I am continually amazed at howexperience is both undervalued and overvalued. It is overvalued becausewe get caught in the trap of thinking of experience in terms of yearsrather than what went into the years. My mentor and friend Joe Vigil putit quite well when he said to me one time: “You can have thirty tearsexperience by having the same experience thirty times or you can have anew experience each year for thirty years and truly have thirty yearsexperience.” In my estimation truer words have never been spoken. I seethis all the time. The coaches and professionals that I admire andemulate are the people who have had different experiences. They havetried new things and failed; they have pushed the boundaries and gottenout of their comfort zone. They have used their experience as alaunching pad, not an anchor. I spent a fair bit of time at the ASCAConvention with Nort Thornton, the Men’s swim coach at Cal Berkeley whohas just retired but will continue to coach there. He is a primeexample of a coach whose experiences are valued. He was attendingpresentations and taking notes. He is 75 years old and still learningand trying to improve what he does with swimmers. He has been aninspiration to me over the years because of his approach. Has he mademistakes, sure he has, but he has learned from his mistakes and notrepeated them over and over. He made an interesting comment to me aftera young coach had come up and commented to me that he wished I hadshown more videos of exercises during my talk, Nort said: “ They wantthe x’s and o’s but they don’t know the why’s, they all want the recipebut they have not learned how to cook yet.” I will close with a quotefrom Aldus Huxley: “Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens.”

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

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