Intellectual Incest


One of my mentors, Dr Joe Vigil, coined that phrase many years ago. He used it describe coaches who pass around the same information, usually misinformation, in a small group and believe it to be gospel. They keep reinforcing their own misinformation. You need to ask yourself as a coach where do you get your information. Have you taken the time to go talk to a coach in another sport and learn how they train or how they organize practice? Have you read any technical journals in the last month? Have you read any scientific journals in the last month? Do you do the things you do because that is the way they have always been done? Does all your information come from the internet? If so you might consider going beyond the internet. Do you have a mentor that has had a variety of experiences? It is so easy to get caught up in intellectual incest while searching for the latest and greatest, the secret or the next big thing. I am convinced that the next big thing in coaching in general and athletic development in particular will come from a generalist who searches well beyond traditional fields in the coaching domain. Since August I have fifty books, only ten of those books were directly related to sport or training, most were well outside the field, some in cognitive neuroscience, some in communication, some biographies. What they all had in common is that they stimulated ideas that I think are helping to improve my coaching. I encourage you to do the same. This is one of the goals of the GAIN Apprentorship– to challenge people to get out of their comfort zone and search farther afield. All that being said remember the immortal words of Gertrude Stein “the answer is there no answer.”
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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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