We have been doing podcasts for the members of our private Inner Circle Facebook group.  Just extra tidbits that they have been enjoying.  If you are interested in joining to gain access to them, click here.

A recent podcast was with one of my favorite former athletes, Aziza Ayoub.  Aziza is a senior running for The Ohio State University.  Last season, she was named an All-American for the indoor season her junior year which she didn’t get to compete in due to Covid.

Aziza is very frank and candid about what it takes to be successful.  She has an inner drive to be the best and matched with her talent is a nice winning formula.  Here were a few nuggets she dropped that I think you will find interesting:

  • 6:05 – One of the reasons she sought out help (i.e. my staff and our coaching) was that even as a freshman she was very competitive and hated to lose. She felt she didn’t have much training at that time and she made the state meet just on some luck and natural ability.  She felt she needed outside help to get her to where she wanted to be.  She needed the coaching to get her body physically prepared to make a good run to the state finals.
  • 13:35 – After placing 5th in the 400M her sophomore year, we incorporated more overall strength/power development into her program. It worked so well she placed in both the 100M and 800M in the state meet her junior year.  A very unusual combination of events.
  • 14:50 – Despite doing only miler type workouts, she was put in the 100M about every meet and her times were dropping. Not even getting close to the state meet her freshman and sophomore year in the 100M, she felt because she incorporated a strength routine and improved her overall strength THAT was the big reason her times dropped to get her to the state meet.
  • 26:00 – Aziza won the 800M state title her junior year. Going into her senior year, she was starting to get a little overconfident about winning that second title.  Her coach constantly was keeping her on track to maintain her focus, insisting it wasn’t going to be as easy as she thought.  From our training standpoint, we didn’t change things too much.  We just didn’t want to screw her up.  Didn’t want to get too tricky or fancy, it was let’s keep this program going and keep the strength/power development high.
  • 32:15 – She definitely felt prepared on how to lift. She has had several strength coaches and they have had different philosophies on the weight room.  She doesn’t lift as much in college as she did with us she mentioned.
  • 36:15 – A lot of big differences from high school to college. Everyone is a good athlete.  The small things really matter.  Everyone is training hard, so what are the little things you need to do to separate yourself.  Is it proper sleep, good nutrition, how are you recovering?  She has to have 100% trust in her coaches that they will get her to the promised land.  And she does.
  • 49:15 – Having been on the inside of a Division 1 team for what is now her fourth year, she doesn’t feel that her talent is what separates her. If it was just talent, she’d be equal to a lot of athletes.  It is the mindset that you want to be good and will do what it takes.  THAT is what will separate people with equal talent and THAT is hard to develop.  She quickly learned that just because you are a college athlete doesn’t mean that you have that mindset.  Not everyone does.
  • 52:35 – A huge problem with women and track and field/cross country is eating disorders. As a member of the team, you can get guidance from the sport nutritionist.  She says her coach is good about trying to counter that.  This is a big problem and we discuss it with another athlete in a future podcast.

We really enjoyed our time training Aziza and it was great to catch up with her in this podcast.  If you want to hear it in its entirety, check out our Inner Circle.