Athletic Darwinism – Last Man or Women Standing


Since last year I have been following the results of the teams and individuals from the NCAA Division I Cross country championships. Many people have bemoaned the fact the fact that we cannot produce distance runners in this country. In my opinion you need look no farther than the NCAA Cross Country meet. Cross Country has take on a life of its own, with a rankings and a point system to help earn at large berths to Nationals. This forces teams to compete more than they should which eventually takes it toll. That toll is taken during outdoor track season. It will be interesting to see how many of the top twenty five male and female runners are running effectively by outdoor nationals in Track or even running at all. By effectively I mean make a final at NCAA's. I know as a collegiate coach, cross country was a step in preparation for outdoor track. Fortunately we were not forced to run indoors which helped put the focus on results were they counted, outdoor track. With the focus on continual performance, development takes a back seat. Only the naturally strong and gifted will survive. Survive not thrive, is that what we want?

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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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