Losing Championships


This is the time of year when championships are won and lost before a game or match is ever played. This is the infamous “pre-season” training period where teams will practice twice even three times a day to get ready for the season starting in late August. I maintain that more games and matches are lost during this period because coaches overwork their athletes during this period. It is too late to positively affect any significant conditioning gains for the fall. The money must be in the bank before the pre-season training begins. That is why summer and off season training is so important. I go by the adage that one workout cannot make an athlete but one workout can break and athlete. This is the time to sharpen tactics and strategy, to work on specific game fitness, not to get them fit. The error often starts with the testing to begin fall camp- often this is fitness testing. Now what do you do if they don’t pass the fitness tests- run them more? Those players have made a choice. Perhaps a seat on the bench next to the coach would be appropriate. The people who win championships during this period are those who approach training intelligently, have a long term plan and closely monitor the athlete’s response to each session. They understand it is a period to be specific. Talent + Intelligent Training + Coaching wins championships.
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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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