Observation/Ideas Stimulated by the Coaches Platform Conference in Holland


These are not necessarily original ideas, but the experience in Holland stimulated me to reflect on these. I certainly will post more detail on many of these in the next few weeks.

  • It is what you do with what you have. Holland is a nation of around of 14 million people. They do more with what they have than many other much larger countries. It is really about optimizing and directing your resources.
  • Coaching is the key. Facilities are nice, but human resources trump facilities.
  • Good coaching demands a blend of art and science. Coaches must have an eye and a feel for movement. You do not learn that in the lab or the classroom, you learn it through practice. To a certain extend you have it or you don’t, but it can be improved.
  • Innovation and change is not always comfortable or popular. Innovators can be even less popular.
  • The ability to see the same problem with different eyes is essential for progress.
  • Monitoring training is essential. Now the challenge is to agree on what is meaningful to monitor.
  • Inactivity and decline of fitness is not just a US problem.
  • Good coaches are generalists who have a broad base of preparation that allows them to see the big picture.
  • Early specialization causes more problems than it solves.
  • Management of the extended competitive season is one of the biggest problems in sports today.


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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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