Q & A with Jeff Nichols: Former Navy SEAL

Q & A with Jeff Nichols: Former Navy SEAL

Jeffery G. Nichols CSCS*D, TSAF-F*D

Exercise Physiologist

Former Navy SEAL

Jeff graduated from Wilton High School in 1996 and enrolled into Indian Hills Community College in Centerville Iowa. Jeff played baseball at Indian Hills and played in two junior college World Series’ before graduating in 1998. Jeff then attended Troy University on a baseball scholarship and graduated in 2000. After graduating with a degree in Exercise Physiology Nichols began his career as a graduate assistant at Troy University as an assistant strength coach managing 14 Varsity sports. On October 1st 2001 Nichols enlisted in the US Navy, graduated boot camp and received the “Lone Sailor Award” as the top graduate of his class of 3000 graduates. After boot camp Nichols began Basic Underwater Demolition (BUDs) training in Coronado California and received his SEAL warfare designation on May 17, 2002. Nichols spent eleven years as a Navy SEAL with SEAL teams on the East and West coast. Nichols completed double digit combat deployments and has been awarded numerous combat citations for valour and commendation. Aside from serving as a SEAL while on active duty, Nichols also worked at a Naval Special Warfare command as the active duty department head within the Human Performance Department. Nichols oversaw product development, product assessment, program assessment, and operator delegate within Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for Human Performance.

After honourable discharge in 2013 from Naval service Nichols became the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Virginia High Performance LLC in Virginia Beach. Nichols oversaw the programming and training within VHP that focused on youth athletic teams, wounded veterans, and various national and international tactical organisations. Nichols currently works with numerous professional and amateur sports organisations in human performance optimisation, performance stress management, and sleep optimisation.

Nichols now runs a private business training very selective cliental in Virginia Beach and other locations around the US, Europe, and Australia.

Nichols has been a credentialed strength coach for 18 years working with athletes of all ages in amateur and professional athletics. Nichols holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F) both with distinction.

Nichols considers his proudest achievement to be the father of his ten-year-old son Mason Kent-Elliott Nichols.

What advice would you give your younger self?  

You need to learn humility and listen to what people are are truly saying.  Problems can be avoided or at least confronted and managed if you just listen.

How has your childhood affected you?  

My childhood showed me that I have no excuses in this life.  If I fail it’s my fault and if I have heartache it’s my fault.  I have/had the best parents and they showed me how to act according to moral law.

Any advice on managing money?  

The best advice I got about money thus far is to always live below your means.  Debt is not a state to be in regardless if the economic infrastructure is built on it; I choose not to be in debt.  Secondly, I have also received great advice as; create lines of revenue that work for you and make you money, streamlines your time, and helps others all at the same time.

What were your friends like growing up?  

All my friends growing were competitive and athletic.  I am a byproduct of such a competitive landscape.  The community I grew up in supported such a competitive environment, which I am now very appreciative of.

Three things you never leave home without?  

PURPOSE for being where I am going, SELF RESPONSIBILITY for what I am doing, and HOPE upon returning home to reset.

Did you have any passions growing up?  

Baseball and Drawing

How should a person handle getting older?  

Getting older should lead to better decisions and self-reflection for true improvement.  Older also means maturing in relationships with whom you love, how you love them, and how you aim to show them love. Older is just better if we do right by people as week work within our passion for service of others; not in spite of others.

Do you have any scars that tell a story?  

I suppose life in itself is scarred and reveals such stories.  My physical scars are not the story, but rather the decisions I have made that makes the scars bigger, or heal them.  My mental health and the fallout from being so stressed out has created the deepest scars that I have to heal.

How has being a father changed you?  

Fatherhood is the manifestation of purpose, process, and love.  It is the litmus for the measure of an aspect of our mental health.  Point is, we should be full of life when we have kids and raise them. Often in the tactical space our kids are trying to carry the heavy load of stress we carry and it wears on them as well.  We must rid ourselves of this stress and we will see our children become peaceful happy children, and not an emotionally charged child with no means of managing.  Children are our gateway to true happiness and love and we must recognize that.

How do you look back on your time with the Navy SEALs?  

My time in the teams was a necessary path for me to find truth, purpose, and peace.  I experienced chaos in so many forms that at the end riding myself of such chaos has been truly cathartic.  It has given me a powerful stable platform for a reference on my own happiness.  It served a purpose in which I am proud of, but my real identity as a teacher is now far more meaningful.

How do you keep in touch with your former SEALmates (sp) if at all? Is there a yearly meet up?  

Many of us who truly immersed themselves into that world no longer have a draw to the privilege of the community and its information.  If I see them it’s a pleasant interaction, but I am not privileged to see into that worlds anymore.  For the “formers” like myself, we are living like we still need the community or we have politely faded away to not disrupt the necessities of that profession.  I have faded into a new role to enhance the community without any access.  I no longer deserve access and that is a good place for me to be.

Who or what influenced you the most in life?  

My family, my teachers, and God have all laid the foundation on how to live, treat people, and respect the past, present, and future. Listening to all my influencers is the fun part now.  It’s no longer a burden, but rather a worthy challenge I enjoy.

Do you have any heroes?  

My heroes are true educators of knowledge.  Dr. Neal Degrass Tyson, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Jesus Christ, and my friends and family.  Anyone patient enough to share knowledge at the expense of helping others.  That in my eyes is truly heroic.

What do you want to be remembered for? 

I want to be known for telling the TRUTH and being a great listener, problem solver, and mentor.

What advice would you give the guy or gal getting ready to sign up to become a SEAL?  

Work on qualities that will not only help you in the military, but will also help you learn to listen and love others.  People come into our lives and selfishness impedes our decision-making based on how we want to control life.  Life is not happening to us, EVERY decision we make will either play out positively or negatively.  If you listen to truth you will make far less mistakes.  Find your best friend and love him / her with all your being.  Sacrifice for them without making excuses.  Show them every day you are prepared to be vulnerable and empathetic.

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