Catching Up


Sorry for not posting last week. I was only home in Sarasota two days so I barely had time to get the workouts in with Volleyball and prepare for the next weekend. It has been hectic but very satisfying time of travel. I have one more trip this weekend to speak to the Collegiate Swim coaches and then I have a week break. I am doing my best to keep the airlines solvent. I have flown 29,000 plus miles on Delta since January 1 and another 4,000 on Southwest. My comment on that is that if you have to fly, fly Southwest, it is the way to go, they get it. Just like good coaches they understand it is about the customer. Then why do I fly Delta, because they do not fly out of Sarasota and Delta does. With Delta you get to the gate, click your brain to the power saving mode and accept the fact that they will find a way to screw it up. Delta and the NY Mets have a lot in common (Delta used to be a corporate sponsor of the Mets- Birds of a feather flock together). They both could screw up a good dream.

This past weekend I was at the Second NC State basketball Symposium, it was smaller than last year, but I thought much better. I met a lot of nice people and got to catch up with friends. The high point for me was the presentation by Bob Medina, the strength and conditioning coach of the Portland Trailblazers. The title was NBA 101. He presented it like a class to coaches on a day in the life of the conditioning coach in the NBA. His story was spot on, and compelling. This talk could have been about any professional sport. Bob made the statement that in the NBA that if you wanted to you could be pissed off every day because of the nature of the league and the structure. I was impressed with how he has worked to create a system of accountability and motivation, it was impressive.

The audience was composed of many younger coaches with stars in their eyes, I hope they were really listening to what Bob said. It is not all that it appears to be. I think it is interesting that Bob started out as a high school coach, then coached at UNLV before the pro’s. What I saw at this symposium and a phenomenon I see in my travels is twenty something’s who have been a GA or an intern with a top DI program getting a job at another DI program with no real coaching experience. I really think everyone should have to teach and coach middle school or high school to find out if you can teach, communicate and organize. It seems the younger generation wants to be at the top and not pay their dues. I think you really learn to coach when you have to dig and rake the long jump pit, when you have to line the track, when you have to teach five classes then coach. That is reality, but I sense there are fewer young people who want to get their hands dirty and really coach. Sport science is fine and all the internships at palatial facilities are great but can you coach? This is all basic stuff. I want to thank Bob for getting the my motor running and the wheels turning.

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

Latest posts by Vern Gambetta (see all)