Getting There – Being The Best


The process of getting to be the best is not a straightforward linear path, it is a process and it takes time. In my forty-four years of coaching I have seen that many are called to walk the path but few actually choose. Yes you read that correctly. Many are called but few choose. The opportunity is there for many but few will make the choice because it is a difficult path that requires moving out of their Comfort Zone.

At each step of development there are clear-cut choices that must be made. Some of the choices are conscious, like doing something different in training and others are subtle almost unconscious like pushing through a pain barrier or finishing a workout that seems too hard. You must be guided by clear SMART goals that help to guide you to your destination. SMART goals are goals that are:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Time

The goal is where you want to go, where you want to end up, it is the beacon of light that guides you. Most athletes start in the Comfort Zone and stay there. They are good at their sport and satisfied with where they are. They make easy choices; they never go the extra mile. They do only what is expected, never more. Athletes in this zone take no risks; there are no champions here. If you aspire to be a peak performer then you will quickly have to move out of your comfort zone to the Performance Zone or you will never achieve your goals.

Athletes in the Performance Zone have a greater commitment. They take some risks and they will go the extra mile when necessary. They occasionally are uncomfortable. They usually win as much as they lose.

From the Performance Zone the next step is the High Performance Zone. As the athlete chooses to do what is necessary to move up from one zone to the next there will be less people in of the higher zones. The athletes in this zone are willing to risk and get very uncomfortable. In fact they are uncomfortable more than they are comfortable and they win more than they lose. They will always go the extra mile.

The pinnacle, the Peak Performance Zone is where the champions live, train and play. This is a special place. It is as far from the comfort zone as you could imagine. Athletes here are the best of the best and they are comfortable with being uncomfortable because they know what it takes to be the best. In fact they are uncomfortable all the time and they make others uncomfortable with their intensity and drive. The path is clear you must do the work daily with ICE – Intensity, Concentration and Effort. You must win the workouts if you expect to win the competition.

Make the choice to be the best. Set your goals and start acting on those goals now. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable all the time.

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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