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GAINcast Episode 194: The trailblazer (with Betty Atwater)

Sports biomechanics came to age in the 1960s and 1970s with scientists like Betty Atwater at the forefront of this new field. A lot has changed in sports science over the last 50 years, but many of the foundational findings still hold and there is a lot we can learn from the analytical and technical processes used by the trailblazers of biomechanics. On this week’s GAINcast Atwater joins to discussion some of her landmark research on pitching and sprinting, as well as the work that led to it. Read more

History is alive

It is so important to know history, especially in today’s climate of instant information. Historical context is all important. Many training concepts and methods being practiced and promoted commercially are 50, 60, 70 years old or even older. Historical perspective gives a clearer direction on what you are doing now or what you are planning to do. Certainly, we can learn how these concepts and methods were previously used, what worked and what did not work and most importantly why. Often these methods fell out of favor for various reasons, it is helpful to know why. History can tell us that. Understanding those reasons will help us to avoid repeating mistakes. Read more

The vote: a personal story

It was spring 1968. I was a young idealistic 21-year-old student at Fresno State in the second semester of my senior year. I was a social science major. The Fresno community and Fresno State were very conservative, in many ways isolated and insulated from the turmoil that was growing in spring of 1968. There were no protests. Fraternities and sororities were big. Read more

2019 best books – Vern’s picks

These are my picks for the best books I read in 2019. As you can see I am light of sport and heavy on history and biography. Read more

The learning journey – clinics, symposia, and other resources

From the time I committed to be a track & field coach in January of 1968 I started the learning journey. Last post I talked about the books that were learning resources that influenced me. In this post I will talk about the clinics, symposiums and other resources that were influences in my development, particularly in the first twelve years. Read more

The moon landing – where were you?

In my lifetime there are events that stand out in my mind where I can tell you exactly where I was and who I was with. Third period religion class my senior year in high school when Kennedy was assassinated. In a barber chair the morning of 9/11. The night of the moon landing in 1969 I was in the Yankee Clipper bar on upper state street in Santa Barbara with three of my friends. We chose to watch there because it was one of our hangouts and they had a TV, a rarity in bars in those days before 24-hour cable news and ESPN. The TV was located next to large aquarium full of small fish and a very large, very ugly frog that we always refer when we recollect that night at the Yankee Clipper. Next to the aquarium was a small stage where there was a girl singer who could really sing, in fact her singing got better with more drinks. Read more

Churchill – Walking With Destiny

I highly recommend the book Churchill: Walking with Destiny. Not an easy read. It is long and detailed. Very rich in content with many insights into a very complex man. I have always been fascinated by Churchill, after reading this I am no less fascinated. He had his flaws, that was for sure, but somehow under the direst circumstances he led his nation through one of the most difficult times any nation in history has endured. Read more

Vern Gambetta’s 2018 best books list

Of the 150 books I have read in 2018 these are my selections for the best. It is an eclectic collection reflecting my various interests. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for good reading. This year I did not pick a book of the year. Too many good ones to pick out one book. Read more

The good old days – looking back to learn & move ahead

As I reflect over the past 49 years of coaches there were some things that were cornerstones of a productive system sport that do not exist today. I hope you all realize that I am not living in the past, but we MUST learn from the past, not repeat it.  Here are some areas that I think we could certainly look at and learn from: Read more

GAINcast Episode 87: What We’re Reading

Listeners often ask what books are on our shelf, so on this week’s episode we discuss what books we have read recently and what coaches can take away from them. We cover more than 20 titles that will be sure to add a few new books to your reading list. Read more