Guest Post: 5 Takeaway messages from GAIN VIII via @NH_Coaching_

This is a guest post from my good friend Nick Hill from Nick Hill Coaching. We trained together as Secondary School PE Teachers and Nick has followed his passion, rugby and TGfU, to Chile. He recently attended The GAIN conference (The Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network), at Rice University in Houston. GAIN was founded by Vern Gambetta, who regularly  blogs at Functional Path Training. The mission statement for GAIN is to provide a platform for education, innovation and motivation in athletic development with a focus on the possibilities for enhancing human movement. This years conference focused on applying practice based evidence to make the athlete better.

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Here are Nick’s 5 Takeaway Messages from GAIN VIII 2015

1. People

The PEOPLE made the experience!

“Teaching/Coaching is about the Human Element” (Vern Gambetta)

The willingness of people to share their knowledge, their experiences with everyone, with their roommate, with a fellow GAINer no matter their role (coach, teacher, trainer, doctor); their experience (1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 40 years); their level (Prep School, High School, College, University, Professional, Elite), the occasion (during presentations, practicals, ’Q&A’, informal chats); anytime (during breakfast, lunch or dinner).

Sharing and discussing information and experiences with fellow practitioners helps you develop, improve, get better at what you do by helping you to think, to question, to reflect on your current practices either reinforcing that you are on right path or that you may need to take a little detour to get you back on that path…

2. Basics

Every aspect of the experience came back to the BASICS.

The Fundamental movements… The Foundations of teaching and coaching…


3. LearningMethods

There are many ways that we can learn…

GAIN utilises a variety of teaching methods from practical workouts, presentations, practical demonstrations and question and answer sessions.

4. Athlete-Centred

The GAIN experience is all about making sure that the experience of your athletes/players/ students is the best that it can be…

That their Athletic Development journey/pathway is individualised at every stage of the process to meet their current needs, their trainability (i.e. are they ready to train/play), the demands of the sport(s) that they play, and the position(s) that they play in…

5. Development

The very nature of why you attend GAIN…

To become the best that you can be, to get better, to learn, to improve for the benefit of your athletes/players/students that you teach/coach/mentor.

No matter how much experience you have, or how many years you have been teaching and/or coaching, you can always take every opportunity as a learning experience to get better.

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Vern Gambetta (GAIN Founder) “Coaching the BEST to be BETTER…”

The opening session of GAIN was delivered by Greg Thompson, an elementary PE Teacher from the US, who focuses on laying the foundations of quality movement through Physical Education. An overview of what foundations he believes to be important can be found here.

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