Why the Twenty Four Hour Athlete

I will hold to my belief that the concept of the 24 Hour Athlete is a valid concept that we should not comprise on. Conceptually and in reality we need to get our athletes to lead lives that are conducive to athletic excellence. You can’t be excellent two hours during training, or just twelve hours during the day and do things that are counterproductive to excellence the rest of the time. We must raise the bar, not lower it. I agree that the young athlete of today has more going on in their life – so what! They need to be taught to focus and commit. They expect the same rewards, don’t they? We as coaches must set the example and get athletes to commit to an approach to excellence that involves all hours of the day. I know I am getting old and these ideas seem old fashioned, but I know they work; I have lived it as an athlete and a coach. When I first started coaching I was training for the decathlon, coaching track at two schools, also coached basketball that year, taught a full teaching load, was married and had a bit of life. We must teach the young coaches and athletes that it takes total commitment; excellence is not a passing fancy. You must strive to win each workout, before you can ever bear the fruits of victory. If we give into this generation then it will only get worse going forward. Is it work, you bet it is. Does it take energy, it sure does, but we must do it!


At 6/14/07, 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Point Coach. We live in a "right now environment". Everything is "need it by Friday", including athletic development. vigilance. One session, one micro or macrocycle is not make or break. What need to be taught is that Athletic Development is a long term investment with ups and downs but eventually leading to success with hard work, patience and vigilance.

Colin Cooley

At 6/14/07, 12:06 PM, Anonymous tlanger said...

Your site will now be officially banned by the Strip Club Association of America...

Todd Langer

At 6/14/07, 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no doubt about it that it takes energy and hard work to achieve excellence. Yes the young athletes today do need to be taught focus and commitment, but I think priorities are just as important.

One thing must be kept in mind, athletes are not human performance machines. They are real people with real problems such as marital, relationship, boyfriend/girlfriend, schools etc.


At 6/14/07, 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kinda agree with TC, but it depends on the level of play. Youth and high school atheltes, this mindset is too rampant in the coaches, forcing the kids to play only football or baseball year around. They have so much more to enjoy than sport, training, sport, trianing, and on and on.

AS the level of play rises, then so does/should the focus of the athelte.

At 6/14/07, 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with TC and the last anonymous. I believe too that Mr. Gambetta has stated that the majority of the athletes will not go on to play professional sports. However I do agree that as the level increases, if that individual wants to continue to increasae their level of play, then yes the commitment has to proportionately increase as well. At the same time the focus goes from broad playing FUNdamental skills with younger kids and narrows with specific skills as they age, as it is with the level of commitment as well.

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 6/14/07, 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we have to be careful when we use the word "fun." Too often, I find that fun means getting to do everything that you want, when you want, and being successful at it all. For many athletes, it no longer means the feeling that you have after you have sacrificed and worked really hard to accomplish something or being part of something bigger than yourself. I am scared for our future. Athletics can provide a great platform for learning very important life skills that help you be a better spouse, parent, boss, employee, and citizen. I fear we have lost any sense of what it means to make a commitment in this world gone ADD.
I applaud Vern for sounding out his message. His voice makes we coaches of people not players feel a little less lonely.
- Jill Gerber

At 6/14/07, 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6/15/07, 6:02 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Hi Vern

Completely agree with the post and with Jill's comment.

Enjoyment and fun in sport can come from the elation that follows any months of sacrifice and commitment, leading to a successful performance.

Havent yet seen an Olympic gold medallist that is not having fun and enjoying life on the top step of the podium.

Jamie Croly


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