Entries by Vern Gambetta

Developing athletes

Ever since I started on this journey, first as an athlete and then as a coach, I was fascinated with what it took to develop and nurture the athlete. As a young athlete I saw some athletes develop and thrive and others stagnate and fall by the wayside. Why was this? I noticed that certain schools were always good in selected sports. I noticed that certain coaches, regardless of talent, year in and year out always produced top athletes and teams. Why was that? At that stage of the journey I must admit it was all somewhat mysterious to me, there did not seem to be a method behind what I was observing. I wanted to know why the things that I was seeing were occurring.

Running mechanics: part 3

To correct running mechanics, use the fault/reason/correction paradigm. First identify the fault in the mechanics. Then find the reason for the flaw and then correct the flaw.

Running mechanics: part 2

The starting point for running mechanics is a basic technical model. That technical model is what man must do sprint at top speed. Therefore, in teaching to improve running mechanics we must start with sound sprint mechanics and extend those concepts out to longer distances. Even in distance running, ultimately the person who runs the fastest is the person who can maintain the greatest percentage of their maximum speed the longest. Running skill is a motor task! Like any motor task it is teachable and trainable. As with any motor task a systematic approach toward improving running mechanics will yield optimum results.

Running mechanics: part 1

Running is a fundamental locomotor skill. It is a very natural activity. Unfortunately, because of our sedentary lifestyle and activity deprived society this natural skill rapidly erodes in accordance with the law of reversibility. As with any skill if is not used it is quickly lost. Generally, young children run naturally with fundamentally sound running mechanics. We need to ensure that this natural activity is reinforced through activity and play during childhood, so that in adolescence and latter all that is necessary is to reawaken those childhood movement patterns. If the skill has been lost through disuse it is tough to reacquire.

How to be a guru

So you want to be a guru? Here are some helpful tips I have learned through observation of many of the well-known gurus in action.

The seeds of culture

Clay Erro is the former football coach at Enterprise High School in Redding, California and one of the winningest football coaches in Northern Californian history. More important than his success was his ability to teach young men to be responsible adults and citizens. His approach was unconventional with a premium on relationships and teaching.

When will we learn?

Warning this is a Rant! Volume is not a biomotor quality. It is a major stimulus at certain times in a year and a career. So why do we see swim teams and distance running programs go to extremes of volume training for prolonged periods of time to the extent that the athlete is so beaten down that they are 10 to 15 seconds off their personal bests in certain events. This is not necessary! It ceases to be training and borders on abuse.

Announcing GAIN 2024 coaching by design workshops

GAIN started 2007. Until 2023 we have had an annual conference, this year instead, we are having GAIN Coaching by Design workshops. The annual conference held in June each year will resume in 2025. In addition, we are going international with an event in Melbourne, Australia in November. GAIN Coaching by Design workshops are open to professionals seeking innovative training ideas.

No pain, no gain?

No pain, no gain was a very prevalent attitude when I began coaching in the late Sixties and surprisingly it continues to persist today.