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Vern Gambetta's Blog (1,132)

GAIN 2018 Wrap-up – Recollections & Reflections

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GAIN 2018 has been finished for just a little over a week and I already can’t wait for next year – only 343 days to go for GAIN 2019! For my wife and I GAIN is a lot of work, but each year it is gratifying to see the work come to fruition. For all involved it is a special time of learning and sharing with other…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on June 26, 2018 at 7:45am — No Comments

Fifty Years On

This is not the easiest blog I have ever written. I must admit I am struggling to find the right words to express my feelings today. 50 years ago, yesterday I was studying for my last final before graduating from Fresno State college when I turned on the TV and found out that Robert Kennedy had been shot. Four years before during my senior year in high school his brother had been shot. The 1968 California primary was the first time I was old enough to vote.…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on June 6, 2018 at 1:26pm — No Comments

Posture

Posture is not a static position. Posture is dynamic constantly changing and adapting to environmental demands in order to efficiently execute the desired movement. It is highly impacted by gravity, the ground and vestibular and proprioceptive considerations. Posture is not a still picture or a static position it is dynamic alignment and realignment of the body to stabilize, reduce and produce force based on the demands of the activity at hand.

Added by Vern Gambetta on June 4, 2018 at 1:03pm — No Comments

What's New?

This past weekend my good friend and professional colleague, Jimmy Radcliffe, came to Sarasota for his annual day and a half visit after the NCAA regional track meet. We spend the time each year reflecting, analyzing what we did the previous year and planning. Jim was kind enough to have me assist with the Women’s Olympic Gold Medal Ice Hockey team so that was one topic of conversation. Neither of us had ever worked with ice hockey before, but we came to the…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on May 31, 2018 at 6:38am — No Comments

Coaching Pedigree

I am definitely not a betting man, but if I were to bet on the horses I would thoroughly investigate a horse’s pedigree before I bet on a horse. It is the same in coaching and teaching. Pedigree and lineage mean are meaningful. Who were your mentors? Who did you learn from? You can’t choose your parents, but you can choose your mentors, that will determine your pedigree. More letters after your name do not improve your pedigree, gaining knowledge and experience…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on May 29, 2018 at 3:45pm — No Comments

Nurturing the Athlete - It Takes Time

My father was a gardener and I remember the first time he took me to work with him, I was probably ten or eleven years old. As any youngster, I was impatient and full of questions. I wanted to know why this patch of garden had no plants. Why we had to water this area and fertilize another section. Why we had to trim these plants and let others grow. I wanted to know why he didn’t plant all the seeds at the same time. He explained it to me, but I must admit that…

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Added by Vern Gambetta on May 23, 2018 at 7:50am — No Comments

Real Change

Change will come not by finding new answers to old questions, but real change will come from abandoning the old questions, stop trying to answer them, leave them. Ask new questions and reframe the old ones. Asking the same old questions just leads to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, not a real practical solution for the problem at hand.

Added by Vern Gambetta on May 21, 2018 at 8:30am — No Comments

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

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