Strength Performance Network

Vern Gambetta's Blog (1,125)

Authentic Leadership

To be a leader you must have followers. Carefully watch who real follows whom. Carefully watch the dynamics of a squad. The athlete who screams the most often and the loudest is often identified as the leader. Why? Because he or she is voluble and calling attention to themselves? If you observe closely the real leader is the one who says little, but when they speak everyone listens. They are there in victory and defeat with a pat on the back and an appropriate…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on May 11, 2018 at 7:19am — No Comments

Ancillary Work?

To label work such at hurdle mobility drills, mini band series etc. as “ancillary work” is a misrepresentation of what that work is and what needs to be done. It is not ancillary, it is essential work, a component of any sound training program. It is basic and remedial designed to address each athlete individual needs. It is most effective when woven or threaded through the fabric of the actual training sessions. This type of work can be excellent to lead into…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on May 3, 2018 at 6:56am — No Comments

S&C = Athletic Daycare

The sport coach sends the athletes to do S&C in the weight room without any idea of what they will do. There is little or no accountability of the S&C for the athlete’s performance or the lack thereof. I compare it to taking you preschooler to daycare, they get tired, you get a break for a short time, and they take better naps. You need to expect and demand more than daycare if you are a sport coach.

Added by Vern Gambetta on April 30, 2018 at 7:53am — No Comments

Cross Training

Frankly I have never been a fan of the term cross training or the concept. I have seen it used too often as just another way to get tired. By definition Cross Training “… is when an athlete undertakes training in a discipline other than their main sport for the sole purpose of enhancing performance in their primary event.” (Hawley & Burke P. 31) It has been primarily used as a method for retaining training adaptations. What we are really talking about here is transfer of training…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 23, 2018 at 9:12am — No Comments

Why, Why Not?

Why does the Newtonian, mechanistic reductionist approach that focuses on minutiae and the parts persist? Why not a quantum approach that focuses on relationships and connections, flow and rhythm. The former is comfortable because it allows people cleaner definitions and seemingly straightforward solutions, in some ways it simplistic because all you have to do in that approach is be a technician. If you understand how all the muscles work, what inhibits, what…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 19, 2018 at 8:07am — No Comments

We do that!

Great if you do that then why do you have hamstring injuries and ACL tears. Why do your teams run out of gas in the fourth quarter or last part of the season? It’s not the exercise. It’s how you are coaching the exercises that make the exercises meaningful for the athlete. Just doing it is not good enough. It must be done better with intention, direction and purpose.

Added by Vern Gambetta on April 17, 2018 at 10:03am — No Comments

Is your work working?

Is your work working? How do you know? Look closely at what you are doing? Look even more closely at what you are not doing? Eliminate the fluff, the stuff that makes you tired but does not make you better. Set your priorities based on the need to do, the areas that will provide results. Follow the words of Francis of Assisi “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Added by Vern Gambetta on April 16, 2018 at 7:59am — No Comments

Dinosaur or Cockroach – Adapted or Adaptable?

Do not look for adversity, look for opportunity. Ask yourself what I can do each day to make the athletes that I work with better. Carefully study the movements of the sports – understand the forces and how they are produced and reduced and train accordingly. Get away from artificial limiting beliefs about what the body cannot do – focus on the infinite possibilities that the body presents to solve movement problems. Train movements to enhance coordination and…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 11, 2018 at 8:32am — No Comments

Some Thoughts to Stimulate Thought

Respect is earned not bought

Knowledge and wisdom eventually win out over hype and promotion

Coaching is special because of the impact you can have lives and the daily lesson you learn

I coached 23 years before I produced my first video – it took me that long to learn something that I could share…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 5, 2018 at 8:19am — No Comments

Training Speed In

Let not overcomplicate this. You coach speed into the athlete by training speed at the appropriate time in the workout, using an appropriate method and dosage for the time of the training year. You train speed out by doing all sorts of general nonspecific work and slow “base building” type of work, in short emphasizing volume. Remember you are what you train to be! To be fast you must train fast. When I hear a coach say I have not started speed work yet, I just…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on April 2, 2018 at 8:45am — No Comments

The Good Old Days – Looking Back to Learn & Move Ahead

As I reflect over the past 49 years of coaches there were some things that were cornerstones of a productive system sport that do not exist today. I hope you all realize that I am not living in the past, but we MUST learn from the past, not repeat it.  Here are some areas that I think we could certainly look at and learn from:

Sport was centered in the schools – Therefore teachers were the coaches.…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 28, 2018 at 6:56am — No Comments

Muscle Firing – Where’s the Switch?

"A lot of things weren't firing -- his glutes, his hips, thighs," (Training Guru to the star players – name deleted to protect the guilty) told the newspaper. "I wouldn't say his condition was the most severe, I wouldn't say it was the best. ... But if I were to classify it on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the most extreme, I'd say he was definitely in the seven, eight category." This is definitely one of my pet peeves. If those muscles were not firing how…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 27, 2018 at 8:00am — No Comments

Formulating Effective Movement Problems

A big part of effective coaching is formulating appropriate movement problems for you athletes to solve. Here are three things I consider:

  • Learn when to use explicit learning or implicit learning methods – learning to balance the two is a skill.
  • Learn to use constraints that will challenge the athlete and lead them to the solution…
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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 26, 2018 at 9:03am — No Comments

Training Mistakes

The following is a list of some mistakes that I have made in coaching and teaching. If you learn from your mistakes I should be a genius, but unfortunately some of the lessons were only learned after I repeated of these mistakes several times. I hope that by sharing these with you, it will help you to avoid making the same mistakes I have made.

It does not have to be hard to be good - Each workout is part of a larger picture. If you put…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 22, 2018 at 8:54am — No Comments

Advice to Young Coaches & Some Old Coaches Who Need to Be Reminded

Here is some advice for young coaches from my experiences. I originally posted this in 2012 but it demands to be reposted. This advice reflects lessons that I learned, no need to make the same the same mistakes I made.

Be prepared to pay your dues, you don’t enlist the army as a general.

Practice…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 21, 2018 at 8:41am — No Comments

All Periodization is Undulating

Why does periodization or as I prefer to call it Planned Performance Training (PPT) have to be either linear or undulating? Frankly in my application of the principles of planned performance training for 49 years I have observed that adaptation is always undulating. The body does nothing in a linear manner, so therefore all periodization is undulating. I think this distinction is just another exercise in intellectual gymnastics. You may write a linear program,…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on March 19, 2018 at 8:19am — No Comments

More on Drills

It is important to be clear on one thing regarding drills. If you use a drill or drills know why you are using the drill. In my experience drills are most effective in closed skill activities where they can be used to correct a part of the movement or reinforce a concept. But always go back to the whole movement, remember Whole – Part – Whole. In any situation drills are most effective when the athlete has a clear image and feeling for the end result – the…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on February 26, 2018 at 9:55am — No Comments

The Seduction of Drills

Ask yourself we do we spend so much time teaching and perfecting drills? Wouldn’t the time be better spent coaching skills? No doubt drills are seductive, some even look like the skill, we can repeat them until they are flawless and then what? 95% of drills have no transfer to skill so what is the attraction. Focus on what will make the athlete better at their sport, not better at drills. There is so much good evidence and practice today in nonlinear pedagogy…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on February 24, 2018 at 7:37am — No Comments

Meaningful Practice

I know the term deliberate practice is the current buzzword but I don’t think it is getting the job done. Words create images and images create action, so I use the term meaningful. Meaningful clearly communicates what I want from practice, it leaves little room for nuance. Practice must have a clear plan and purpose that the athlete understands. It must relate to the competitive demands of the sport the athlete is preparing for. It must be relevant to physical…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on February 23, 2018 at 10:10am — No Comments

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