Game Fit


Here is the basic question- Are you getting them ready for the “fitness test” or are you getting them fit for the game? More often than not the two objectives conflict, when in fact they should be one and the same. First you need to thoroughly assess the demands of the sport you are preparing for. Is it a sport that has high-speed demands, aerobic endurance demands or a combination? Then determine the most appropriate tests to use to assess the fitness requirements of the game. Be sure to choose teats that give you usable data that you can translate into training programs to address the needs of the individual players. The test is not an end unto itself. The test needs to provide objective feedback on the athlete’s current state of fitness relative to the demands of the game, his or her position and their level of development. The test should be a means to an end. It should help to better communicate and motivate the athlete, not be a hammer that is used as a threat. I am not a big fan of arbitrary cutoffs i.e. everyone must be under six minutes in the mile. What does that tell you? It has been my experience that when that is the case the players train for the test that may or may not get them fit for the game. What is convenient is not always right. Just because everyone else in your sport uses a test does not mean you must use the same test. Use the test to gather as much information as possible. Always video the test, monitor everything that you can monitor. It is impossible to gather too much information. Remember game fit is being ready for the demands of the game.
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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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