What is Your Lens?


What is your lens? Each of us has a preferred lens to view an exercise, a specific movement or to evaluate a training method. Our preferred lens will bias our interpretation of what we see. For example, when I look at running, I immediately default to look at certain aspects of the stride. Over the years I have had to train myself to recognize this and to have an adjustable lens that is adaptable. In psychology this is called a confirmation bias. As coaches we must guard against this. How can we overcome this? Just like anything it takes practice. Sometimes it is as simple as changing the observation point. Other times it demands getting with someone who you know has a different viewpoint and really listening to what they say. I have found the latter particularly effective in evaluating training methods.

When I am reading articles, listening to presentations or viewing a training session I try to determine what lens was used. Someone who labels themselves a strength coach will look at sprint starting with a very different lens than a dancer. The strength coach will immediately default to what weight room exercise can be used to improve the start. The dancer will key on the posture, shapes, rhythm and tempo of the action. That does not mean that either are wrong, just a different lens that is biased by their background and training.

Don’t forget to recognize that there are different lenses. Work to have interchangeable lens so that you be more effective as a 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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