Entries by Vern Gambetta

Save the Date: GAIN 2023

GAIN 2023 will be held June 13 to 17 at Rice University in Houston, Texas. GAIN started 2007 with twelve attendees and four instructors and has grown to ninety attendees from all over the world and eighteen faculty. GAIN is a community of professional’s eager to learn and willing to share ideas and information.

The Road – Part One

The path to athletic success and life is a journey. In my 53 years of coaching, I have seen a profound changes in how we prepare the athlete for the road. In the last thirty years there has been a trend that has accelerated over the last ten years to spend an inordinate amount of time preparing the road for the athlete. We try to remove all obstacles in the way and make the road as straight and smooth as possible so the athlete can easily reach their goal. This has resulted in fragile, fully adapted athletes unable to deal with adversity in sport and life. It has created entitlement and unrealistic expectations of the athletes’ abilities and capabilities. On the physical side the athletes are not prepared for the rigors of competition. Recovery has assumed more importance than work. We are managing workload so finitely that the athlete is never allowed to get uncomfortable.

Do you have the imagination to see yourself doing something truly exceptional?

You know John Wooden; you know Geno Auriemma at UConn or the late Pat Summit. But how about Jim Steen? While the swim coach at Kenyon College the men’s team won twenty­-nine consecutive NCAA Division III championship titles while the women’s teams won twenty­-one.  That record of fifty titles surpasses those of any other coaches in any NCAA sport. I had the privilege of working with Jim’s teams for two of the championships, but even better than that every spring Jim comes to Sarasota with his family and we get together for lunch. His passion and energy and wisdom are so contagious it always gets me charged up. This is Jim’s 2011 commencement address at Keyon College.

Training do’s and don’ts #7: prioritze training

Too often when we begin a new training program or a new training phase, we look at the exercise menu and try to include too much. Too many exercises or too may sessions with the result a diluted training program that does not achieve the desired training effect. It is preferable to use what I call the Priority Training concept. Have a well-defined global theme for the phase of training regardless of the length.