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Vern Gambetta's Blog (1,041)

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

The 4 R's

Frank Dick one of my mentors shared this basic concept to give a context to debrief of training or performance.
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Added by Vern Gambetta on February 6, 2017 at 7:51am — No Comments

On Turning Seventy

I have been seventy now for two weeks, I honestly don’t feel a whole lot different than when I was sixty-nine or even when I was sixty. I don’t feel and hopefully I don’t act old (Not 100% how old people are supposed to act). It has me taken this long to be comfortable in my own skin because I have learned through the years what matters. I appreciate each day as it comes more than I did in my younger years where I…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on January 31, 2017 at 8:01am — No Comments

Motivation & Inspiration

Motivation by and through fear and hate is unproductive and shallow. The results are very short lasting and often destructive or counterproductive. Motivation through caring, concern and love is proactive, deep and long lasting.
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Added by Vern Gambetta on January 22, 2017 at 10:04am — No Comments

The Answer


I am always very wary when someone has all the answers. I am more interested in being around and learning from those who have more questions than answers. I always come back to the words of Gertrude Stein “The answer is there is no answer."

Added by Vern Gambetta on January 18, 2017 at 8:24am — No Comments

The GAIN Story

GAIN started in 2007 but the genesis of GAIN goes back to the start of my coaching career in 1969. It is forged in my experience early in my career when I was able to gather in an Intense concentrated setting with bright inquisitive minds in one place to share and learn. It quickly became clear to me that anytime I could gather with professional colleagues to exchange ideas that my performance as a coach would…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on January 9, 2017 at 5:34am — No Comments

Random Thoughts on Training to Wrap Up 2016

Volume is not a biomotor quality. Anyone can do more; the path to success is doing it better.

Train speed in – It is precious. Very easy to compromise by speed by doing too much

Strength as a motor quality is easy to develop and even…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on December 30, 2016 at 10:06am — No Comments

My Books of the Year - 2016

Best Books 2016

In 2016 I have read 148 books these are my choices for books of the year. I have no particular criteria. Generally if the book makes me think and stimulates good ideas or teaches me something I did not know before they make the list. The books reflect my eclectic…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on December 22, 2016 at 9:54am — No Comments

My Sports and Coaching Books of the Year

My Sports and Coaching Books of the Year. Notice the placing of the Wade Gilbert book - Coaching is the foundation!…

Best Sports Books

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Added by Vern Gambetta on December 21, 2016 at 2:39pm — No Comments

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