Yesterday when I was going through some files in preparation for GAIN and I found this article from the New York Times science section in 2008. The article was “Weather History” by Anthony DePalma. There is a field of science called Phenology, the study of the timing of natural events. The premise is that natural events carefully and consistently recorded have scientific value for understanding the interactions between organisms and their environment. Naturally I immediately thought about coaching, teaching and rehab. The same is true. The more detailed the records that we keep, the more valuable that those records become as the years pass. I started thinking about a way to access the records of workouts, lesson plans and treatment notes of great practitioners, what a wealth of information that would provide. I know I have training plans and sessions from my first years of coaching buried somewhere, it would be very interesting to see the patterns, to see if the structure and content of the workouts has changed or the same threads are present. I am convinced that as we have become dependent on technology and “scientific analysis” that we have lost our power of observation. In essence we cannot see the forest for the trees. We are missing patterns that develop over time. Looking at training programs over the long term will give a window into the timing and application of the training stimulus and the subsequent adaptive response. It would even be valuable to be able to access the training logs of athletes, what an insight that would provide.

I am going to take it upon myself to contact the coaches that I know that have kept records throughout their careers to see if they would be willing to share. I believe the principles and concepts of Phenology apply in coaching as well. Any ideas and input would be appreciated

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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