Happy New Year – Looking Back to Move Ahead


I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy new year. I just finished a ninety minute bike ride to start the New Year off on a good foot. During that ride I was thinking about this blog and continuing to reflect on the past two years. Those two years have been have been years of change, renewal, reinvention and discovery. In 2005 when I quit my job working with the Nike Oregon project, I had nothing to turn to. I had shut down my business in order to focus on what was supposed to be my dream job. Needless to say it was a bad dream. I had to move on and find a way quickly. I decided to finish the book which I had worked on in fits and starts for the previous three years. I figured that would get me back on track and reignite my passion for coaching and learning, a passion that I lost between the negativity of the Mets and the total confusion of the Oregon project. Working on the book and finally finishing it helped. As I was driving back home to Florida I had a lot of time to think and reflect. I was in the middle of Wyoming when I got the idea of the Functional Path. I came to the conclusion that trying to follow the functional path was what it was all about. I felt that if I was struggling to stay on the functional path that others must be doing the same. That is where this blog started. I had to wait for my son to come home from India before launching it because it was technologically beyond my capabilities. I have the found the blog to be a great starting point for the day. It is certainly a forum, but it is a responsibility I do not take lightly. It is part of my mission to move forward and define the field of athletic enhancement. My goal is to be a voice of reason and a source of basic knowledge. I struggle at times to strike a balance between sharing and educating and the marketing necessary to make a living. I try to stay away from hype; I will leave that to the gurus.

Every year between Christmas and new years I use the time as a “Think week,” a week to reflect, study, renew, catch up and think big thoughts. Here are some thoughts, lessons and ideas. Some are old that have been reinforced, some are new and some may not seem especially profound to anyone but me:

  • Respect is earned not bought
  • Knowledge and wisdom eventually win out over hype and promotion
  • Coaching is special because of the impact you can have lives and the daily lesson you learn
  • I coached 23 years before I produced my first video –it took me that long to learn something that I could share
  • I am an idealist. I dream of the way things should be and try to make it happen.
  • Knowledge without passion is wasted; people do their best when they are passionlessly engaged
  • There is no set formula for training; there are principles that are highly adaptive
  • Understanding context is essential
  • There are no new ideas, they are just old ideas repackaged
  • I specialize in being a generalist
  • Research and science are wonderful, but they must be tempered with practice and common sense
  • Coaching is talking, listening, seeing, and doing. It is totally multidimensional. It is not about me, it is about we and us.
  • Friendship is special, cherish your friends
  • Family is even more special, they must be first and foremost
  • Make every experience you have a one off experience, make what you do each day special. If you do not approach it that way the people you work with will not.
  • Don’t make resolutions or set goals, go out and do something, take action, don’t set goals achieve them!

Discuss entry

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.
RT @GreatestQuotes: Your aspirations are your possibilities. - Samuel Johnson - 4 years ago
Vern Gambetta

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