When Coach Gable walked into the practice room, he always had a goal he wanted to accomplish. But the plan to accomplish that goal almost always changed over the course of practice. Gable always kept his finger on the pulse of the practice room and constantly made adjustments based on factors like injury, energy, attitude and the constant goal of maximizing and extending the most productive moments in practice.
Dan Gable: You figure out the process that you need, and you follow that process. That doesn’t mean you don’t change it. It’s like I go into practice, everyday I went to practice with a game plan, and everyday I change my game plan based on what took place in the first ten minutes of practice. I change it all the way through. But at least I knew what I wanted to get accomplished. And I knew, at least I spent time not just showing up and going. I made adjustment. But all of the sudden, here in the heat of the battle and two or three guys go down with an injury, and something might be going wrong. You may be running practice wrong, you gotta make some adjustments. And if you’re not willing to make those adjustments.
Or if your into practice, when I told the athletes that there’s six minutes to go, and they’re winding down, and they’re scoring more now than they ever have because they want to leave with a bunch of scores, I don’t want to stop. They’re doing what I wanted them to do all practice, and they’re only doing it right now in the last six minutes. In that last six minutes, I’m not stopping in six minutes. But I’m not going to stop at zero, I’m going to keep saying there’s four minutes, I’m going to keep saying there’s two minutes. And then I keep them scoring, because they want to stop, and they’re not going to let up.
But they’re getting more accomplished in that last, somebody said it would go forty-five minutes those six minutes, no I wouldn’t go forty-five minutes. Maybe once. I would go twelve minutes, it’d go eighteen minutes, it might sometimes go six minutes. I’m not going to take away the most productive part of practice, and my most entertaining part of practice, because I’m seeing things that I want to see. And I love it. And I know it’s valuable.