Dinosaur or Cockroach – Adapted or Adaptable?


Do not look for adversity, look for opportunity. Ask yourself what I can do each day to make the athletes that I work with better. Carefully study the movements of the sports – understand the forces and how they are produced and reduced and train accordingly. Get away from artificial limiting beliefs about what the body cannot do – focus on the infinite possibilities that the body presents to solve movement problems. Train movements to enhance coordination and efficiency of movement. The body is completely adaptable. It has an amazing ability to compensate and solve movement problems. Yes, I said compensate, great athletes are great compensators and it is OK!

Artificial sterile environments or strict “correct” movements do not expand the body’s ability to adapt to the demands of the sport. Sterile and artificial training environments and scenarios result in adapted bodies that cannot change and adjust to the random and chaotic demands of the sport. Open challenging movement enriched environments create adaptable athletes who are able to adjust and modify movements on demand. These adaptable athletes, given a level of talent, are high performers and stay injury free.

Which would you prefer if you were to choose an athlete for competition? Do you want a dinosaur type who is completely adapted and on their way to extinction or a cockroach type athlete who is thriving and highly adaptable? I know who I want – I want the cockroach who can adapt to any environment or under any circumstances. Ask yourself – Are you training your athletes to be dinosaurs or cockroaches? I want adaptable athletes who can solve any movement problem presented to them?

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

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