One of my pet peeves is the notion of the "gamer" - the player who turns it up a notch in the game but is perhaps not the best practice player. Let's look at this notion logically -
1. we all agree that proper practice increases the excellence in performance of the player and team. (anyone note agreeing with this notion is basically saying we all are wasting our time and belittling the title of coach.)
2. the job of the coach is to secure the optimum performance of the individual player and team regardless of the ceiling the individual's ability may have.
3. with this information, the "gamer" no matter how well he plays in the game will never be as good as he could be, had he practiced properly. Simply stated his performance will never be as good as it could be.
4. if a coach relies and believes in the "gamer," he is essentially saying he has very little control over the performance of his team and the result of that performance is akin to rolling the dice or leaving it up to the "football gods." (aka matural ability)
The greatest example of this is Marcus Dupree (yep, I'm showing my age here!) He excelled in high school despite only showing up for games. He excelled at Oklahoma despite being allowed to slough off. When he finally got to play in the pros he failed because despite his great natural ability. It had not grown close to his potential. I am sure with a different work ethic - rather then saying "who?" people that read this post would be reminiscing about a great pro career he had.
So myth #1 is the idea of a "gamer"
There simply is no animal!
In my career I've associated this phrase from a coach with the interpetation of "I just can't get him to practice hard."