Hey, welcome to our eighth Meet the Expert blog.
In this blog, we interview expert coaches and athletes, delving into what makes them tick, what drives them to keep going, and what they believe to be the pitfalls and keys to success.
Let’s get to it!
Question 1: What is your name, age and where are you from?
Scott, 31, I am from Macclesfield.
Question 2: What is your occupation? Is it what you are known for or completely separate? What jobs have you done in the past?
I am a Royal Marines Commando. I have specialised as a Physical Training Instructor (PTI), then specialised further as an Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor (ERI). Being an ERI means that I work with and rehabilitate injured personnel.
I also have a Business called Hustle Strong. ‘Hustle’ aims to talk about all things fitness and promote mental wellness through physical activity.
I wouldn’t say I’m ‘known’ at all yet. People are aware that I am in the military but until recently I have never felt the need to talk about it. I talk about it now as I think it’s important for people to know why I am developing Hustle.
Before joining the Royal Marines, I worked as a Scaffolder for several years. That took up most of my time, from leaving school to joining the military at 21 years old.
Question 3: What is your primary area of expertise and why are you passionate about it?
I would say that my primary area of expertise is communication. In my role as a PTI/ERI, you must be able to articulate with precision at all levels. There is no point knowing something if you can’t articulate it clearly.
Being exposed to a vast majority of injured personnel has exposed me to many issues that men and women suffer with regularly but sometimes go unknown. These could range from PTSD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and such like.
I think that mental health is an issue, but I believe that there is a stigma between men and mental health. I am passionate about bridging that gap and trying to make people aware that something like fitness can make your life that little bit better and give you something else to focus on.
Fitness, in general, is a passion, but I just feel that as a society, we can do more for some people.
Question 4: How did you get started doing what you do?
I joined the Royal Marines with the intent of serving a minimal time of 3 years and then applying to leave at my 4-year point, getting a job in Macclesfield and never looking back. At some point, this changed. I passed out of Commando Training Centre on my 22nd birthday and requested to be based at 40 Commando, my reason being that 40 Commando was the next to deploy from the Royal Marines. At 22 years old, I deployed to Afghanistan.
It was during this deployment that I witnessed firsthand the importance of physical fitness and mental resilience. I had been exposed to it previously, but I had never actually thought about it.
Within 4 weeks of deploying, colleagues and I had lost 2 friends, and another was shot several times, sustaining life-changing injuries, both mental and physical. Everyone had a similar way of ‘dealing’ with the stresses of being away: fitness and talking.
For some reason, I never applied to leave. I decided that I wanted to pursue a military career and eventually qualified as a PTI, then further qualified as an ERI.
While working as an ERI, I have been exposed to men and women from across the UK military – Army, Navy, and RAF. I have worked with men who have once performed at an athlete level. Then for one reason or another, they were unable to stand unassisted. People who must have been extremely motivated and physically fit but end up regularly drinking to excess, suffer from depression, anxiety, and other such issues.
While the military is excellent at dealing with these, I realised that I knew civilians that also had their own issues. Encompass everything that I have just said and more. I realised that we can do more as a society. We must do more.
That was long-winded, but that is the main reason I started Hustle Strong.
Question 5: What are your weaknesses? What hurdles did you face and how did you overcome these barriers?
My weaknesses are that I don’t have much experience in a civilian environment. While the day to day conversations will remain the same, the infrastructure is obviously very different, and I need to build an organic following to promote Hustle properly. In the military, this would be a lot easier. Making people aware of Hustle without a large financial backing is a challenge of its own. I also have limited experience in running a business.
To counter my last point. I will be the hardest working person in assuring that I learn at a fast pace and absorb information from people who are better than me in their respective field. We all start somewhere.
Question 6: What are your biggest strengths, both as a coach and an individual? What do you believe to be the primary reasons for your success? What do you consider to be your biggest success so far?
A strength is that I am naturally personable. I also believe that if I know something, I could explain/demonstrate/teach it to 99% of people using various methods.
Being humble enough to realise that I can learn something from everyone goes a long way, whether it’s another way to ask a question, program plyometrics, or some new evidence-based best practice guideline. There is always something to learn.
Question 7: Where do you think a lot of people go wrong and what general pieces of advice would you give to those looking to excel in areas similar to yours?
Some people get offended when receiving feedback. That is a massive flaw. You must be open to constructive criticism to grow, have that conversation, and try to learn from it. Equally, If you have a vision must have the courage to back yourself, do things your way. You should be yourself and not try to mimic other people. You do you.
Question 8: Are there any rules or quotes that you live by?
Haha, I have several! I will give you a couple.
- The man in the area. This is a poem by Theodore Roosevelt. Google it. It isn’t a quote, but it has a powerful message to consider.
- “We are remembered for which way fear made us run.”
Have the courage to face adversity head-on. You don’t grow while sat in your comfort zone. Get out, get after it!
Question 9: What are your plans for the near future? What goals do you currently have?
Grow and develop. I have a plan for Hustle Strong, but it isn’t big enough to move into yet.
Short-term goal: Have a website built.
Mid-term: Grow a following of loyal supporters.
Long-term: Be able to work on and further develop Hustle Strong as a full-time job.
Question 10: Where do you see yourself in 5 Years? What is your ultimate goal?
The ultimate goal is to be able to work on this full time. Not to get ahead of myself but Ben Francis at Gym Shark never anticipated being where he was after 5 years. I have no idea where I will be. I just hope that I can grow this enough to be able to motivate, encourage, support people, and provide a high-quality product/service.
CHECK OUT SCOTT’S CONTENT
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
Being an ex-army PTI myself, I am always keen to hear what other servicemen and women have planned for when they leave the military, especially when they are getting into the fitness industry.
There are large differences between the way things work in the military compared to how it works in “civvie street.” However, Scott’s experiences from the Marines and his PTI/ERI qualifications are immense. Scott will enter the civilian world as a real expert, with skills you just can’t get anywhere else.
I have actually had the pleasure of having Scott in to train at my gym. Besides his passion for physical training, what always stood out to me is just how personable and friendly he is – he says hello to everyone like he has known them a lifetime!
I am looking forward to seeing how Scott and Hustle Strong progress. I am sure he will smash it!
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