The Training Puzzle

puzzleStart with a clear picture of the finished puzzle, the picture on the cover of the box. What do want the athlete to look like physically and performance wise at the end of the training program? Keep this picture in mind all the time. Read more

Performance Paradigm

Movement is quite simple and from that wonderful simplicity comes the complexity of sports skill and performance. Twenty-five years ago in an attempt to better explain movement and how we should effectively train movement I came up with this simple diagram I call the Performance Paradigm. It was somewhat like what Albert Szent-Gyorgi, once said, “Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.” Essentially it is the stretch shortening cycle of muscle with a more global interpretation and proprioception brought into consideration. It is the basis for what some people call the Gambetta Method; to me it is common sense. I use this to evaluate movement efficiency or deficiency and then to guide training and if necessary rehab. Read more

Where Are The Teachers?

The missing link in today’s coaching is pedagogy. Webster’s defines Pedagogy as: the art, science, or profession of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction. My generation of coaches was trained as teachers. We learned teaching methodology and teaching methods as an integral part of our education. Read more

Vern Gambetta

You Have To Do The Work

Lets not fool ourselves to get better you have to do the work, that is a given. Make no mistake that everyone who achieves at a high level does the work. All that being said just doing the work is not enough, anyone can work it is work with direction and purpose that produces results. We have this mistaken notion more prevalent today because of the “10,000 hour” myth that all you need to do is to punch the clock, accumulate hours and somehow magically at 10,000 hours you will be a champion. No way! Read more

The Eye of the Beholder

It is interesting to listen to coach’s talk about what they see when observing movement. Are they really seeing what they think they see? Human vision is incredibly acute and at the same time fundamentally flawed. The longer I coach the more I realize that more often than not we see what we think we see rather that exactly what is happening. Whether we recognize it or not we all have a tendency toward a confirmation bias. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Communicating the Message

Regardless of the message you have a very small window to communicate the message in a meaningful way so that the person receiving the message with get it. I was reminded of this this morning at mass when the priest missed a golden opportunity to get his message across. His theme was love. Read more

Vern Gambetta

The Front Seat of the Bus

A couple of days ago one of my former White Sox players now beginning his career as a manager in the Orioles Minor League system posted a picture of himself sitting on the front seat of the bus, a traditional place for the head coach or manager to sit. It was great to see him sitting in that position because I know he has worked to earn it. I quickly sent a message off to him to wish him good luck and to not forget what is was to sit back where the players were sitting. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Someway, Somehow

Have you ever noticed how athletes and coaches who are successful seem to find a way to get the job done? Winners find a way to win; where others see obstacles they see opportunity. They just seem to have a different worldview; they have a whole different mindset. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Come Sunday

The key to successful coaching is planning. The more detailed the planning the better. For me Sunday has always been the day for planning. It has been this way for 44 years, it has almost become a ritual, and certainly it is part of my Sunday routine. During the week I keep detailed notes on the workouts – what worked and what did not work. Did training go according to plan? What adjustments were needed? Read more

GAIN Apprentorship

GAIN is an acronym for Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network. This emphasis is on network to connect professionals in order to facilitate learning and sharing of ideas. In my career I served as an apprentice to learn coaching skills and techniques and have been fortunate to have great mentors to guide and direct me. My goal in starting the GAIN program was to combine the best of a apprentice practice and the guidance of a mentoring experience hence the word Apprentorship. The objective is to provide an educational opportunity that will significantly advance people’s careers by sharing information with other professionals in a setting that encourages an open exchange of ideas. Read more