Manny Matsakis

Inside Access: Win On the Field and Optimize Your Life

Explaining the Motto

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On this Inside Access episode, Manny discusses what it means to Win On the Field and Optimize Your Life. He explains the motto and his thought process that goes into it. Listen in to hear some great insight into how Manny balances his life between work and his personal life.

Inside Access: Win On the Field and Optimize Your Life

Manny: Welcome to Inside Access! Today’s topic is Win on the Field, & Optimize your life. Andthe main reason I really want to get into this today is because I have received numerous requests from footballcoaches who struggle with the stress of the game, constantly grinding, maybe poor health is showing up and the season hasn’t even started yet and a lot of coaches, interestingly enough will be coaching because they love the game so much like we all do. But they really are struggling to be able to afford to coach. So those are just some of the things I’ve noticed through emails and so forth from people that have reached out to me here, through

So let me explain what I mean by “Winning on the Field & Optimizng your Life”. Imagine a two by two matrix. You know, the 4 boxes and so forth and you have a horizontal axis going from left to right. That’s your personal life and on the left side is losing, and the right side is success, in your personal life. Then, I want you to take a look at the vertical access going from the bottom, up. And that would be our work life, our coaching career, those types of things. The bottom is losing and the top is winning. Let’s check out how this works in each quadrant. And what I want to share with you is what it means to be in each quadrant.

So let’s start with the first quadrant, let’s call it quadrant #4 because we want to wrk up to quadrant #1 as the ultimate goal. But quadrant #4 is the one on the lower left corner and I, for lack of a better word, I call it the total loser alright? And really, it’s losing at work and at life. That would be on the bottom left so you can see when looking at your personal life that things aren’t going wll and in your coaching career, it’s not going well either. It’s basically a meltdown of sorts where things are just not clicking for you in that particular quadrant.

So the next quadrant is quadrant #3, and quadrant #3 would literally be stacked right on top of quadrant #4 on the left side. So what that means is you’re paying for it with your life because things aren’t going well in your life but are going really well in your coaching career and what I call this, is the grind fallacy. The grind fallacy is something that exists so much in coaching, that it’s almost like a badge of honor. Almost everybody is talking about grinding. If you just search #grinding on a twitter search, you’re gonna see it all over the place because everyone is so fired up about thinking that if you work really hard, then tht’s all that matters and you’ll be this amazing coach and you’ll rise to the top of the profession. And yes it is common, and in my life I have struggled with this so many times. I can give you an idea, when I was the head football coach down at Texas State University, down near St. Marcos. I had been in Lubbock and took this job, and thought I had an opportunity to turn around the program and make it rise to the nxt level. But what ended up happening for me, was I burned the candle at both ends. And I got myself thinking, oh, if I’m working at the office really late, if I’m doing everything from recruiting to planning, organization, getting season tickets sold, I just kept coming up with ideas of all these things that I thought had to be done, and had to be done immediately. But what ended up happening for me was that we had a decent amount of success that season and you know, we came out, we started to do some good things. We took over a program that I thought needed a decent overhaul to compete in the southland conference, which we were in. And so massive recruitment efforts, running a systematic approach with our coaches, and it took it’s toll on me personally. So for no other reason than to have an understanding, because at the time I thought that that was my dream job. Here it was, division I football coach, and here I was ready to put our stamp on the program. But what ended up happening was that even though we ended up having success that first year, and in the very last game of the season against SAM Houston State, we beat them and we had a hge crowd at the time, one of the biggest crowds in the history of the college. But then after that, I kept going and literally burned the candle out at both ends like I was talking about. Found out that I could not sustain it, and came to a point where I was literally on a plane coming back from recruiting in california, and I’m going back to the restroom, moving down the aisle and I was just getting light headed, I had lost a bunch of weight, those weren’t going good and then Bam! I literally just fell down and face planted right in the aisle of the plane and I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t tell what was wrong.The next thing you know, were landing back at the airport in austin, I find a way to get home, andI’m just like, “My goodness, what is going on here?”.

I was only the head coach at Texas State for one season you know we lost the job at the end of the season and I think it was a result of being so aggressive, obviously too aggressive as a first year head coach at that particular college even though I had been a head coach before. So we lost the job, my personal life went into a tailspin, ended up getting divorced, and I checked out of coaching for about 4 years. And when all that was said and done, I had lost what I thought was my dream job, but in the end I lost so much more. I want to share with you, throughout these inside access podcasts, how you can learn from my mistakes, how I’ve learned from my mistakes, and how I’ve gotten better, and obviously working on it.

The Next quadrant, quadrant #2. I call it the break time module. Some people deal wit it as a Martyr. You knoe like, “Oh I work so hard”.

Like they need to recharge and the problem is that they refuse to short change thor health, and their relationships for their work. I see coaches doing that, and they intentionally throttle back on their career and so even though we’re talking about quadrant #2, which is on the lower right hand corner of the four you know it looks like hey my health is getting better and so forth but you’re really not getting anything done in your career and what’s interesting about that is that if you look at quadrants 2&3, what I used to do was go back and forth. I was all in essence, what I realize now as a false dichotomy and caused me a lot of ups and downs in life. It was like I was all or none. I was either recharge full speed, or I was going to work and work the so called grind. And it really didn’t work for me. Didn’t work very well at least.

And then the fourth quadrant, what we’ll call quadrant #1 is the upper right hand corner is what I call “The Victor”. And you’re victorious, which means that you’re unwilling to compromise your work, and your life. It’s actually a win-win. You see what happens is your work gives you confidence, happiness, satisfaction, it also gives you the financial resources to optimize your life. On the other hand, your life style, when done in this holistic manner gives you a clear mind, creativity, relationships, and energy to burn. So you can see and what happens is, and the key to all this is that when you put boundaries around your work, then you have more time for your persona life. And get this, you van actually achieve more by doing less and it seems like, how is that even possible? And I think what this regular series is about. This inside acces part of my podcast is talking abut how we can have it all.

Now here’s how it works: Sometimes I will talk about our career, coaching football. I’ll give you insights, strategies, frameworks, on a varietyof different areas to help you get better results as a football coach so youcan win on the field. Other times, I’ll be sharing ideas, strategies, tips for your personal life so that you can optimize your personal life. And that is my purpose on this part of my podcast. Let me share with you the rules of the game moving forward on this podcast, because it’s just an idea that I had when I was getting all these insights from coaches around the country and a couple of them over in Europe that listen to our podcast. And this is going to be an experiment for me. I want to check the downloads and the comments on our website at to make sure people are genuinely getting something out of this and it's giving value because I don’t want to waste your time, or mie. So it’s an experiment. I’ll check it and we’ll let it run it’s course and see if this is something of value to you as a football coach.

The second part is, so you understand the way it’s going to work, is I’m going to publish this weekly. It’s going to come out on wednesdays. Episodes will be between 10-15 minutes long, it's only going to be audio so there won’t be anything on youtube for the inside access podcast part. There will be a title like this one labelled “Inside Access- Win On The Field & Optimize Your Life” as the topic and therefore you know what it is that we will be talking about and how it works. I want to make sure you don’t miss anything so subscribe on iTunes so you get all this information first and foremost.

And if you don’t already subscribe to our website, go to and put your email in there and what you’ll get is, not just the audio, you’re also gonna get some transcripts, certain links to what I’m talking about right now. I’d also like to recommend, if you’re an iOS device, or you have an iPhone to listen to these podcasts, my favorite one is called “Overcast” and you’ll see it there, it’s only for iOS devies but it’s a really good one to take in and subscribe to your favorite podcasts. Hopefully this is one of them. The other part about this podcast is that it’s going to be raw and unplugged. I’m not gonna have a bunch of fancy productions, it’s basically one take wth me and a microphone, and I’ll just make sure we clean up any little things on it but what I want you to do is go to the website, at Let me know what you think about that topic because other ones I often hear throught the Youtube comments and so forth but you can’t really make a comment about a specific episode unless it’s on the website. So I want to thank everybody so much for joining me on this episode of inside access. I’ll see you next week.

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