Preseason Training


Preseason training & training Camps are usually characterized by multiple practices in a day. In my experience this is the genesis of many more negatives than positives. The resulting residual fatigue carries deep into the season compromising performance and predisposing athlete to injury. Why do we do it? It is quite simple; it is a tradition, a vestige of times past when you used the preseason to “get in shape.” It usually starts with some arbitrary “fitness” test that often has nothing to do with the sport. If the athletes is found to be unfit based on the test results now what do you do? The season is three weeks away. Do you get them fit? Do you punish them?

You prepare in the off-season where you build a strong foundation. The preseason is a time for specific preparation for the impending competitive season. It is a time to refine technique, sharpen speed and top off speed and game fitness. I have experienced two sessions a day and in college as a football player three sessions. I learned that there is a better way.  I have set up training camp scenarios where an athlete only had two sessions in a row and then a recovery session followed by short single sessions. Some of the shorter sessions were teaching sessions of twenty minutes in length with three to five athletes and three coaches. Any testing done was for information as to training status and readiness. A little creativity and understanding of adaptation and laws of learning allow for a better way. The goal is have the athlete “game ready” at the end of preseason not so beat up and fatigued that they can’t perform at their optimum.

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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