Training Ideas

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Sports Illustrated now has a regular feature highlighting an athlete’s training. I think this is an interesting idea but it does not quite go far enough. It appears that they are looking for the unusual and out of the ordinary. There is no good attempt to explain the exercises with any depth at all (I certainly understand that SI is not a training journal, but an entertainment magazine) that is not their mission. However with the paucity of information they present the potential to confuse people is great. Coaches and athletes are very impressionable and often will blindly copy things they see in a magazine without any analysis (Monkey See – Monkey Do Syndrome). The positive side is that exposes people to the training necessary to prepare to play. It can be misleading and provide misinformation because it is often a snap shot of the training taken out of context. For example in the current issue a high school conditioning coach presents three of his key exercises. One of the exercises is sprints with the parachute for resistance. One of the key coaching points he emphasizes on this drill is keeping the arms at a ninety degree angle throughout the sprint. That is perpetuating an old idea about arm action. In actual fact the arm angles in sprinting are quite dynamic. In front the angle closes to less than 45 and on the back stroke opens to around 110 degrees. Keeping the angle at 90 degrees is inefficient and causes the athlete to sprint with undue tension. See the picture of the sprinters for the correct arm action.

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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

@coachgambetta

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