Potential into Performance


Early in my coaching career a wise old coach told me that many are called and few are chosen. We were talking about potential. In my 41 years of coaching I have seen so athletes with potential that has been unfulfilled. They were labeled early as the next great ones. What happens? How can we get that the athlete to realize their potential? In so many cases potential, especially to be identified as a prodigy early can be a curse. But isn’t it our jobs as coaches to help athletes understand and reach their potential. We can do this by focusing on the process rather than the outcome. We are better off praising efforts rather than results, which is right out the Carol Dweck Mindset playbook. I know over the years I struggle with athletes who have been identified early as the next great one. I guess I identify more with the average athlete who has to fight and claw their way for everything they get. Potential seems to dull the persistence. I saw this the last couple of years with the team I am working with now. The player with the most potential did not achieve at the same level as her less talented teammates; in fact they began to pass her. I am not sure what the answer is here. I do know that it is a major part of my job as a coach to help translate potential into performance.

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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