Daily Dose of Coach #295: Exercise Won't Save You

Happy Friday!

I'm currently in my home state of Colorado enjoying the snow and cold. Yesterday was a travel day, so I wasn't able to write my daily post, but delays and sitting on a plane for hours allowed me lots of time to read.

One article I came across I'd like to share with you is called, "Exercise can't save us: Our Sugar intake is the real culprit, Say Experts."

Exercise has always dominated the advice on how to improve health and fitness. But, statistics are showing that though we are exercising more, our countries overall health continues to decline.

The real problem is the amount of sugar that we take in. When you get a few minutes, read the article. It's short, sweet, to the point, and may change your perspective on some things.

Daily Dose of Coach #294: Motivation and Quitting

Yesterday was one of those days. I had a lot of things going on that took me out of my routine.

My routine, I'm sure much like yours, are habits I've built over time that help me accomplish what I want to do. But when life happens, those things can get thrown off.

And worse than that are bad days. Days that make you question priorities, days when you fail, or just days when the cards don't fall your way.

No matter how motivated of a person you are these things will knock you off your course.

That's why I always say; motivation isn't real. Motivation is a temporary state of mind. One that can be interrupted quickly when things go haphazard.

Instead of motivation, focus on action. You have to suck it up and get things done no matter what. If it's important, it should get done, and nothing should be able to dissuade you from doing so.

If a bad day throws off your month or week, it was never that important. Or even better yet, you're just being soft.

Don't let a bad or inconvenient day throw you from your course. Focus on all the good things and what you can control. Learn for the bad, failures, inconveniences, or stressful situations that come your way.

Paul J Meyer said, "Ninety percent of those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit." Keep moving forward. Don't count on motivation, take action and do what you have to do.

Daily Dose of Coach #293: When Consistency Isn't Required

It's easy to show up when you have too.

This pertains to practice, class, work, games, and things of that nature. Not showing up to these events usually brings consequences. Consistency is built into these models. Showing up and putting forth a good effort is supposed to create improvement (but we know that's not always the case).

But, the greatest results are in the area's where consistency isn't required. There are no direct consequences for not showing up. If done on a consistent basis, these contribute most to our improvement.

These spaces include things like practicing on your own, going to the gym, extra work done outside of involuntary practice, reading and studying, planning, building relationships, church, etc.

In Steven Covey's 4 Quadrants of Time Management, these activities fall into Not Urgent but Important Category. They are activities we know we need to do but seldom get done. They're not pressing. They're not on a timeline. They don't have immediate, impactful results.

However, this is the quadrant the most highly productive people focus on the most.

Consistency is tough to compete against. Especially when you are consistently doing those things that aren't required.

Stop thinking showing up to what you have to is good enough. Prioritize, schedule and do the extra work.

Daily Dose of Coach #292: Lessons from a Piano

I've been hammering daily commitment to personal growth.

Some of it is because it's that time of year and many of you are already struggling to hold on to promises made to yourself in 2019. Some of it is for the young athletes on my list. The sooner you can understand and start committing to this process the better off you are going to be.

Here's a great quote from Charles Swindoll to start your Monday. It speaks of our potential lying dormant until we add effort, discipline, and dedication.

"A piano sits in a room gathering dust. It is full of music of the masters, but in order for such strains to flow in it, fingers must strike the keys...trained fingers, representing endless hours of disciplined dedication.

You don't have to practice. The piano neither requires it nor demands it. If, however, you want to play beautiful music from the piano, that discipline is required...

You do not have to pay the price and grow and expand intellectually. The mind neither requires it nor demands it. If, however, you want to experience the joy of discovery and pleasure of plowing new and fertile soil, effort is required.

Light won't automatically shine upon you, nor will truth silently seep into your head by means of rocking-chair osmosis.

It's up to you. It's you're move."

Daily Dose of Coach #291: Coming Up Short is a Habit

TimelessTennisDistanceBetweenWinningLosing.jpg

You may or may not have seen this picture on social media. It portrays the small differences between winning and losing.

As his other teammates are touching the line with their foot and changing directions, the young man closest to us is about 8 inches short.

When I see my young athletes short drills like this, all things come to a halt. I quickly let them know that if you short these drills, you'll short everything you do in life.

Boxing champion Joe Frazier said, "You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the action starts you're down to your reflexes. That's where your road work shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, you're going to get found out under the bright lights."

How you do one thing is how you do everything. And it's one thing if you short yourself, but every time this happens in a team setting, you short your entire team as well.

Coming up short is a habit. But so is doing everything right, no matter how hard it is, no matter how bad it hurts.

Start making doing everything right your greatest habit. Be known for it. There aren't too many character values that can top it.

Daily Dose of Coach #290: Tracking Your Habits

Yesterday, I wrote about the process of improving oneself through daily practice ( Every..Single..Day post ).

In it, I wrote that I would share with you something I use to help hold myself accountable.

In the past, I've written out my personal and professional development growth plan. I've stayed decently consistent, but found it easy to fall off.

I started researching apps that could help me and came across Strides: Goal and Habit Tracker.

This app allows you track habits you want to form daily. Every time you complete one you check it off for the day, and it keeps your streaks. As a competitive persona who likes to track everything, it works well for me.

The key is starting small. It has to be something that you can commit to every day. Most of my daily habits take at most, 30-minutes. Here's a breakdown of the five I started with:

-30 minutes of reading/reflecting/capturing personal and professional growth material (personal and professional growth)

-Read/reflect one chapter in the Bible a day. (spiritual growth)

-Write one entry in my Daily Dose of Coach (I send them out Mon-Fri), but will write them daily to keep up the practice.

-Track my food using My Fitness Pal (Health)

-Do 200 Push Ups a Day (Just because)

I plan on adding one more 30 minute goal of completing a task on whatever project I'm working on.

Though this doesn't seem like much, the continual investment in these things will compound significantly over time positively effecting myself, my family and my business.

As these habits become automatic, I plan on adding more. At least 10 I can check off daily.

What are your goals? What daily habits do you need to commit to accomplish these goals?

Keep it simple, start with one, and build on it from there.

Daily Dose of Caoch #289: Every...Single...Day

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity for a great coaching moment for my children. My kids being 11, 9 and 7 were all shooting baskets, competing with one another on how many shots they would make before we left the gym.

As we were packing up to go, my 9-year-old daughter was crying. She was mad that her sister and brother had made more shots. She said she didn't think she was good and didn't want to play anymore.

On the car ride home I started asking them these questions

"How often do you think Steph Curry shoots a basketball?" Then I before they would answer I would say, EVERY...SINGLE...DAY.

I asked my son, "How often do you think Peyton Manning threw a football? I answered with, EVERY...SINGLE...DAY.

Then I told them whatever they wanted to be great at; they had to work on it, you guessed it, EVERY...SINGLE...DAY.

By the end of the car ride, they started chanting my answer with every question I asked.

I once read, "The secret to success is found in our daily agenda. If you continually invest in your development, letting your practice compound, the inevitable result is growth over time. What can you see when you look at a person's agenda? Priorities, passions, abilities, relationships, attitude, personal disciplines, vision, and influence. See what a person is doing every day, day after day, and you'll know who that person is and what he or she is becoming."

No one becomes great at anything overnight. Great athletes are made in the process of years and years of training and honing their skills. Physiques are built one day at a time. Losing and keeping 50 pounds off only happens if you keep showing up to the fight, EVERY...SINGLE...DAY.

What's your daily agenda look like? Are your actions matching your goals?

Tomorrow I'll share with you how I started trying to hold myself more accountable for starting the new year.

Daily Dose of Coach #288: Focus on Progress

Ryan Faer is a strength and conditioning coach in the Cleveland Indians organization. He also happened to be my intern a few years back. In my opinion, he's one of the best up and coming strength and conditioning professionals, especially with regards to high school baseball.

I wanted to share a Tweet he sent out yesterday with you. It resonates with my beliefs on performance and development as not just an athlete but a human being.

The battle must be fought everyday.

The second we stop focusing our efforts on progress, then that's when we inevitably struggle the most.

As long as were living, there's a chance to fight; for growth, for personal success, for happiness.

One of my favorite sayings is "you're either getting better or you're getting worse." Nothing is motionless or stagnant. We do best when we are focusing our efforts on improvement and find struggle when we stop. Keep moving, keep improving, keep fighting the battle every single day.

You can follow Ryan on twitter @Ryan_Faer

Daily Dose of Coach #287: How's Your 2019 Going?

In my first gym, I created this mission statement, made into a poster, and put on the wall.

To instill in you, unwavering confidence.

To deliver in you, energy -- the result of highly trained, efficient, and powerful movement

To provide for you, adversity -- through controlled affliction

So you may enter your world with humility -- passionate and tenacious in challenge, accepting of change.

In this, you will inspire others to join you in becoming the best we, we can all possibly be.

Change starts with seeing yourself for who you indeed are. No sugar coating. If you're overweight call it out, own it. If you're not working hard enough to play for the college you want to play for, stop lying to yourself. If you hate getting up every day to drag yourself to work, have a serious conversation as of why you keep doing this.

I have always loved training as a way to teach values like grit and perseverance. By no means do I think you can make someone "mentally tough." But training is about defeating comfort. Entering this realm of discomfort will always introduce you to your real values and character.

Rather than just being an ahole and using my authority to make someone throw up, I prefer to use training as an avenue to build confidence, energy, belief, and perseverance that you can get through things that really suck.

I guarantee that 2019 will bring you some serious challenges. But that's life. It's much smarter to prepare your mind, body, and spirit for failures and trouble than for comfort and success.

The new year is a great time to have a serious conversation with yourself. It doesn't have anything to do with resolutions. It's merely a good time to reflect and ask yourself tough questions. Questions that can elicit change.

Questions like, "What am I sick of being?" "What am I training for this year?" "What am I going to do this year that I've always felt was impossible?"

In this quest and commitment, you'll not only change your life but more than likely inspire others who need it as well.

Weekly Dose of Coach #286: Learning From My Clients

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Last weekend I attended the wedding of one of my long-time clients Drew Butera.

Drew has been much more than just a client to me. This year we'll be moving into our 10th off-season together, and at this point, he's more like family.

A few months ago Drew made a uplifting gesture for me as the players on his team were asked to write the names of someone they were grateful for on their jersey.

Drew wrote my name saying, "Nine years ago start our journey together. You've been here for me through the good and bad and kick my butt every single workout! I wouldn't be here without you. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, loyalty, and friendship!!"

This said much more to me about Drew's character than anything else. He's one of those special people who's always looking out for the good around him. And being around him, his friends, and family this weekend, I saw that this is just a part of the amazing person he is.

I always try to learn from others around me, no matter who they are, how they act, or what they do. One thing I've learned from Drew is the power of appreciating others and letting them know about it.

I am not great at this. You'd probably here my clients say that I don't pass out too many compliments. Not because I'm not proud of their accomplishments, I just always believe they have a little more. I'm like this with myself, thus expect a lot of others.

This isn't always the right way to go. There are a time and place for pushing people, but there are more places for making people feel good and appreciated.

I love the quote from Blair Warren that says, "People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, never prove them wrong, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies."

I've learned this to be true from people like Drew; who I would run through a wall through if he asked me.

And no more do you learn just how you make people feel when you have to lead them into difficult or changing situations.

I'm understanding this as I am moving to a new, maybe less convenient, location this week. I know those who can make it, will. But I believe some will make it or not because how I've made them feel throughout our relationship.

Either way, I need to get better at this. The next time my friend Don asks, "Aren't you supposed to be encouraging me?" I'll take it more to heart.

Though my ways of encouraging don't always match how others might, I want all of my people to know I always appreciate you, your loyalty, hard work and willingness to follow me where I go.

Here's to you and getting after it in our new location.

Weekly Dose of Coach #285: Advantages of Losing

"How you play shows some of your character. How you win or lose shows it all."

If you're like me you hate to lose. It's difficult to understand how one finds the silver lining in getting their butt kicked, especially if it happens over and over again.

As a father, it's interesting to watch how my young children deal with loss. Once the game is over, instead of it ruining the rest of their night, they are chasing the first butterfly they see, or running across the field with a big smile on their face and giving open arm hugs their little brother.

When I want to analyze the game, they just want to move on to the next thing. Their memory is so short. How I envy this mindset.

I read a funny blurb on the advantages of a losing team: 1) There is everything to hope for and nothing to fear. 2) Defeats do not disturb one's sleep. 3) An occasional victory is a surprise and a delight. 4) There is no danger of any team passing you. 5) You are not asked 50 times a day, " What was the score?”; people take it for granted that you lost.

Loss and failure happen. And losing graciously is something everyone needs to learn. Be grateful for the experience, learn your lesson, chase a butterfly for a while, open arm hug someone and move on to fight another day.

Weekly Dose of Coach #284: The Two Battles

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." St. Catherine of Sienna

Former NFL Quarterback Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns thrown. He was an undrafted free agent who had to wait his turn. Three years to be exact before he entered his first NFL football game. He is regarded as one of the best-undrafted quarterbacks ever.

In all this, Tony Romo did it in a way that only he could do it. He wasn't your prototypical quarterback. Romo was full of flare and excitement. He had a unique ability to extend plays with his feet and escape almost hopeless situations in the pass pocket. He never tried to become anything that he was not. Though coaches tried to curb his gun-slinger approach, he understood this gave him the ability to be an above average quarterback in the NFL.

In 2016, after injuries had plagued the veteran, he graciously handed over the reigns of the Dallas Cowboys to the young, up-and-coming quarterback, Dak Prescott.

His final speech to the media he ended with this:

"I feel like we all have two battles. One with the man across from you. The second is with the man inside of you. Once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn't matter. I think that's what we're all trying to do."

Each of us is uniquely designed to give something special in the time we are here. Much of life is figuring out who that person is. Through navigating our passions and learning to come out on the other side of failures, suffering and difficult situations is how we discover our true self.

Stay persistent in your growth. The difficulties standing in front of you are there to help you do this. The more you face them, the more you get to know yourself, and the more irrelevant those deterrents will eventually be.

Like Romo, you may go unnoticed for a while. But as you persist and grow into yourself, your efforts, gifts, and passions will undoubtedly bless the world around you. You'll realize the two battles is really just one.

Daily Dose of Coach #283: Defining Who Your Are

Hall of fame coach, Vince Lombardi based his success on what he called the "Lombardi Model." This began with a simple statement, "only by knowing yourself, can you become an effective leader. It all begins with self knowledge, the great 'I am.'"

Understanding or your values gives you the ground you stand on. It is this foundation you build your character and the ability to lead others. Lombardi stated, "from self knowledge we build character and integrity and from character comes leadership."

Why? Because knowing who you are eliminates all the things you think you need to be. It simplifies the choices you make on a daily basis. I like to say it as, "others can, but I cannot."

Whether you know it or not, you are creating your "I am," with every choice you make. You are either healthy or you're not. You're either a gracious or you're not. You either work hard, or you don't. And if you are a leader, you better have that "I am" established. No one follows someone who falls in the middle or someone who is, "I am sometimes" or "I am when I feel like it." It's impossible to create belief when a vacuum of values exist.

What is your "I am?"

Daily Dose of Coach #282: The Basics for Athletes at Any Level

My friend, former intern and current strength coach in the Cleveland Indians organization, Ryan Faer sent a tweet I thought that nailed it with regards to an athletes priorities.

What are three things that can help ALL athletes of any level?

1.Sleep

2.Hydration

3.Nutrition

The “big three” help support elite athletes in the pursuit of marginal gains & optimal readiness; they are also effective means to attain major gains in developing athletes.

Too often we get too caught up in all the pretty stuff. As an athlete, don't move on to anything else until you have these basics down.

Daily Dose of Coach #281: Water and the Waitline

When it comes to weight loss, this is numero uno in getting started. It's not calorie counting; it's not eating less crap food, it's simply the delicious and perfect chemistry that water is.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Drinking 16oz of water before a meal will not only keep you hydrated but fuller. This is one of the first tasks I try and have weight loss clients master. It's simple, doable and immediately effective.

2. Switching from high-calorie drinks like soft drinks, juices, beer and wine can lead to a considerable calorie and sugar reduction. Start by replacing one thing you drink consistently with water. Studies have shown that people who drink mostly water have a 9% lower calorie intake on average.

3. Drinking water can raise your resting energy expenditure. This is simply how many calories you burn at rest. Drinking 16oz of water has been shown to increase REE by 24-30% within 10 minutes and last for up to 60 minutes. The benefits may even be more significant if it's cold water. This is from burning calories to raise the water to body temperature.

4. Drinking water increase energy levels. Instead of reaching for that diet Mountain Dew at 2 PM when your head is about to fall through your desk, try drinking 8-16 oz of water. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and fatigued. Drinking water consistently throughout your day will not only improve energy levels but improve your performance in the gym as well as brain function at work or school.

So how much water should you drink? If you're an absolute water hater start with 4 (8oz) glasses per day. You can start with one 8oz glass in the morning when you wake up and one 8oz glass with each meal you eat.

Typically, you will get the benefits of water for weight loss if you are consuming 4-8, (8oz) glasses per day. I would recommend staying closer to the 8.

 To get the big benefits of water, Drink 66% of your body weight. This means if you are 200lbs, drink 132 ounces. This breaks down to about 8 of those 16.9-ounce plastic water bottles.

Just make sure you are always around a restroom.


.

Daily Dose of Coach #280: A Few Ways to Improve Your Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian Deadlift is one of my favorite exercises for not only strengthening but lengthening the posterior chain. By lengthening, I mean increasing mobility and dynamic flexibility of the hamstring and low back.

The first way to improve the RDL is to make sure you are going through a full range of motion. 

Sometimes I have beginners go through a shorter range of motion (just below knees) before they learn to drive their hips back (hip hinge) and keep their back flat. But as they continue to be able to control this movement, I have them increase their range of motion (plates to the floor). 

Shortening your RDL's, like any other exercise, is just failing to strengthen and lengthen those muscles through a full range of motion. Start with lighter weight and learn to control this movement through a full range. Once you get the technique down, you'll notice that by adding weight can actually "auto correct" your form and improve that loaded stretch.

Second, learn first to shift your hips back, then your knees, to clear space for the bar. When an RDL is done correctly, the bar path is straight down. This happens because the butt is driven back into a hinge, and while the knees are only slightly bent, the posterior weight shift of the body will push the knees back to clear space for the bar. 

Too many times, I see people bend the knees and then try to drive the hips back. This not only kills the hip hinge but forces the person move the bar forward as they are moving towards the ground. Not good for the back, and does nothing for the hamstrings and glutes.

Third, finish the movement. Upon bringing the bar back to waist level, finish the movement by driving your hips through the bar (by squeezing your glutes) and pulling your shoulders back. This ensures you are completing the exercise by properly firing in the hamstrings and glutes

Daily Dose of Coach #279: Think on This: Destination Vs. Champion Mindset

"The quality of a persons life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their field of endeavor." Vince Lombardi

Mia Hamm is a two-time gold medalist, world cup champion and one of the most well known professional women's soccer players to ever play the game. Below she shares some severe lessons for success and being champion.

“Let me tell you now all those lessons I’ve shared—work harder than anyone else, be a team player, celebrate your victories—will pay off whether or not you ever win a medal. Olympic or otherwise. If you go for the goal, like we do on the national team, you’ll always be reaching for a higher place. Each victory is great in and of itself, but champions are on a never-ending quest.” 

A lesson I've learned is that the difference between those with a destination mindset and a champion's mindset is the champion always continues their mission to improve.

Victories are celebrated but soon forgotten. The lessons and confidence they've earned are applied to what comes next in their life. Improvement isn't an option; it's how they continue to live.

So many times I've seen people work hard for a short amount of time and achieve an impressive goal. However, after the goal is achieved, those lessons and confidence are not transferred to anything else in their life. They go back to the same comfort mindset they were in before. This eventually becomes a pattern in their life. They binge and retreat, binge, and retreat.  

For the champion's mindset, achievement is never a destination. Improvement and an attitude of persistence, determination, desire to be the best and willingness to act on it with a tenacious will are what separates them from everyone else.

Daily Dose of Coach #278: Mike Tyson and Publix

I always watch closely how the bagger thinks through putting the groceries in the plastic bags at Publix.

It's my general rule to carry all the groceries into the house at one time. I notice if groceries are bagged correctly it's much easier to make this happen.

In general, the best baggers are looking at what's coming across the line and determining what fits best with what and how to use the least amount of bags possible.

In the end, you have a tightly packed cart with lots of groceries and minimal bags.

The not so good baggers don't pay attention to what is coming down the line and start throwing items into any bag it will fit in. I've also noticed that at least 50% of the time, this person is either talking about break time or complaining about something at work.

I've often said that when a young athlete comes to me to begin training, I can tell within the first 10 minutes if the kid has a shot at being great. If you have been around, studied and observed successful athletes you'll notice they approach everything differently. They are determined from the beginning, have a genuine excitement, are focused, courageous, don't mind making mistakes, always asking for more, and are fanatical about the details. They would be great baggers at Publix.

In the book, Iron Ambition, My Life with Cus D'Aamato, Mike Tyson talks about the stairway that went up to his Cus D'Amato's gym (Tyson's first coach). Cus used this staircase to determine if the kid was going to be a great fighter:

"The gym was up three flights of rickety stairs. If you stood at the bottom of the stairs, you could see all the way to the top. It was like you were climbing a stairway to heaven. Once you got up to the top, there was a big hole in the door, patched up with mesh wiring, and there was a huge watchdog that would smash up against the mesh barking like crazy.

Cuss always said he could determine a lot about the character of a kid who made that trek up the stairs. He even called that walk, 'The Trial.' If the kid came up alone and wasn't deterred by the dog, and pushed the door open and said he wanted to be a fighter, Cuss knew he had something to work with.

But, if someone brought a kid there, it was a different story. I knew I had my work cut out for me. Because that fellow didn't have the discipline or the desire strong enough, at the time, to come up there by himself, open the door and say, 'Hey, I want to be a fighter."

Your approach to everything you do is being observed.

The greatest athletes I've worked with and studied focus fiercely on the details. From the time they walk into the gym to the time they leave. Everything they do has a purpose that is leading them to a greater goal. They work with intent, are present in the moment.

One day, you're going to have to walk up a metaphorical set of D'Amato's stairs. Your character will be judged on how you walk up those stairs and decide to open the door. Learn that if you want to be great, you have to do things with courage and focused intent. And in many cases, you'll have to do it on your own.

I always choose the line at Publix based on the bagger. You are chosen at some level every day. Learn and practice what approach it takes to be the best choice.

Daily Dose of Coach #277: Why I love Dunkin Donuts

Okay, I knew this would grab your attention.

You may be thinking, "Why in the heck would this guy write about Dunkin Donuts?"

Let's start with the fact that it is one minute from where I work. During long hours at work I can quickly run up there and grab a coffee, and I'm not going to lie, I've had a donut or two. Boston Creme happens to be my favorite.

But it's not Dunkin Donuts that I love. It's the convenience of being able to grab something quick to satisfy hunger pains or a get a quick re-load of caffeine.

As a trainer and someone who coaches nutrition, I realize that this is probably not the greatest choice. But I'm human. And I'm sure you can relate to a time or two when you found a place like Dunkin Donuts to hit the spot.

But, because most of these unhealthy conveniences are within our grasp, planning to satisfy your hunger when outside of your kitchen is critical.

Here are some suggestions to quickly throw into your bag to bring to the office.

-Hard-boiled eggs

-Greek Yogurt or Yogurt Parfait

-Veggies with Hummus

-Sweet Potato

-A can or bag of tuna with crackers

-Protein bars

-Fruits - Banana's, apples, pears, peaches grapes, oranges, berries etc.

-Dried Fruits

-Veggies like baby carrots or mini-red, yellow and orange peppers

-Nuts like almonds or pistachios

-Protein powder (just add water)

-String Cheese

-Dark Chocolate

-Beef Jerky

Convenience is nice, but there's a price to pay when it comes to eating conveniently. That payment is with your health and against the goals you are trying to achieve.

All you need to do is plan ahead. Most of these items I suggested above are easily thrown in a bag and ready to go.

Daily Dose of Coach #276: The Most Difficult Lift (for most people)

Overhead pressing or shoulder pressing is one of the most commonly compensated lifts I see. By compensated I mean arching of the low back, bad mechanics of the scapula and looking like they're naturally trying to turn the lift more into an incline press than a straight overhead press.

Continuing to overhead press with these types of mechanics is going to lead to eventual breakdown somewhere. This breakdown can occur in the low back from the constant extension (shear forces leading to destructive movements in your spine) or the shoulder joint.

 I've seen it tried to get fixed in many different ways. The most popular one I've seen is the elastic band rotator cuff strengthening. The problem is, as with many "shoulder warm-up" exercises is they don't address the main issue which is overall movement quality. During standing overhead movements familiar cues of firing your glutes and bracing your core may clean up some of the movement, but it's not only difficult to maintain, but poor mechanics will eventually find their way to another area of the body.

Whenever I look to research things of the shoulder, I look to the "shoulder guy" in my industry, Eric Cressy. In his article, Why You Struggle to Train Overhead - And What to Do About It. Instead of addressing your shoulder issue with an elastic band he gives six video exercises you can incorporate into your daily warm-up to begin building, not only your quality range of motion, but overhead stability as well.