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.
About Vern Gambetta
Entries by Vern Gambetta
Just doing it may work for Nike selling shoes but in no way does it represent what needs to be done to grow and develop an athlete.
Just like athletic excellence, coaching excellence has been a fascination of mine since I was an athlete in high school. I observed teams and individuals that seemed to “over achieve” or punch above their weight as the saying goes. The closer I observed and analyzed this the common denominator was coaching. Coaching makes a difference. Over my 50-year professional career I have seen great coaches, good coaches and indifferent coaches. The great ones share common characteristic. Here is what I have seen.
So often when we think of discipline we think in terms of rules or others driving us to do something. For the champions that is not what disciple is. The champion practices self-discipline to do what is necessary, often what is uncomfortable to do what needs to be done. There is no need for disciple to be imposed from outside. It comes from within in the form of self-disciple.
I am currently reading Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee, it is very revealing and disturbing. Naturally it got me thinking about my own filter. How do I sort through the tsunami of stuff available in the space of sports performance, athletic development, sport science and coaching? Wading through the training porn, misinformation and outright stupid stuff is not an easy proposition and I am very selective in who I follow and what I read. Training porn just like porn is seductive and addictive. It disturbs me to see so many coaches consume this stuff like it is gospel, especially if they find a research article to validate it. How are some of the things I do and people I respect do:
Recognize that periodization is concept not a model.
This is a straight forward question with complex implications for the development of an athlete. It requires a shift in thinking away from quantity to quality. It is not how much but how well the work is executed that ultimately counts toward performance improvement. Optimum load is the goal.
This is a community of professional’s eager to learn and willing to share ideas and information. GAIN is not about more exercises, sets, reps and training methods it is about passionate people who pursue excellence with honesty, integrity and respect to make a difference in the lives of the people we coach and teach. It is not a summit, it is total immersion learning experience.
I know Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg; they are two passionate people, so it seems appropriate that their new book is about the paradoxical nature of passion. I knew they were working on a new book but had no idea what it was about until it showed up in the mail.
I do not know Nick Willis, but he is a current athlete that I hold in high regard both for his accomplishments on the track, longevity and willingness to share his thoughts/lessons learned throughout his career. He posted this on Twitter yesterday, needless to say it really resonated with me: