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Vern Gambetta's Blog (1,087)

My Coaching Journey Continues

January 2018 marks the beginning on my 49th year of coaching. It has been an adventure every step of the way – a journey of continual learning and discovery that started with Santa Barbara High School Track in 1969.

Coaching is craft that takes time to learn; you can never stop learning if you want to be good at your craft. You cannot learn to coach in a book, on the Internet or sitting in a lecture hall.…


Added by Vern Gambetta on January 8, 2018 at 7:20am — No Comments

Achievement Triangle

Added by Vern Gambetta on January 5, 2018 at 8:37am — No Comments

Two Great Sprinters

Two great sprinters died within weeks of each other in the fall of 2017. You would have be close to my age and a real track nut to know who they were. These two sprinters had a huge influence on my interest in speed and how to get people to run faster. Their best years came within a four-year span from 1961 to 1965. Both were small in stature, if you saw them in street clothes you would never guess they were world class athletes. Their small stature disguised…


Added by Vern Gambetta on January 4, 2018 at 6:34am — No Comments

GAIN 2018 - Applications Open

This is the eleventh year of GAIN; it started 2007 with twelve attendees and four instructors and has grown to eighty attendees from all over the world and eighteen faculty. GAIN is a community of professional’s eager to learn and willing to share ideas and information. GAIN is not about more exercises, sets, reps and training methods it is about passionate people who pursue excellence with honesty, integrity and respect to make a difference in the lives of the…


Added by Vern Gambetta on January 2, 2018 at 7:20am — No Comments

2017 Looking Back

The end of the year is a time for reflection, analysis and recalibration. Each day is special, so do something to make each day special for yourself and for someone else. Family is special; it is too easy to lose sight of this in pursuit of a career. True friends are special – those who are willing to tolerate your mistakes and stay with you during the good and bad times. I am looking forward to 2018; it will mark my 49th year coaching and my…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 31, 2017 at 1:59pm — No Comments

Athlete Development Process

This framework first articulated by Frank Dick many years ago is elegant in its simplicity. Follow this process and you will produce athletes who have a chance to be champions. Please note that the athlete MUST earn the right to progress to the next step. Each athlete progresses at different rates. I will be talking and writing more about this in 2018.…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 29, 2017 at 6:02am — No Comments

Another Classic Resource

In July of 1986 I flew into Tucson to visit Anne E. “Betty” Atwater, a professor of Biomechanics at University of Arizona, in order to pick her brain about throwing. This was an area where she had done some landmark research on pitching mechanics in the late 1970’s. I previously had the…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 27, 2017 at 8:38am — No Comments

What Kind of Muscle are You Developing?


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 26, 2017 at 2:28pm — No Comments

What Kind of Muscle are You Developing?


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 26, 2017 at 2:28pm — No Comments

My Favorite Books for 2017

Below is a least of the books that I most enjoyed in 2017. It is a varied list. It should be noted that i did not include any fiction, not that I did not have any favorites I just thought the readers would be interested in the non-fiction choices. So far in 2017 I have read 136 books and I am currently reading five of which I will probably finish three before the end of the year. I love to read, I read as a hobby and I read to learn. When I read I just follow…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 19, 2017 at 7:08am — No Comments

GAIN 2018

Don’t miss GAIN XI June 12 to 16, 2018 at Rice University in Houston Texas. Applications open January 1, 2018. This has been a career changing experience for those who have attended. Don’t miss out. Join the leaders in sport medicine/rehab, physical education and coaching/athletic development to explore this year’s theme: Connecting the Dots - Back to Basics. For more information go to …


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 18, 2017 at 3:52pm — No Comments

Reflections/Thoughts from Today’s Morning Walk - December 18, 2017

Training should always be FUNdamental

In the developmental athlete, physical competency development should parallel technical and tactical development.

Learn from the past but don’t live there

The good old days probably were not as good as we old guys like to think they were.

Are we…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 18, 2017 at 11:28am — No Comments

Is There a There There?

I just bought a book (quite expensive I might add) by one of the current keyboard guru’s because I am always trying to learn and increase my knowledge base and it was highly recommended by a young coach. It was full of marketing, buzzwords, pseudoscience and general mumbo jumbo. In addition, I suspect good portions of it were copied without any attribution or reference to the sources. Think critically. Know your science, know your practice, understand and apply sound training principles and…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 13, 2017 at 9:08am — No Comments

Sports Biometric Data – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Last week I attended the second annual Sports Biometrics conference in San Francisco, it was a good conference with very good information and challenging ideas. I also attended in 2016. Last year my general impression from the presentations and my interaction with the attendees was that data was king, it seemed that everyone was enamored by what could be measured and how. It was as if there was to measure everything that could be measured and then some. This…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 11, 2017 at 9:29am — No Comments

Laser Focus Workouts

Focus clearly only on what needs to be done to get training results that translate into competition performance. This demands a laser focus on the training tasks that are meaningful. Eliminate the nice to do activities that make you tired but don’t make you better. Never forget that less is more. Find out what works for your athletes and keep fine-tuning and tweaking that to achieve continual adaptation. Beware of variety and variation for the sake of variety…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 7, 2017 at 7:32am — No Comments

Age and Experience

Hopefully with age comes wisdom. I don’t think I am any smarter today at age 70 that was at 30 or 40; I think I have learned from many experiences, some good, some bad, some successes and some failures. I certainly have many more questions than answers. The key is continually learning. It really is an attitude, a mindset, you can learn from anyone and any situation. I try to learn from everyone I meet and from every situation. In many ways it is more about…


Added by Vern Gambetta on December 4, 2017 at 10:38am — No Comments

Thoughts on Training Agility for Soccer (Guest Post by Warren Young)

This is a post by Warren Young, PhD,( ) Coordinator of Master of Strength & Conditioning, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia. In my opinion Warren and his colleagues have done more to define agility and its parameters from a research perspective than anyone I know. Warren is an applied scientist who has always been open to…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 27, 2017 at 1:11pm — 1 Comment

Making Connections

Body is a complex adaptive system, not a bio-machine or bio-computer. Given that the body is a kinetic chain and all systems of the body work synergistically to produce efficient movement then training is all about connections. How can we better link, sync and coordinate to enhance efficient movement. Biomechanically it helps to think toe nails to finger nails to finger nails, everything is connected. The better and…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 27, 2017 at 8:09am — No Comments


I have become obsessed with practice. What is a good practice? What is an ineffective practice? What are you doing in practice? Do you know why? How much of your practice is composed of unrelated drills? How do you teach new skill? Are the practices appropriate for the people you are coaching? Are you paying homage to the gods of your sport? Obviously, the cornerstone for effective athlete development is practice,…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 24, 2017 at 8:59am — No Comments

Think for Yourself

Thirty years ago, when everyone was wearing polo shirts with an alligator on them I found a company that sold shirts with a rat on them. Not to be contrarian, but to make a statement. Be independent, think for yourself, analyze. Innovate don’t imitate. Get beyond peer-reviewed research and evidence based practice and find out what works. Open your eyes and see what is happening right in front to you every day at…


Added by Vern Gambetta on November 21, 2017 at 7:56am — No Comments

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