The Commitment Continuum – Sports coaching Brain by Wayne Goldsmith

The Commitment Continuum. | Sports Coaching Brain

Thu, Apr 04, 02:19 AM

Original Article


Every day I get emails and calls from people asking me what I call “short-cut” questions.

“What’s the best supplement to take to enhance endurance?”

“What type of strength training equipment should my athletes be using?”

“What do you think of core stability training?”

“How many training sessions do you think is appropriate for a 15 year old swimmer?”.

Coaches, athletes, parents, sports-scientists, sports-administrators will ask me questions like these trying to find a quick fix, short-cut way of becoming successful in sport.

They think that somewhere out there, there’s a secret training set or a magic supplement or a miraculous strength training routine that will turn mediocrity into mastery.

And I tell them the same thing I am telling you now – it doesn’t really matter. None of this does.

You already know what it takes to be the best. You really do.

You just don’t want to face the simplicity and reality of it.


It’s all the same – and it’s really simple.

Doesn’t matter what sport, what country you live in, what your ethnic background is, what level of education you have or even how much or how little sporting talent you’ve got, the secret to success is the same.


The Commitment Continuum

I want you to imagine for a moment that Commitment is a continuum – a single line. At one end of the continuum is Low Commitment and at the other end is High commitment.

Where do you believe you fit on this line?

Are you someone who believes sport is about fun, enjoyment, health, fitness and friendship and are therefore at the lower end of the Commitment Continuum?

Or are you someone who is driven, passionate, determined, focused on winning, relentless in your search for performance, uncompromising in your pursuit of excellence and therefore you see yourself towards the high commitment end of the Commitment Continuum?

Being involved in sport at any level is great. It helps promote physical fitness, health, well-being and provides people of all ages with some wonderful opportunities to learn new skills, make friends and enjoy life however…..

If you want to be the best, then it’s about commitment and how much of it you’re prepared to give.

Unconditional Commitment is not negotiable if you want to win

So much in sport is negotiable, changeable, flexible, uncertain.

Free weights or machines in the gym? Probably doesn’t matter all that much. Depends on the person, the sport, their training background, their specific strength needs.

Using supplements or not using supplements? You can argue this until you turn blue in the face but even the smartest nutritionists are not entirely sure what some supplements actually do and even then some work with some athletes in some situations and not with others.

Altitude? Works for some athletes on some occassions and in some situations but not for everyone.

There’s so much in sport that is arguable, debateable and inconclusive.

But commitment……not negotiable: inarguable, not debateable and totally conclusive. If you consistently give more of yourself, your time, your energy and your resources to achieving your goal and the chances are you will be successful.

Commitment….but in words only.

So, I will often tell people, that it’s all about Commitment. That the secret to success is something that they already know.

And of course, their response will be “but I am committed and we still don’t get success”.

Really? You’re committed? Really?

I don’t think so.

The Coaching Commitment Quiz.

Think you’re committed to being successful as a coach?

How many “yes” answers can you give to the Coaching Commitment Quiz?

  1. Do you consistently coach to the full extent of your coaching potential?
  2. Are you 100% certain that your coaching makes a real difference to each of your athletes everyday?
  3. Do you give everything you have – energy, passion, enthusiasm, time, all your knowledge, skills and experience at every training session?
  4. Are your personal behaviours and professional standards siginificantly higher than those of every athlete you coach every day?
  5. Do you spend more time preparing for your coaching sessions than any other coach you are competing against?
  6. Do you honestly and sincerely self-review your own coaching performance in detail everyday?
  7. Do you relentlessly pursue every possible avenue to learn, self-improve and enhance every aspect of your own coaching performance?
  8. Do you actively seek honest, direct, objective feedback from others about your coaching to help you learn and improve?
  9. Do you strive to create an environment where every athlete can prepare and perform to the full extent of their potential?
  10. Do you ignore the political and personality squabbles around your coaching – focussing instead on ensuring every athlete in your program has the best possible opportunity to learn, grow and improve? And the most important question of all…..
  11. Are you significantly more committed to the success of your program and your athletes than anyone else ever could be?

Coaches…it begins and ends with you.

Coaches will complain and moan that their athletes are not engaged with the program, that their athletes are not dedicated to training and that their athletes lack the necessary commitment to be the best they can be.

You have to set the standard – you have to be the standard – you have to inspire the level of commitment you want to see in the athletes in your program.

Don’t blame the athletes, the internet, their over-zealous parents, the price of oil, the changes in society…..commitment is about you and your coaching and how you inspire commitment in everyone associated with your program.

Commitment is about responsibility: it’s about you and your athletes willingly seeking and accepting the responsibility for your own sporting destinies.


  1. Forget searching for the quick-fixes, the miracles, the instant solutions, the wonder diets, the super gym workouts, the short-cuts, the “secret training sets” – none of them really make the sort of difference you are looking for if you want to win. Winning is about you and your commitment to winning.
  2. Partial commitment leads to partial success. There is a clear, direct relationship between your level of commitment and the success you experience.
  3. Be honest with yourself. Have a look at your level of commitment and where you sit on the Commitment Continuum and challenge yourself to become even more committed to achieving your goals and realising your coaching potential.

Wayne Goldsmith

© 2013, Wayne Goldsmith. All rights reserved.

Sent from my iPad


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