What I Learned from Watching Creed-Part II

Last week we started talking about some of the lessons we learned from the movie Creed. Now we’re going to get into some of the deeper stuff and definitely some of my most favorite lessons to take away from the movie! (If you haven’t read part one, click here.)

One Step at a Time, One Punch at a Time, One Round at a Time

From the beginning of Rocky’s coaching of Adonis, Rocky keeps saying to him “One step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time.” I love this saying and the thought behind it! In boxing, if you want to have a good round you have to throw a good punch. You want to throw a good punch? You have to make the right step. Each builds upon each other so it is important not to get ahead of yourself. You have to be in the moment and focus on what is at hand, not what is down the road.

In weightlifting this is true as well. We can throw off entire workouts if we are too focused on down the road. Want to perform well at a competition? You have to have good workouts leading up to it. Want to have good workouts? You have to focus on your lifts. Want good lifts? Focus on the lift at hand. We too often get ahead of ourselves focusing on the heavier lifts in the workout or the next competition that we end up taking away or adding extra pressure to each workout. Stay in the moment. One lift at a time, one workout at a time, one competition at a time.

Take a Look in the Mirror

Rocky walks Adonis over to a mirror in the gym. Then he points at Adonis in the mirror and says “That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face. Every time you get into the ring, that’s who you’re going against. I believe that in boxing and I do believe that in life, okay?” I believe this rings true in weightlifting as well. Facing yourself is one of the hardest and scariest things you’ll ever have to do in life. When you actually take a good hard look in the mirror, you are forced to be honest with yourself. You have to admit every worry, every fear, and every doubt. Only then will you be able to overcome them. Once you overcome them then you can truly overcome the platform.

The Coach and Athlete Relationship

The most important thing, in my opinion, to take away from this movie is the coach and athlete relationship. Rocky and Adonis, in the short time they were together, went through it all. Adonis bought into Rocky as a coach and a man. He asked no questions when told to do something, whether it was chasing a chicken or running to the supposedly “close enough” gym every day. Rocky was straight forward from the beginning with letting Adonis know that what he would ask of him was going to be hard physically and mentally. Adonis was committed 100% to Rocky’s ways. Everything he said and asked of him he would do.

This becomes more and more apparent as the movie progresses. When offered the opportunity of a lifetime to fight for the title against “Pretty” Ricky Conlan, and it came down to him wanting to take the fight, it wasn’t necessarily Adonis’ own skills he believed in as so much as Rocky’s coaching. Adonis told Rocky “If it was anybody else in my corner… I wouldn’t do it.” This is not to say that Adonis didn’t believe in himself but, he knew he had a lot of work to do. If he was to stand a chance, he knew without a doubt that Rocky was the man for the job to get him there! Again, he had fully bought in to what Rocky did as a coach.

What Adonis and Rocky did together inside the boxing ring is truly amazing but what they did outside of the ring is simply incredible. When Rocky is diagnosed with cancer he is haunted by the past. His wife, Adrian had cancer and underwent treatment and sadly still died. He saw the pain and suffering she went through, first hand, just to die. He was not willing to go through that himself, thinking he really had no reason or nobody left to live for and decided against treatment. Adonis found out and made Rocky realize that he still had someone to live for and he still had a reason to live. And no his reason was not to make Adonis the world’s greatest boxer, it was to help Adonis through life and to help him grow into the man that Rocky knew he could be. They were willing to fight for each other and take blows that life dealt together. As Adonis put it to Rocky “So if I fight, you fight.”

I know there’s an argument out there in weightlifting. Is it more important to have a great coach or train with other top level athletes in a great atmosphere? My belief has been and always will be that a great coach is always more important. A great coach should be able to motivate you better than any group of athletes. And not to sound harsh but if you would argue that, then I would argue you haven’t found a great coach yet. I have been blessed enough to have found my “Rocky” early on in my father. Let me also say that there are several great coaches out there, this is not me just making a claim that my dad is the greatest coach ever. Although, he is the man for the job when it comes to me. The thing is, a lot of this falls on the athlete. We have to fully commit to our coaches in order to fully get the benefits of the coach and athlete relationship. Just as I stated earlier about no coach knowing everything, neither does any athlete. It’s the communication between an athlete and coach that builds this relationship most.

Adonis “Hollywood” Creed, the greatest boxer that ever lived? I don’t think we can say that yet but I do believe he is on his way. Be sure to watch Creed when you get the chance. Take it all in and learn the many lessons from Adonis and Rocky.