Entries by Vern Gambetta

Body of work

I am a coach who specializes in being a generalist. I do this by being a synthesizer, connecting the dots in seemingly disparate areas looking for similarities, differences and patterns that may not be readily apparent. I am a connector of people, believing in the powers of networks. I am also a simplifier, there is no need to make things more complicated. Performance is by its very nature chaotic so to profoundly affect performance staying simple focused on the basics works for me. Finally, I am an informed skeptic thoroughly schooled in the school of hard knocks through success and failure.

Coloring outside the lines

Do you remember when you were a child, and you got your first coloring book and box of crayons? Remember the instructions to color inside the lines because that was the way you were supposed to it? You were praised for staying inside the lines.

Join us at GAIN 2022

Join us at GAIN 2022. GAIN is the global leader in coaching and athlete development. If you want the most impactful professional development experience that will challenge your thinking and improve your practice join the GAIN community of professionals. The emphasis at GAIN is on sharing ideas and challenging each other to grow. No dogma here, jut learning how to ask better questions. We learn from the faculty and from each other. The participants are diverse, across sports and disciples. The characteristic is the willingness to share and challenge each other to be better.

Making shapes

Looking at shapes will give you a different perspective on viewing, analyzing, and effecting change in movement. Look closely at the shapes your athlete must make while performing in their sport. Then look at the shapes they can make. Then look at what they must do to reconcile the shapes they have to make with the shapes they can make. How quickly and efficiently can they change shapes? What is limiting their ability to make the required shapes – it is strength, flexibility, lack of body awareness or something else?

Looking back to help you to move ahead

Looking back to gain perspective may at first seem counterintuitive but stay with me on this. Think of the rower in a single scull, their back is to the finish line, they are looking back from where they came from on the previous strokes to stay aligned and moving in the direction of the finish line. We can also gain perspective by looking back on where we have been – that perspective comes from experiences good, bad, and indifferent.

Get beyond the numbers

In today’s world of high performance sport we have the potential to bury ourselves in numbers. There is not much we can’t analyze, measure or monitor. In many ways this is a positive step forward and it some ways it can be negative. The key is keeping the numbers in context. If you are letting the numbers dictate everything you do and don’t do then it is time to reconsider.

Game speed vs. testing speed

Testing speed is the time in a 10, 20, 30, or 40 meter or yard sprint. Game speed is a cousin of testing speed. Game speed is the speed you can transfer from testing into the actual game or match.

Routine: the cornerstone

The cornerstone of effective practice is routine. A set routine is the basis for consistent practice. Great athletes and great teams have set routines for training that do not vary. In fact, with individual athletes training routines sometimes border on ritual.