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Episode 005: Perspectives of a Tackling Expert with Spencer Smith


Welcome to the Podcast, Entrepreneur Perspectives, building and protecting your business, one podcast at a time, a Kazsource Family Production, in this episode, we are going to talk about football perspectives and building a unique business and how to tackle properly. Our guest today is Spencer Smith, founder and President at Triple H Tackling Academy; Spencer is a tackling machine as proven by his years playing for the University of Hawaii football team, where he was defensive player of the year in 2009 and special team’s player of the year in 2008. He played in the 2007 Sugar bowl and he was a member of the academic All Western Athletic Conference Team in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2005, Spencer was voted the most valuable player on his high school football team in Marietta Georgia. Spencer lives in the Atlanta area today and is currently training Pro Bowl players in the NFL; Top Level Tower in college, High School Players and Pee wee football players, Spencer’s ultimate goal is to become the first tackling coach in the NFL or NCAA. Due to an increase in CTE and head injuries in football and due to a decrease in youth participation in football combined with his love for the game, Spencer created Triple H Tackling Academy, because he knows that in controlled and educated environment, football, while it is a physical sport can be safe, and he works to make football safer environment for all by teaching proper tackling techniques which he believes is missing in today’s game. Spencer’s perspectives on football are credibly enlightening but equally so are his views on being the business owner of a niche business and we are excited to have him on the show, so let us get in to it.

Eric: Spencer welcome to the entrepreneur perspective podcast, it’s awesome to have you.

Spencer: Thanks for having me.

Eric: Absolutely, so we are going to get started with about ten questions require more thoughtful response and end with ten rapid fair questions, you ready to get going?

Spencer: Yes sir.

Eric: So, you heard the introduction about you but of course we can’t do you justice in one opening statement, so tell us something real about you that the audience doesn’t know?

Spencer: I was just married last year to my wife Claire and we just had our first baby girl, Audrey. So,

Eric: Awesome.

Spencer:  You know, I was trying to get the business [2:26] and at the same time try to get my approach of my family lifestyle at the same time.

Eric: I get it, so how is the baby sleeping?

Spencer: I think she is sleeping fine.

Eric: Yes.

Spencer: Her mother is, you know, I give a lot of crap for her but she is in maternity leave. So it has been proven that the mother is better at nurturing the baby.

Eric: Yeah.

Spencer: Than the dads, so my wife is doing a great job, going around the schedule and all that, I really have no part, I just hold her when I am home and try to play with her.

Eric: Yeah, is she…she is learning how to play football yet, she tackling you

Spencer: No, she is not tackling me yet, but we are doing together slide tack, we are doing together on the sofa, it is going to be a slide tack.

Eric: Very smart, very smart, so, obviously we talk about football, that is what you do, you train, you’ve played and you’ve dated a work Triple H Tackling Academy, what is your focus and what is your ultimate goal for the business and then yourself?

Spencer: The ultimate goal for the business is really just in practice many athletes, young, high school, college professionals and many athletes as we can to develop knowledge and how to tackle, with everything going on, with CT and concussions and just to scare football, you know, the goal is to get more guys participating. We are losing this participation every year, last year it was down I think a million participants, I don’t know what is down this year, if it is up, it is suddenly going down while across it is gaining grounds, so you know, we are trying to develop a controlling environment to teach tackling so parents are more vital to sign their kids up, so it is a hard issue right now and I understand, they don’t want their baby to get hurt but any sport you can get hurt, riding a bike you can get hurt, driving a car you can get hurt, playing baseball you can get hurt, but the worst is what makes sports so great that not everyone can do it, so, but what we want to do is let everyone know that there is a possibility that they can be a football player and just because this has gone out like concussions here, we have a solution to help with the head injuries, to make them more knowledgeable in their tackles so they are safe for going in, they are not just leaving with their hands and stuff like that.

Spencer: Personal goal, you know, as I said impact as many athletes as I can but I do want to become the first MCAA College or NFL tackling coach.

Eric: Yeah, that is an incredible goal, you know, I agree with you, I think you will get there and when kids or when athletes even, you know, whatever level they are coming to when they come out of your program, what has been the feedback so far?

Spencer: The feedback has been great; I have been implementing this with my team that I have coached for the last two year, we work from six to 7th hour in eighth grade, which has zero concussions with so many head injuries due to tackling, I’ve just recently went out to see why [5:25] football association, they had no document in concussions from tackling last year. Parents are just telling that their kid is, they say it is becoming, bizarre parents are saying their kids will be spared, you know they saying that they have noticed a huge difference, and they are there to tackle, when they are going to conference, they are making impact when they make the tackles, so the parents are seeing it, you know, but I know the kids are noticing a difference and the athletes are noticing the difference and they have told me, you know, one of my college guys told me that, he had a shoulder injury every year from football until this past season, that was the only season he worked with me, then had one shoulder injured, he had one concussion, signed up with the Canadian Football League, just recently he got a cut but he was at the four wheel stand so, the feedback has been great, you know, but there is still limited number, you know I still got a lot of more room to grow with athletes to get better documentations, of all these information that I have.

Eric: Yeah.

Spencer: But as of right now I mean, it is doing really well, the feedback is positive both from the athletes which is really important but also from the parents and from the coaches.

Eric: That says everything right there and I think we are going to get down little bit our mark in a minute, but, you know, jut having that type of feedback where players aren’t getting injured because they are using proper form of technique that you are teaching obviously that says more than anything. Now we are moving for a second, all that you do for Triple H Tackling Academy. What is your passion?

Spencer: A passion is just making a difference, whether it is in sports, whether it is in somebody’s life, you are just making a difference, that is all I want to do, I just want to help people out, I know it sounds corny as cliché but that is really, I mean, that is what I think a man deserves to do just to help people, I don’t like seeing people in bad moods or suffering from certain things so wherever I can do to help somebody out, you know, that is what I am going to do, whether it is my family, my wife, my baby, now those are my two first passions right now,  but you know I have got to help them and then after that I help whoever else I can, whether it is feeding the homeless, bringing them food that we have or you know getting the [7:39] on my team a brand new pair of kits because they cannot afford it, whatever it may be, I will and I can’t just step back on my comfort zone so make a difference in somebody’s life because I have had a lot of people make a difference in mine so I want to, as the movie ‘Pay It Forward’  you know, I am trying to do that.

Eric: Absolutely, well it is genuine and you are obviously genuine about it in the conversations we’ve had and everything that we have seen that you are doing, so that is a very genuine thing.

Spencer: [Shouting to the dog] Hey, stop it.

Eric: And there you go, and you got to make a difference right with your dogs too.

Man: Some of us rang the door bell.

Eric: That is right, that is the realness that we bring on this podcast, you know we have to keep it real because, I mean that is what life is all about and that is awesome, that’s really good, so going back for a second and what we were talking about before, which is your perspective and marketing, taking into account that your skills on the areas of training football players how to tackle but also knowing that in order to get your bread out there, you need to market yourself in your business. What is your take on marketing today?

Spencer: It is huge, I mean it is huge, marketing is getting all these guys recruited to college, you know they are not that good, you know they have a good highlight tape where they can put themselves out there, at the camphor, twitter, whatever social media, you can get offers and you can get looks like that, so I understand that I have got to, you know, get on the social media and the marketing glamour but I am not very sure I should have had it.

Eric: Yeah.

Spencer: I am not, you know I am 29yrs old but I can’t, I am old school when it comes to technology and kind of a mindset and I am kind of more of word of mouth, on ‘Hey you know, tell your friend about me and what club to come in’ but I am looking to do more marketing, I just, honestly I have no knowledge of it, I am not very good at it, I am a passionate with people but I am not good at, you know, selling my products because I don’t like boasting and bragging, I feel like marketing, I am not marketing myself, it is like I am bragging about myself and I don’t like doing that. So most of the time I try to get other people approach to offer you know, help me out, I have had to write a bio, I get my dad to write it because I don’t like writing about myself.

Eric: Yeah.

Spencer: You know, it is something I am not very good at it, it is just because I don’t like bringing an attention to me, like a way of saying ‘Hey look at me’ but I want people to see what I am doing and what we are trying to do at Triple H that is why I try to do social media where it is kind of a 3rd person, you know it is not like saying ‘Hey look at how good we are’ you know I can kind of, they can check us out, you know, stuff like that.

Eric: Yeah, well that’s I mean, what you are doing is you know what your strength is and you are not trying to overly focus on your weakness, right, I mean you see that a lot in sports and I think that is smart, I mean here of course at that point then you have to figure out a point to market yourself like you said a word of mouth, just getting started, getting people to talk about your business but then, you know, finding someone that can help you in the marketing world I think is a big deal but going back to knowing your strengths, we see a lot of people on business sad, they get so focused on what their weakness is and they try to attack on whatever that weakness is and then, you know, kind of take it away from their bread and butter. 

Spencer: It is true, it happens in sports all the time, it happens in the business world all the time, I was in construction for 4 years, I didn’t know the heck I was talking about but I had to make money and you know and I wasn’t happy, it is just you got to follow your passion and it is like deal with your strengths and find people that can help you with your weaknesses, I am not saying I don’t need to work because everyone has to work on their weaknesses but I need someone to help me with that marketing aspect of it.

Eric: Absolutely, absolutely, so then, that is, what you are talking about is the part of, the running the business part of your business and you have a very unique niche, it is like, it is not every day you talk to a business owner that teaches people how to tackle. So what is it like running a business in such a unique niche?

Spencer: It is different; I think that is my wife. When people ask her what I do, she is like ‘He teaches people how to tackle.’

Spencer: So that always saves the conversation, so the latest one is ‘He sells people on the dentist so at least that explains but that was different, when you say ‘He teaches people how to tackle’ they are like, wait what? But you know it sounds so cool because when you meet this football guys they are men I have been looking for someone like this for a while, you know, I mean people have been asking how do we, you know, people are Googling all the time how to tackle, you know, how to teach tackling, looking up You Tube videos, stuff  like that, so, it is cool you know, when you meet someone who is really interested and it can really turn to a cool conversation but when someone doesn’t know what you are talking about, it is just pretty awkward, pretty quick.

Eric: Yeah, but you know I think that is a big thing, I think so many businesses now are all over the place and they are trying to appeal to everyone, they want everyone to understand what they do, but you have this specific niche so the person who is Googling how do I tackle properly or they are looking at face book or Instagram or whatever they may be and they see a video and they are like that is what I need, and then all of a sudden they start consuming your content and they want to do what you are teaching, I think that , it is hard at times because like you said some people are just not going to understand it at all but you cannot please everybody as you well know, so…

Spencer: You can even with people when I teach them tackling, you know I have a friend come in the other day, he started working and he goes, ‘you teach rugby style how to tackle? And I am like yeah, and he was like, he had kind of his, you know assumptions about it that you know, these guys were diving, these guys were missing tackles, and say well when we go this session let me see what you think, you know, I will talk you through because he is a coach too so you can stand there and listen, I will talk you through it as I talk him through it, within 30 minutes he said ‘Okay I understand man’ and he signed up for 5 sessions for something on the spot, you know, it is something that, it is just like fear, you know false education appearing real, people are not going to accept this style of tackling till they’ve really seen it done, you know, it is just like anything, I am not going to learn a new way to tie my shoe unless I know it is faster, it is a better way to tie my shoe, you know it even taught so long to get your head across or put your head on the bar, put your head, whatever it is that works for them, they were not new suggestions because one, we are scared because we don’t know what we are talking about, we don’t know how they coach and how to teach it, so a coach is a little bit, what is the word? Timid, they are timid on implementing the new techniques because they are not confident in their ability to coach it.

Eric: Yeah, I imagine so, I mean you make a difference, some people you can’t sell them right, you can’t convert them into someone that is going to believe in what you are doing but you know someone gives you a chance it sounds like to me that once they see what you do that they are getting into it, right?

Spencer: Oh yeah.

Eric: They want more of what you are putting out, So that is good, So in diving a little bit more into the concept that we have created and I thought that this was interesting and one of the reasons we connected was our counter platform sports entrepreneur and as you know we put analogies between sports and business and in fact it was funny because we were looking at articles in which ones ties into what you are doing, we had an article about getting back to basics and in it we talk about how tackling incorrectly can lead to injury and we are not experts on tackling but we understand how if people are launching their bodies and doing it improperly, they are going to be  hurt, so we compared you know to actually not tackling properly to not following proper procedures in business. So what about using the sports entrepreneur theme, how do you tie it to what you’ve learned from football whether it is plain or coaching to what you are actually doing in business?

Spencer: I had this cheesy slogan we use that practice makes permanent, that is for business, that is for sports, that is for anything, it is not practice makes perfect, if you are doing something wrong, you know at some point it is going to catch you up, you know if you are doing, if you are at the construction site and you are supposed to wear a hard hat every day, you know and you don’t wear it, at some point something is going to drop up on your head, in football [15:58] sinking a ball on top of my head can be terrible [16:03] makes it permanent, so with that you know you can’t take a short cut, you’ve got to put in the hard work whether in the gym or whether it is in the office, staying 8hrs, seeing get your job done, just everything from sports that I have learned has translated to the work life before I started doing this. Being on time, being on time means showing up at 8 o’clock, when it is supposed to be 8 o’clock is 12-15 minutes early or 30 minutes early, accountable to your boss, accountable to…it sort of happens that you can’t use the help to pick up the slack, you know the industry depend on you to be there every day, so sports and business they coincide, I was even hired for jobs you know I haven’t been the smartest one in the room, I haven’t been the best looking or the best dressed but I play sports and that’s what separates me, I can handle being in high pressure situations, you know, calmly and he is got to keep a cool head as I was always told firing the berry ice in the brain, you know that translates to business because you are in here being pissed off by your boss, you are in here being pissed off by your clients but you got to be able to keep that cool head and perform the tasks that’s ahead of you whether it is the play or whether it is a task paper you have to deal with, whether it is, you know, a business proposition, whatever it is you know you’ve got to keep that cool head all the time.

Eric: Yeah, well obviously you’ve, it is the education, whether it is business or just being told on how to do certain things and education obviously plays a big part of where you came from and you know we hear a lot about education and how it isn’t working, but then for someone who is playing and you are going to have a different perspective on this for someone who played major sport while studying at the University of Hawaii and you did it while being an academic All Star, what is your take on education as it relates to College Athletes?

Spencer: You know, you are there to get an education, honestly it is not hard, I mean throughout school you know if you show up every day and you care, you want to, you do your work, you are going to be fine, that’s really not anything, there are people who don’t care about the work, people who don’t want to do it, those who cannot struggle, you are there to get an education and play football, you have 12hrs, credit hours whatever the semester, two or three classes, two classes a day, you got to show up and go, if you show up in class every day, it is easy because you are going to learn, you are taking notes, you don’t have to do all the studying that people are talking about, in my opinion if you go to class every day, you don’t have to study for hours and hours on the book cramming all the work, you should have your notes, you should kind of remember, you should memorize the stuff not just try to write it down so you can read it later, like try and learn it. You know, just like a play book, you don’t study the night before the game, you go all week and learn the installations and you learn nothing then you move to the next thing, you know it is the same as education, if you show up every day and you care about your education you can accomplish anything, I mean I am not trying to prove something but I didn’t study about four or maybe five hrs in college, I graduated with 3.0 because I went to class every day, I listened, I paid attention, I cared, you know because I knew I had to, I was going to play.

Eric: Yeah, part of the game right, you have to do certain things in order to play. So it is hard though too because you’ll go to class and then you have practice and the NCA doesn’t allow you to have a job or at least study certain times of the year, right if you have a job, you can only work I think a certain amount of hours, because of all of that and I don’t know if this is something you can address, and if you can’t that is okay, but do you think College Athletes should get paid?

Spencer: I don’t know if schools should get paid but I think the scholarship cheques that you receive should be a little bit bigger, you know at least I know you are not allowed to have, in certain places you are not allowed an athletic dorm or athletic cafeteria that’s just scared to you guys but I think that should be because I mean you are putting extra of work and that students contribute  money I think they should take a little bit better care of you while you are at school, you know my [20:20] I was at Mc Donald’s every day, because that is what I can afford at Hawaii, you know how to hire for the bus expense, somebody make chickens every day, but what [20:28] the experiences I have in football I wouldn’t change for anything but I do think that the player should be compensated more in the food that they eat because you need to fuel your body, you know and provide them with a living situation that is comfortable, not just for the sake of your dorm is or a little bit more now we are contributing more to the school, why don’t we get more, so that next you getting paid, then you go and say well, he is the starter and he is the venture, how much is… then you go and say he is the core about he should be getting paid 5000 [21:05] now it should be when you are on the team and you are on scholarship you don’t have to worry about paying for food like you should have unlimited food access at the, at a very high class cafeteria, the MCAA of relations should have it all or even throughout every program, if you can buy more food because you are at Alabama, Georgia, then you know you add on to the donations to that but MCAA in my opinion should donate the same amount of money to every school for food, books and tuition and open a little bit because they are making money and they should invest back into their athletes.

Eric: Yeah, now I agree, I think that makes a lot of sense, now when you add on, every team travels right, but you played for Hawaii and we have seen the numbers rise, I want to assume that Hawaii traveled more than any other major College Football Program, and so like when you combine that with education and with like what you are talking about, eating on the road, what was it like with the travel that you had to do, I am sure you had great experiences, but how did that time with everything else that is going on with your life?

Spencer: The thing is life was stress, but I like not being in class, to me because we live, some days we will be on a road trip for 2 weeks because we do back to back little games instead of flying back and then flying you know wipe some money on hotels and flights, just like jet life we would stay in Vegas for 2 weeks, we play the game, we come back and train and then we go back to our next game and then we go home but you know it is a little out of stress but the coaches allow you to do your class work, also available, we had our academic advisors on this trip with us, the teachers during the season they understood the travel, and would be accommodative to those who work on the road and if you need to take a test they give it to the academic advisors to supervise the test, you know it was easier because you are not worrying about school schedule and going to school you are actually doing a Base Off practice, it sounds like another training camp but a little of school involved in so you get your class work done. You know being around the world, being in hotels, that is always good, it is always good sitting in a hotel so I like travelling more than I like being at home because I felt I got rather bit more pampered and a little bit more rest too, so I liked it.

Eric: Yeah, so you go on the road and you’ve played it, we’ve talked about this a little bit and you’ve played in some pretty cool environments, obviously you’ve just played in Hawaii by itself it’s going to be amazing, so then looking through your schedule and you had mentioned this before but you were in, you played against the Florida Gators in the swamp in 2008 that was the year the Gators beat Oklahoma for the national championship and I think that was the opening game if I remember correctly, what was that like going into the swamp for the opening game knowing like, are there admirers at the cost of time, team TiVo was the quarter back you know.

Spencer: Parsee Harvey, Spikes, Brandon and James were running back under the tunnel.

Eric: Just loaded, right?

[All laughing]

Spencer: Yeah, we just got off our sugar bowl to Georgia, we also had coach [24:16] which really had, but you know we were ready, we knew it was really a tough task, we knew we were not going to lose, it was a great atmosphere, one of my favorite place is to play, that is one of my special teams in that year but you know at the end of the first quarter was 0:0 with Florida, so I know that was expulsion at the end of the first quarter, the student section behind me started hounding me, they said you won, you ever get in the game? Then I go if we ever kick off, you know if we ever ponder, if we ever return a part I just need to get a group of special teams to turn it over or because they are just, because we are doing the safe punk we are kind of being in our territory, so I wouldn’t be out there.

Eric: [25:03] may be returning to part 2, right, so don’t keep into it

Spencer: Yeah, and Brandon and James, he was unbelievable, the further we pondered and I saw him dragging out of the field and the student section just goes actually nuts because they were trying to touch me the entire game, I don’t know why they picked me out, but they picked me out of everyone because in the field we don’t even see the field, I wish I was on a special team but you know they just came after me and then when I got on, they went like you shouldn’t be on, you know, it was a big show, but you know stuff like that is where you learn. We are a young team, I was the new head coach and they wanted us for championships, so, you know we could have been saying ‘Oh we could have been there and stuff like that but they were a really good team, they were the best players in the country, a couple of best players in the country, but you know T and T are one of the best college players that ever played just the absolute monster, I am a Sophomore I look at him like jeez he is here, he is the real deal.

Eric: Yeah, and someone has got to tackle him because he is not only a good player but he is a big guy, and someone’s got to try to get down on him  and it is not easy, so he is probably causing injuries and you know just using an example of a player and you see some of these running backs, or full backs and you even their size, these receivers are, it is nuts right now what is going on, so you hear tones about injuries in football, right, and specifically as you’ve already addressed as head injuries, you know I watch a tone of football and I am amazed at how violent the game can be but I also know that like you mentioned this before and this has been proven out that riding a bike is more likely to cause a head injury than actually playing football, but the media talks so much about the issues with football and like you said before like the amount of people, the amount of kids actually playing the sport is going way down. How do you educate parents on the risks of playing football and giving them the truth and teaching them in the right way?

Spencer: Just try and find platforms to speak you know like ‘have been here today’ hopefully lots of people are listening and you know they are a little bit more confidence in whatever you are telling and want to hear some about it, you know the way we teach, but sometimes it is being able to get in front of the parents, get in front of Organizations and just speak about it, you know, tell them how we teach it, you know we pay a donor three components of the tackle, getting into position, the contact and the finishing, then there is components for working on stuff like in position we are working on how to track and get in your head and how to get in position on an average tackle and how it is going to help me out, then if you tackle and come into balance, what do I got to do  then when the strike face, we talk about our head placement, we talk about our shoulder placement, how to use our arms when we wrap you know what to do with our feet, so then I am just saying ‘Hey, get into the ground and put your head back here because that is safer, you know we are trying to educate not only our parents but our athletes, so they understand, when you understand something you know you are better at it and you are more likely to do it, but just giving the parents the confidence, you are just showing them that there is a way out here to help your kid. I am not saying we are going to eliminate concussions, but you might end up, it doesn’t have to be here or something might happen, that is what makes sports great, the risk is what makes sports great, not everyone can play football, everyone wants to think that they can play football but not everyone can play football, not everyone can play basketball, not everyone can play baseball, not everyone is a mathematician, not everyone is a lawyer, not everyone is a doctor, that is what makes it great. We are trying as we said earlier, we are trying to accommodate too many people to make them feel good about ‘hey you are a football player, let us try soccer, let us try this, let us try that’ you know because there is the physicality if football, we are trying to teach other athletes to be safe by this I mean we are not trying to take them away from the physicality of the game, I still want to put my shoulder on somebody, I want to take them down to the ground, you know and I think when parents know about it, it gives them confidence  because you are not saying ‘Hey my kids will be completely safer, if my kid plays hard and does these techniques you will give me a pretty football player and it will be a lot safer doing it, every parent knows there is a risk playing a sport, there is no, my daughter I want to get her to play soccer, there is more concussion in the women soccer than any other sport in the world, but you know that is what makes sport great to me and that’s really makes me a great soccer player and that is a sport I want to play for funs to watch

Eric: Yeah.

Spencer: But, you know I don’t understand those risks it’s like you’ll go outside to the sun and you will get skin cancer, it is all out there, you get in a car everyday and then you get into a car crash and then still end up every day, it is just, media puts a spin on it to make it scary than it is, I mean in a car you will tell me you can’t get your head in the stick and get a head concussion, you must be kidding it is just pretty close as playing football. Same about hockey, it is just where the media are right now, football is the number one sport in the US and so it should get the most attention.

Eric: Yeah, do you think, you know with football, getting so much attention and so much being talked about CTE and head injuries. Do you think 29yrs from now that we are going to be seeing a different type of game being played//

Spencer: I hope not.

Eric: Yeah.

Spencer: But I also hope so, I hope that we are not going to get away from the physicality but I am hoping that Triple H, and what we are trying to do can make a difference in what we are trying to tackle and make a difference in a way that the game flows. In the sense that’s more of an art rather than just a bunch of guys running full speed, trying to take each other out, missing tackles, you know we are just going to elaborate CTR tests done, I want to make football a game of physicality but also a game of fitness where I am in position, I was going to make this tackle, I will get my big hit when the time comes but all I need to do is get in position make the tackle or find out who is playing the next day out. I do want to see it in a different place but also I don’t because I think the only thing we are not going to have the same time where we will be because we are losing youth participants, so the entire game is going to suffer, people don’t want to talk about it but we need to do a better job with our youth, with none of you worrying about high school  and college because they understand it because they know they want to play but we got to get more of our younger guys playing so you’ve got to be able to teach them safer ways to play, so that will get them in because we are not getting Peterson playing, 6, 7 and 8th grade, he is probably not playing in high school, he is probably not playing in college, there is not going to be his other self, you know we are going to have a bunch of knew running out there, which isn’t  a good thing you know, we need some athletes out there so…

Eric: I get it, well I mean you still have a chance to get these kids in, so if a kid leaves for a couple of years and they still are young, they still have a chance to get in and you know the point I am getting at specialization in new sports or any sport, it doesn’t really matter, you know I believe that kids should be playing in all different sports be it all around the athlete but again I didn’t play at university individual football. What is your take on specialization and do you think you are the chance to get these kids back through a program like yours and say ‘let me show your kid how to play football the right way.’

Spencer: Yeah, specialization to me is, it’s crazy, one of the kid already doesn’t know what to do, so most times the parent and try to show him what they him to do, but to me with specialization, football should be played till 5th to 6th grade, unless you can play 5 footballs and learn the basics because the parents constrict their movements, and at a young age you don’t want to become an over athlete, it’s either you learn how your body moves, so being able to climb a tree, play soccer, play basketball, play proper football, play baseball, play Luke Ross, you know with all these sports it is going to make you a better athlete. Even when you are in high school you know coaches want you just to do one sport I think that is just backwards, me, my coach is they want me to wrestle after football because it is going to make a difference for football, then they want me to learn track and they are going to be faster for football, you know you can work out all you want but there is no substitute for being on a wrestling match one on one with somebody and this universe has had more and more let’s go, you know  track, you can work speed but there is nothing about racing against somebody and seeing who the faster person is and putting in that work to be faster, so I think we have hurt our kids, I think one they burn out from the sport because of specializing and then there is not get back to it , I used to love to come back I kind of wrestle this season, God I can’t wait for football, because that season was so hard, you know I would look forward to football but kids were in football all the time now that there is not, they don’t miss it, they don’t this sport, you know my father used to tell me absence makes the heart grow fonder , you know if you are not away, if you are not in the game, you know you are going to miss it and if you miss it you are going to have a little bit more passion for it, when you miss you are going to train a little bit harder, so even if you are just playing one sport, take 2 months off, get away from it, get yourself a mental break from it because what we are burning out we don’t have the passion of football, what we have is about money, is about being recruited, it is not about if we take away your scholarship, we take away your pay check, are you still going to play? That is what I want, I want the kids who are going to play because they love the game and they will make money doing it, they will get a scholarship because they are good but at the end of the day they are playing because they love it. And those are the athletes we want but we don’t have those anymore because all they are doing is football, football, in and out, soccer, soccer, baseball, baseball you know it is sad because a lot of the kids are already getting to be kids, you know they are college athletes already in 5th grade coming to lessons 3 times a week, are you kidding me, so when I do wrestling don’t get me wrong I do wrestle with these young kids because I don’t want them to be sent to the jerk down the street who is going to tell them they are not any good, 6 year old kid, I make them have fun, I try and make sessions fun for them because if they are having fun they are going to get better and I don’t realize it, you know, at that age I am just try to get these kids how to move their body, they become fighter athletes and they choose the sport when they are older.

Eric: Yeah, when you said the coach, you know there is the team that won, the high school that won the State Basketball Championship in North Carolina this year, they are incredible and they are playing against some top level talent and there is a soccer player that is bowling one of the top bowlers for the soccer players high school team but basketball was a bigger sport there and coach made him pick you know, ‘If you play soccer you are off the basketball team’ so if you want to play basketball you got to quit the soccer team, I mean they won the State’s Championships so the result speaks for that but at the same time it is like you know, I don’t know where he is going will all these, he is not NBA talent I don’t know if he is getting a scholarship, I don’t know those specifics but…

Spencer: Yeah, you know that is tough because in high school you know as a coach, I want them to supplement things that they do in America better, you can still work the basketball team and play soccer.

Eric: Yeah.

Spencer: It is not going to confront in two different seasons, ii don’t agree with that, you know and we are always worried wins and losses, my parents, my football team they hate me sometimes because they will ask me ‘do you care about winning? No, I don’t, I don’t care about winning or losing, do I want to win? Oh yeah, I want to win, I am competitive but I want our team to perform their best, it is about performances not about winning or losing, it is about performing, I can play bad and win, but can you play great and lose? That is the question, are you going to play great even though you are losing, you know, we never want to play that in a competition I feel like you know we allow that because we specialize but also they abstain their brand out they are not getting excited to play, let the kid play soccer and then come back to basketball because he is probably going to enjoy a lot more, he is going to play a lot more harder, he is going to perform better, but if you are just there because he has to be it is just like a job, people hate their job, they do just enough not to get fired, if he doesn’t like playing basketball but he is there because he doesn’t want to be cut from the team, he is going to do just enough not to get cut, he is not going to enjoy, you are not going to get the best out of the athlete, so I don’t want to agree with that but at the same time they want to stay on the championship so I am not going to knock the coach on it but I don’t want to agree because they are in two different seasons.

Eric: Yeah, now I get it, well you’ve talked a lot about it is not about the article that we wrote, it is about enjoy the journey, whatever that journey is that you are on, enjoy it and that is kind of I think what you were talking about when, yeah of course you love winning and of course you are ultra competitive but you are going to enjoy the journey and like is so much now in pro sport we see it especially in the NBA, any sport chasing going on right now, it is like get on the best team and you have to win and if you don’t win you are unsuccessful and then you start talking about certain players like Adrian Peterson or Barry Sanders like they never won you know they won games and they won Russian titles in one App but they never won the championship but did they not enjoy the journey that they were on, if we had them right now, they will be like they loved every second if it. So you can enjoy the journey without actually winning the State’s Championship or winning whatever it is you are going after in your business.

Spencer: And that is part of the drive, you know for Adrian Peterson that World Championship, I mean he works everyday for that, he works every day to be at his highest level so he can perform every day to help his team get there. But you can only control what you can control if your team doesn’t make it and you perform your best all season, while you have nothing to hang around, nothing to hang your head down on, you know you are still not proud about it, you work for 2000$ but you are making football a, you did all you could do, you know it doesn’t hurt you than making the play offs, that you lost in the play off, you lost in school, that is what your head does, if you can leave the field knowing that you gave everything you got as a team and as a coach and stuff or whatever it is you are always on the team, you should be upset about it at 24hrs to mourn about it but then it is on to the next season, on to the next game, on to the next ball whatever it is but we worry so much about the championships about the wins and the losses that we forget about how to perform, but when you go back to the fundamentals, back to the basics, he is got to perform those so he can be better at what we want to accomplish you know I am asking how it is going to help us win , the basics are going to help you win because if you are good at those you are going to perform better and you have a better chance to learn.

Eric: Yeah, I get that well, there is a lot of fear with losing, there is a lot of fear we have talked about with injuries in football whether it is parents or the people playing the game. What is your biggest fear in your business life?

Spencer: My biggest fear I guess it doesn’t appear to come to me anymore that people don’t like what I do

Eric: Yeah, that is right.

Spencer: Yeah, but you know I fully believe and if you don’t believe it I don’t fear when the parents are yelling at their and I got time to be quite on the sideline that is part of everything like you know, too many parents trying to coach on the sideline and it is not your job, in anything I probably lose so I talk to many parents to stop talking while I am coaching, I offer them to come out of the field and coach if they want, because you know if you are so good then come out here and do it. So my biggest fear is probably how a player gets bullied out of my coaching and driven out of my facility because you know I don’t like when, I don’t go to their job and tell them how to put up a garage or build my house, I just let them do it, you know, I’d rather be hated than pitied so that is why my biggest downfall sometimes is that I try to step on too many toes, seriously I was 29yrs when I am telling a 50 yr old parent ‘Can you keep quite while I am coaching your kid’ you know like it gets awkward sometimes so I guess my biggest fear is that parents don’t bring their athlete kids anymore.

Eric: Yeah, it makes sense, we see it, I have coached baseball and basketball and soccer and all the things, you know when they say like it is the coaching behind the fence, you’d see them on the other side of the fence and they know everything that is going on, they are like, you know are you taking time or are you are a day coach, if you want to do it like you are saying, come on out here and do it, and it is not easy, you don’t have an easy job to try to get through a kid, to teach him how to get what you are trying to get him how to do and a lot of parents like we’ve talked about before, your strength is this, there strength is something else and let us go forward with that and shouldn’t that be enough but it usually isn’t

Spencer: Now that is the problem, what they are saying isn’t wrong you know it is just when I am trying to teach tackling especially the young athletes you know we can’t share one thing at a time because all ill say we’ve got the head placed and then wrap them up and it is like now you want to be contrary as wrapping them up and that is where we are doing as replacement so, there is a step to step approach that we do with this, so what I do to a lot of parents is to knock them out of my head, just trust me everything is not going to be there when you see it but I will work on it step by step and when it is all said and done you will see it all together. Because you know the parent wants to see results now and I am like give me an hour and you will see it, you know it is tough because they confuse the kid, you know the kid is always looking at their dad, that is one thing that drives me nuts, I have when athletes are looking at their parents for satisfaction, their satisfaction has nothing to do as long as, they are not going to help them one bit because I don’t care what they have to say, they are not going to get them out any trouble and if they stay in trouble, they are like ‘Hey get off the field’ I am fine with you going home. So that is the hardest thing with dealing you know with all that because all our kids now are athletes, they are needy, they need mummy and daddy’s approval, I couldn’t wait to be a parent so that I could get away from my parents, that was like my house because I was being told what to do all the time [43:45] I am trying to accommodate everyone to make them feel good about who they are, what they are, whom they date and all these kind of stuffs, who cares, just go about your daily life and put in your whole whatever you want to do, whether it is sports, or work just go about it, no one cares that I am married, that I have a business I am lest into the business but I don’t work for people to make me feel good for myself, like it is a grind out there, we are just becoming too needy as a culture and as a community, our kids don’t know how to lose, they don’t know how to balance adversity because in school they are not allowed to play in competitions, I got an athlete who I kicked out for playing basketball because he made a kid cry, because he did himself bad, what is wrong about that? Step on to a different court then, step on to a court where you know you can beat somebody don’t come on to my guys court who is a phenomenal athlete and then you lose and start crying and he goes on teasing and my athlete gets in trouble. I said next time beat him again and he did and he got kicked out.

Eric: Yeah, I mean you are speaking, that is the issue we have is very sensitive, culture that we have right now and you know you are bringing along honest perspectives to this and I appreciate that because that makes a difference, we love the transparency that exist in our business and you know we encourage that for our clients to be transparent with whatever they are doing, so your honest perspectives make a big difference. Don’t go anywhere because are going into some rapid fire questions right after we thank out sponsor.

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Eric: That ends more of the thoughtful approach and we want to enter into the rapid fire round now, yes we will go really quick, I am the Janice machine and you are the receiver so a few may be a bit more difficult, but I’ll take your time on those and we will get going, so what book are you reading right now?

Spencer: I haven’t read a book since 6th grade, ‘The Weeping Boy’

Eric: Okay, there we go, so what is your favorite social media network and why?

Spencer: Instagram because it is easy for me to use

Eric: What social media App do you just not get?

Spencer: Snap chat.

Eric: Snap chat, it is a common one we hear a lot, what is, you’ve sort of addressed this a little bit before but what is your number one where you drive your business?

Spencer: Word of mouth is for me.

Eric: Yeah, what is the one thing you can tell an upcoming entrepreneur to focus on?

Spencer: The passion

Eric: What is the personal story that you are who you are today?

Spencer: Just really hard work and persistence, you know being, really at 8th grade year playing football right on the bench, I’d fight a knee every game, I wouldn’t move unless you are about 40 points how to get in [47:07] I played about 4 years in my high school, I learnt from lying in the bench as a football player, 6th grade and 8th grade , I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play college football, I got a scholarship so I wasn’t going to be able to start the, you know, got a new head coach, transferred and after two years he didn’t like me very much and it was time for me to get ready to transfer but I didn’t want to let him win, you know the adversity is what I like and a lot of our athletes you now if they are not starting at the high school, their parents are willing for them to move to get into a new one, they are not starting their first year at Alabama, they are transferring so that they can start somewhere else like the adversity is what is going to make you as a man or woman and we shy away from it too much, there is nothing wrong with back to Alabama, you are not playing till your senior because nothing is wrong with that because you have earned what you have, so now I played and trained with a chip on my shoulder and I coached still with the chip on my shoulder because I am still down as a coach because I mean I am 5’11  weight 50 and played in college you know, they are going to pick other trainers over until they kind of see how I coach, but I say they cannot change that a lot just hard work and persistence ever since that 8th grade year.

Eric: Yeah, that is an awesome story, so right now who is the best tackler in the NFL?

Spencer: All timers [48:46]

Eric: Okay, who are some of the players you are currently training and if you would like to talk about that, what team do they play for? In any league

Spencer: Okay, I got three guys that I felt that I am working with Quincy Mauger with the Atlanta Falcons, Reggie Diego with the [49:] they both come from the University of Georgia but I [49:10] phenomenal athletes, a couple of guys from Tennessee State, I got guys from Boston, I don’t want to say their names just in case…

Eric: Yeah sure,

Spencer: We got a couple of lower athletes, couple of great high school athletes, I got coach them back in sophomore, I had to take one step ahead in high school [49:43] he is going to be the real deal [49:50] remember that name, he is going to be the real deal

Eric: That is good.

Spencer: Ryan Barker he is a real beast and they are really good [50:00] it is going to be a first one at high school, he is going to be the best player in high school if he keeps his head on straight and keeps working. He is in 8th grade, he is probably 6’4 or 6’5 just to tell if it is working but it is all great stuff if they keep working and they keep growing because I have seen guys have been great better athletes than me in what I am seeing in a year [50:30] because there is also a guy in my team who is not very good but I give him more attention than I give my better guys because I was that kid, I was the kid who was lying in the bench, you know, so it is a lot of talent can happen in 4 years of high school, those are part of my top guys, hopefully I will get some more, I just met with the [50:55] of the Flacons yesterday and hopefully we can go ahead and answer the facility, I think and they continue trying to grow.

Eric: That is awesome, you can keep that up, and I mean it is amazing too because you can start these kids so young and you talk about grow them into high school college NFL and that is when you are going to start getting tones of looks from teams like how are these guys learning what they are learning and it is going to be there and they are going to look to you, so it is playing that long thing game for sure, you will see when it starts happening down the road that your work done today or in the past, so it is pretty amazing, and I mean you got kids from sound of , what are their ages say 5 or 6 yrs olds all the way up into the NFL is that right?

Spencer: Yeah, I do have some guys who are 5 or 6, it is tough working with that age because I don’t change the way I coach them from the way I coach my NFL guys, I have the same standards with them other than do the drills, I know that the time I was saying and I said ‘Yes’ I understand that, but from are aspect of doing the drills right, being focused I don’t hold them any less accountable than my NFL guys, my college guys because we don’t hold youth accountable, we let them take the easy way out, I want them to do things the right way even if they face the hard way, you know got to be done right. And that is my biggest worry to these your guys, you might get discouraged they are not used to accounting in something wrong, then they are doing it right, not that they are doing it wrong I am not in the devilish but I am right into construction. I am trying to build these athletes up, so I am not just telling them that everything they do is wrong ‘Hey that wasn’t right, ‘Hey that was a great job but I got to do this, you know, you’ve got to coach these guys a little bit different because you don’t want to be harder on them, you just have to find a happy medium between the two.

Eric: Yeah, that is good, so, moving on football season, NFL season is about to begin, we would like to ask the guests, the super bowl prediction and that they have, so who is going to win the super bowl, coming year?

Spencer: [53:10]

Eric: There you go, James

Spencer: James, Mike Evans, Doug, Charlie Simpson whatever his name is, the defense is going to be strong, if I can consider one of last year I think best was finally last year., they just couldn’t stay healthy.

Eric: Yeah

Spencer: So the Burken can stay healthy I think it might surprise…

Eric: And they were young too, there is always teams at the end of Sea south that every single year is making a run so, this is the best year, I like it. We appreciate having you on this Spencer, how can people connect with you, are there social, email, phone, whatever you may like let people know now.

Spencer: You can call me (404) 323-7162 or you can email me at [email protected] you can go on our website at or you can find us on social media @triplehtacklingacademy, we have twitter, we have Instagram, we have face book, I have just created a snap chat just so that one of my athletes would want to talk to me, pretty one of those.

Eric: Alright, we hope we will get that down with the descriptions.

Spencer: Yeah.

Eric: So that some people will get pen and paper and write down this and rewind this, but yes we will get that down on the show in the description, so thank you Spencer for taking time for being in this podcast, you have a great business going on and we are excited about watching you grow in it, that is the blog and thank you again.

Spencer: Thank you.

Eric: Spencer it was absolutely awesome having you on this podcast, from the unique business Spencer is running to the education he provides around the current state of football to allow us to think differently about our own business, the work he does matters and allows castles to interview a great like Spencer and create new contact like this podcast, the perspectives he brings to the athletes he trains and on this podcast specifically are perspectives you as a business owner, entrepreneur, athlete or parent can use for yourself and for that Spencer, Thank you, and for any parent, athlete or entrepreneur that is looking to tackle properly or build and manage a unique business, I would encourage you to reach out to Spencer Smith, he is someone that has impacted many people with his coaching and overall for the game of football, if you have questions feel free to reach out to Spencer as we discussed or you can contact me directly, you can contact me on twitter at or the same name on Instagram or you can find us at, link to us on different social networks, thank you for listening to our castles podcast, entrepreneur perspectives, building and protecting your business, one podcast at a time, until next time we are out of here.