or daughter playing professional sports is very, very low. But the the learning to invest them, learning to invest in themselves through learning to eat right, learning to go to bed on time, discipline, responsibility, pushing yourself to do things you didn’t think you could do, pushing yourself today, knowing that it’s not going to pay off for a week, a month, a year, multiple years, like, yeah, you know when I used to start with young players your nine, ten, eleven yeah, you’re not gonna look like my NHL guys for ten years, yeah, but like, if you do show up every day, we’re making strides, we’re making strides and that delayed gratification and learning how important that is for life after sports. I think it’s massively important for kids to learn all that and it’s not like I’m like hammering them with that stuff, like talking about that in the gym all the time, but I am talking to them about that stuff. Hey, later in life, like I’m so proud of you that you teaching them to go talk to their coach.

Yeah, little kids, especially in today’s world I don’t know how golf is with coaching and stuff like that but parents want to step in. They want to talk to the coach. They want. Why is any not in the power play? What can Johnny do? No, no, no. When they’re in their job, when they’re out of college or whatever, you’re not going to their work to talk to their boss. So you’re literally handcuffing them later in life by you doing everything for them.

So, like I had a guy yesterday who decommitted to a college because he’s gonna go to maybe a more prestigious one and he asked what can I do it over the phone and I said hey, man, you can. And I know this sucks and I know this is hard, but I promise you you doing this in person right now, at 17 years old, is gonna allow you to do so many things, yeah, in life that are hard for you. Because he was nervous, he was shaking, he didn’t want to do it and I was just like I you can do it over the phone, but I would really really love you to do this in person. Look coach in the eye, shake his hand, that type of thing, because I know what that’s gonna do for him walking into a meeting in College. If the coach is sitting him right now, it’s him going in. You can’t call a college coach If you’re a mom or dad. They’re gonna cut that kid, they’re gonna be like this guy get out of here.

Same thing with work later in life. So by me kind of making sure they’re doing all these things that I know are gonna help them both in hockey and in life after hockey, I just want to make sure that, like I’m always focusing on that stuff and then just health for the rest of their life. Our country is embarrassingly overweight, embarrassing obese, embarrassingly obese, embarrassingly Metabolic syndrome. Like we just we’re just so unhealthy. So also, if we can use Sports as a leverage as leverage to get them to learn how to be healthy here, I think we should use that because it will help them there, but also it’s gonna get them into good routines. They’re gonna like fitness, they’re gonna like working out and stuff like that. So I think that’s really important for little kids.

My philosophy of little kids is, first and foremost, they have to want to come back Mm-hmm. So for me, I’ve got to make it fun. You know like I can have you do what pro guys do, but pro guys are getting paid a million dollars to be in shape. This little kid is not. So I’m gonna hide a sprint in a game. I’m gonna hide a coordination in a, in a game where they’re playing with their friends they don’t even know that they’re working on all these things and then they want to come back, and if they want to come back, they’re gonna get better results, especially on a long enough timeline.

0:21:26 – Jeff Pelizzaro
When you’re working with the adults, the non professional athletes because you work with a lot of them too but the whole thing is training like an athlete, right? Do you find that sometimes it’s difficult to get those people into that same mindset of like, hey, we’re not just here to lift weights, we’re here to talk about the whole piece of it?

0:21:44 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah, it usually like people who Come in the first time and they know people who’ve been in, they’re kind of like, oh, this is gonna be hard or whatever. Because, like, I don’t show we, we lift more weights than anybody. I know my volume is very high. I I do a lot of very high volume days, but it’s not traditional weight lifting. As far as barbell bench press, barbell back squat, barbell deadlift okay, so you’re not doing those, but you’re still lifting a lot of weights. But I don’t show that stuff because a lot of people know about lifting weights. So on social media I show a lot of the other things we do because I literally just want to teach people what I’m doing. That’s working. Hey, try, this is works for 10s. Over 10,000 people I’ve worked with yeah. So like I’m just showing you and if you want to try it, try it, see what how it goes. So I show that stuff over the lifting. So when somebody new comes in and they’re kind of like, yeah, oh, it’s gonna be easy, and then they’re like holy shit.

And then I didn’t know I couldn’t do any of these things that to me are very basic fun to like a lateral lunge, mm-hmm. The amount of people that come to me that aren’t athletes and can’t do a lateral lunge to me blows my mind. Yeah, but it’s because they either aren’t Exercising, haven’t been, or they’re in a phone booth with all their training. Is what I call it. Like if you could do all of your Exercises inside of a phone booth, you’re not training for life or to be an athlete on the whole. It doesn’t mean you never do those exercises, as you know, because it’s hard to explain this to people who don’t understand training, right? Mm-hmm, I’m not saying never do any type of deadlift. We trap our deadlift but like we do other things more often than we do that thing, right, you know? You know what?

I mean yeah, for sure hard to go into this, unless I like took 20 minutes to explain the philosophy. Yeah, you know, but but. And then as soon as they come in, like they enjoy it, they have fun. They’re sore in places that they’re never sore, even if they go work out every day, because they’re just in the same pattern, the same plane of motion, and I get them out of that.

0:23:42 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Yeah, yeah, you get a moving in all the different directions and really that’s one of the things that why I wanted to bring you on, because just watching so many of your your videos and we repost a lot of your stuff and like, because all of this applies to Whether you’re a golfer, whether you’re a hockey player, whether you’re a CEO, whether whatever you are, you need to be moving, get your body moving, stay healthy, sleep, recover. One of the one of the pieces I heard you talking about on Jillian’s podcast was the importance of the warm-up. Yeah, and I’ll be honest, like that’s one of things in my own personal workouts. It’s really easy to skip right, like just I just want to go and get it done.

You’re busy, you know you run around all day You’re working with clients. It’s like let me just get to the meat and potatoes. Yeah, but could you talk a little bit about the importance of, because this, this goes into not just the golfer’s workout but playing golf itself too, so going to the importance of the war the warm-up, yeah, I mean.

0:24:38 – Jeff Lovecchio
So like there’s people out there who are like, have you ever seen a tiger warm-up? You’ve ever seen a lion warm-up? And I’m like, but are you a tiger or a lion? No, you’re not. You is a tiger or a lion eating McDonald’s every day and sitting at a desk like this for 12, nine hours, 10? No, they don’t. They’re walking around all day. So they’re, they’re warm all day, you know, and they’re outside and it’s hot. So like they’re also warm. Their, their core temperature is elevated.

So like it’s such a stupid argument, but I think I use my warm-ups as not only is it a warm, it’s like not just, oh, you’re just doing things to warm up.

Like you’re warming up, I’m also focusing on prehab. You know, trying to bulletproof the joints obviously can’t bulletproof your joints, but it’s an easy saying to the get the client to understand why we’re doing it and that’s all I care about. So like we’re gonna work on everything around the joints. We’re gonna work on mobility, we’re gonna work on prehab, we’re gonna heat up your internal temperature, we’re gonna get some core exercise going. We’re gonna get your brain and your body talking to each other, because, odds are, you’ve been sitting in the car, sitting at a desk, doing all these things, not like thinking about Movements and how your toe connects to your finger when you’re doing a throw or something like that, right? So it’s like there’s a lot of reasons that I do the warm-ups that we do and and I just everyone who does it is like I always lift more when I do this and I’m like, yes, I know, that’s why we do this you know, Lift more and you feel better, you move better.

It’s not like we’re just like doing like a five-minute dynamic and it’s the same thing every time. You know you, just if you’re warm, you heat it up before you beat it up.

0:26:11 – Jeff Pelizzaro
I don’t know.

0:26:13 – Jeff Lovecchio
Like you, just gonna feel better, and for me, if somebody feels better, that’s a win, even if nothing physiologically changes. It’s like, okay, I took a placebo of a medicine, but I got healthier because of it, so that placebo worked Right, like it wasn’t a pill, it was a sugar pill. You didn’t know that, but your body did something because you thought you were taking a pill. So part of the warmup is part of that. This is a routine. This is what we do every day. They know what to expect and obviously the main part is internal core temperature going up. Prehab, mobility, stability, work on stability, before that stuff. Also, when you turn on all those proprioceptors running, jumping, agility, lifting you got everything turned on. I know not everything turns off. All right, I use language that the clients understand and that’s all I care about. I know you’re not turning muscles on, but to say that to somebody who doesn’t know what we know, they’re like yeah, I’m turning my muscle on. I get why I’m doing this. It’s all I care about.

0:27:10 – Jeff Pelizzaro
I can tell that you’ve gotten comments on social media of people saying you’re even turning off.

0:27:15 – Jeff Lovecchio
You’re back in the day when I started putting my stuff out there and even, like, I used to have Twitter. I didn’t have Instagram when I played, but I had Twitter and you know. You just see people that say stupid things, don’t understand, or they want to use big words all the time and it’s like man, if your client doesn’t want to be here, if he doesn’t understand what you’re saying, like you’re not accomplishing what you think you are. You’re not getting 100% buy in out of the client and they’re not, because they’re not bought in. They’re not getting everything out of whatever system you’re running. So, like I don’t care, like we need them to be in the place that’s going to get them the most out of this training session and that’s all I care about. That’s it. I don’t care about what you use. That’s it. Are you in the best place? Do you want to come back? Are you giving your all every time? That’s what I care about.

0:27:58 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Where did and when did your perception of what training was shift?

0:28:03 – Jeff Lovecchio
Mike Boyle, yeah, mike Boyle. Well, okay, so the first thing that changed my mind. So I started working out at 15 and a half, right before I moved to Chicago for like two months. And then I went to Chicago and I was super weak compared to my cousin who was the same age as me five, four and probably 40 pounds less than me, and I remember he bench pressed at his house 90 pounds, 25s and the bar, and I’d never bench pressed yet and I’m like five, four, my little cousin. I get dropped out of my chair. Oh, my God, what. Okay, I got to start working out. So I got into working out then and from then on I won testing everywhere I went. Everywhere I went I was the most in shape guy. It was my calling card. I also, like I said earlier, I had to be because I wasn’t skilled as all of my teammates, like it wasn’t like a massive drop off, but like I was not good enough to be there if I didn’t do all this other stuff. So that kind of became a calling card of mine. I realized this is my in. You know, other guys aren’t training as hard or as as like intentional, so the more I do this I get like a little bit of separation and so I had to.

But after my freshman year the Washington Capital has invited me to their development camp. That’s every summer, their draft picks, their new pros. They have come to camp. It’s usually anywhere from like 40 to 60 guys depending on the team, and I went there and was smoke testing. There was one guy who beat my bench press. I think I was 190 at the time. I think I did like 275, seven times barbell bench press. Hockey players don’t bench a lot, so they did back then a little bit more, but that was a good number, especially at 190. And one guy did beat me from Ohio State but after I go, 275, I think pressure seven times their fifth overall draft pick, nicholas Backstrom. I think he’s still in the NHL today. He won rookie of the year that year and the media was all over this guy, like he’s going to be amazing, and he was. He literally could not bench the warmup weight of 135. And I remember watching him after I went. He was right after me and he went and I’m just like that was embarrassing. And then I was like wait a minute, this guy is going to be in the NHL this year right now and he was the fifth overall pick and he can’t bench my warmup weight but he’s way better hockey than me and there’s roles in hockey and I’m not the same role as him but at its core I’m training the wrong way. Whatever he’s doing is helping him be a better hockey player. And I murdered you, can’t even bench my warmup weight and I’m not anywhere near the NHL yet. Like I was like pffft.

And then the strength coach at the camp for the Capitol Zen. His name is Jack Blatherwick. He’s like the father of USA Hockey strength training. He was the 1980 Olympic teams gold medalist strength coach and he’s the one who said to me and this would have been 2000, after my freshman year, 2004 or 2005,. This would have been 2006. He said to me I just started asking him questions as soon as he said something to me.

I was like this guy knows what he’s talking about and I’m just asking him everything. I’m standing by him everywhere. I could asking him why, how, when, when should we do this? And he was like Jeff, if you can do all your training in a phone booth, you’re training the wrong way. And I was like what do you mean? And then he like showed me all the exercises and what they look like, and all of them in a phone booth. He’s like, but is hockey like this? Or your feet still are you doing this? And I was like no. And he’s like then, are you training to be a hockey player? And I was like, well, that makes sense because I’m winning all these tests. But when I go on the ice my balance isn’t as good. I’m not the strongest guy on the ice. I’m the strongest guy in the gym, but I’m not the strongest guy in the ice. What’s with the disconnect? But like nothing, I was doing in the gym and you know it doesn’t need to look the same as the ice, but like the way that I was training with barbells, back squats, hang clean snatches, all dead lifts, all that stuff. No matter how good I got at it, I wasn’t getting any better at the ice.

And then I read. The next year, after I signed, I bought Mike Boyle’s book advances in functional strength training and I read that book in two days, three days, and I literally was like that’s what’s missing, right there. And it was mainly unilateral training. And so from then on and that was 2006, 2007, when I read the book my philosophies on training, how I approached training programming, everything changed. And not only did my strength not drop, I got stronger in the weight room and on the ice, I immediately got better, immediately more comfortable, immediately, better balance, immediately, like just all these positive benefits.

And then, from there on, I just try to add more and more into my training. Okay, well, like, yeah, lifting is training, but all we’re doing right now is lifting, running and jumping. That’s all it was. But, like, if I close my eyes and try to play hockey, I can’t play. So how important are my eyes? Okay, well, I should start training my eyes. Part of that came from my concussion stuff. Okay, vestibular system was manged. I had to do vestibular training three days a week for, like I think it was like four to five months, and as soon as I finished that, I kept doing the vestibular work and I was like holy crap, why is no one training their eyes? So in 2008, I’m telling everybody start training your eyes. And they’re like what are you talking?

0:33:07 – Jeff Pelizzaro
about? What does that mean?

0:33:08 – Jeff Lovecchio
Right. And so, like I started bringing in lots of coordination, lots of playing with depth and spatial awareness, because hockey is so much about. Okay, I know you’re this far, so what skills can I do here versus if I’m over there, versus if I’m right in tight, like all of that is happening on the ice every shift, but nobody worked on that in the gym and I’m like, oh my God, just lifting weights, running and jumping, like, yes, do all that, but let’s do more. And so in my warmups I do a lot of that stuff vestibular coordination, spatial awareness you know stuff like that too.

0:33:43 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Yeah, I was wondering where you piece that in. So that’s, that’s mostly in the warmup, kind of stuff.

0:33:47 – Jeff Lovecchio
I usually do all that stuff within the warmup before we get going, because the guys have energy, the guys are fresh. I also think that, like your eyes, like I said, if you tried to play hockey with your eyes closed or golf, you suck.

Or just stand on one leg right, people can’t stand on one leg, you know, so it’s like I put a lot of that in there. And then also it’s over 25 years old, but I use it with guys younger than 25 anyways, and they all feel better, so that’s all I care about. But over 25, neuroplasticity when you’re tired, if you work on it like it, helps way more. So like I started bringing in like neuroplasticity drills and vestibular system drills, eye drills while they’re tired.

So, in between, you know, sets, I might, might be throwing balls or juggling or doing something right? Because, especially in hockey, everybody knows that if you get caught out in the defensive zone at the end of a shift, the first thing that goes is your brain. Like you just start going all over the ice, you forget the system, like you just stop thinking and like you just become an idiot. So it’s like I want to challenge their brain, their eyes, all this stuff while they’re tired, because that’s going to happen on the ice, you know.

0:34:56 – Jeff Pelizzaro
so that’s yeah, that’s fascinating. I’m just thinking like when guys get to the 15 16th hole, you know they’re tired, they’re exhausted, whether they’re a pro golfer, whether they’re collegiate golfer, whether they’re just a guy on a golf trip on the second day, that’s in his 40s or 50s you know like right doing that kind of stuff, because then it’s a lot of dexterity stuff too. So like doing some some training, getting a putter out and yeah it’s not a time to really work on skills.

0:35:22 – Jeff Lovecchio
It’s more like the capacity.

0:35:23 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Yeah, when you’re tired decision-making.

0:35:25 – Jeff Lovecchio
Decision-making when you’re tired and that’s like so important and it’s something that I think more and more Trainers are starting to add that stuff, but still most don’t and it’s like dude wire you go back to. Why are we training? Because when I was younger, the way I was training made me way better in the weight room, but at a certain point I stopped getting better on the ice. Yeah, I’m a pro hockey player. All that matters is the ice.

I don’t care how much I bench press, unless an increase means I’m better out there, mm-hmm, and I want guys to bench press a lot. You know what I mean, but it’s like this is the main thing. So everything we’re doing here, all I care about is are your results better? Are you healthier? Are you getting injured less? You know, all of those things is the reason why we’re training so like if you get. I think that for all sports there’s a point of diminishing returns, focusing on chasing One specific skill or attribute or strength or something like that. You know, let’s work on the other things and let’s work on the other things in a way that you work on them on the ice when you’re tired.

0:36:25 – Jeff Pelizzaro
You know when, when, whatever, you know when, when you have your guys in the gym or girls, at what point you talk about kind of the risk, the reward. You know I’d see on on line Coaches working and getting people just trying to deadlift as much as possible. I know you and I we’re not back squat guys, right, but even even the hex bar deadlift, right, it’s a great exercise. But I see some of these golfers online 400, 500 pound deadlifts and I’m like Like at what point is it just like yes, there’s the risk.

0:36:59 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah, you’re spying your your hips if the risk does not equal the reward and we get. I never want to scare anybody into trying things in the gym or doing things if they make sense, but like, like I’m saying, you’ve got to realize that that what’s the reward? If I have 400 on the bar versus 450, and if 400 is my absolute most I’ve ever done, and now I try to jump up and keep jumping, well, what point does that not really help golf and we could spend that time on other things. And now maybe we move the bar faster or we do a tempo lift or we do this or we do that Because you’re not getting paid for your frickin PR on the trap bar.

Yeah, you’re getting paid to win at golf. So, like, how much is that helping? And is there? Could our time be better spent? Mm-hmm, that that’s what I care. How much time do I have with you? Okay? Well, that’s gonna decide another factor of what we’re gonna do, because we want to do things that will help the most with the amount of time, the resources, your body, all those types of things.

0:37:58 – Jeff Pelizzaro
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Going back to when you were talking about the guy that was in the combine and you know, 135 pounds couldn’t, couldn’t let the hundred and 35 pounds. We see the same thing in in golf. Right, you see these, these guys that are five, six, 140 pounds, but they’re hitting a ball 330, 340. You guys see it with guys with slap shots. And yeah, what do you? Where do you see the most benefit as far as being able to improve Something like that? Like I was always amazed when I would see some of the hockey guys at a gym that I used to work at and Like the speed of their hands. It didn’t matter how big and strong the guy was. But you see, those guys let a wrist shot go or a slap shot. It’s like holy shit. And then you know, but it’s not because of how big and strong he is necessarily technique right.

0:39:43 – Jeff Lovecchio
So much of sports is Skill-based. So, like, the reason you’re training is so that you can Present your skill for longer at towards the end of the game, 16th hole, 18th hole, whatever it is when you’re tired, like things like that, like, and then obviously to increase your power output and things like that. But Power development is very Position-specific. So like, yeah, a hand clean is working on your power, but does that look like anything you do in golf or hockey or almost any sport? Well, how about a med ball throw for a shot or a golf swing? That’s power and it’s very position-specific and you’re working those specific muscles and you can go over speed, you can go heavier, you can do all these things. So for me it’s like, well, let’s focus, let’s start with that trap bar, whatever it is, to get some general strength and then let’s advance into more Specific things that will help with whatever the skills that you need to Demonstrate in your sport. You know it’s hard. Everybody’s different, you know. And it’s also also in like sports that have Multiple, like big rosters where every guy has a different role because, like you got 12 forwards on a team that are playing in a game in hockey, but like every player. Every forward of those 12 has a little bit different role. They play a different style. So, like you can also get into that. But there’s just so many ways you can go about it. There’s so many ways to skin the cat. You gotta find what works for you.

Your body, what do you like, what do you like goes a lot into it, do you? I? I, everybody Will get at me. For this was like do you want to be there? We were talking about it today with all my college guys Do you want to be in the gym? Because a lot of them will tell me, like I hate our lifts at school, I hate them, my body hurts. You know all this stuff. And to me, I’m just like what is like? What if that guy wanted to be in there? What if he enjoyed the lifts he was doing? How much better would, how much more would he get out of that? You know what I mean.

Like it’s so that is such an important piece to training, because all of these people coming to train with us are training, not to train. They’re not trying to get better at the gym, they’re trying to get better at something else. Yeah, and we as coaches have to keep that in mind. It’s not what we want to do, necessarily. It’s it’s what do you, what do they like doing? What do they want to do? Past like the things we know they need to do? Yeah, but it’s our job to let, to get them to understand why they need to do it and why they need to Like it. I think that you know.

0:42:13 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Yeah, I mean we’re getting into the point right now. End of the year, january is coming up, and so it’s like New Year’s resolutions all around, right, and people are trying to figure out Okay, what am I going to do to get better next year? But I think to your point. Like if you don’t find something that you really want to do, like if you’re just going to try to do something for 30 Days or 90 days, and it’s like it’s going to be a grind every single time you do it, I mean, how realistic is that for you to stick to?

that so what do you, what would you say to somebody that’s that’s looking to make some changes next year? You know, going into January, going into 24, that you know maybe is not quite sure how to really start to get into building those habits or making those changes, because I know that that’s a big piece of what you do too.

0:42:55 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah, I’m, I’m, I don’t care what it is if it’s the gym, your body, your health, your business, your relationships. I’m a huge advocate for always trying to reverse engineer whatever you want to do. So if you’re, you got that, like you, you also. You have to decide what you want to do and your why. Because if you don’t, it’s like getting in your car and Not putting anything in your GPS and hoping you get to the destination. Even pick the destination. You have to pick a destination so that I know, okay, this is what I want, or I want to be, or I want to do, or something, and now we can Reverse backwards to January 1st and now we can create steps to then work towards that. But if you don’t say what your goal is, you can’t reverse engineer it. And so the what is the goal, the why, then, is even more important. Why do you want that goal, and is that actually the goal you really want? Like you, you have to be very honest and specific with your why, because if you don’t, you’re not going to show up on the hard days. You’re not going to do, you’re not, you’re going to make bit more bad decisions. You’re, you’re gonna, you’re just not going to do everything with intention because you haven’t established a strong enough why. Your why is fake and a lot of people are embarrassed to say their why because it’s like something deep down, but it’s like you’ve got to connect to that.

That is your purpose for why we’re gonna lay out all these steps and you’ll want to do these things because you know when it’s hard there, you’re making them. Put them on the bike or the treadmill or whatever, and they’re halfway through and they want to Quit. But if you’re the coach and you’re saying, hey, you told me, is this your goal? You told me, this is your goal. Yeah, this is why you’re here. Don’t you forget that they’re gonna do it. But if they don’t have that strong why, it’s easy to quit, it’s easy to take days off, it’s easy to let that go, because you just haven’t created a strong enough reason why you’re gonna do all these things that are usually like harder to do. Making good decisions it’s harder than making bad decisions. Yeah, you know, I mean, it’s just it’s it’s. It’s really important to do the what, the why, reverse, engineer, create steps.

0:45:02 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Is that something that you go through specifically with some of your guys? I know you you’ve even got, you’ve got that on your wall, right? What is your why yeah?

0:45:09 – Jeff Lovecchio
and all the time I’m telling the guys look up there, we’re doing something hard, we’re doing shuttles. The guys are tired, it’s the middle of summer and they’re kind of hitting that first lull or funk. Look up there, why are you here? Why are you here? And I know what their whys are and I also make them go over their whys Every single day before every single session. Really. So, to start every session in the offseason, not the season in the offseason After they do the guys come in, I have a board where it’s like I wanted to do, like it’s anywhere from five to ten things that day that I just because some guys get there 20 minutes early, some guys show up right on time.

I want them to get through these things Quickly, with intention, so then I can focus on all the stuff that we’re gonna do together. And right before we we start together, I lay them down on their mats. I don’t turn the lights off in the beginning, but I’m telling the closer eyes and tell yourself why you’re here. Why are you here, not out loud, just to yourself why are you here? What are your goals? What are your long-term goals? What are your short-term goals? What are your goals for today in the gym what do you want out of hockey this year? And then I want you to tell me, tell yourself the specific number of goals that you have for the season.

Whether you’re a goalie and it’s like I will have a 93, say, percentage this year, I will play in over 55% of the games, or a forward, I will score 20 nights, I will. I have a tattoo down me, I will, I will, I want, I will. Statements, not I want or not, I hope, because that’s bullshit language like I want it very specific. I believe the words we use in our own head matter Because they are gonna be deep down inside of us. And then when we come to a fork in the road where it’s like the way I should go or the way I shouldn’t go, if you’re always saying I will, I will, I will, I will, you’re just gonna naturally make that good decision. That’s gonna get you towards the I will statement. If you’re not doing that, it’s easy to take the easy road, you know so. We do that before every single session in offseason.

0:46:59 – Jeff Pelizzaro
I love that, man. It’s like rehearsing that when you get to a tough spot, you already know this is the direction I’m taking you, because you’ve already kind of seen that you already played it out. It’s like I don’t have to waver which way I’m.

0:47:12 – Jeff Lovecchio
I’m moving in that direction. It’s the positive self-talk of like there’s days where we don’t want to train, right, and then that stuff happens. But like getting through those days though I mean getting through you know language I should probably shouldn’t say it that way but finding a way to battle on those days. Those are the days when you leave the gym and you’re like I didn’t give up a ton of people my age guys I play with, guys I played against. They would have left early, they would have, they would have, you know, done eight reps instead of ten. I did all friggin ten.

And part of that comes from the self-talk that you’re always saying to yourself. If you’re always doing that, you don’t even know when a decision comes up, you’re not even thinking, it’s just second nature. This is what I’m gonna do, because this gets me to my goals. But if you’re not always telling yourself why am I here? What are my goals? I will do this. I, I’m doing this because I want that and I’m gonna get that. No matter what, you’re gonna make those better decisions. You know and I’ve seen it. But it’s not like. This is like all you know. I tried it once. Like trying this with thousands of athletes at all levels and it works, so let’s keep doing it so you obviously are.

0:48:17 – Jeff Pelizzaro
You’re helping coach all of these kids. You’re really helping kind of steer the way that they mentally approach the game, mentally approach their training, how hard they work. Who did that for you when you were young? Because it sounds like since you were 15 years old, you were a hard-working kid, right.

0:48:33 – Jeff Lovecchio
Well, I just I got to a point where I wasn’t good enough and I literally had to like fortify my mind or else I wouldn’t have been there. And hockey was everything to me, it was ever. It’s all I ever wanted to do, it’s all I ever thought about. And so, like it was kind of like shit or get off the pot for me, like you either have to go all in and do everything or else your hockey career is over. And I had coaches who told me that, and I had a coach who wanted to cut me, and if I would have said I’m done, he would have cut me that second right there, I would have went home, but I didn’t. No, I’m here, I’m going, I’m going, I’m going. And I just kept having to find a way.

And then I realized that, like when I I was always a leader on teams too, and so like I’d always try and bring guys with me and like I just realized that like the guys who are better than me, when they would come with me to the gym or they would come with me and I’d teach them about nutrition, like they would get better, and so I would just start seeing like yeah, guys, like look how, like I’m one of the better players on this team, but it’s not because of my skill. You’re all more skilled to me, all of you. So what if you guys start doing the things I’m doing? Or what if you guys start talking to yourself the way I am? And I started working on that with teammates and younger guys who I would take under my wing, who are going through a hard time like I did two years before, and I would see the change it would have in them and I kind of like selfishly look at it as like I’m always like man.

If I would have had me saying this when I was younger, how good would I have been. I would have figured it out sooner. And if I figured it out sooner and I had more years to develop, how much better could I have gotten. So it’s like something where I’m like I wish I had me when I was younger and in St Louis we didn’t really have that growing up, and so, like I took a lot of pride from 17 on, coming back every summer and helping guys out. Hey guys, I learned this this year. You got to be able to do this in two years. Let’s start practicing it now. The kids who are coming up behind me, and I love doing that, and I was a leader on every team, so I’d also do it on my teams. And then when I started my company, it was like, well, now I’m going to do this like for real. And then it just, you know, has gone more and more people every year.

0:50:39 – Jeff Pelizzaro
So tell us about the company you got your GMBM on. Yeah, what’s it stand for?

0:50:44 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yes, so it was actually my first year when I retired, so 2018 was my last season in Austria and I came home and obviously I walked into, you know, a business that was already pretty pretty set up, pretty established in St Louis here, and but I was still like trying to decide how, where do I want to go with this? Where do I want to go with this? But do I want to be an only hockey like trying to figure out and how can I be better for my clients, for my family, just like all these things? I want to be better. I went through a divorce which also made me look inward and just be like I just want to be better for everybody around me and myself. And I was with a supplement company at the time and they flew me out to Arizona and it was. It was like one of those movies where it’s like there was 3000 people in this huge banquet hall and the person on stage at Seyosanth and everybody’s like oh yes, yes, pretty like that. But it was like about supplements making people healthy and at first it’s kind of like this is ridiculous, but then I was like I got to know those people and they all genuinely wanted to help people and they genuinely wanted to help people and they made money off helping people and I was like, well, that’s the best thing in the world, like everybody’s winning, like that’s really cool. And I was just like man, like I need to do more for my guys, I need to do more for my family, I need to like give more of myself.

And my flight got canceled. So everybody from the conference flew, flew home on like Sunday. Mine got canceled two days in a row so I wound up being in Arizona two more days. So I have no car because, like I got flown out there.

So I’m just like walking around this downtown area I don’t even remember what city it was, one of the big ones out there, scottsdale, I don’t know and I came to this like random, like business park, and this sounds so out of a movie, but it’s 100% true. Come to this random business park, like a mile away from the hotel and it was like beautiful, it was super quiet, it was a Monday in the middle of the day, so everybody’s working. I’m guessing there’s all these beautiful glass buildings and like all these trees and bushes and like a little pond and like little fake rivers running through it. So I was just sitting there and I meditated my last few years. I got into meditation in my career.

I’m sitting there meditating, thinking about this conference, of all these positive influences that just were around me and the energetic feeling and vibration I was having and I was just like I need to be more, I need to give more to everyone in my life and I’ll be more. And it just like came to me and I was like, well, if I give more, I’ll be more. And I was like I’m going to go get that tattooed, I mean right now. I Googled Nier’s tattoo shop.

I walked two miles got a tattooed on my arm right here and then two months. So I started talking about that on my social media, as I just started social media back then and my podcast. I just started a podcast that year too, the hockey think tank podcast, which is now pretty big, and because of that, give more, be more. And I was saying it to people hey, if you give more to hockey, you’re going to. If you give more to training, you’re going to be a better hockey player. You’ll be more on the ice. If you give more to nutrition, you’re going to be more on the ice. If you give more to your family, you’re going to be a better son, brother, husband, whatever. And so, in saying that and saying that on the podcast, this company who I now makes my clothing line reach out to me and they were like we love your message, we make, we have this clothing line. We’d love to just send you some GMBM stuff, but actually I think this was one of the first things they sent me in 2018. Still one of my favorite shirts. It was the first and the stuff was awesome and I was like guys, I would love to like make a shirt and sell it to my guys just to remind them every day when they come in, like I’m here to give more, like, give more. Okay, other people are given this much, give more than them, because in the end, you’re going to be more. And then it just like kept going, kept going and the clothing line got bigger and you know, and then I had to give more be more podcasts. For a while it did well, I got clothing line and I’m actually going to change the name of my company probably to like GMT.

Give more training. Be more is like my speaking side. I do a lot of speaking now and stuff like that. So it’s just, I just think it’s a good model for anybody who wants to be better than anything Like you’re not going to get anywhere by giving less, whether that’s sleep, nutrition, reading, being a better person.

Just go out there and give more to strangers. You’re going to, I promise you, if you’re nicer to the guy in the Chipotle line, you just made them have a better day and you’re going to feel good that they are like wow, nobody’s asked me how my day is. The amount of times people at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants where the first thing I say is how are you doing today? And they look up and they’re like nobody’s asked me that in a month. That’s crazy and it’s like man, what happened to society? So I just think if you give more to everybody, whoever’s in front of you, give more to that person, give more to your studies, give more to school, give more to your family, give more to relationships, give more to your training, you’re going to be better. It sounds so simple, but it’s like I’m really big in like sayings and like things like that. They help me stay. They’re like the bumper things in bowling. Like sayings help me refocus and stay in the lane.

Like my grandma always said, like if it is to be, it’s up to me. Like she would write it every time she’d leave she’s from Chicago, every time she’d leave her house in St Louis, she’d leave little notes in my bathroom If it is to be, it’s up to me, jeffrey, if you want to be better, no one can help you. You need to go get better, you need to go train, you need to go to sleep on time, and so that was just like instilled in me, and I love sayings and I thought GMBN was easy and just reminds me to be better. I love it, man.

0:56:07 – Jeff Pelizzaro
We could sit and we could sit and chat about this stuff all day long. I’m thinking about even just walking around the park walking the dog. I intentionally try to lock eyes with people and just smile and it’s like some people are just in their little zone and they walk by and they almost like don’t want to look at you, but you smile and say hello and they’re like oh, oh hi. Catches them off guard almost.

0:56:30 – Jeff Lovecchio
It’s weird. It’s weird where society is gone. I think, and what kind of scares me is the younger generations now. They’re always like I work with a lot of kids and so many of them can’t look adult in the eye. They don’t meet somebody and shake their hand. They’ve always got air pods in Like I don’t like dude, where, if this keeps going like this, where the disconnect in society? I mean we’re seeing it with politics and all these things where everybody’s at each other’s strokes all the time but nobody ever looks up, looks someone in the eye and talks to them. That’s so much of all these bad things in the world. Would just be better if we were polite, nice.

0:57:12 – Jeff Pelizzaro
In a room next to each other like talking.

0:57:14 – Jeff Lovecchio
I don’t care what your views are, but let’s talk like human beings and not kill each other. We’re in the same country, the same world, the same universe, same everything. We don’t need less connection, we need more connection. Yeah.

0:57:28 – Jeff Pelizzaro
It’s funny. Your grandma was such an influence on you. My grandpa was always the one he’s like. When you meet somebody, you look them in the eye, you shake their hand, you squeeze their hands Even my 10 year old were like what does grandpa Val say? Look them in the eye, shake their hand, squeeze. So it’s awesome, that’s where he takes on the moment.

0:57:43 – Jeff Lovecchio
Every kid who comes to me, who’s new, and their parents are coming in and I stick out my hand and no, no, no, no, no. Look me in the eye, shake my hand like you mean it, make me believe that you want to be here.

You know and like every kid, and it’s like you do that out in the world. And for me now, one of the coolest things ever is when scouts call me and go and you work with this guy. Yeah, I knew you did because of this, this and this because of the way you talked to me, the way that he shook my hand, the way that he showed up to our meeting he had a collared shirt on and nice pants and he combed his hair and other kids are showing up like they’re going to a concert and so it’s like a weird, like parenting moment from here.

0:58:20 – Jeff Pelizzaro
I’m like, yeah, I love to hear that, you know, yeah, we have there’s so many coaches that are listening in this podcast right now that I know are like man, that’s that’s what I want to do with my students, with my clients, with my golf.

0:58:29 – Jeff Lovecchio
It doesn’t take a lot of extra effort. It’s a little bit of effort every day and it’s just hammering home those details.

Be a good person. No, no, no, no. Like a simple one for me, and I say it to all, especially when I have new teams or new clients coming in, I’m like, hey, everybody grab a mat and I watch and I see which guys grab multiple mats and pass them out to our teammates and then I stopped the room every single time. That was a test. See what he did right there. What did he do? It’s a good teammate right there. Why is he good? I don’t know, because I asked you all to do something and he went up and he helped everybody else.

That’s who we want on our team. That’s who, if I’m a business owner, I want that guy and all the business owners out there, they want that guy. Don’t be the guy who only thinks about himself. Think about the other people in the room. Think about you know all these things, and it takes five extra seconds every day doing that. And now all these kids. What’s really cool is my guys who didn’t don’t make it to pro or play lower level college or whatever, and to see them be successful in life after hockey is, and they’re doing the same things we did in the gym. Right, it’s very cool. Yeah, it’s very cool. It plays out in everything, everything. How you do anything is how you do everything, absolutely.

0:59:36 – Jeff Pelizzaro
All right, my man, we’re going to finish up with some, some fun questions here. I got a feeling I know your answer to this one, but Caddyshack or happy Gilmore. Happy Gilmore, obviously.

0:59:47 – Jeff Lovecchio
I love Caddyshack, but happy Gilmore 100%.

0:59:50 – Jeff Pelizzaro
I heard you once say that your skating style was much like happy Gilmore.

0:59:54 – Jeff Lovecchio
Yeah, I was really fast but really ugly, and so I always tell guys hey, you’re better than me, do what I did, and you’ll be even better because I skated like happy Gilmore.

1:00:03 – Jeff Pelizzaro
So early. You were talking about how different guys have different roles on the team. I’m just curious, what was Jeff Levecchio’s role?

1:00:09 – Jeff Lovecchio
I’d say I was like a power forward, so like I had to play down low heavy minutes, lots of penalty killing If I was on the power plates in front of the net, getting beat up trying to stream the goalie, kind of unselfish stuff like that, putting myself in danger areas, like just that type of stuff. Like I could score goals but I wasn’t like a goal scorer and like it was finesse it was usually ugly, but what I would always say is they don’t ask how, they ask how many.

1:00:33 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Yep, that’s all that matters. Absolutely All right, if you could pick a walk up song. I’m going to say to the first T box and you haven’t played a whole lot of golf.

1:00:40 – Jeff Lovecchio
What’s your walk up song? Live your Life by Rihanna and TI yeah, specifically Rihanna’s part in that. Before every single speech, I listen to that song. Awesome, yeah, every speech.

1:00:51 – Jeff Pelizzaro
All right, I have a feeling you’re gonna have a couple answers for this one, but is there a book that has meant a ton to you? We’ve already talked about Mike Boyles but, a book that’s meant to a lot to you, that you recommend maybe to your guys. Don’t have to be training, don’t have to be happy whatever.

1:01:04 – Jeff Lovecchio
The secret is the first one. I want all my guys reading the law of attraction, just like attracts, like where your mind goes, energy flows. I think all of that is very, very important and it changed my life. I read that book on the plane right after I signed with the Bruins going to Providence and I had coaches and people being like you’re not ready to play pro? And I read that book cover to cover in a day and a half and I scored a goal and assist and I was first star in my first pro game and usually I was like known for celebrating really hard when I would score because I was just so happy and I stood still and just looked at like the sky and I was like I knew I could do this and it was like I attribute to my feeling going into that game a lot to reading the secret the day before. I really believe in that stuff.

So the secret the other one that I read recently I’m not a big reader, I should be way better is RSF and it’s written by a guy from St Louis Relentless Solutions, focus. Oh, jason Selt. Yes, that book. I’ve been dialed ever since I read that book last year.

1:02:03 – Jeff Pelizzaro
He’s going to be in here in three weeks, no way dude, I’ve never met him.

1:02:08 – Jeff Lovecchio
A buddy of mine was like you got to read this book and my wife will say she doesn’t love it because we’ll go on walks or we’re talking and she comes up with a problem and I’m like you got 60 seconds, 60 seconds go. You can talk about it for 60. What’s one thing we can do right now that’s going to move the needle and like that’s how my brain thinks and that is. I was already in that kind of like don’t sit in, sulk and whatever, but like RSF, read that book.

1:02:32 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Read that book I literally just ordered. Oh, you’re going to love it.

1:02:36 – Jeff Lovecchio
It’s the same thing, hammering you over and over and over, and then you get to end the book and you start practicing it in your life and you’re like, oh my God, yes, like you’re going to love it.

1:02:45 – Jeff Pelizzaro
It’s awesome, perfect, all right, if you could pick a dream for some to go play some golf with. Could be celebrities, could be historical figures alive, dead, doesn’t matter who it is. Who are you picking?

1:02:55 – Jeff Lovecchio
I’d say Joe Rogan, Conor McGregor, Dana White probably Weird that they’re all like fighting guys.

It’s not because of fighting, it’s not because of golf course it has nothing to do with like fighting Conor McGregor, because his mindset when he was Conor McGregor before he lost his first fight to Diaz he was RSF. He was the secret. He embodied all that. He talked about the secret and the law of attraction all the time and he believed it and he lived it. When he went into his fight with first fight with Diaz that he lost and that changed his career trajectory.

From then on, I knew at the weigh-ins that he was going to lose and that he wasn’t the same because of, like his eye contact and stuff, and I could tell that like he didn’t believe in himself. But like I say to people, it doesn’t even matter, Do the guy had like probably $400 million at that point. $300 million how do you go in and fight for your life when you got $400 million in the bank? I don’t know how anybody could do that. But that’s why him. Joe Rogan, because he’s just interviewed some of the smartest people in the world, his perspective on things I love. And Dana White for things that he’s done during COVID and things that, like I align with him on. I really respect what he did and I think he’s a true American. So, and I think those three together would be hilarious.

1:04:09 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Oh my God, that would be quite a time. All right, I don’t know if you know many golf courses, but you know our typical question is if there’s a bucket list golf course for you to go to, like if we could fuel up the 18STRONG jet. You can go anywhere you want. Where are you going to play? And then I have a follow up question, a hockey version of that, so I don’t really know a ton about golf, but this past summer a couple of my clients went.

1:04:36 – Jeff Lovecchio
Why just one of them went to a wedding, and I think it was either. I think it was Scotland. Is there like a really good course in Scotland with like a castle on it?

1:04:44 – Jeff Pelizzaro
St Andrews, that’s what it was.

1:04:46 – Jeff Lovecchio
I saw pictures and I was like, and they were telling me how beautiful it was and how like prestigious it is, and I was like I’ve never been to Scotland. That would probably be it. Yeah, that one’s like, that’s the home of golf. Oh really, yeah, St Andrews is the home of golf.

1:05:00 – Jeff Pelizzaro
So hockey version of this? In your pro career, is there a place that you never got to play in that you want? That is, like the number one place that you would have loved to get your skates on the ice?

1:05:15 – Jeff Lovecchio
Let’s see, in the NHL and preseason I got to play in every Canadian rink, which was really cool, and I got to play in Boston, so that was cool. I’d probably say just like against the Blues in St Louis. Yeah, just because, like, I grew up here at a time where, like not almost no guys were going pro very, very few, and now it’s a lot different and I me, if I could have played a game in St Louis, that would have been very, very cool. Just to have been a kid who grew up watching the Blues and didn’t see a lot of guys from St Louis making it, it would have been cool to play there. Awesome, yeah.

1:05:53 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Now that you have a monster following on social media, is there one social media account that you think the 18STRONG crew should check?

1:06:02 – Jeff Lovecchio
out Good question.

1:06:03 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Whether it’s, you know, training wise mentality, whatever who’s somebody, we should follow.

1:06:07 – Jeff Lovecchio
I have a couple. Number one, vernon Griffith. Yeah, okay, love him. Trying to get him out to St Louis this summer. Yeah, I’ve talked to him. I think he’s going to come out.

Vernon Griffith, because I think that with golf, a lot of his hip, a T spine I think all that stuff could really help golfers and like how they work together and then adding in the shoulder, I think he’s just phenomenal for anybody who rotates. So everyone, also my buddy, clifton Harski, cliff Harski I think his Instagram is Clifton Harski. He does. He’s not only a kettlebell guy but he shows a lot of stuff with kettlebells. He’s a really big. He’s like a coach of a lot of coaches.

You probably know, yeah, and follow like that are big time and he does a lot of stuff with kettlebells that I’ve never seen and I really really like I just did a one of his certifications in Nashville, like three weeks ago, worked out with him at first form this past Friday with a new client of mine who’s a pro pickleball player from St Louis, and I just think that the way that he uses kettlebells traveling, moving, while he’s using them, not just standing still I think that that will help anyone who moves and any athlete with acceleration, deceleration, rotation, fluidity, all these things, I think would help any athlete in any sport. Very cool yeah.

1:07:24 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Awesome, we’ll check it out. All right, any last pieces of advice for the 18STRONG crew and then tell them where they can go, find you and everything.

1:07:33 – Jeff Lovecchio
Peace of advice. Just give more Whatever you want in life, like, reverse engineer your goals. Like, for the love of God, take time to write down what you want out of life, I don’t care how big or how small it is. Write it down and then decide why you want that. Do I really want this? Why do I want this? Because if you connect that why with the what you’re going to want to reverse engineer the steps from today, day one, to where, how, what can I be doing to get to my goals, you can never get there. If you don’t decide the what and the why, you’ll never get there. So decide that stuff and it will change your life, because then you can see I’m off course. You don’t know if you’re off course if you don’t know the destination right, you don’t know you’re over here when you’re trying to go to here, unless you decided you’re going here. So you’ve got to decide that stuff and then really connect with a strong why. Because if you connect with a strong why, nothing can stop you.

Then, as far as finding me, I just send everybody to my Instagram. It’s my name at, Jeff Levecchio, the word love cchio, or my new website, gmbmcom. Really, and what’s really cool about my website is that two of my clients that I’ve had since they were little kids who are freshmen in college this year, at 20 years old, they built my website. It was one of the best websites of anyone in my space I’ve ever seen because of them at 20. And I just think it’s really cool that I was able to teach these kids all these things that I’ve learned in life. And now they’ve taught me about the website and they’ve built it and I got to pay people who paid me for a decade. I got to kind of pay that back to them. So for me it’s really cool and it’s been a fun project working with them.

1:09:13 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Awesome. Well, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to come on today. I mean speaking personally. I’ve been following you for a long time and I know we’re in different worlds the hockey world, the golf world, a lot of that crosses over the tune right, especially in St Louis there’s a lot of cross over there, but I just want to say that I really appreciate what you’re doing, not just from the physicality of the fitness side of things, but the mentality side.

I think that there’s so much that everybody listening to this show, everybody that is interested in fitness mindset, needs to go follow you. So thanks for coming on.

1:09:43 – Jeff Lovecchio
I appreciate it, man. Thank you. Now let’s see how I swung the ball. I’m going to close the club here.

1:09:47 – Jeff Pelizzaro
Let’s see how it goes. Thanks for listening to the 18STRONG Podcast and if you found this episode helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends. And, of course, go follow us over on Instagram at 18STRONG. Thanks again, we’ll catch up with you next week. Train hard, practice smart and play better golf.