One of my favorite conferences to attend and present at every year is Vern Gambetta’s GAIN symposium.
The reason I love it so much is simple. It challenges you. You don’t just go to GAIN to nod along and get a pat on the back to reaffirm what you are doing. Instead, you go there to learn, be challenged, and to think outside of your established norms.
The main reason this occurs is because of the man behind the conference, Vern Gambetta. In knowing Vern throughout the years, the biggest thing I’ve picked up is to seek out people who are “smarter” than you in their field and learn from them. Anytime Vern comes to Houston, I can expect a call and a meet up at the local starbucks for a conversation about the latest trends and developments in training and track. He doesn’t just do this with me, he does this wherever he goes, with whatever so called “expert” is in that town.
Because of Vern’s immense curiosity, the GAIN conference is an extension of this idea. You have extremely passionate people from all over the world and from a variety of backgrounds. Whether it’s a football strength and conditioning coach, a rehab expert in Soccer, US ski team coaches, Premier league soccer conditioning coaches, or even an inspiring elementary school PE teacher, everyone there is there for one reason, to learn.
And because it’s not a conference that brings people together who are ingrained in the dogma of your own spot, it forces you to look at what you do from a completely different perspective. It’s the questions you get, whether it was Oregon and OTC strength coach Jimmy Radcliffe or continual bug in my ear English conditioning coach James Marshall, that make the difference. The conversations, questions, and evaluation make you reevaluate what you do and see it in a completely different light.
Above all, the lesson I take away every year is surround yourself with passionate, inquisitive people. It doesn’t matter what aspect of life, if you seek out people passionate about what they are doing, you will learn and grow.
I was fortunate enough to give two presentations there. Below you will find one of my presentations entitled, The Process of Endurance Training.
As I’ve grown as a coach, I’ve realized that it’s the process that counts. As I tried to outline in my book, I’m not here to tell you how to paint by numbers and create a training plan. Instead, my goal as a coach and educator is to teach you the process behind developing a plan.
So in this presentation, I go through how to create a model for development and apply that to your sport and your athletes.
One of my other mentors, Tom Tellez, liked telling me when I was a 20yr old coaching newbie, that the goal as a coach was to learn as much as you can. It will be confusing at first and it won’t always make sense. But as you devour more information, you begin to create a model of how the body works in your head. Once you develop the model, the training becomes automatic and you can sift through new information with ease and plan and develop athletes much more efficiently.
So it’s with these thoughts in mind, that I hope to share with you how I have developed my ever evolving model of endurance training.