There is something wrong with strength and conditioning in American collegiate football. The field is being overrun by clowns, and no one is speaking up about it. A lot of trust has been placed in the strength and conditioning coach, but that has only caused more scandals rather than better athletes. Vern Gambetta joins us on this podcast to talk about the problems facing the field and potential solutions to move the profession forward.
Notes and quotes
- 5:00 – Recent media coverage of collegiate football strength coaches and the history of the field.
- 8:00 – Speaking out: “Football sets the tone for the profession. You now have these cartoon characters who rather than wearing coaching clothes should be wearing cheerleading outfits. But so many guys in the field aren’t calling anyone out because they might lose their job. “
- 10:15 – Strength and conditioning scandals.
- 12:00 – “Rah rah” coaches vs. athletic development coaches.
- 16:30 – Understanding sport and injuries: “I could do supplementary exercises that improve a core lift, but that’s not the focus of our work. My job is to enhance their athleticism, not their lifting abilities. “
- 20:00 – The NCAA structural problem: “The S&C coach in football has more contact time with the player than any sport coach, and everyone goes and accepts that. How do you make the player better if they can’t work with their coach outside the season. There’s something wrong with that picture! “
- 22:30 – Creating accountability among administrators and certifications: “At most top tier schools, there is not an administrator with a sports background. How are they going to evaluate and hire the right strength coach? They just rubber stamp what the sport coach wants. That is the first flaw in the system. ” “When was the last time an administrator or even a head coach was disciplined for hiring the wrong guy? “
- 32:30 – Bringing sports together: “Over the last two decades, football has become an island. They have their own staff, their own weight rooms, and walls around their practice fields. This reinforces the status quo, pushes good people out, and limits new ideas .”
- 37:00 – The silver lining.
- 40:00 – NFL vs. college football.
- 42:00 – Closing thoughts and a call for help.
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- Join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss all the content on our site, including past episodes of the podcast, our deep article archives, video library, and more. If you like the podcast, don’t miss our latest book Training Talk: Conversations with a Dozen Master Coaches for more in-depth insights on training from some of the world’s top coaches. Also don’t miss out on Nick’s upcoming throws camp.
- The recent Sports Illustrated article that got us fired up about this topic was Jacked Up: Why Strength Coaches Are the Heart and Soul of Modern College Football. Vern wrote about it earlier this month.
- We’ve had Vern on to talk about the state of the sport at the start of both 2019, 2018, and 2017.
- We’ve also had a few rant sessions with Nick on Episode 164, Episode 103, Episode 80, and Episode 60.