Entries by Vern Gambetta

Churchill – Walking With Destiny

I highly recommend the book Churchill: Walking with Destiny. Not an easy read. It is long and detailed. Very rich in content with many insights into a very complex man. I have always been fascinated by Churchill, after reading this I am no less fascinated. He had his flaws, that was for sure, but somehow under the direst circumstances he led his nation through one of the most difficult times any nation in history has endured.

1440 – not enough time?

When someone says to me they don’t have enough time I don’t react very well. In fact to me it is a losers lament. Why is that the people with the most to do get the most done? It is because they make choices how to effectively use their time.

Not my first rodeo

In the past fifty plus years I have had the opportunity to see a lot and experience a lot. I have seen great coaches and terrible coaches. I have observed great practices and training sessions. I have observed and been subjected to practices and training sessions that I would not subject my bitterest enemy to. Why am I writing this? I am writing this because I see the current generation of younger coaches acting like they invented the wheel. What I see today in training, there is very little that is new. It is fifty-year-old or older stuff repackaged and made glitzy posted on Instagram or YouTube. I have learned that ultimately what works are those methods that are grounded in fundamentals and do not stray from the basics.

Shaking my head

Stop and think for a minute: it takes approximately 0.8 of a second to express maximal strength. Most athletic movements take place in the range of 0.2 to 0.5 seconds. So why do we spend such an inordinate amount of time emphasizing maximal strength? Is it because it is measurable? Is it because it is convenient? Is it a misunderstanding of the principle of overload?

Emphasize what matters

In life and in coaching it is important to focus on what matters. What matters most is relationships – people – the human element. In today’s world of fast information and big data it is easy to forget that the numbers, data, scientific measurements are one-dimensional – we coach people who are multidimensional. They are not machines, they respond to care and concern. Good coaching is about developing trust and working together with the athletes to guide them to grow athletically and personally.

We have it backwards

Today we spend an inordinate amount of time and effort preparing the path for the athlete. We make sure that everything is controlled. We make the path smooth and straight when in reality the path is circuitous and crooked with many detours along the way.