In the past years I have written my reflections a day or two after GAIN ends. For various reason I have waited for almost two weeks. GAIN IX was the by far the best ever. I looked back on my reflections from past GAINs and I always say that the most recent was the best ever. No I am not given to hyperbole. This GAIN was the best; it was a giant leap forward in all respects. The content was great as expected, but it was more than that, everything clicked I think we really struck at the essence of GAIN which is the interaction, the sharing and the learning.
If you are interested, you can watch my opening GAIN talk here:
GAIN is not a conference nor was it ever intended to be a conference. The presentations are meant to facilitate, provoke and stimulate thought, even to get people thinking differently. What makes GAIN special is the people from diverse backgrounds, sporting cultures and areas of expertise.
Here are some of the things that made GAIN 2016 special for me:
- Steve Magness sharing his “mistakes” from this past year and lessons learned.
- Jim Radcliffe and Bill Knowles sitting in the front row of every session, taking notes and asking questions.
- It was the morning “wake-up” sessions at the track that woke up the brain and the body with the high quality teaching and information presented in an environment where you could feel it and experience it.
- The meals where you had a basketball coach from Bulgaria talking to a cricket conditioning coach from Trinidad, where you had NFL and NBA coaches sitting with high school coaches.
- It was Dean Benton and Grant Duthie showing they use Tactical Periodization and GPS data for prescription not restriction of training.
- Wade Gilbert underscoring the importance of culture and of reflective coaching.
- Bill Knowles sharing his work with the Philadelphia Union Academy and his athletic development model of reconditioning and return to play.
- Randy Ballard sharing his solutions for transitioning the “broken and bent” incoming athletes into effective Division One athletes.
- Ken Clark showing how he is turning his research on speed into practice.
- It was Brain McCormick talking about the realities of LAD and making Dynamic System theory as it applies to skill acquisition understandable.
I could go on forever. I leave GAIN every year very tired and overwhelmed by the quality and volume of information. Now that I have had two weeks to decompress, review and recuperate I can’t wait for GAIN 2017, which will be our tenth GAIN. The challenge is to make it better. To make it better demands better people. If you are interested in becoming part of the GAIN experience applications will open in January of 2017. Slots for new attendees will be limited and each year it gets more selective.
We are staring GAIN events throughout the year. The first event will be GAIN swimming September 15 to 18 in Carmel, Indiana. Check the website in a couple of weeks for more details.