I was inspired by two events to write this post:
- Preparing a presentation on the evolution of the Gambetta Method- GAIN System.
- Watching the Ken Burn documentary series on country music that over eight episodes spanning sixteen hours attempted to define the genre of country music.
Well, just like country music which defies boundaries and crosses a myriad of genres so does the GAIN system. Country music draws from mountain music, blue grass, folk, gospel, R&B, rock, rockabilly, and jazz – mixing, matching, blending rhythms and tempos, and phrasing into a genre all its own. A genre that defies boundaries, pushes the envelope and ends up with unique sounds that continue to evolve.
Like country music the GAIN system is an eclectic mix that crosses disciples and mixes methods. It goes outside of sport for inspiration and concepts. It many ways it defies convenient labels. I have always chosen to cast a wide net in the search for knowledge. I have learned that the best ideas come at the boundaries where various disciplines and schools of thought converge. I have drawn from weightlifting, power lifting body building, gymnastics and wresting to better understand how to develop applied strength. I have explored and adapted a range of concepts and methods from rehab including stroke rehab and classical PNF. I have looked at many disciplines of dance – ballet, modern dance, jazz dance, and hip hop to better understand rhythm, tempo, body control and spatial awareness. I have looked at martial arts and combat sports to understand the dimensions of the body. I have looked at speed in all forms of human locomotion, on land, in the water and on the bike. I have looked at endurance from the extremes of human survival to the formal systems of Bowerman, Councilman, Igloi, and Stampfl. To better understand how to get better and make more effective application of practice and training I have studied performance psychology, cognitive neuroscience, motor control and skill acquisition.
The result is a dynamic progressive system whose primary goal is to develop robust, resilient athletes who can thrive in the competitive arena. The system is based on foundational principles derived from my studies and research, grounded in pedagogy, informed by science and proven and tested in the competitive arena. It is still evolving after fifty years as I continue to accrue experiences, broaden my research into other fields, make mistakes and learn from them. I will leave no stone unturned in the search for ideas and methodologies that help refine and the system and improve my teaching. That like country music that defies definition and resists labels the Gambetta Method – GAIN system will continue to push the envelope of performance and continue to evolve to address the ever changing reality of sport performance.