Some Thoughts – Theory and Practice


I found an interesting article on the USVBA web site the other day. The article entitled ” Necessary Relationships: Volleyball and Sports Science,” by Peter Vint, Ph.D. There was a particularly revealing and thought provoking paragraph that even though written specific to Volleyball is applicable to other sports. “Volleyball is a dynamic and complex team sport. Therefore, it is important to understand what may be optimal in terms of mechanical technique may be suicide in terms of real-life game situation tactics. Expressed differently, mechanically optimal and tactically optimal.”
The two are not equal. The message I took away from this is that we must understand the science and the practice. Sometimes they do not agree. Ultimately as coaches we must make the call as to what will work in the sport, for the athlete and for the their position or event in the sport. As coaches we have to be careful about fitting athletes into the box of technical correctness. We need to find ways that allow the athletes to put their movement signatures on the skill. I am always concerned about creating robotic movement. Movement must be flowing, not robotic and programmed.
He also suggested that we take a close look at:

  • What we know
  • What we think we know
  • What do we need to know

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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Vern Gambetta

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