Changing Technique – Quick Fixes


It is always interesting at this time of the year at the start of spring training and with the NFL combine to read the stories of how people have changed their technique. I have been following the Tim Tebow story with great interest. Apparently he has a team of “experts’ who have completely revamped his throwing style. He is not going to unveil his new technique at the NFL CONbine, but will wait for another three weeks, choosing a more controlled environment for the great unveiling. Let’s look at this with what we know of motor learning and skill acquisition. First of all he acquired his old patterns and grooved them for twenty plus years. You cannot unlearn and relearn a new technique in six weeks. You can make some style changes, but to go from a side arm slinging motion to a classic “overhead’ action will take years. The other factor is all this has been learned and practiced in a non-pressure environment. What will happen in the chaos of the game where everything is in fast forward mode? I wish I could be a fly on the wall on this one. Was there a baseline biomechanical analysis of his old throwing motion done? By that I mean 3D analysis. How much real time video analysis and feedback is he getting? To make real changes takes thousands of hours and directed practice. I maintain that the changes he is making are probably very cosmetic and he will revert to his old patterns under game pressure. For years I watched our pitching coaches when I was with the White Sox work on pitching mechanics. We had the advantage of biomechanical analysis as a baseline, but in still took time and thousands of repetitions and constant cueing. It can be done, it just can’t be done in six weeks!

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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