Olympic Year Syndrome – Five Ring Fever


It is always interesting to watch coaches and athletes in an Olympic year. To see what they do and what they don’t do. I first became aware of this in 1968 and have seen it in each subsequent Olympic year. Training in the Olympic year should be the culmination of the quadrennial cycle. It should be a logical extension of what you have done the previous three years, in fact what you have done throughout your career to get to that point. There is no need for radical changes in changes in training or to change coaches. Training accumulates from year to year, so the fourth year in a quadrennial cycle is when you reap what you have sown. No need to experiment or make radical changes like changing coaches or completely altering your diet. There is an old cowboy saying: “Dance the last dance who brought you to the dance.”

Training is a process of continual adaptation. The Olympic year is a logical extension of the process of adaptation of the previous years of training. It should be a time of fine-tuning, sharpening and refinement all pointed toward excellence in competition. Never lose sight of the fact that training is a means to an end, not an end to itself. It is difficult to resist the temptation to do more, when in fact it is probably beneficial to do less. To be an Olympian in any sport represents the pinnacle of athletic excellence. Many are called and few chose to achieve because of poor choices during the Olympic year. It has been interesting to see whom has succumbed to five ring fever this and who in the short time between now and the Olympic games.

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.
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Vern Gambetta

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