The Facilities and Equipment Trap


Facilities and equipment should never be the determining factor in program design. I always start with the assumption that I have a bare room or a field with no equipment. If you start with that assumption then the focus is on the athlete and what they need to do to get better.
Too often if facilities, equipment and even to a certain extent training methodologies become the first determining factors in a program, then we tend to fit the athlete to the facility, equipment or methodology. It should be the other way around; the program should fit the athlete in order to achieve optimum results. Don’t get me wrong a good training facility can only enhance the training, but it is not 100% necessary. I have seen world champions train in what was no more than a closet. The basis of everything you do is manipulating the three movement constants, the body, gravity, and the ground. They will always be there and they travel well. Look at your environment for tools that you can use. Tress and rocks work well; you can climb tress and throw rocks. When those possibilities are exhausted then start looking at equipment that will enhance the program. For example before I moved to Florida hill sprints were always a foundation of speed and speed endurance development program. Where we live in Florida there are no hills, so I had to improvise. More sled work and work with vests had to suffice. It is not the same but I had to understand how it differed and account for that in the programs. It works, not as well as hills, but it works. The bottom line is they we are in a results oriented business. I must admit I would find hard today to coach without my medicine balls, dumbbells, hurdles, pulley machine, rings and all the other toys I like to use to use, but if I had to I would.
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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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