Selecting & Using Training Tools


That drill really looks cool. That piece of equipment is really high tech,it has lots of lights, dials and printouts. I saw so and so do an exercise and they are winning. Yes, that is great, but? Are those good reasons for using a training tool? There are some questions you need to ask when considering new training tools or evaluating what you are currently using:

Are you doing it because everyone else is doing, because it is the exercise of the day or the drill of the month? Monkey see, monkey do?

Is the tool you are planning to use appropriate for the task at hand?

Do you know how to use the new tool? Have you done your homework? In essence have you read the instruction manual that came in the box?

Does the athlete understand what the training tool is and why they will be using it? This is important because the athlete is an active participant in the process. Coaching is working with the athlete to get them better; therefore their feedback in necessary and important.

Is the new tool really going to be better than what you are doing now?

Is the new tool replacing something in the training program or is it going to be added into the existing program?

Think, analyze- What are your objectives? What is your plan for achieving those objectives? The training tools represent the actual point of implementation of the training; therefore the selection and use of the tools must be more than just exercises and drills. They must serve a specific purpose.

Also consider that Training = Testing and Testing = Training. Can the training tool you are considering give you daily feedback?

All of us have our go to tools. Know what yours are. I have certain tools that I use across sports if they are appropriate. I use them because I know where they fit in my training system. They are reliable and provide me with accurate information regarding the athlete’s progress. I would need much convincing to eliminate those tools.

In today’s marketing driven environment it is often difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Hopefully this is some food for thought that can help you make better choices in selecting training tools.

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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