Champions choice: essentialism

Champions are essentialists! They know what they need to do and then they set out to do what is necessary, no more, no less. No doubt there are a thousand thing that they could do, but they chose a laser focus on the need to do things that will advance them toward their goal. They also realize that that there are always tradeoffs, in many cases this means you can’t do that. Read more

GAIN 2020 – Applications Open

GAIN is a community of professional’s eager to learn and willing to share ideas and information. GAIN is not about more exercises, sets, reps and training methods it is about passionate people who pursue excellence with honesty, integrity and respect to make a difference in the lives of the people we coach and teach.

Who attends? GAIN is open to Strength & Conditioning/Athletic Development coaches, Sport Coaches, Physical Therapists, ATC’s, Chiropractors, Doctors and Physical Education teachers. Those who attend are professionals seeking career advancement & renewal through a networking experience and who are interested in getting out of their comfort zone.

When is GAIN? June 16 to June 20, 2020

Where is GAIN? Rice University in Houston Texas.

How much does GAIN cost? Tuition is $2250. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, and lodging at Rice University.

Where can I learn more about GAIN? Go to or call 941-378-1778. You can also email Vern Gambetta at

How do I apply? To apply go to: Submit your application now, enrollment is limited. We will let you know within 10 days if you are accepted.

Why do I have to apply? Can’t I just sign up? Having people apply is part of what makes GAIN special. It would be easier to make it open for anyone to enroll, but that is not what GAIN is about. We are looking for people willing to share and challenge themselves and others to grow professionally. The people in the network with you are as important (maybe even more important) than the faculty experts. The connections and inspiration you get from those around you have a significant impact on the experience.

Who are the faculty? Our faculty has a a tremendous breadth of experiences and a record of excellence in their chosen fields. They know how a performance team works, how all aspects of athletic development complement each other and most importantly they understand the process of developing athletes. Listen to faculty announcement on the GAINcast Episode 179.

How does the network work? The GAIN annual meeting is the beginning. Participants have access to a secure website that offers access to an online forum and library including video of past GAIN Annual Meetings. In addition, GAIN members are eligible to come back each year at a reduced rate.

GAIN 2020 Theme: Developing the Adaptable Athlete

GAIN Mission: To focus on the possibilities for enhancing human movement with no limits or limitations and emphasize connections and links between all disciplines in the same manner we emphasize connections and linkages in the body.

Looking back 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 come from on the previous strokes to stay aligned and moving toward 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. Read more

Holiday thoughts: what a wonderful world

Holidays are a special time of year. A time for giving and sharing. A time for the joy of living. A time to love life and all its surprises. We do live in a time of turmoil and profound change – embrace the change and recognize that change is a constant and in order to stay the same we must change. The holiday season is time to be the best you that you can be. Share your best you with with those you love. Read more

What makes champions?

My interest in what it takes to be a champion started early. As a youngster I was always questioning why? Why was that player better? Why did that team win all the time? As I got older and played football in college there were clear differences that became apparent. At first, I thought it was just talent. If you have talent you were successful, it was that straight forward  or was it? If that was the case, then why was one of the most physically talented guys on the team sitting next to me on the bench? Then why did teams that appeared to have less talent consistently win? Read more

GAIN 2020 is coming

GAIN 2020 will be held June 16 to 20 at Rice University in Houston Texas. This is the thirteenth year of GAIN; it 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. Read more

What really matters

In life and in coaching it is important to focus on what really matters. What matters most is relationships – people – the human element. In today’s world of instant information and big data it is easy to forget that the numbers, data, scientific measurements are one-dimensional – we coach people who are multidimensional. They are not machines; they respond to care and concern. 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

Load management and walking on egg shells

The whole concept of load management as it is being interpreted and implemented is beyond me. Frankly, it makes no sense. Call me old school, but isn’t good planning and training design that prepares the athlete for the rigors of competition what we are supposed to be doing? We have reduced the quality and intensity of training to meet magic numbers developed by flawed measurement devises based on artificial algorithms. Read more

Good or great – your choice

It is always interesting to see how great teams and great athletes always find a way to prevail. They can be banged up, tired and off their game and yet they still perform at a high level. To me that is a crucial difference between good and great. Read more