Coaches today face different challenges than I did when I started coaching in 1969. In my 49 year coaching career, the world has changed dramatically but now it is changing at a faster rate than ever before. Data is growing faster with 2.5 Exabytes being produced each day! That is the equivalent of 250 Libraries of Congress of new information being created each day. Add the bombardment of social media and instant communication and there seems to be less time to reflect.
About Vern Gambetta
Entries by Vern Gambetta
Last week Nick Garcia shared some of the innovative training templates he’s using with his athletes at Notre Dame High School, and talked more about his approach on Monday’s HMMR Podcast. As you can see, his approach focuses on athletes needs and it’s tied to a seven-day timeline. Think about athlete needs first, and the calendar second.
Life is about learning, when you stop learning you stop living. My love of learning was instilled in me by my mother who had been denied an education but placed a high premium on it. It was exciting growing up discovering new worlds and expanding my horizon. There was always something new to learn and explore well beyond the confines of the classroom.
You can learn a lot from athletes’ biographies, especially from someone who innovated like Fosbury did. There are many lessons to be learned from his new book The Wizard of Foz: Dick Fosbury’s One-Man High-Jump Revolution, both about sport and life through the chronicles of his rise to Olympic Champion and beyond.
You must know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses as a coach. Just as you expect your athletes to work on their weakness and maximize their strengths you should also. Know the sport that you are working with, become an expert; leave no stone unturned in your search for knowledge.
Human movement is fundamentally beautiful and flowing. Step back and look at sports from a movement perspective, not a sport skill perspective, you will see a commonality in movement, a beauty and a flow. Start with walking gait. Overserve the opposition of the arms and legs and the counter rotation of the shoulders and the hips. Look for this across movements. Gait is a great place to start! All throws look fundamentally the same, all jumps look the same, acceleration, regardless of the sport looks the same. The only thing that changes is the implement, the surface and the uniform in the sport. When I coach I look for the commonalities in movements and coach those commonalities. All sports involve some combination of the following movements: running, jumping, throwing, pushing, pulling, reaching, lifting, bending, extending, stopping and starting.
A month ago, I posted on the concept of work capacity, here is the follow-up. To start with, the application of the concept of work capacity is based on basic principles.
This is an excerpt from my book Athletic Development: The Art & Science of Functional Sports Conditioning that I thought was particularly timely.
Work capacity is the ability to tolerate a workload and recover from that workload. In order for an athlete to improve they must be able to do a certain threshold amount of work. They must be able to work at a level that will ensure enough stress to achieve an optimum adaptive response. If they cannot do the work, they will not improve. Therefore, the goal with this type of individual would be to build a work capacity base that fits the specific demands of the athlete’s sport.
In the course of my fifty years of coaching I have been fortunate to have had great mentors, influences and role models. I learned very early that I was not entitled to anything I had to pay my dues and earn the right to move forward. I constantly had to prove my competence and continue to improve.