Pete “Swede” Koch talks Heartbreak Ridge (Part 4)
I am regularly asked about my experience working on Heartbreak Ridge, the film I co-starred in with Mario Van Peebles and Clint Eastwood. For the record it was a remarkable experience in every way. When reflecting on the time making the movie, what truly stands out, was the absolute generosity of the film’s producer, director and star Clint Eastwood. The supporting cast and crew were friendly, committed and always professional. It was a dream to work with the exemplary group that were nearly all handpicked by Clint.
Here is a rare photo from the set of Heartbreak Ridge.
The Chiefs defeated the Texans and remain undefeated with a record of 7-0. I readily acknowledge the achievement of winning seven games in a row but caution Chiefs fans that the NFL season is long and the competition will get tougher. The reality is that the combined record of Chiefs opponents in 14-33 and the Chiefs will continue to benefit from an easy schedule next week when they play the Cleveland Browns (3-4). I’m bullish on the Chiefs – who isn’t – yet cautiously optimistic about how they will fair against winning teams. PK
I was recently invited to talk football and Hollywood on The Couch Potato Show with my old friend and teammate Walter “Shake and Bake” Davies and the original Couch Potato Sonny Clark. We had fun talking about High School, College and NFL football as well as my work with Clint Eastwood, Patrick, Burt Reynolds and others. Give this show a listen and friend Sonny here https://www.facebook.com/thecouchpoato Click here to here the show.
This should be mandatory viewing for everyone who squats or for that matter everyone who lifts weights. If you can’t get as deep as this 115 girl (with 135 lbs. on her back) then reduce the poundage – to an empty bar if necessary – until you can perform 20 full repetitions. A “full” aka “deep” squat requires depth in which the TOP of your thigh be parallel to the floor as demonstrated by this young woman. While she bangs out technically perfect deep squats, rep after rep , some Chump in the background is doing weak-ass quarter squats, with the same weight, while wearing gloves and using the bar pad … pitiful …. Now Go Get Strong! PK
This an awesome post from one of the thoughtful writers in America; author ofThe Talent Code, Daniel Coyle. Here Coyle, upon reading Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards new biography Life, postulates how Richards passion for playing the guitar was cultivated. You will surprised at his loving uncle’s method. PK
Passion is the nuclear reaction at the core of every talent. It’s the glowing, inexhaustible energy source. It’s also pretty darn mysterious.
Where does intense passion come from? How does it start, and how is it sustained? How does someone fall wildly in love with math or music, stock trading or figure skating?
Most of us intuitively think of passion as uncontrollable — you have it or you don’t, period. In this way of thinking, passion is like a lightning strike, or a winning lottery ticket. It happens to the few, and the rest of us are out of luck.
But is that true? Or are there smart ways to increase the odds?
We get some insight into that question from none other than Keith Richards, whose book Life just came out. My favorite part of the book (and that’s saying something) is the part where Keith tells how he fell in love with music, and specifically with the guitar. The process went like this:
Step one: Keith’s Grandpa Gus, who was a former musician and a bit of a rebel, noticed that Keith liked singing.
Step two: whenever young Keith would come over, Gus placed a guitar on on top of the the family piano. Keith noticed. Gus told him, when he was taller, he could give it a try.
Step three: one momentous and unforgettable day, Gus took the guitar down from the piano, and handed it to Keith. From that moment, Richards was hooked (his first addiction). He took the guitar everywhere he went.
As Richards writes:
“The guitar was totally out of reach. It was something you looked at, thought about, but never got your hands on. I’ll never forget the guitar on top of his upright piano every time I’d go and visit, starting maybe from the age of five. I thought that was where the thing lived. I thought it was always there. And I just kept looking at it, and he didn’t say anything, and a few years later I was still looking at it. “Hey, when you get tall enough, you can have a go at it,” he said. I didn’t find out until after he was dead that he only brought that out and put it up there when he knew I was coming to visit. So I was being teased in a way.”
Reading it, I couldn’t help but think that most parents and teachers — me included — do precisely the opposite. We don’t put things out of reach — in fact we put them within reach. We go fast, not slow. We try to identify passion, not to grow it. We don’t take the time to make the nuclear reaction happen on its own.
For me, the lessons are these:
For parents and teachers, Gus provides a useful model. Because Gus didn’t hover. He didn’t push. He didn’t even try to teach, beyond some rudimentary chords. But he did something far more intelligent and powerful. He understood what makes kids care. He carefully put the elements in place, sent a few pointed signals at the right time, and let the forces of nature take their course.
Smart man, that Gus.
And I can’t help but wonder: are there other Gus stories out there that might be instructive? How do we take the Gus Method and apply it to schools, or sports, or math?
“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius.
Commander of the armies to the north.
General of the Felix Legions.
Loyal servant to the true Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Father to a murdered son,
Husband to a murdered wife,
And I will have my vengeance in this life or the next.”
They say that a picture is worth a 1,000 words and I believe it true. Below is a photo of two world-class athletes. One of these athletes trains exclusively by performing extended bouts of what we Athlete Performance Coaches call ‘steady state cardiovascular exercise’ while the other athlete engage’s in a combination of strength training and interval/repeat training. I propose three questions. Which athlete looks more physically capable? Which athlete has the body you would prefer to have. Are you training more like the distance runner or the sprinter? I love comments so let me know! PK