Vern Gambetta

Come Sunday

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? I use the long-term plan as a guide with each Microcyle having specific goals and objectives and if there is a competition that week or in the subsequent week I obviously factor that into the planning. When Sunday comes I usually go to church and then try to get a workout in, as I get older it is usually a swim or a longer bike ride or walk, in essentially time to think. Next weeks plan is beginning to take shape. I try to think in broad concepts rather than specific loads and sets and reps. Then I usually sit down with a blank paper and jot down exercises, points of emphasis, drills, anything that I want to include that week. Early in my coaching career I then went directly to constructing the workouts, I seldom deleted anything. After a few years I found that I was including too much in the workouts and I was cutting exercises and drills during the actual workout. That was not effective. So now I usually take a break come back to my notes and cut out everything but the absolute “need to do” exercises and drills. No fluff! Then I plan the workouts for that week. I will write each workout out but without details as to actually sets/reps, number of run, intensities. I wait and do that before each workout when I put in the detail. Sometimes is takes 30 minutes and other Sundays two hours, it depends on the time of the training years, the athlete and the long-term plan. For example this week is a transition week for my beach volleyball players. There will only be two workouts aside from their skill sessions. They have come off a block of power training and heavy skill work and will be going into a power endurance phase next week back to four sessions a week. It only took thirty minutes yesterday to plan the two sessions; it is a transition that we have used the past four years so all I had to do was refer to past years and factor in increased training age. I hope this gives you some insights that will help you in your planning. There is no formula; you must do what works for you.

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