Reflections on Being a Coach


I have been thinking a lot about coaching recently in preparation for some projects I am working and as part of the process of continual self-improvement. It has made me realize how fortunate I am to be a coach. Here are some of my reflections on what it means to be a coach:

Being a coach is special. It is an incredible opportunity to change people’s lives.

Being a coach implies responsibility. It is a responsibility to be at your very best and to realize that sometimes that is not good enough.

Coaching is a partnership with the athlete, it not something you do to the athlete it is some you do with them.

Certainly everyday you coach is an adventure; it is an adventure in exploring possibilities and potential. Treat it as such and enjoy the process.

Coaching is exploring and exploiting your strengths and recognizing your weaknesses.

Coaching is constantly honing your communication skills because communication is the key to effective coaching. Cultivate your listening skills. Remember you have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Technical knowledge is a given to be a good coach. It is important to stay current and constantly experiment and prototype. If you don’t the world will quickly pass you by.

Be yourself. Be consistent.

Have a plan, execute the plan and then evaluate it.

Know what you know and what you don’t know. Surround yourself with people who know what you don’t know.

Specialize in being a generalist. If you are specialist have a generalist’s attitude.

Network- you can’t do it alone.

Get past the score and competition result, everyone can’t win, but everyone can do their best.

Coach the way you would like to be coached. Show respect in order to get respect.

Be flexible without compromising your core beliefs in terms of behavior standards and beliefs about training.

Be humble and honest. You need help from others to be the best, acknowledge others and seek their help.

Recognize that natural ability is a gift and not a sign of superior achievement.

Learn to sense the intangibles- they are there so be aware.

Lead by example- Actions can speak louder than words.

Beware of recycling- hit the refresh button occasionally.

Practice Kaizen- Everyday get better at some aspect of what you do, seek continuous improvement.

Be Patient – Recognize that performance and achievement take time. It is a process with small steps that lead to big gains.

If is to be it up to you- the buck stops with you! You are the Capitan of the ship, you chart the course and steer the ship.

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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