Where did we lose our way?


In doing research for my new book I have been looking at the decline of physical education in the schools and the effects this has had on the process of developing athletes. When I started teaching in 1969 this was the model program, a famous physical educator and coach Stan LeProtti developed it. This is a boy’s gym class from La Sierra High School Carmichael California circa 1960’s. These are not the athletes this is a gym class! No cup stacking, no heart rate monitors, no machines just education that was physical. It was demanding and competitive, there were five levels of achievement signified by the color trunks that the students earned.

It makes you wonder where we lost our way? Where did standards and expectations get lowered? We need to wakeup fast; we are sitting on a time bomb of obesity and diseases’ of disuse from our hypokinetic society. The results will bankrupt the healthcare system. We must reinstitute mandatory daily physical education as a major step in the right direction. Of course there is a problem there because there are fewcolleges and universities that train physical educators anymore, but there are also solutions to that. We need action now!

Just to sum it one of the swim coaches I work with told that yesterday one of the gym classesat the local high had the students walk to Dairy Queen for the class activity – this speaks volumes! Let’s find the compass, orient to true north and get back on track.

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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