The other day I was able to step out of the gym and take a look as the Level 9s and 10s trained. It reminded of how important it is to learn how to train. It also reminded what a big step this is in the development of the athlete. The group ranged from first year Level 9s to some 10s who have competed at Nationals a number of times. The contrast in the workout was amazing to watch. Everyone did the workout.
For the young athletes you could tell that just showing up and “doing” the workout was good enough for them. The feeling is that if you “do” enough workouts like the older gymnasts do, in other words punch the clock, then I will get better and be like them. Certainly true to a certain extent, but we know as coaches this will only get you so far.
Then you have the athletes who train the workout. They understand the goal of the workout and execute what is required. No real preparation beforehand or analysis afterword but they know how to execute the workout. They get more out of it in terms preparation to compete.
Then you have the big dogs, they get it. Their goal is to “win the workout.” They know how to train. They understand how the workout relates to later peak performance. They push themselves to be very uncomfortable, just like they have to push themselves in competition. This is where they all eventually need to be to achieve the possibility of success at a high level. Certainly not everyone can make it to this level, but that is where he or she should strive to be. To do that you have to learn how to train, it is a process that does not happen overnight.
You are building the gymnasts of YOUR future.
Make a list of the traits you want in your ideal gymnast.
- Hard worker?
- Good teammate?
What are you doing to foster that? Are you letting your older gymnasts get away with stuff you would not let your younger gymnasts get away with? Where do you think they will learn their behavior?
By necessity the future is where coaches live. Sure we have to be in the moment just like our athletes but virtually everything we do in training is preparing for events in the near or distant future.Planning is a huge part of this future orientation. Planning is a way to bring the future into the present and be able to do something about it. It seems that the longer you coach, the more experiences you have the more proficient you get at producing future performances.
You do this by coaching day to day like it was your last day coaching. You do it by being in the moment and keeping the athlete in the moment. You do it through constant evaluation of day-to-day training and competition results to constantly adjust and reorient to the ultimate goal in the future. Good coaches are constantly self-correcting and reorienting toward their ultimate competition goal. None of us have a crystal ball, but we do have the ability to control what we do today.
The way to most effectively build the path to future performance excellence is by taking care of each training session as they occur. Thoroughly plan the workout, listen to the athlete, adjust as needed and you will be doing everything in your power to control future performance. The future is now.
Practice the 6 “P”s
Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance