Training The Elite

A special operations soldier carrying out a complex mission in enemy territory and a skilled athlete competing in the Olympics have more in common than you might think.

For both individuals, successand sometimes even life or deathdepends on operating at the highest levels not only physically but cognitively and emotionally. If you’ve ever wondered what’s involved in the training and equipping of such individuals, you won’t want to miss Joe Gomes at the Ocala-based IHMC Evening Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 5.

Currently the high performance director at the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola, Gomes has dedicated his entire career to working with elite individuals in both sport and the military.

Born in England, Gomes dual majored in sports science and sports medicine at St. Mary’s University College in London, where he also played rugby. Now a U.S. citizen, he’s been in America almost 15 years.

“I’ve always been interested in sports and human physiology, and I fell in love with the passion for sport in the United States,” says Gomes.

From 2010 to 2015, he worked for the United States Department of Defense at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. As performance director for the Army’s Special Operations Command, he helped elite soldiers with systems to reduce injury, improve performance and have sustained career durability.

As he explains, it’s all about “taking what’s been learned in research and helping individuals incorporate the best practices in an operational setting to improve performance and resilience.”

After five years in that position, he accepted a job offer from Jack Del Rio, then coach of the Oakland Raiders, to lead the team’s conditioning program. Three years later, he came to IHMC at the request of the institute’s director, Ken Ford. Gomes’ work at IHMC involves working with some of the top scientists in the country on projects for the Department of Defense.

“I’ve always looked at how I can help the individual make the best decisions to do their job and extend their careers, whether they’re a soldier or a football player,” notes Gomes, who excels at taking research, testing and evaluation and then integrating it operationally.

As he lectures on “Lessons Learned from Training the Elite,” Gomes will share real stories, working examples and strategies from his many years of experience. Audience members can also expect some tangible insights into how they can incorporate tips on improving sleep, nutrition and recovery after exercise.

Learn More › IHMC Evening Lecture Series Joe GomesTuesday, March 5, 6-7pm (doors open at 5:30) › › (352) 387-3050

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