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Thoughts on getting better

My passion and focus are on getting better at getting better. The longer I coach, the more I realize that we can’t rely on doing more of the same old things we have been doing and hope to get our athletes better. We must use the time and resources better to get better. Here are some thoughts, ideas and concepts I have culled from some of my research and practice on learning: Read more

My learning journey: the coaching classics

I am going to share my learning journey to help coaches both young and inexperienced as well as older more experienced coaches to streamline their learning process and hopefully not make some of the mistakes and missteps that I have made. My goal was simple: to know more than anyone I coached against, I figured the more and faster I learned the more edge my athletes would have in competition. For me it was and is a point of pride. Read more

Some lessons for today from Herb Elliott and Ralph Doubell

Sadly, I doubt that unless you are a diehard track fan you do not know these names. I am surprised at how many of the current generation of track coaches and athletes do not know these names. Herb Elliott won the Gold Medal in the 1500 meters at the 1960 Rome Olympic games in a world record time of 3:35.6. Ralph Doubell won the gold medal in the 800 Meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic games in the world record time of 1:44.40. Read more

Vern Gambetta’s 2018 best books list

Of the 150 books I have read in 2018 these are my selections for the best. It is an eclectic collection reflecting my various interests. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for good reading. This year I did not pick a book of the year. Too many good ones to pick out one book. Read more

Craig Pickering’s top reads of 2018

I’m an introvert, and so, ever since I was a kid, I’ve been much happier with my nose in a book than taking part in more social behaviors. To this day, I still enjoy reading, and I try to make time to read for around an hour each night before bed, along with added bursts when on holiday or traveling on planes. This year, I “read” 59 books. I started a subscription to an audiobook service, which helped boost my number slightly—although I have to be careful not to zone out when listening—and I also got much better at giving up on books that I didn’t find interesting after around 50 pages. Here, I’ll share with you what I read, and which I enjoyed the most; I do this not to boast, but because I find it interesting to get an idea of what other people read – perhaps you’ll find this equally as interesting! Read more

November 2018 in review: book club

Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for some concepts a good book can be worth a thousand pictures. There’s no doubt then why so many world-class coaches are avid readers not only about sports, but about all kinds of topics. As a great doctor once said: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” That doctor was Dr. Seuss, which goes to show you can learn from all types of books. Read more

GAINcast Episode 116: Learning to learn

Learning is a journey akin to a mystery; you must follow your curiosity and see what it uncovers. Therefore it is impossible to tell you how to learn, but it is possible to share some best practices on learning. On this episode of the GAINcast, we share some our journeys in learning, what can make the learning process better and, as always, a few book reviews. Read more

Coaching classics

Every year I post this because there are many new readers to the blog and followers on Twitter (@coachgambetta) and friends on Facebook who have not seen it. These are classic works that I think every coach should read. They span a range of areas from scientific and technical to sport sociology. Just as with any classic they are timeless. They are rich with knowledge. There are many works in this list that I go back and review each year, they never get old. Challenge yourself and see how many of these you can read in the year if you do you be a more knowledgeable coach for doing it. Read more

Bondarchuk’s latest thoughts on transfer

We’ve dedicated a month to discussing the topic of transfer. So to close out February I’d like to take a look at the latest thoughts on the topic from the man who help popularize the phrase “transfer of training” over the past decade: Anatoliy Bondarchuk. In his latest book, Transfer of Training Volume 3, he takes another detailed look at transfer and I also had the chance to speak with him about the topic recently. Read more

The trilogy continues

For good reason, the first two volume’s of Anatoliy Bondarchuk’s Transfer of Training series have become classics in the world of sports training. By trying to better define how improvements in different exercises translate to performance in track and field events (and beyond), Bondarchuk has helped coaches shine a critical light on whether or not their training is truly helping their athletes get better. Weight room numbers might be going up, but at the end of the day what really matters is whether an athlete improves at their sport.  A decade ago the word transfer was rarely used; the fact that it is now thrown around in nearly every sport is a testament to the impact of Bondarchuk’s work. Read more