Wake Up Strength Coaches


I have been thinking of writing this post for a long time. I have been hesitant because of the risk of pissing off a whole bunch of people, but so be it. I say wake up because those of you that identify yourself as strength coaches are painting yourselves into a corner. The more you chase numbers in the weight room, the more you create adapted athletes that are disconnected with what they are trying to do on the field, the court, the pool and the track. How many of you actually attend practice and see what is going on outside the weight room? If you do not do that then you better, because if you are not connecting the weight room to the sport then you are not doing your job. Oh I have heard all the excuses why you can’t you, they are just that excuses. I have been places where there were there were eight graduate assistant strength coaches for football. They spent all their time polishing the chrome and mixing “recovery ” drinks. It takes planning, communication and organization.

Do you get along with the trainer, probably not? They are no longer on your side because they see the injuries that are occurring because of biased one sided training. They don’t get hurt in the weight room; they get hurt because of the weight room. Trainers you are not without fault, you need to get out of the training room understand what is going on and stop pointing fingers. Just getting your CSCS does not make you anymore of an expert on Strength and Conditioning than it does the strength coach. We are all part of a support team that is supposed to help the coach put the best prepared, healthy fully adaptable athlete on the field, court, pool and track.

We need to get back to coaching. We need to emphasize complete athletic development, not just strength. In the immortal words of the sage social philosopher, Rodney King “Why can’t we all get along?” Don’t paint yourself into the corner, take charge, and be a leader not a follower. Get out of the weight room deal with the complete athlete and be a coach. It is easy to get strong and achieve numbers; it is hard to apply that strength to the sport that is our job.
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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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