Walking on Eggshells – Creating Fragile Athletes

0

What I am seeing today is an ever-widening gap between how the athletes prepare for the game in contrast to the actual game demands. This gap is creating fragile athletes more prone to injury than ever before. Due to artificial restraints placed on training load imposed by a negative medical model that emphasis what the athlete can’t do as opposed to what they must do to prepare. In the attempt to “protect” the athlete we have severely restricted training load instead of systematically overloading the athlete to prepare for actual game demands. I was taught many years ago that one of the purposes of training was to make the game easy, in essence to slow it down by imposing stress in practice that was beyond what was imposed in the game. In other words, don’t try to duplicate game demands, distort them!

We need to rethink our approach, because it is apparent the current approach of walking on eggshells in practice is not reducing injuries. We need to be informed by science, practice sound pedagogy and impose training loads that are realistic to develop robust, resilient athletes who thrive in competition. You will NEVER be able to perform above your level of training but that is what we are currently expecting out athletes to do week after week. There must be progressive overload that exceeds game demands in small doses. We can never forget you play the way you practice. Let’s recognize that being risk averse in unrealistic. To perform at the elite level demands playing on the edge.

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

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
RT @GreatestQuotes: Your aspirations are your possibilities. - Samuel Johnson - 3 years ago
Vern Gambetta

Latest posts by Vern Gambetta (see all)

Share.

Comments are closed.