Some thoughts on recovery


I remember returning from my first trip to Australia totally enthralled with what I had seen in terms of systematic recovery programs at the AIS and some of the state institutes. I came to the conclusion at the time that you must be proactive and design your training around recovery. Conceptually at the time that might have been a logical conclusion especially with the attitude that existed here in the states at the time. That attitude was that rest & recovery were a luxury; you rested when you needed it, a very reactive attitude. Over the last fourteen years I have seen the whole “recovery” piece take on a life of it’s own. It seems an elite athlete cannot do more that a few minutes of “hard” training and they must have a massage, get ice and have a specially concocted recovery drink. In other words the pendulum has swung completely to the other side where it seems to be all about recovery and not about training. Somewhere in between the truth lies. The human body is a wonderfully adaptive and self-organizing organism. We need to give it credit and stop interfering with the natural inflammatory cascade that triggers the adaptive response. I think we need to take a step back and look at what we are doing with recovery today and reassess it’s place in the whole training process. There is very little actual research to back up what we are doing in recovery. Let’s reconsider how often and what external means of recovery we are using. Let’s do a better job of learning what each athletes “recoverability” is to all the various types of work they use in training. Lets remember that the foundation for a good training program is a good plan. A good plan will take into account the demands of the various types of work and adjust accordingly. Hopefully this will stimulate some thought and discussion and help find a more balanced approach to recovery.

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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