5 Questions with Robert Chilcoat

Coming to Shaffer Strength & Conditioning (SSC) and being a member of the Athlete Training Program (ATP) is the first step in becoming a better athlete.  It also makes you part of the family.
Today we will be checking in with ATP member Robert (Rob) Chilcoat, two time NCAA National Champ at Loyola University of Chicago.
Rob recently traveled “across the pond” to continue his volleyball playing career after finishing college and spending time training at SSC.

12119018_10153155899115849_2946137878735744952_nUniversity of Essex Volleyball – #9

Shaffer :  What is the most challenging thing about being in a different country?
Rob : The most difficult part about being in England is learning to understand all the lingo the British use. They make a lot of jokes about cricket that go right over my head, so I’m starting to learn about this knock off game of baseball called cricket.
Shaffer :  What was the biggest difference going from college to pro?
Rob : In college we had a lot more support staff. Here you have to look after yourself and manage injuries and other things on your own.
Shaffer :  How did you prepare for this new season?
Rob :  I spent the months of August and September and some of October with you at SSC to work me through conditioning and strength circuits to get me ready for the season.
Shaffer :  How are drills different than in college- more complex? Or is it just a lot of playing?
Rob :  The drills have some variation but for the most part it is all stuff I have seen before. First half of practice is drill oriented, second half is 6v6.
Shaffer :  What’s your new favorite thing about the culture that you are in?
Rob :   British really do up Sunday Roasts. I thought I had eaten one before I came but my teammates have opened my eyes to a true English Sunday Roast and it is delicious!
 Thanks Rob and good luck on the rest of your season.
If you are interested in learning more about SSC and our Athlete Training Program, send us an email – chris@shafferstrength.net or just stop by. You can also find us on Instagram and Twitter – @shafferstrength
We will be happy to talk about what we do and how we can help you reach your goals.

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There is no off season

We say it all the time here at Shaffer Strength & Conditioning, and I’m sure you have heard it before elsewhere.

There is no off season.

But it couldn’t be more true. If you are not working hard to get better, then you are actually losing ground and getting worse, in comparison to those that are working hard around you every day.

Don’t settle for what you were able to do yesterday. Your competition did not take today off. Your competition did not laugh and chuckle and lose focus while squatting or sprinting or jumping. Your competition is not making poor nutrition choices to fuel their bodies. Your competition does not think they don’t have to work hard today.

If it were easy then everyone would be playing for a D1 team and making money in the pros. But it’s not and it won’t get any easier by you not training or striving to reach your goal. It won’t get any easier by avoiding doing the tough things or the things you need to work on.

Do you really want it? Or do you just want it when ……….

  • you don’t have a boy / girl friend wanting you to spend time with them?
  • your favorite show is not on?
  • you don’t have a football game to watch?
  • you are playing well and winning?

Here are 10 great tips from one of the best in the world at his sport.

Karch Kiraly – 10 things you should know

Even the best work hard all the time.

Do you truly want to be the best ??


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Success Must Be Earned



Andy Frisella – –

When Ford announced the GT back in 2004 I was broke, 60k+ in credit card debt and earning $695 a month working 100+ hours a week.

In fact here is how my paychecks worked out the first 12 years of my 16 years in business.

Year 1-3: $0
Year 4-9: $695 a month
Year 10-12: 40k A Year.

Now a days people look at where they are and think “I can never get there”…because in todays society all you hear about is instant gratification and overnight success stories.


Think about that for a minute and let set.

Think about something you have dedicated your life to for 16years. Besides eating, sleeping, breathing…most people have a hard time coming up with an example when asked that question.

And THATS precisely the problem.

Society will have you believe that there is such a thing as “overnight success” or “luck”. We are bombarded by it daily in the media.

Movie stars, lottery winners, reality shows its all we see anymore.

What they dont show you is the TRUTH.

The small business started by two 19 year old kids with 12 grand the earned from painting the stripes on parking lots.

The sleeping in the back of their first store.

The struggle.

The pain.

The sacrifice.

The loss.

The heartbreak.

The fear.

The loss of sanity.

The anger.

The hate.

The bitterness.

No…all they show is the after effect.

The cars.

The big house.

The expensive vacations.

They show the gourmet prepared steak, but they dont show the butcher doing his work.

So when looking at all these successes…BE INSPIRED…but be aware of the “butchering” (WORK) that goes into making that steak!

Beware of the trap of instant gratification.

Nothing thats truly worthwhile can be had “now”. The “The American Dream” is not given, its EARNED.

Worthwhile results take time and are the cumulative result of all your little “victories” over the course of that time.

Whats easy & fun now is often what leads to frustration, disappointment and failure later.

On the flip side, what seems difficult and frustrating now will often lead to enjoyment, fulfillment and success later.

There is a price on everything.

Will you pay it?


Andy Frisella



Learning from the struggle

Sport is about competing.

Competing against an opponent, a team, a clock or even yourself.

The best part about competing is the struggle and the potential to lose. If you truly love sports, you love to root for the underdog who never stops competing, struggling trying to win.

If you truly love competing then the struggle and the potential to lose is what drives you to do better, work harder and never settle. You may or may not win, but in the end it’s the struggle and the loss that are the best teachers. If you want to find out who someone is, truly, put them in a situation where they have to struggle or face losing. Then step back and watch. What they show you in those moments are who they truly are.

This is exactly why in our training at SSC we place athletes in situations where they have to struggle and may fail. So much is learned by this process. And so much of everyday life is way to easy and not much these days is ever earned.

— Shaffer


“What fun would sports be if we knew that we were going to win every time anyway?”


New Training Times

Attention all ATP athletes.
New afternoon / after school training times are now available starting next week.
Check the schedule online to see them and start registering.







Maddie French

Although I knew about Chris’s incredible volleyball IQ coming into his gym, I believe that every athlete who wants to get better at their sport should work out at Shaffer Strength and Conditioning. Working out with Chris is the best thing any athlete could do for him or herself because Chris knows exactly how to push athletes to their limits, and then some. Chris has made me exceed expectations I had of myself again and again, which has made me more confident in myself as an upcoming collegiate athlete. Working out with Chris gives athletes the most preparation available when transitioning to the next level. Not only has Chris prepared me for being a collegiate athlete physically, but his outstanding positivity and support inside the gym makes me crave to chase my goals for my upcoming volleyball season at Mason, and my long term goals for my volleyball career all together.

Maddie French
Atlee Volleyball State Champion 2013
George Mason University

Success is Hard

“You are not immune to outside influences.
Are you surrounding yourself with positivity, encouragement, confidence, knowledge and experience?
Or are you surrounding yourself with discouragement, jealousy, shame, insecurity or negativity?

Are you spending time around and getting advice from those that have the same goals as you…or BETTER YET…those who have done what it is you wish to do and are LIVING the life you desire?

Or are you spending your time around “friends” and family who do not live the life you desire and think you’re being unrealistic and think your dreams and goals are a waste of time, greedy, unnecessary etc?

Most people are incapable of thinking big.
They are pre-programed by the system to instill limits on themselves.
They look/hear/see big things and automatically get scared and accept as reality that they are incapable.

Don’t expect people to agree with or understand you trying to accomplish big things.
Its not that they “hate you”. Its that for them to see past their own lives and admit there is more out there would be a very harsh reminder to all of what they could have been had they just done the work.


You are under ZERO obligation to associate with anyone who fills your mind with negativity, nags, criticizes, tries to get you to quit and brings you down….and yes…sometimes these people share the same last name.


Success takes a TREMENDOUS amount of energy…and you only have so much of it.
You can choose to spend it on people who fill you with encouragement, confidence and belief.
Or you can spend it on people who cant grasp the reason why you want more for yourself and fill your mind with doubt, insecurity & guilt.

But at the end of the day…if you don’t spend your energy wisely and on people who parallel your goals and lifestyle….you will never make it.

This is an uncomfortable part of success…no doubt…but if you aren’t ready or strong enough to make the cuts on the “roster” of your life, you are not ready to win at life either.”

— Andy Frisella —



Hudson Bates

I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing tutelage under Chris Shaffer since I was 16 years old. He was my first great volleyball coach and he incorporated some great mobility and strength training exercises to my training sessions.
From an athletic standpoint he understands what it takes to achieve the highest level of physical strength for many different sports.
At the same time, he is the kind of instructor/coach that you want to work hard for and he makes working hard fun!
I always look back fondly and look forward to my next fitness adventures with this premier trainer in my home town of Richmond, Va. Thanks for everything you have done for me Chris, keep up the great work, God bless.

Hudson Bates
Men’s Head Coach
Marymount University
George Mason 2005-2008
Three-time EIVA All-East selection
EIVA Newcomer of the year 2005
USA National Team 2008-2010
Puerto Rican Superior League and Qatar National League 2008-2012
Ranked in the top-25 of the USA Volleyball Beach Player Rankings in 2014, Bates currently sits at 24th. He won the AVP U26 Tour and was one of four members of the USA Beach National Team in 2010.

Kristin Carpenter

As a young athlete, there were always older players in the area that I looked up to. I was fortunate enough to be trained by one of those players. I laugh because it was so long ago but learning the basics is the foundation of how you’re going to continue to grow your skills. Because of learning the basics so well from Chris Shaffer, I’ve gotten to compete at the highest collegiate level and continue my career as a professional volleyball player. There’s no one in the business who knows more about volleyball and what volleyball players need to strengthen their bodies. Not only is he a knowledgeable coach, but his way of motivating is unmatched. He truly cares about each person and cares about their bettering their story.

Kristin Carpenter
2x Division 1 National Champion
3x Big Ten Champion
MVP Swedish Women’s Elite Series
Current Pro Volleyball Player in Greece
Setter . O. Markopoulo, Greece
Bachelor of Science | Kinesiology
The Pennsylvania State University | 2013

Robert Chilcoat

When I was 15, Chris began working with me to improve my strength and agility to help me get ready for my high school and club volleyball seasons. He always showed up to my workouts with a positive attitude and found a way to get me to push my limits to places I didn’t know I could go. As an NCAA Division I volleyball player, his training and expertise greatly helped me transition into the college game. When I come home during Christmas breaks, instead of going to a gym, I go to Chris because he has the knowledge, skills, and positive atmosphere at his gym to help push me and improve my game.

Robert Chilcoat
Loyola University Chicago
Men’s Volleyball National Champion ‘15

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