It is interesting to listen to coach’s talk about what they see when observing movement. Are they really seeing what they think they see? Human vision is incredibly acute and at the same time fundamentally flawed. The longer I coach the more I realize that more often than not we see what we think we see rather that exactly what is happening. Whether we recognize it or not we all have a tendency toward a confirmation bias.
About Vern Gambetta
Entries by Vern Gambetta
Regardless of the message you have a very small window to communicate the message in a meaningful way so that the person receiving the message with get it. I was reminded of this this morning at mass when the priest missed a golden opportunity to get his message across. His theme was love.
A couple of days ago one of my former White Sox players now beginning his career as a manager in the Orioles Minor League system posted a picture of himself sitting on the front seat of the bus, a traditional place for the head coach or manager to sit. It was great to see him sitting in that position because I know he has worked to earn it. I quickly sent a message off to him to wish him good luck and to not forget what is was to sit back where the players were sitting.
Have you ever noticed how athletes and coaches who are successful seem to find a way to get the job done? Winners find a way to win; where others see obstacles they see opportunity. They just seem to have a different worldview; they have a whole different mindset.
The key to successful coaching is planning. The more detailed the planning the better. For me Sunday has always been the day for planning. It has been this way for 44 years, it has almost become a ritual, and certainly it is part of my Sunday routine. During the week I keep detailed notes on the workouts – what worked and what did not work. Did training go according to plan? What adjustments were needed?
GAIN is an acronym for Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network. This emphasis is on network to connect professionals in order to facilitate learning and sharing of ideas. In my career I served as an apprentice to learn coaching skills and techniques and have been fortunate to have great mentors to guide and direct me. My goal in starting the GAIN program was to combine the best of a apprentice practice and the guidance of a mentoring experience hence the word Apprentorship. The objective is to provide an educational opportunity that will significantly advance people’s careers by sharing information with other professionals in a setting that encourages an open exchange of ideas.
Coaching is not something you do, it something you are with every fiber of your being, there is no half way you must be all in. The journey is long and rewarding because of the opportunity to guide athletes in their development athletically and most importantly as people. Here are a few thoughts and concepts that I have found to be valuable in my experiences from 44 years of coaching.
When you are testing it is important to consider all of the following:
I have said many times in this blog that mental toughness is in many ways is a myth. In my experience as a coach and athlete the athletes who produce in the competition are the ones who are there everyday physically and mentally in training doing what they are supposed to do with concentration, intensity and effort.
It is important to remember that testing is the highest form of training stress outside of the actual Competition. Testing is important to determine the individual athlete’s athletic qualities relative to the demands of their position/event and the sport. I am not interested in comparing an athlete against some arbitrary norms, but I am interested in intra individual comparison, comparing them against themselves.