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.
About Vern Gambetta
Entries by Vern Gambetta
I learned a long time ago that if you follow the flock of sheep for too long eventually you would step in shit. Just doing something because everybody else is doing is not a good reason for continuing to do it. You must think for yourself, look for a better way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have had many questions lately regarding sprint drills. Whether or not I use them, how I use them etc? The following is an article I wrote several years ago for the the Australian publication Modern Athlete and Coach. I think it will shed light on the why and how of the Mach drill system. I have used this drills extensively over the years with great success, of late I have also incorporated some of the Bosch drill system. The combination of the two if used properly are of great benefit.
There is no substitute for focused directed work with a purpose. Certainly just doing more work is not necessarily better. Have a laser like focus. Know specifically what you want to achieve. Make every exercise, drill, run, jump or throw count by having specific measurable objectives for each element of training.
Not sure if complexification is a word in the English language but I see it more and more in training especially with young coaches impressed with their knowledge. It is easy to make things complicated and complex. It takes wisdom and understanding to make things simple and clear. Training to improve performance is a relatively straightforward process.
How many of you walk into the gym, out to the field or onto pool deck with today’s workout as an end unto itself, looking for that one great workout that will make a difference? If you do then think again, today’s workout must fit in the context of the whole training plan. Think of it as one pixel in a mega pixel picture.