Vern Sitting

GAIN 2014 – Wrap-up/Summary #1

It has not quite been a week since we ended GAIN VII. Usually I write a wrap-up the day after but this year it took me longer because it was such an overwhelming experience I needed more time to assimilate what I saw & learned. We raised the bar again! The whole GAIN experience just underscores the nature of a network – When excellent people who are passionate and knowledgeable gather magic happens. The sharing across disciplines and areas of expertise was better than ever this year. We started the day with the morning madness teaching sessions at 6:30 am, the quality of teaching was amazing to watch. To see Greg Thompson, PE teacher extraordinaire teach a “gym class” to adults was exciting and uplifting (What lucky kids to have a teacher like Greg). Steve Myrland’s Stick and Strap routines will be a game changer, simple movements that challenge the body to solve increasingly complex movement problems. Tracy Fober teaching how to squat and the shoulder routines she has put together should be mandatory in any coach’s education. Gary Winckler did sessions on acceleration progression and reflex strength training. To see Jim Radcliffe teach the Plyometric progression barefoot on the grass was to watch a master in action. Master coach Clay Erro kicked off each morning session. He delivered a message to keep everyone on task and set the tempo for the day. That was just the first 90 minutes!

Then came breakfast (Meals are where the real learning & sharing occur) followed by the morning classroom sessions. Where do I start – Finn Gunderson, one of the founders of Burke Mountain Academy & former headmaster did a presentation on Burke Academy and beyond addressing LTAD, Finn also presented short sessions each evening on leadership, team building and coaching the parents. What a teacher, he has 45 years of experience and it shows. His willingness to share successes and failures was refreshing. Steve Magness did two presentations on aspects of endurance training. Each day of classroom sessions ended in the gym with practical sessions and demonstrations. Gary Winckler did his on reflex strength training; Bill Knowles on key movements in rehab progression and Nick Garcia actually did a training session illustrating the Bondarchuk concepts. There is so much more.

GAIN is defined by what it is NOT – It is not a clinic, it is not a boot camp and it is not a one off workshop. GAIN is a journey of learning and understanding that begins with the one week academy experience and continues through the website for the persons career. Each year it gets better because the faculty experts and the attendees, experts in their own right, are all very willing to share and professionally challenge each other to get better. Over the next few weeks I will write more on the lessons learned. If you are interested in joining the GAIN network please feel to contact me for more information.

Below are a few pictures showing the morning practical teaching sessions.

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