Stress to Stress


Carl Valle said something to me in an email that struck a resonating cord. Can you be too specific? Is it possible to increase pattern overload from too many highly specific movements in training. I think you can. Training for an activity is just that training to prepare to do that activity. It is not the activity itself. The most specific movement is the activity itself. Each repetitive activity brings with it the potential for a certain pattern overload. That is inherent in the activity. In the search for specificity of training we may be actually adding to that overload. My basic mantra for a long time has been train to play. Understand the demands of the activity and prepare the body to tolerate those demands by progressive overload of sport appropriate movements that do not add stress to stress. I really do not think that a pitcher will forget how to pitch if every movement in training is not imitating the pitching motion. In fact I know that working general movements that work both sides of the body will significantly enhance pitching performance and reduce injuries. I have never worked with Golf, but I find it very interesting studying golf conditioning programs.
It is difficult to see where Golf coaching ends and conditioning begins. Basic rotational movements and weight transfer activities will significantly improve the golf swing without imitating the golf swing. If you want to improve the golf swing understand the movements of the golf swing then train movements that enhance the quality of the recruitment of those muscles that stabilize, reduce and produce force. General and Transitional (special) strength should lead to specific strength. Specific strength is resistance or assistance that seeks to imitate the movements of the sport or skill. This should only occupy a small portion of the actual training time. For the past four years I have work closely with Jim Richardson, the coach of the University of Michigan women’s swim team to design their Dryland training program. Very little of the program is trying to imitate the swim strokes on Dryland, it is virtually impossible to do. They groove those strokes in the water with thousands of strokes. The purpose of the Dryland program is to work on strengthening in positions that will enable them to get in better positions in the water. If you saw the Dryland program you probably would not immediately recognize it as a swimming Dryland training program. The movements are sport appropriate that get the swimmers strong to enhance their work in the water. In summary think sport appropriate not sport specific.
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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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