The Human Element


Sometimes when I hear coaches talk and I read training articles I get the feeling that they are mechanics working on a machine. I am left with the impression that you can change a body part or just fix it and everything will be OK. Nothing could be further from reality. The body is highly adaptive and self-organizing, we guide and direct it, and we do not program it. The body is not a machine with interchangeable parts. The brain that guides and controls the system is not a computer. The body is a living organism that is continually adapting and changing in order to maintain a state of homeostasis. The brain is constantly rewiring reconnecting synapses to guide and control the system. As coaches we are not technicians, we are conductors of the orchestra that plays a symphony of movement. Our job is to get all the sections playing in harmony to produce smooth efficient movement. We do not do this by focusing on parts. We direct the movement symphony by enhancing connections between the parts. Eventually with practice, with trial and error we achieve a harmony in movement that is measured by performance in the competitive arena. As a coach resist the temptation to micromanage the process, to take a reductionist approach and focus on parts, instead focus on the big picture to get all the parts playing together in harmony. Enjoy the creative process, it is both challenging and rewarding.

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.
RT @GreatestQuotes: Your aspirations are your possibilities. - Samuel Johnson - 4 years ago
Vern Gambetta

Latest posts by Vern Gambetta (see all)