By Steve Sears
Eric Klenofsky and Josel Mateo, teammates who helped DePaul Catholic High School win its first ever Passaic County soccer title in 2012, are founders of the “Less Talk, More Work” podcast, and they give some credit to old man winter.
Klenofsky remembers the day. The 6-foot-7 goalkeeper, who also starred at Monmouth University, was ready for his first day of therapy following a second knee surgery.
He awoke to six inches of snow. There was no family around to aid him. He needed help; he couldn’t walk for eleven weeks. Couple that with his eventual release from his team, Major League Soccer’s DC United, and the pill swallowing was difficult. He had moved into a house in Pequannock to be closer to the therapy location in Hackensack, and at that time was battling both physical pain and depression.
And now, the ground was blanketed by white stuff. Klenofsky, on crutches, headed for the front door to prepare to do some shoveling at 6:30 am.
Mateo beat him to it. “I open the door at 6:30 in the morning, and Josel is outside shoveling the driveway,” says Klenofsky. “And I never said a thing to him. And there’s that mantra, ‘Less Talk, More Work.’ He (Mateo) is not saying anything, he was not looking for thanks, but he was like, ‘I have a friend here who needs help, and I need to help him.’”
The two became housemates and started coaching others while Mateo trained his friend during his recovery, all the while living by their mantra. Mateo in December 2019 even mentioned to his friend about starting a podcast.
COVID19 hit, and the “Less Talk, More Work” podcast was born on March 19, 2020. “Life is in our control,” states Klenofsky, “and we have a message we need to get out and help more people. There’s a lot of growth and positivity that can come from us sharing our message.”
The podcast is 30 episodes old, and there is no ceiling for growth.
Mateo, the current DePaul boys’ soccer coach and the owner of Krank Sports Performance, his Pompton Plains based physical training business which suffered during the pandemic, weighs in. “No matter what you do – whether you’re an athlete, business owner, a doctor, whatever you’re pursuing – number one you’re going to be faced with adversity. It happens to everybody. Number two, something we say all the time, control what you can control.” The one thing that the duo tries best to touch on during the podcast is that doing the work and investing in yourself while planning and learning and trying to move forward will help remove fear. “The fear is what you need to attack.” says Mateo. “As you get better, you put your hand out and pull the next person with you. It’s not just about one person. That’s what the podcast is about, spreading the message that everyone can be great, and everybody can get to the top.”
Klenofsky, who is 26, adds, “People can change your life. The people you associate yourself with can really dictate the trajectory in which you are going.” The duo also leaves nothing to randomness, posting positive affirmations and goals on white boards in their respective rooms, practicing the positivity and growth they preach. “We’re being very conscious and very deliberate on how we’re going to move forward, and how we’re going to create change.”
Mateo, 25, says that he and Klenofsky don’t expect to change the world, but, “If we can change a couple of people’s lives, that’s a win in our books.”
“Legacy is something Josel and I talk about constantly,” says Klenofsky. “We want to be able to look back and say, ‘We laid a brick, and we made the world a better place by us having did this.’ So, we care deeply about legacy and the people we’re impacting and leaving the world in a better place than we found it.”
The “Less Talk, More Work” podcast can be heard at www.linktr.ee/LTMWpodcast or www.instagram.com/ltmwpodcast/.