The Measure of a Coach – A Javelin Gold Medal


A good coach can produce results anywhere, no need for fancy facilities and huge amounts of funding. A good coach has his athletes ready to perform at the appointed time whether it is the county championship, nationals, World junior championship or the Olympic final. All you can ask is to guide the people you work to be the best they can be. Help them reach their potential, nothing more. Saturday a young man (19 years old), Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad and Tobago won the Gold medal in the Javelin. It was a first for his nation and somewhat unexpected unless you are real follower of the throws. Trinidad does not have a rich and long tradition in the throws, but if you follow it closely recently they have had throwers rank internationally in the juniors in the shot and discus. The reason is simple – coaching. Ismael Lopez Mastrapa is a Cuban coach who now lives and works in Trinidad. He is Keshorns coach. When I found out that throwers were being developed in Trinidad I asked the people from the sports ministry why and they said because Ismael has developed them. So last July when I was in Trinidad (I consult with the Sports Ministry and Sport Company) I asked to meet with Ismael to learn about his methods and ideas. We spend an hour discussing his philosophy and methods, nothing fancy, good basic principle based fundamentals. He was trained as a coach in the Cuban sports system. What stood out was his talent identification and selection. He knew exactly what he was he was looking for in a potential thrower. He spoke about body type and proportions. He wanted hungry throwers who wanted to work and get better. In his talent search he narrowed his focus to the Toco region of Trinidad, a rural area of farming and fishing villages where the kids grow up working and playing in a natural environment. He knows what he is looking for, he knows how to develop them and he knows how to get them to produce. Keshorn Walcott comes from the Toco region of Trinidad and he is coached by Ismael Lopez Mastrapa. A good coach can get did it done anywhere if you have a system and a plan to implement the system. Coaching does matter!

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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