The Secret

How many of these have you seen: Buy it now, internet special only $119.95 - Learn the secrets of the Super bowl Champions or how about Shoot like Lebron James in Six Sessions or your money back. I admit as a young coach I was looking for secrets. I was always trying to find out what the world record holders were doing or what the East Germans were doing, but the harder and longer I searched for the secrets the more I began to realize there were none. WORK and talent is the same no matter what the language. That is the secret and you do not have to pay for it – WORK – specific, individual, planned and directed work that helps each athlete to tap into their talent. No short cuts, no magic potions or exercises. If you study what champions do regardless of sport discipline, regardless of the era, you will see one common ingredient – WORK! The great teams and champions that I have been around in my career have had consistent training habits and a routine that works for that them. They are not “monkey grabbing” searching all over for new methods and changing their programs every week, that is for losers. They show up every day and attend to the task at hand, they pay their dues. Athletic excellence takes time, even the great ones have to do the work. They focus on goal achievement not goal setting.

It is the same with coaching, there are no secret formulas. The good ones have a plan, execute the plan and evaluate the results and adjust accordingly. For some reason of lately I have had many younger coaches say to me they want to get where I am. Great – do the work! It takes twenty years to be an overnight success. Pay you dues. Get up every day and do your professional development reading of articles and books. Get off the internet you won’t find the quality scientific information you need there. Get out and learn to do the skills you are coaching and teaching. I am continually amazed at coaches who cannot demonstrate even the most rudimentary skills; there is no excuse for that. When I was working on a new baseball start that I was teaching to the players, I practiced the progression for hours so I could properly demonstrate it. You learn to coach by coaching and observing coaches’ coach. Coach kids – they are real, you can’t BS them and they will test you. There are no shortcuts or secrets. Show up every day in mind and body, put the cell phone and the PDA away and focus on the task at hand, making the athletes better. Be consistent, be thorough. Recognize your limitations and weaknesses. Turn the weaknesses into strength. Listen more than you talk. Find a mentor not a guru. Know the history and tradition of your sport. Go to clinics and seminars and be a discerning listener. Growing as a coach is a journey, take time to enjoy the ride, and oh by the way try to have a life!


At 10/25/07, 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet again great thought provoking post. Can you elaborate on your take of goal achievement versus goal setting?

Also, it's quite tough to 'have a life' and 'pay your dues' while having a family and just getting started in this industry!

thanks again!

At 10/25/07, 11:31 PM, Blogger Dr Craig S. Duncan said...

Hi Vern I met you last year at NSWIS and am a regular reader of your blog. I am presently reading your Athletic Development book and am enjoying it very much. I particularly like what you have written about periodisation and agree with what you have written. I have felt for along time that Strength and Conditioning is not a valid name for what we do and in many instances the Strength aspect overides what many S&C people are doing. We spoke a little about this at NSWIS I would like to start a society of Athletic Development and am wondering if you think this could have a positive impact on our industry




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