GAINcast Episode 199: Systems thinking

The best teams in the world aren’t just teams, they are systems. A system lends order and structure to enable the coach and athlete to focus on the process. It provides a framework to build on. On this week’s GAINcast we look at the power of systems, what makes a good system, and how systems fall apart.

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Notes and quotes

  • 3:30 – A historical look at systems: “If you look at the teams that are good, there is more to it than talent. They have a system.”
  • 8:00 – Historical examples of systems and processes: “The best teams might not have the best technique, tactics, talent, or periodization. But what they do, they do well. They have a system to execute it to the best they can.”
  • 13:00 – Staring to create a system: “By the time you finish your second year of coaching you should have the identifiable elements of a system defined. Then the rest of your career you are constantly refining those elements. Don’t be so rigid that you can’t modify them.”
  • 15:45 – Key elements of a system: “Good systems are built on core values, progression, individualization, goals, and evaluation. They also have have a willingness to innovate; innovation comes around the edges, not in the core beliefs.”
  • 19:15 – The athlete’s role in the system.
  • 25:30 – Rigid systems and learning to adapt: “A system cannot be static. You have to be asking the questions that will get you better.
  • 30:00 – Talent identification and development.
  • 30:45 – Avoiding inbred systems.

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:

  • GAIN 2020 has shifted online, with a monthly interactive master class series. The October event will look more at systems and periodization. Sign up now to subscribe to hear these events and others in the series. GAIN Alumni can also get access to all events by renewing their membership.
  • The GAINcast is also sponsored by HMMR Media. Join HMMR Media to get access to a vast library of online training resources, video, articles, podcasts, and more.
  • Vern wrote about this topic recently in a post about systemic sport development.
  • Some related GAINcasts: on GAINcast 50 we looked common traits of serial winning coaches with Sergio Lara-Bercial. Last week’s GAINcast 198 looked at the related topic of periodization.