Gadgets and Toys


There is a plethora of training equipment on the market today. Some of it is very fancy, very “high tech,” and expensive. My experience has shown that equipment is not the answer, no matter how fancy and high tech. You quickly become a slave to the equipment; the focus shifts off the athlete you are coaching and squarely on the equipment. Once you pay top dollar for a piece of equipment or a gadget there is a subconscious obligation to use it and you end up using it even if it is inappropriate to use. A group that I worked with purchased (Against my advice) a cold laser device that cost $20,000 soon everybody was hooked up to it whether they needed the treatment or not. It may have been appropriate for one person; it certainly was not for everyone. Another team I consulted with installed a $350,000 underwater treadmill before I was consulted. They used it for everything; they had to justify the expense. It was inappropriate for many of the situations it was used for. It was forced into the program to the exclusion of more effective methods resulting in prolonged rehab and inhibiting return to play.

Stop to think and analyze before you purchase. Get beyond the hype and marketing. Does the equipment do something significantly better than you are doing now? Don’t be swayed by those who endorse it, they were either paid or got the equipment free. Over the years I have found less is more. The farther away you get from the body the less effective the training, that is the bottom line. All the random number generators, machines with dials and alarms that go beep are no substitute for an experienced coach with a good eye and a feel for movement. I am a minimalist, start with the bare minimum and build from there as needed. Instead of putting money into facilities and equipment, invest in human resources; good coaches will produce good athletes. Athletes will get better with good coaches that implement a well-designed systematic program to fit the sport the athlete!

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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