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GAINcast Episode 78: Talent Identification

Talent is a divisive topic, but it is hard to argue that you can create a champion without any talent. Properly identifying and nurturing that talent is therefore a key element of high performance. On this episode we discuss the complexity of talent, how to approach it as a coach, and Vern’s multi-step approach talent identification. Read more

Changing Practice

We all practice with the intention of getting better. But can we do better at practice? Can we get more out of practice? Changing practice offers the possibility of changing the game. Here are a few thoughts/ideas that will help make practice sticky and more effective: Read more

The Profession of Coaching

Coaching is a profession, not an industry. The younger generation of coaches who have been heavily influenced by social media and 24 hour sports channels do not seem to understand this. As a profession, there are standards and expectations. Read more

Old Coach, Young Coach

As a young coach, I was sure I knew everything and I was dumb enough to tell everyone who would listen and some who would not. I thought a lot of the old coaches were out of it, behind the times. They did not subscribe to the latest fads and speak in fancy jargon, they just consistently produced results. My biggest regret is taking too long to figure this out. Read more

Some Coaching Advice to Make You A Better Coach

Here is some practical actionable advice from an old coach raised in an analog age: Read more

Coaching Excellence – Part Four

Change is a constant. One of the discriminating factors that differentiate between a good and great coach is how they deal with change. Good coaches are reactive and change manages them. They fear change and go out of their way to avoid it. Great coaches lead change they are proactive and embrace the challenge of change. In fact great coaches are change engineers, they are at the cutting edge always looking for a better way. Read more

The Biology of Our Behaviors

In sport, we’re defined as much by our failures as we are our successes. In my athletics career, I won a World Championships medal, a European Indoor Silver medal, a European under-23 Silver Medal, a European Junior 100m Gold medal, and numerous national senior and age group medals. I was selected for two Olympic Games and five World Championships across two different sports, and yet I’m still perhaps best known for being responsible for being responsible for the disqualification of Great Britain’s 4x100m relay team at the 2008 Olympics, in the event in which we were reigning Gold medalists. Read more

Coaching Excellence – Part Three

Good coaches have mentors and role models. My first mentor and role was my high school basketball coach. He was the most influential person in my life up to that time aside from my parents. He taught me the value of structure and self-discipline. He also instilled in my teammates and me that it is was more than the ninety minutes of practice that made you better it was lifestyle. He did not call it the twenty-four hour athlete but that was what he was teaching us. It was a total commitment to the pursuit of excellence. Read more

Coaching Excellence – Part Two

It is absolutely necessary to have a clearly defined philosophy of coaching. It was be more than just words. It must live in your everyday actions as a coach. To help guide your philosophy and stay on course it is necessary to have a working compass oriented to true north. Nothing changes under pressure, adversity or with challenges. You stay the course because your philosophy is the foundation of your coaching beliefs and the beacon that guides you. Read more

GAINcast Episode 75: Ask More, Tell Less (with Jim Richardson)

In nearly 30 years as head swim coach at the University of Michigan, Jim Richardson develop a powerhouse. Much of that success came from one thing: asking questions. On this week GAINcast we sit down with coach Richardson and hear how asking question led him to become a better coach, to rethink the athletic development of his athletes, to reduce injuries, and more. Read more