The Generalist


Maybe it is my basic attention deficit nature, but I know I am most comfortable and I think most effective when I am around and work with generalists. I am a generalist that has been my focus since I started teaching and coaching. I think that is why I gravitated toward the decathlon when I competed in track. I knew that training for and competing in decathlon would make me a better coach because I had to look for commonalities between events and movements. It is always a challenge to look for and make connections but as you travel farther down the generalist path it becomes easier to see connections. Get someone to join you; together you will see things no one else is looking at. You will see movement and exercise with different eyes, certainly differently than conventional wisdom would have us believe.

If you get too narrow and specialized it is easy to miss the forest for the trees. There are certainly times when you need to narrow your focus and look closer at parts, but then you need to step back and put those parts into the context of the whole. Getting too narrow and too detailed can be like looking through the wrong end of telescope, it is a very distorted view. A generalist develops the skill of making connections among seemingly unrelated information. As a generalist you quickly learn it’s not the links, but the linkages that make the system. The specialists focus on the links, the small parts, the generalist stands back and sees the bigger, holistic picture, how the pieces work together.

In 2011 I look forward to sharing more of the generalists view of training. Have a healthy and Happy New Year.

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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