Strength Elite’s Five Minutes with: Ken Franks

I met Ken through Ben and Owen. He was visiting WA to complete a TSAC course and what struck me first and foremost was his dedication to his sons and their development. Ken owns a number of training facilities and has years of experience in strength and conditioning; particularly developing youth athletes. He has been instrumental to both Owen and Ben’s careers.

Kev Franks

Name: Ken Franks

Age: Old! (55)

Profession: Coach & gym owner

Background: Commercial fishing / Australian Navy / S&C / Cognitive performance Coaching (present)

Acolytes: Being lucky enough to have a great family!

Question 1.  What have you been up to this last week?

It’s an exciting phase at the moment where a lot of my time is developing systems around cognitive performance and applying a practical application between sports psychology/mental skills and S&C.

Question 2.  What does a normal day look like for you?

  • 0600: Coaching my up & coming rugby group.
  • 0700: Working with Southern Police STG Group, specific S&C as relating to their role as well as practical job related cognitive while in a fatigued state.
  • 0900: Working with a select group of Crusaders (Mondays only), similar to police group, but cognitive-specific to rugby.
  • 1100: Usually put aside time to deal with CrossFit issues paperwork (I hate it, haha)
  • 1400: Will run myself through a Police STG workout, it’s the old adage:if you cant do it yourself how can you coach it?
  • 1600: Another rugby group. 

 Question 3.  Who or what has had the biggest impact on your career?

Initially having my parents set the standard for work ethic; then the Navy and the discipline it instilled.

Question 4.  What drives you to keep on pushing the limits in your physical and mental/emotional game? 

Not much, shit Kev I’m an old man! But I really enjoy looking at how I can push the limits of the next generation of athlete, whether it be sport or tactical, from a physical and cognitive aspect. The person that has the physical abilities, but can also make intelligent decisions while under stress will have the edge. In the past a lot of the sports psychology, mental skills is theory based, so it’s always going to be hard to make it an auto response (habit forming) on game day. That’s why it’s exciting to be able to make it a practical exercise that can be included in and around S&C training that now gives the athlete the ability to make it habit forming and adds to the truth that “practice makes perfect”.

Question 5.  What in your words makes a good person/human?

Integrity. If you stuff up then own it. If you do good then acknowledge those that helped you. Stay humble.

Question 6. Favourite quote?

In 1503 Erasmus wrote his 22 principles on how to be strong while remaining virtuous in a dangerous world for his Knights. It’s amazing how 500 yrs later nothing much has changed and a lot of young people today could learn  from those 22 principles.

  • Seventh rule: never let any setback stop you in your quest (we are not perfect-this only means we should try harder).
  • Eighth rule: if you have frequent temptations, do not worry (begin to worry when you do not have temptation, for that is a sure sign that you cannot distinguish good from evil).
  • Eleventh rule: there are two dangers: one is giving up, the other is pride (after you have performed some worthy task, give all the credit to someone else).
  • Sixteenth rule: never admit defeat even if you have been wounded (the good soldier’s painful wounds spur him to gather his strength) etc

Question 7.  How and why is your physical preparation so important to you specifically, and how does it impact you as a person…what are the benefits you see?

Preparation is and needs to be everything to an athlete! It’s not possible to have a shit warmup then expect to have a great lifting session. It’s not possible to have shit preparation on game day then expect to play a blinder.  Your mentality must be to always strive for excellence in what you do and this takes a high degree of preparation. 

Question 8.  Best advice you’ve ever been given?

99% of the time good people make good athletes. Always have a personal standard of: you never know who is watching you 24/7 – so act accordingly.