Top Lessons from 5 Mentors

Mentors are crucial in your life as they can help you navigate roadblocks, provide you feedback on big decisions, and accelerate your overall success. I’ve been blessed to have many coaches, teachers, and mentors IMPACT me in sports, business, and life. In this episode, I share 5 of my top mentors who have greatly IMPACTED me in all areas of life and the many lessons I’ve learned from them. These are the people who have most influenced me as a father, husband, athlete, entrepreneur, leader, and man of faith. My hope is that you can glean motivation and inspiration from this episode and that I can mentor you to be an even better man or woman. After all, iron sharpens iron. And I want this episode to sharpen you!

More from the episode: 

1:35 – How did I find a mentor and what my My Dad taught me. 
My Dad was the first person to instill in me the importance of having a mentor… as well as the all-important quality needed to succeed in the journey of life: humility.  

2:13 – What is a Mentor?
A mentor elevates and guides your life and prevents you from making some of the same mistakes as the mentor.  They can accelerate your success and prevent a lot of pitfalls that you may face.

2:36 – My first mentor– Coach Wolf (52-years at Brick HS head football coach)
The 5P’s: Perfect Practice Produces Peak Performance. Are you willing to labor day after day to get better?

5:38 – The Power of a Handshake. 
Coach Wolf’s post-game rituals and how they taught me that connection through touch and looking someone in the eye holds great power.

6:38 – “DO YOUR JOB!!!”
Taking personal responsibility. And why it is the catalyst for being better at what you do.

7:32 – My second mentor–Wayne Cotton (1997)
A member of the Million Dollar Roundtable in the insurance and financial industry, Wayne played an integral part in the launch of Fitness Quest 10- from its name to it’s systems to its success.

8:48 – The “5 F’s”
Fear, Frustration, and Failure are overcome with faith, forward-thinking, and follow-through.

9:36 – “Is life a sprint or a marathon?” 
Why your highest performance is found through “energy sprints.” 

10:24 – Color-coded calendar. 
Want more time away working on yourself? How color coding helps you improve your efficiency, productivity, and ultimately more time, energy, and money freedom.  

12:28 – Building a profitable business.
Build it like you are going to build 500 more…

13:38 – My third mentor–Tom House 
Former Chicago Cubs Pitcher Mark Prior had a special pitching coach. His name was Tom House. Tom greatly influenced my coaching knowledge in the beginning and greatly affects the way I think about training today…

15:09 – How Tom MOST IMPACTED me?
There is more to training than the physical: we must incorporate the mental/emotional aspect in order to achieve high performance.

On top of that, Tom made one of my signature programs,
The Core and Cuff,” possible. 

Some of the lessons learned and that are in my program include:
Training 2:1 backside-frontside
Training with different hand-positions on push & pull
Training with different foot-positions (straight, duck, pigeon)
Unilateral training vs. bilateral training;
Training with rotation & 3-dimensional;
Looking at the dissociation of hips & shoulders for the throwing athlete
Training small muscles;
For more information on this training style go here. 

16:38 – The importance of who you surround yourself with. 
Just being around Tom still makes me better.

17:04 – My fourth mentor–Patti Durkin.
Patti is the oldest of my 5 sisters, she is the one that introduced me to massage therapy. 
She also taught me something that greatly impacted the major I chose in college. 

18:23 – Trust Your Gut.
Patti asked me a very important question during one of the toughest times of my life when my Dad died. This question and then wisdom ultimately shaped my life’s path…

20:16 – Personal development is the key to your success. 
You are worth the investment. How far you GROW is how far you will GO! 

22:03 – My fifth mentor–Pastor David Jeremiah 
Combating fatigue and how to stay maximally inspired. Powerful.

23: 07 – How does he IMPACT me the most?
I get a front-row seat to a visionary man… who takes ACTION… and practices intense discipline. Pastor Jeremiah impacts me by just by his mere presence and being who he is. 

24:08 – And Then Some
The IMPACT of my Mom & Dad and what they taught me.

24:13 – My Mom
Muffy on the power of Love…

24:50 – My Dad
On finding a way (I’ve always resonated with the word “scrappy”), being nice (to those who can do nothing for you), and the importance of valuing and capitalizing on the only thing that can never be taken from us: TIME.
Dad was always there. 

26: 49 – Conclusion. 
Value your time: spend it with those you love. Take more vacations and holidays. Be more present in your conversations. Show up. 

This episode is sponsored by my brand-new IMPACT Coaching Program

Connect with Todd online in the following places:

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About the Author

Todd Durkin, MA, is a world-renown trainer, coach, author and motivational keynote speaker who trains dozens of elite, high-profile NFL, MLB, and MMA athletes, including two Super Bowl MVPs, one NFL League MVP, Olympic gold medalists, Heisman Trophy winners, and MMA champions. Todd is a 2-Time Trainer of the Year, the 2017 Jack LaLanne Award recipient, the 2018 Canfitpro International Presenter of the Year, a member of the Under Armour Training Team, and a Top-100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness.

Todd was a featured trainer on the popular TV show, NBC STRONG, which is now airing on Netflix. His award-winning gym, Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, is a Top-10 Gym in America, and his 3 best-selling books, Get Your Mind Right, The WOW BOOK, and The IMPACT Body Plan, have both changed thousands of people’s lives. If you would like to get motivated and inspired now, you can pick these books up at, or if you would like a signed copy, please purchase at
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If you are a trainer, coach, or fitness pro, you need to check out Todd’s Mastermind Coaching Program. It is designed to help you create excellence in your business & life. It consists of 2-live retreats per year, monthly coaching, access to Todd and his team of coaches, select and unique opportunities within Todd’s network, weekly motivation, and a whole lot more. This is all primarily virtual so you can be located anywhere around the globe and you can join at any time.

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