Tag Archive for: Featured

Functional Training – Method or Madness? Part One

As someone who is considered the father of functional sports training I think it is time to revisit the concept in order to better understand it – Where did it come from, how it evolved, where it is today and where it is going. Functional training is a label for a concept. As with any label it is subject to various interpretations. I originally conceived it as multi lateral training integrating various training modalities (medicine ball, stretch cord, weight training, dumbbells, body weight etc.) to produce significant adaptation in specific performance parameters. It trains all systems of the body while recognizing and respecting the wisdom of the body. The end result is a highly adaptable athlete who is able to perform without limitations in the competitive environment. Contrast this to biased one- sided training that results in adapted athletes who are inconsistent in performance and prone to injury. Read more

Vern Gambetta

The Basics – Mastery Nothing Less!

If you don’t get the basics right then everything that follows will be compromised. In my experience the difference between good and great is that that the great ones always pay attention to the basics and have flawless mastery of the basics. They never stray far from the fundamentals; in fact no matter where they are in their career they touch the basics everyday. Sure it is mundane, some have called it boring, but to be the best requires mastery of the basics. Advanced skill and technique is built upon sound fundamentals. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Getting There – Being The Best

The process of getting to be the best is not a straightforward linear path, it is a process and it takes time. In my forty-four years of coaching I have seen that many are called to walk the path but few actually choose. Yes you read that correctly. Many are called but few choose. The opportunity is there for many but few will make the choice because it is a difficult path that requires moving out of their Comfort Zone. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Olympic Gold Medal Coaching

I have been fortunate in the time since the Olympic games to spend time with seven coaches of Gold medal winners in Athletics (Track & Field) from the London games. In two instances I got to watch workouts and spend significant time with the coach and athlete. These are the commonalities that all shared: Read more

Performance Paradigm

Movement is quite simple and from that wonderful simplicity comes the complexity of sports skill and performance. Twenty-five years ago in an attempt to better explain movement and how we should effectively train movement I came up with this simple diagram I call the Performance Paradigm. It was somewhat like what Albert Szent-Gyorgi, once said, “Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.” Essentially it is the stretch shortening cycle of muscle with a more global interpretation and proprioception brought into consideration. It is the basis for what some people call the Gambetta Method; to me it is common sense. I use this to evaluate movement efficiency or deficiency and then to guide training and if necessary rehab. Read more

Where Are The Teachers?

The missing link in today’s coaching is pedagogy. Webster’s defines Pedagogy as: the art, science, or profession of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction. My generation of coaches was trained as teachers. We learned teaching methodology and teaching methods as an integral part of our education. Read more

The Eye of the Beholder

It is interesting to listen to coach’s talk about what they see when observing movement. Are they really seeing what they think they see? Human vision is incredibly acute and at the same time fundamentally flawed. The longer I coach the more I realize that more often than not we see what we think we see rather that exactly what is happening. Whether we recognize it or not we all have a tendency toward a confirmation bias. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Ideas on Being a Coach

Coaching is not something you do, it something you are with every fiber of your being, there is no half way you must be all in. The journey is long and rewarding because of the opportunity to guide athletes in their development athletically and most importantly as people. Here are a few thoughts  and concepts that I have found to be valuable in my experiences from 44 years of coaching. Read more

Vern Gambetta

Thoughts on Testing

When you are testing it is important to consider all of the following: Read more

Vern Gambetta

To Do or Not To Do

Yesterday as I was working on some new training programs and evaluating the past training cycle when I came across a “new” exercise that I thought might solve a specific problem one of my athletes was having. The dilemma in this case always is, will the new exercise do a better job than what was being done before. Read more