Job Preservation


A conversation with a friend the other day reminded me of how many S&C coaches are into job preservation. Instead of doing the best job that they can and letting the chips fall where they may they are always looking over their shoulders and doing the bare minimum to preserve their jobs. It is especially prevalent in pro sports where the monetary compensation encourages this. They work hard to get the jobs, get a decent salary and then sit in their office or their pristine weight rooms and wait for the athletes to come to them to train. They design benign programs that do not challenge the athlete because they are fearful that if anyone were injured they would be blamed. The athletes would never improve with those programs, but they won’t get hurt either. They live in mortal fear that someone will question their program. They are beholden to the trainers and the team medical staff because they have not kept up on the research and current practices. The excuse for not learning is that they are too busy working to learn and implement new ideas. If they do learn they gather together with their cronies in a professional organization and pass around the same old worn out ideas, in essence mutual intellectual masturbation.

Frankly, when I look across the spectrum of professional sport and see that many teams have head and assistant S&C coaches as well as two or three interns, then I see players from those teams going off to performance centers where they have no accountability to the club that pays their salary, that reflects on the quality and expertise of the teams S&C coaches. That should not occur! Frankly the S&C coaches are encouraging this by not providing the best programs. Why is it so hard to give 25 major league players an individual program for each day? How many teams do that? You would be surprised. How many teams allow personal trainers to work with their players at the clubs facilities? (Probably less than before, but it still goes on).

In some of the situations I have seen the S&C coaches work harder and create more stress for themselves by focusing on job preservation, than if they just focused on doing their jobs. I told one guy to stop talking about and worrying what everyone else in the league was paid and just do his job and then his pay would increase. My advice to those of you thinking of going into high profile positions or if you are there now is that make sure you define the parameters of your job. If you can’t do the job to the best of your ability then don’t take the job. Rather than compromise my beliefs I have walked from two high profile sports jobs because they took away my ability to do the job to the best of my capabilities. I could never be satisfied with just preserving my job. Each morning you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can be better today than you were yesterday. You owe that to yourself and those that you work with.
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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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