Entries by Vern Gambetta

Load management and walking on egg shells

The whole concept of load management as it is being interpreted and implemented is beyond me. Frankly, it makes no sense. Call me old school, but isn’t good planning and training design that prepares the athlete for the rigors of competition what we are supposed to be doing? We have reduced the quality and intensity of training to meet magic numbers developed by flawed measurement devises based on artificial algorithms.

Good or great – your choice

It is always interesting to see how great teams and great athletes always find a way to prevail. They can be banged up, tired and off their game and yet they still perform at a high level. To me that is a crucial difference between good and great.

Trapped

Developing weight room strength for the sake of developing strength is a trap. Too often there is no thought to transfer and application. Numbers go up in the weight room without any commensurate improvement in performance.

It’s a big dance

Every sport skill has a basic technical model that a beginner can master in a relatively short time. What is the difference then from that and the master – the Roger Federer in tennis, Usain Bolt in sprinting, Simone Biles in gymnastics or Michael Phelps in the pool? What makes them masters of their craft? Certainly, they have refined technique, that is a given. The longer I coach and the more I reflect on this I am convinced it is rhythm and tempo.

Experience

Experience(s) are important. I emphasize the plural. In my professional career that spans fifty years I have had too many people who claim thirty or forty years of experience when in reality they have had one experience thirty or forty times.

Big picture

Never ever lose sight of the big picture. It is easy to get bogged down in small meaningless details and minutiae and lose sight of the ultimate objective. This is particularly the case in this age of uber specialization. Instead look for connections, step back and take a look at the rhythm, tempo and flow of the movement.

Step by step

Adaptation to various training stimuli take time. You can’t force adaptation to happen faster than the athlete’s current level of trainability and physical capacity. You must be willing to go step by step.

The art of coaching

We must recognize that coaching is a creative process. What differentiates a good from a great coach is the ability to see the same athlete, the same skill, the same movement and see what others cannot or have not seen yet.

More or less?

Does it have to be a binary choice – that in training you have to do more or do less to stimulate adaptation? Ultimately the goal is to get progressively better. I find it interesting that the default usually seems to be how much more needs to be done. I seldom see the option of doing it better.

All training is core training

When it comes down to it, all training is core training. As we discussed on the GAINcast this week, no matter how you define it, the core is involved in all movement as a major factor in control of movement. Without a fully functioning core, efficient movement is not possible.