Strength Performance Network

Vern Gambetta's Blog (1,049)

Neural Confusion

Neural confusion is a term, a metaphor if you will, that I use to explain what happens when you use exercises that attempt to isolate one muscle at one joint either to enhance performance or to prevent injury. Let recognize that the brain does not recognize individual muscles rather it recognizes and organizes patterns of movement to take advantage of muscle synergies. Attempting to isolate an individual muscle…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on September 21, 2017 at 9:32am — No Comments

The Glue

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What is the glue that binds everything together in your program? Everyone does the same exercises, practices and trains in similar manners. What is your difference maker – the glue? You may not be able to see it, but successful programs have it. It is what gives depth and…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on September 19, 2017 at 7:28am — No Comments

The Little Engine That Could - I Think I can & I Will

Maybe this is subliminal programming from my childhood, but I grew up thinking I could. One of my favorite books as a child was the Little Engine That Could. When I had children, I read it to them at least once a week. There is a clear message – Embrace the challenge. Look at possibilities. What can you do? How can you do it? Take one step at a time, move forward, never look…
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Added by Vern Gambetta on September 18, 2017 at 8:23am — No Comments

Green Eggs and Ham

Green eggs and ham uses 50 different words and only one of those words has more than one syllable!…
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Added by Vern Gambetta on August 22, 2017 at 7:52am — No Comments

Stop and Think

Before the day starts today take a minute and reflect. Why are you doing what you are doing when you are doing it and with whom are doing it? If you can’t sensibly and logically answer these questions in the context of the whole development process of the athlete then maybe you should not be doing it.

Added by Vern Gambetta on August 21, 2017 at 6:15am — No Comments

Coaching Pitfalls – Taper and Pre-season

Over the years, I have seen that there are two periods of the year where good coaching can go awry: The pre-season training period and the taper. Both are essential but both are fraught with perils and pitfalls characterized by the same root cause – the willingness/desire/need/obsession to do more than is necessary. Ultimately do to insecurity and…
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Added by Vern Gambetta on August 18, 2017 at 7:32am — No Comments

Old Coach - Young Coach

As a young coach, I was sure I knew everything and I was dumb enough to tell everyone who would listen and some who would not. I thought a lot of the old coaches were out of it, behind the times. They did not subscribe to the latest fads and speak in fancy jargon, they just consistently produced results. My biggest regret is taking too long to figure this out. Those old coaches knew what they did know and they did it very well they seldom if ever strayed from the basics. When they did…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on August 1, 2017 at 7:26am — No Comments

Some Coaching Advice to Make You A Better Coach

Here is some practical actionable advice from an old coach raised in an analog age:

Leave your iPhone and iPad in the office. Put the Go Pro away.

              STOP! LOOK!…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on July 30, 2017 at 6:36am — No Comments

What if the Evidence is Flawed?

There is a stampede toward evidence based practice in medicine and sport science, but as I take a step back and look at this I have some very profound concerns. The biggest concern is what if the evidence is flawed? I encourage you to read this article (John P. A. Ioannidis Why Most Published Research Findings Are False…
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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 21, 2017 at 8:08am — No Comments

Greatest Coach You Have Never Heard Of

You know John Wooden, you know Geno Auriemma at UConn or the late Pat Summit but how about Jim Steen? While the coach at Kenyon College the men’s team won twenty­-nine consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III championship titles while the women’s teams won twenty­-one.  That record of fifty titles surpasses those of any other coaches in any NCAA sport. I had the privilege of working…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 17, 2017 at 7:56am — No Comments

Mental Toughness?

I abhor the term “mental toughness” and all the implications and baggage that comes with it. It is not part of my coaching vocabulary or practice. I want to help my athletes be mentally strong and understand why they are doing what they are doing. There are tough workouts and there are easy workouts all directed toward one goal: Preparing a robust adaptable athlete who is ready to thrive in the competitive arena.…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 12, 2017 at 7:56am — No Comments

Strength Coach & The Way of the Dinosaur

This piece is a must read for all those interested in coaching athletes. thttp://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/the-unregulated-world-of-strength-coaches-and-college-footballs-killing-season/ Let me preface this post by stating that this is not an impulsive post in reaction to this article. (More extensive discussion of this will be on tomorrows GAINcast, to down load and listen go…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 22, 2017 at 8:00am — No Comments

A Doping Primer

Anyone who knows me or has regularly read this blog or followed me on social media knows that I am vehemently anti-drug. So, it may seem strange to have a post on a primer for drug use and how to beat the system but I think this will give you context for looking at the issue. This is what I have seen up close and personal in my 48 years of coaching how athletes and coaches beat the system.…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 19, 2017 at 11:12am — No Comments

Using Olympic Style Weight Lifting – A perspective

Olympic lifting is a sport. That sport consists of lifting as much weight as possible in the clean and jerk and the snatch. Those lifts have a high technical demand, but the skill is a closed skill that occurs in one plane through a narrow range of movement. The Olympic lifting movements do produce tremendous power production because of the distance the weight must travel, the weight and the speed requirements. This…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 15, 2017 at 7:42am — No Comments

Track & Field Omnibook - A Great Resource



This book is truly a classic! It had and continues to have a huge influence on my coaching. Even though the Fourth edition was published in 1985, many of the concepts and principles are as relevant today as they were then. Even though this is a track & field oriented book it is a must read for all coaches who are interested in coaching the person in a systematic and…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 9, 2017 at 2:05pm — No Comments

Sports Science Fiction?


Added by Vern Gambetta on March 9, 2017 at 8:02am — No Comments

Resources to Learn How to Get Better at Getting Better

I am convinced that going forward in sport the biggest gains and the so called marginal gains too will come from how we get better at getting better. How we can improve our teaching, how we make practice and training more meaningful and effective will be the biggest difference makers. I am going to make this a major focus for the rest of my career. In that spirit, I am sharing with you this list of resources. This…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 6, 2017 at 7:41am — No Comments

GAIN 2017 Theme

Each year for have a theme that serves as a focal point for our presentations and discussions for that year. This year our theme is:

Making Connections to Foster Meaningful Change & Innovation…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on February 27, 2017 at 7:30am — No Comments

Unforgiving, Relentless and Undefeated

I am not talking about UCONN women’s basketball that just won their hundredth straight game or the New England Patriots. I am talking about two of the greatest athletes ever! Who are they? You do know them because you compete with them all day everyday. One is invisible but beats you every time the other is always underfoot, but because it is so familiar we fail to recognize it. I am talking about gravity and the…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on February 17, 2017 at 8:24am — No Comments

Sports Science?

I see more gobbledygook and sciency stuff called “sports science” going on today that ever in my years as athlete and coach. Has anyone taken a step back and honestly assessed where we are going with all this? Everybody and anybody who administers a wellness survey or monitors some physiological function now calls themselves a sports scientist. Over the course of my career I have had the opportunity to work with…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on February 15, 2017 at 8:03am — No Comments

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