2007 NSCA Presentation


LONDON — The prosthetic legs double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius uses provide less air resistance than normal legs, the IAAF said Monday.

The following is the introduction and summary of my presentation at the 2007 NSCA Conference. I will post my comments on the conference tomorrow.

Following the Functional Path

Everything Old is New Again






Define the field of Athletic Enhancement

What I am going to say may not be particularly profound if you look at the individual parts of this presentation; but when you step back and look at the whole presentation you will learn.

Let’s use today as a jumpingoff point. This is where we are:

The bottom-line tends to be the bottomline

The focus is on “super” exercises and “magic muscles”

The means and the end are not connected

“Not only is the old becoming today’s new…most coaches do not know what the old was.” Kevin McGill

Yesterday is gone – the future is now

Learn from the past – Successes as well as failures

The Story

Following the Functional Path to Building and Rebuilding the Complete Athlete


Change is constant

Coaches lead change

Coaches = “Change engineers” Kelvin Giles

Building on Old Concepts

Are we limiting ourselves?

Is it evolution or revolution?

Back to the future – Very little that is new

Buzzwords, Fads, Myths, Half Truths, and Lies

Functional Training Core Training/Stabilization

Closed Chain Alignment

Stability Ab Obsession

Lactate & Soreness Need to “Feel the Burn”

Fit for what? Aerobic Base

Good Feet Fooling `em with the 40

Machines are safer Rotation is dangerous


Early specialization

Lack of fundamental movement skills and a general fitness base

Extended competitive seasons

Decline in quality of coaching

Dominance of equipment – Marketing

Explosion of injuries

Recommendations to Define the Field

Do not trivialize – Do not try to pick the fly poop out of the pepper

Seek knowledge rather than information

Specialize in being a generalist

Get a mentor not a guru

Achieve mastery

Be a leader, not a follower

Understand the spectrum of the demands in the sport you are working with

Training is more than exercises and training methodology – it is application of the principles of sport science and sound pedagogy

Beware of the “Sheep Walking” phenomenon

Think, Think, Think

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.
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