Numbers – The Search for Meaning


In the rush toward big data and gathering numbers I see the real challenge as making the numbers meaningful. Certainly technology enables us to gather numbers on almost any parameter we want to measure. We are now able to measure and quantify parameters that I dreamed about measuring 46 years when I started coaching. Certainly this affords great potential to enhance performance. The downside is when we can get so caught up the numbers that we look at them in isolation and not see the forest for the trees. Numbers are one-dimensional and performance is three-dimensional. That is one aspect, the other is that it is too easy to look at a number that represents an isolated variable like HRV and not relate it other measures or put it in context of life in general. In a recent post Seth Godin put it quite succinctly: “We need to spend more time figuring out what to keep track of, and less time actually obsessing over the numbers that we are already measuring.” So take a step back and look at not just what is measurable but what is meaningful to you and the athletes you coach.

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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