What do doctors know


Doctors and Chiropractor are not trained in exercise. They have no idea how a healthy body responds to the various stimuli of training. I know you have to be careful when you paint with a broad brush stroke, but this is true in the vast majority of times. I have recently run into a situation where an athlete that I have helped over the past few years has had a flair up of chronic back problems. The athlete is seeing a chiropractor that is encouraging her to jog. I want her to sprint hills (she is a chronic over strider and hills control your stride and there is less impact forces uphill). Why jog? It just will be more pounding. Several years ago I was at a conference where one of the team physicians of a major west coast university gave a presentation. He reported that in the past year that there were twelve sacral stress fractures in the distance runners at his university. He proceeded to give an exercise prescription that was so far off the wall; I almost fell out of my chair. It was like the sacral stress fractures were a fait accompli, instead of asking why sacral stress fracture, much less twelve of them. You need to get with the coach and find out why?
I had a team physician for a major league baseball team tell me we needed to test for max VO2 because the players were not fit enough. He felt that testing Max VO2 would encourage them to do more aerobic work and get fitter. He was trying to sell this to ownership! Of course coming from a doctor it had value! A baseball player does not run a mile in the course of a season. This is just an example of how out of touch many doctors are.
As coaches, trainers and therapist we have to work with the doctors to help them understand what we do. I have been lucky over the years to work some doctors who were willing to come out to workouts and observe what the athletes were doing in training. It gave them a better understanding of the stresses the athlete were putting on their bodies day to day. I think that should be a requirement in a sports medicine fellowship. The doctors should have to spend three weeks with a coach at workouts. They will then at least have some understanding.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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