Win the Workout

I first heard this concept presented by Wayne Goldsmith at the American Swim Coaches Convention a few years ago. I immediately found it an intriguing concept and one that has virtually become a mantra for athlete’s that I work with. Another way to rephrase it is that it is not so much what you do it is how you do it. The ICE – Intensity, Concentration and Effort acronym grew out of the concept of winning the workout. ICE gets you in position to win the workout. The essence of it though is that before you can even think about winning a game, a match or a race you must “Win the Workout.” This is highly individual. I encourage the athlete’s I work with after each workout to ask themselves a simple question – Did I win the workout? A simple yes or no answer will suffice. This is their responsibility and key to their own personal management. The more workouts you win the better position you put yourself in to win the competition. In pro sports too often I heard the losers lament that I will turn it on when the lights come on. You can’t and won’t, you perform the way you train.

It is a step by step process with each training session seamlessly flowing into competition. Here are steps to help with winning the workout:

Be clear on what you want to achieve in the workout

Decide on the best methods to help you achieve your goals in the workout

Be sure to measure what you want to achieve

Make sure the workout is in context with the whole plan

Perform the workout with ICE

Evaluate the workout objectively

Remember it is a process, a means to an end. Winning the workout is an excellent way to keep your eye on the prize while achieving short term incremental progress toward a long term goal. Go for it!


At 3/8/07, 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne Goldsmith's work is excellent and it is great to see you reference it here.

Although not sure how athletes will take to the acronym of ICE as the last thing an athlete wants to do is get cold!

Keep it up Vern!

At 3/9/07, 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous cold meaning not playing well? or cold as in jumping in a cold bath after a workout? is there any benefit to cold baths after a game/workout?


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