In our longest episode yet and our first with a guest, Jon and I have an hour long conversation with renowned coach Vern Gambetta. Vern has a unique background as his coaching career spanned from coaching High School all the way to coaching some of the world’s best athletes. Similarly, his background is in Track and Field but he ventured out to coaching for MLB teams, Soccer, Swimming, and just about every sport imaginable.
In this in depth conversation, we stay away from the stereotypical topics of training regime’s and start with the question of “What makes a great coach?.” Keeping the conversation casual and flowing, we traverse through coaching as craftsmanship, why being naive can be beneficial, and how teaching athletes how to compete is an understated component to coaching. From there, we discuss the art of learning how to be uncomfortable, why creating a culture is the most important thing a coach can, and how to transition from the college to professional ranks. We end this section with a discussion on why having an overarching purpose might be the missing ingredient for success.
Forty minutes into it, we finally get to some training and discuss the merits of a Polarized training model, why the 800m, 1500m, and middle distances are some of the most difficult yet interesting to coach. To end with, we discuss the best books for any track and field coach to have.
If you coach anything, or are interested in performance development at any level, you must listen to this podcast. It’s one of the favorite ones we’ve done because it’s just three track coaches talking coaching.
I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did! And if so, spread the word so that we can have more great guests and cool talks to share with you all!
Steve and Jon
Resources mentioned in this episode:
AntiFragile by Nassim Taleb