Mental Toughness, Boot Camps, Navy Seal Training and Other Nonsense


I have said many times in this blog that mental toughness is in many ways is a myth. In my experience as a coach and athlete the athletes who produce in the competition are the ones who are there everyday physically and mentally in training doing what they are supposed to do with concentration, intensity and effort. They are focused and make each drill and each rep count. So called boot camp workouts made up of mindless repetitions of drills designed to make the athlete tired do exactly that, they make the athlete tired. But training without a purpose will not make an athlete better or mentally tough. What you find that the athletes do in those workouts is that they tune out; they do what they have to do to get through the workout. That is not what you want them to do in competition, you want them to do more than get through it, you want them to excel. As far as Navy Seal training I have the utmost respect for the Navy Seals and their mission, but their mission is to fight and kill if necessary. Sport is not a life or death proposition. What they do has little or no transfer to athletic competition so to imitate or adopt their training is fallacious. I understand that training at times must be hard and sometimes harder than what the athlete will face in competition, but everything has a place and a purpose in a well-designed training program. I want training to be a mindful experience that grows adaptable athletes who are ready to thrive in the competitive arena. Getting tired is easy training is difficult.

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

Latest posts by Vern Gambetta (see all)