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Just returned from the ASCA Conference in San Diego, it was great experience. I really enjoyed seeing old friends and just talking coaching for three days. The following is the outline of myCoaching Excellence talk that I gave. It was a huge honor for me topresent this since it was the Doc Counsilman memorial lecture. DocCounsilman was a great swim coach at Indiana and an icon in coaching in general. His work certainly had a huge influence on my career.

Coaching Excellence


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The Story

“Training the best to be better”

Following the functional path

Think Big Picture

Sustained Excellence

“You do not merely want to be the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.”Jerry Garcia

“A Champion is something you have been and can become – it is never something you are” Bjorn Daehlie

Why is the Dinosaur Extinct?

They were completely adapted!

Why did the cockroach survive?

They are adaptable

Are you adaptable or adapted?

Lessons from “Good to Great”

#1 – First who – then what

#2 – Confront the brutal facts and never lose faith`

#3 – A culture of discipline

#4 – Use technology as an accelerator not a centerpiece

#5 – Good to great does not happen overnight, it is a process


Time Zones

Past >>> Present >>> Future


Be here now! In the moment

Bill Jensen “The Simplicity Survival Handbook”

Say no more often

Question more often

Call Time Out and Whoa more often

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it” Alan Kay


Change is a Constant

Instituting Change

Outside the tent pissing in or inside the tent pissing out


“Walking the Stairway” – Success comes one step at a time

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens.” Aldus Huxley

Personal Productivity
Achievement Zones

Comfort >> Performance >> High Performance >> Peak

Mindset – Fixed or Growth

Acceptable is not good enough, it must be exceptional

ICE – Intensity Concentration Effort

“Win the workout”

Often what you do not do is as important as what you actually do!

Seek knowledge rather than information

Specialize in being a generalist

Get a mentor not a guru


Are you training them or are you coaching them?

In organizational life, you can have influence over others or you can havefreedom from others, but you can’t have both at the same time. BobSutton

Start with what you know; then remove the unknowns

Sometimes the best management is no management at all — first do no harm! Bob Sutton

95 percent of any creative profession is shit work
If everything is equally important, then nothing is very important
Don’t over-think a problem
The rest of the world counts

Failure & Risk

“Fail Forward” – Tom Peters

Keep changing – whether you win or lose

Know your weaknesses – and do something about them

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take” Wayne Gretsky

Believe in yourself – If it is to be, it is up to me!

Call to Action

Be a leader not a follower

Achieve mastery

Beware of Sheep Walking

Free the Lunatic Within!

Take Care of the 98%

Remember it is not about you or me, it is about the ATHLETE

“There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.” Kurt Hahn

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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
RT @GreatestQuotes: Your aspirations are your possibilities. - Samuel Johnson - 4 years ago
Vern Gambetta

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