Entries by Vern Gambetta

Trainability

How well can you train? That is trainability. Great athletes have a high level of trainability. They thrive on the work, while an athlete with lesser trainability just barely survives. Your ability to train effectively enough to stimulate the appropriate adaptation is a key ability. Well you might say that is obvious, if it so obvious then why do I see this factor ignored everywhere I go.

Connect The Dots

Given that the body is a kinetic chain and all systems of the body work synergistically to produce efficient movement then training is all about connections. Biomechanically think toenails to fingernails, everything is connected. The better and more effective the training the more effective the connections between body parts and the various systems of the body. We can isolate in theory and for mental convenience but that is not the way the body works in real life. As coaches we need to consciously make connections to make training more effective and efficient.

Some Notes/Thoughts from “The Generals”

Just finished reading Thomas Ricks latest book “The Generals” – American Military Command from WW II to Today. I found it very interesting reading in that it explained much of our military success and failure  over the past eighty years. But as a coach interested in leadership, organizational behavior and excellence I found it rich in ideas and thoughts. Here are a few thoughts that I found particularly relevant:

Your Brand

I have been hearing a lot about brands and branding lately. In a traditional sense a brand is a name or a symbol. In coaching and teaching it represents more, it is you and what you stand for. You are your brand. Who you are?

Practice – Getting Better at Getting Better

I just finished a book that is a must for every coach’s library, Practice Perfect – 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Betterby Doug Lemov, Erica, Woolway and Katie Yezi. I have added this book to the reading list for my GAIN Apprentorship program. It is a very good blend of the science behind practice and the author’s practical experience. Obviously the cornerstone for effective athlete development is practice, but too often it is just about putting in the time. Now with the 10,000 hour figure looming out there everyone is even more concerned with putting in the time. It is not the time in practice, it what you put into the time. Practice must be deliberate, focused and connected to the desired end result – performance in competition.

Lessons from the Armstrong Affair?

Let me start by saying I refused to watch the Oprah interview. Armstrong is a master manipulator and I feel this is another attempt to manipulate public opinion. I have been following the whole Armstrong affair with great interest. I have read most of the books. For a very long time I was in a very small minority because I always felt he was dirty.

Finish It!

You have just had your athletes do a great workout. You have polished technical elements. The level of speed and explosiveness has been sky high. So now what? Of course you will now do a cooldown. Typically the athletes slog two laps for a cooldown. Think about it what you have just done.

Achievement Triangle

I developed this five or six years ago as a tool to make my athletes aware of what they needed to do to be the best, to be a peak performer. A conversation the other day reminded me of this so I thought it would be worth sharing again. One thing that I have observed since I developed this is that those at the peak of performance are completely comfortable with being uncomfortable all the time and they often make those around them uncomfortable. If you want to play where the big dogs play then forget a comfort zone.

Failure Is An Option

In order to succeed you must take risk, you must operate well out of your comfort zone. Risk implies that there is a chance of success or failure. I maintain that most of what holds coaches and athletes back from achieving ultimate success is not fear of failure, but fear of success. If they succeed then they must do it again and probably be expected to do it better. This brings pressure, most of which is self-imposed. That being said to be highly successful failure must be an option.