Entries by Vern Gambetta

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.

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.

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 as that is often a slippery slope.

Experience and age

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.

Thoughts on training agility for soccer (guest post by Warren Young)

After studying and writing about agility in sport for several years, my views have evolved. Although I have presented my own research and research of others in scientific and coaching journals, the following discussion allows for a more complete story about how I see training agility to enhance sports performance. This discussion especially applies to invasion sports, such as football codes, and my personal experience has mainly been in Australian football (AF). However, I believe this discussion applies equally as well to soccer, because both AF and soccer can both be described as “360 degree” sports, where players and the ball can move in any direction. I have decided to use examples here that are applied to soccer.

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, everything is connected.

Practice

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?

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.

One great workout

How many of you walk into the gym, out to the field or onto pool deck with today’s workout as an end unto itself, looking for that one great workout that will make a difference? Think again – today’s workout must fit in the context of the whole training plan.

The Spotlight

“Backstage not onstage.” Support and prepare the athlete then step aside and let them perform. The spotlight should be focused on the athlete in the performance arena.