Entries by Vern Gambetta

How good are you?

What are you doing to get better? Are you the best at what you do? How do you know how good you are – How do you measure your performance? What do you do? Are you doing what you do because everyone else is doing it or are your forging your own path?

Movement Screening

How can you call something a functional movement screen when most of the movements are in positions that are at low levels of function for any athletic body? We need to always keep in mind that we have three movement constants the body, the ground, and gravity. In movement assessment we want to see the effect of gravity on the body and how the body effectively uses the ground to be able to stabilize, produce, and reduce force. Screening using artificial movements in a sterile environment is of little or no value.


How well can you train? That is trainability. Great athletes have a high level of trainability. They thrive on the work, while an athlete with lesser trainability just barely survives. Your ability to train effectively enough to stimulate the appropriate adaptation is a key ability. Well you might say that is obvious, if it so obvious then why do I see this factor ignored everywhere I go.

Connect The Dots

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. Biomechanically think toenails to fingernails, everything is connected. The better and more effective the training the more effective the connections between body parts and the various systems of the body. We can isolate in theory and for mental convenience but that is not the way the body works in real life. As coaches we need to consciously make connections to make training more effective and efficient.

Some Notes/Thoughts from “The Generals”

Just finished reading Thomas Ricks latest book “The Generals” – American Military Command from WW II to Today. I found it very interesting reading in that it explained much of our military success and failure  over the past eighty years. But as a coach interested in leadership, organizational behavior and excellence I found it rich in ideas and thoughts. Here are a few thoughts that I found particularly relevant:

Your Brand

I have been hearing a lot about brands and branding lately. In a traditional sense a brand is a name or a symbol. In coaching and teaching it represents more, it is you and what you stand for. You are your brand. Who you are?

Practice – Getting Better at Getting Better

I just finished a book that is a must for every coach’s library, Practice Perfect – 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Betterby Doug Lemov, Erica, Woolway and Katie Yezi. I have added this book to the reading list for my GAIN Apprentorship program. It is a very good blend of the science behind practice and the author’s practical experience. Obviously the cornerstone for effective athlete development is practice, but too often it is just about putting in the time. Now with the 10,000 hour figure looming out there everyone is even more concerned with putting in the time. It is not the time in practice, it what you put into the time. Practice must be deliberate, focused and connected to the desired end result – performance in competition.

Lessons from the Armstrong Affair?

Let me start by saying I refused to watch the Oprah interview. Armstrong is a master manipulator and I feel this is another attempt to manipulate public opinion. I have been following the whole Armstrong affair with great interest. I have read most of the books. For a very long time I was in a very small minority because I always felt he was dirty.

Finish It!

You have just had your athletes do a great workout. You have polished technical elements. The level of speed and explosiveness has been sky high. So now what? Of course you will now do a cooldown. Typically the athletes slog two laps for a cooldown. Think about it what you have just done.