Belief or Fact?


My good friend Kevin McGill got me thinking about this over the past several weeks. He is trying to find out how the “soft step” concept has become embedded in the belief system of American javelin coaches. This is one of many examples of myths that are adopted as beliefs without anyone really taking the time to research the facts. Has anyone thought to challenge this concept of “toe up” and dorsiflexion of the foot in sprints? If not, you should, there is nothing in the sprint biomechanics research to substantiate this. How about pawing in sprinting? Check it out does not happen, yet it is taught as fact. How about wrist snap when hitting volleyball? How about the wrist action throwing a curve ball? How about anaerobic threshold? Are these facts or beliefs? After forty years of coaching I am more interested than ever in cutting out the bullshit. Lets coach what happens, not what we think happens. We have the technology and science support to separate fact from fiction- Why do we keep ignoring it? I think because it requires all of us to get out of our comfort zone and work at what we do. Change is not comfortable. Seek knowledge not information. I spent all day yesterday researching, reading journals. One of the interesting things I read was in the latest IAAF Technical Journal New Studies in Athletics there was a very good interview with Glenn Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach. He is a learner. It was obvious from the interview that he is always trying to improve himself by upgrading his knowledge. As sergeant Joe Friday used to say on my favorite police show, Dragnet- Just the facts!

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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