Future Olympians


I was at the American Swim Coaches Association convention in Las Vegas last week. Obviously everyone was quite euphoric over our swim team’s performance. As usual I have to throw some water on the fire. Let’s not spend too much time patting ourselves on the back for the 2008 performances. Let’s not let typical American naivete pervade our thinking again. Let’s take a realistic look at today in order to predict the future. Our kids are less active, have poor or few movement skills, is this a base for future high level Olympic performance? Mark Schubert, National Team Head Coach and General Manager, gave a presentation that sounded like a cheer leading report of our team’s performance. There was very little objective analysis of why things went well and nothing on what went wrong, very little in terms of recommendations for the future. What lesson did we learn? We can bury our heads in the sand and revel in Michael Phelps performances or we can objectively analyze what we need to do to get better. Schubert stated that the world is not catching up to us. I do not know what planet he is on, but they are right at our heels. We need to recognize that our 2016 Olympians’ in all sports are twelve years old today! Go out and look at today’s twelve year olds. How can we project those overweight inactive youngsters into future Olympians, they are physically illiterate, they lack fundamental movement skills. Who is going to address their movement deficiencies? You can’t wait until they reach the elite level, it is too late then, the window of adaptation is closed. We need to get physical education that is both physical and educational. There is time but the window is small. We need to get our sport leaders like Schubert to open their eyes and ears and be aware of the reality of the future. Remember it takes ten years and ten thousand hours to produce a high level performer in any discipline. The future is now with our twelve year olds- wake up!
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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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