Monday, December 29, 2008
- Ensure players are fresh and recovered
- Ensure injured players are given the best chance of playing by making sure rehab protocols are adheared to
- Ensure players are focused and their mental preperation is correct
- Ensure players do not overeat during festive season
Otherwise I cant change much now re speed and fitness but I can compile my notes on each player so we can work on weaknessess in the future
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Obviously an analysis needs to take place of the present conditioing program to determine if any manipulations can be made. I think on 1 game/week you can make changes with dedicated high intensity speed and agility sessions and also I think the DS protocol I have talked about previously could work very well to get the team to where they should be. It is obvious they are a little flat but this may be due to not winning and a win will make all the difference.
Stage 1 - Review
Stage 2- make adjustments
Stage 3 - monitor adjustments
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
- All players prescribed the same intake regardless of size
- Specified quantaties of nutrients not met when diet was analysed
- Significant reduction in energy intake on game day
and this is just the start. I asked the student to tehn ask about qualifications and guess what he had none other then being a champion power lifter whiiuch may explain why his team lacked mobility. I ask why would he be prescribing the nutrtion I would be getting in a specialist in the field and how the hell does a guy like this get a job. It all adds up as many teams in this country have poorly qualified personal and look im not one to discount experience and I do understand maybe they havent had the time to get qualified but for goodness sake dont make it up as you go along get someone to advise you.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
- Realise that they have many competing interests - school, friends etc
- Dont forget the athlete that may only be losing because of size - people grow at different stages and rates
- Work with all your athletes not just the ones performing well now
- Never forget success as a junior does not guarentee adult success in fact it is probably detrimental
- Look at the entire athlete and get people nto help you if you are not and expert in certain areas (nutrition, strength etc)
- LET THEM ENJOY THE JOURNEY
- allow them to do other sports early specialisation is a killer
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Functional Path Manifesto by Vern Gambetta
Defining the Field of Athletic Development - Where We Are Now
Why am I writing this? Who am I to tell you how to train or rehab your athletes? How can I have the impudence to question some of the hallowed concepts of training and performance, even question sports science? I have consistently questioned much of what passes as conventional wisdom in regards to training and rehab and I have the audacity to ask you to do the same. Think and question. Why? On whose authority do I speak? Frankly I speak on the authority of wisdom based on experience and common sense. I have a passionate belief in defining the field of athletic development. I am defined by what I am not, I am not a sport scientist, physical therapist, ATC, a doctor, or a sport psychologist, I am a coach. As a coach I have had to travel in all those worlds, because of my experience in those worlds I am not restrained by conventional wisdom; rather I choose to use conventional wisdom as a starting point. I certainly have learned from all those disciplines and have incorporated those ideas into a systematic approach to athletic development. I have specialized in being a generalist. Being a generalist allows me to focus on the big picture, the connections and relationships that define athleticism. The arena of athletic competition on the track, the fields, courts and pools of the world are the laboratories to test these concepts. There is no hiding in this arena, it is a results driven world where training mistakes and inadequate preparation are quickly exposed.
Athletic development is about optimizing training to enhance performance in the competitive arena. The basic concepts are quite simple. My experience has shown that simplicity yields complexity, you don’t have to try to make it complicated. That is why being a generalist is so important; it allows me to make relationships that the specialist because of their narrower vision will not see. Sophisticated technology and computer algorithms are part of a much bigger picture. Over reliance on tools and technology will not get the job done. You need the coach with experience to ask the key questions and interpret the data. Without that, high tech tools are no more than random number generators
Much of what I stand for is not new, we already know it, it has worked in the past in a myriad of environments but has been rejected as old fashioned, not high tech, not scientific. We have abandoned proven methods in the name of progress. Certainly in every field of endeavor everything old is new again, but because of our society’s rejection of the past we have not studied the coaches who paved the way for us. It is trite to say that we stand on the shoulder of giants but without coaches like Bill Bowerman, Doc Councilman, Geoff Dyson, Franz Stampfl, and Percy Cerruty where would we be today in terms athletic performance. They were innovators who were not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. No one stands alone, I have been very fortunate to learn from many people. Most importantly I have learned from the athletes that I have coached. Who better to learn from? They were the ones who did the training; they were the ones, who competed,
My concepts of training are based on study of past training methods, sports science research and practical experience working with all levels of athlete. You learn through deliberate practice, through trial and error. You learn in the trenches, not in a book or a laboratory. You learn form your mistakes and your successes. That is where you start, but that is just a beginning. What I do is common sense; it works because it is simple and natural. If we follow our survival instincts we will do the correct things concerning movement and training. Modern society and conventional wisdom in training has dulled our instincts to the point that they are buried. The key is to unlock these instincts and allow the body to solve movement problems the way the body was designed to function. This is not dangerous or extreme, it is essentially what children do in free play when unrestrained by adult supervision and burdened by having to do the movements correctly. Today even at the highest levels of sport coaches are creating robots. Movement is not paint by numbers, it is an expressionist drawing, it is not a classical music aria, it is jazz riff.
We need to get away from reductionist thinking, stop breaking movement and exercise into its smallest parts and the focus on those parts in hopes of producing a moving flowing working whole, it won’t happen. It will only happen if there is a quantum approach, an approach that focuses on the big picture and the connections. In many respects this is where sport science has failed us. In the rush to publish and the desire to show statistical significance we have become so reductionist in our thinking that we now fail to see the forest for the trees. Focusing on Max VO2 or trying to isolate the internal oblique and transverse abdominis, while very neat and clean in the lab just do not transfer well to the performance area. Is it important to understand scientific concepts? Yes it is, but we must not be restrained by them. I remember scientists and sports medicine people publishing papers on the Fosbury Flop after the 1968 Olympics when Fosbury won the gold medal in the high jump. The substance was that this was an inefficient dangerous way to jump, merely an aberration that would soon go away. Several years later when a jumper using the Fosbury technique broke the world record, the same people were publishing articles and papers extolling the biomechanical advantage of the technique. Coaches and athletes knew it immediately, it was more natural, they could see and feel it. It took advantage of body structure and function to effectively apply force against the ground. Where would high jump performance be if we had listened to the initial response from the scientist? Coaches and athletes lead innovation in training and technique, not scientists.
Most scientific studies are isolated studies out of context of the spectrum of human movement demands. Science needs to measure an isolated component in order to conduct “valid” scientific experiments. I understand that those are the rules of the game for the scientist, but outside the lab in the real world of performance the rules are different. On the field or in the pool we cannot isolate variables. Does that mean we should reject science and rely solely on practice and experience, absolutely not. As coaches we need to travel in both worlds. As a coach, statistical significance does not mean anything to me, I am interested in coaching significance and how it applies to making a particular exercise or training method more effective. The great coaches I have known are both artists and scientists. They know what canvas to paint on, what brushes to select, the brush strokes to use and how to blend the colors to achieve the result they desire. We must get all the pieces working in harmony. In performance the essence is linkage and connections, not isolation. Therefore the training should reflect this and focus on muscle synergies and connections.
I am alarmed with the biased one sided training regimens that I see imposed on athletes. If you are doing a lot of something then you are probably not doing a lot of something else, a zero sum relationship. When you do this the result is a highly adapted athlete, the athlete adapts to that one component being trained. To thrive in the performance arena demands a highly adaptable athlete whose training is not biased, but reflects the demands of the sport and the needs of the individual athlete.
Certainly we are not going where no one else has gone before, we are not sailing uncharted waters, the path is clear, and the destination is obvious. That begs the question then, why with all we know and the supposed progress we have made, why are results so inconsistent. Why are preventable injuries at levels never seen before in sport? Do we need to take a different approach? We must take a long look at what got us to this point. Look back at what worked in the past. Look at those people who are producing consistent reproducible results. We need direction, definition and leadership, not more marketing and hype. We need to recognize and acknowledge the problems and address them with concrete solutions. To achieve this we need to shift the focus back on people, not facilities, equipment and training methods. Coaching is a people profession, people working with people to raise performance levels. We must do everything possible to raise the standard of coaching. I hope this stimulates you to get on board and help me to define the field of athletic development. We can change and we must change or we will go the way of the dinosaur. I implore you to get out of the weight room, go out and work to build highly adaptable athletes that can thrive in the competitive arena.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I talked about Sydney FC girls but I have also been doing work with CCM and they have also been fantastic. No complaints here just professional let me work with these teams anyday as it is a pleasure the girls Get It and also Appreciate the work you do. I suggest many Mens teams should watch these girls train to get an idea of how to be professional
Sydney FC W League Team
Finsihed pre season with the girls team and they are ready for the first round of the W League this weekend. The girls have worked very hard and testing results show a significant improvement in Vo2 (approx 15%) which I had predicted. The data on the DS protocol consistently shows such an improvement over a 4-6 week period and as mentioned previously with time limitations I feel this is an effective protocol that works. (see previous Posts re the DS)
Youth League Trials
As my previous post stated this is the disaster time for soccer in NSW and yet again I have been amazed by the lack of professionalism of clubs. What can I say except that something needs to be done or at least a course set up on assessing players too much politics, too many people pushing their own agenda as a Parent I find it upseting that parents would become sponsors of clubs just to get their son in the team - why would you do that if they dont have the talent. On the other side parents blaming anyone for the lack of talent of their child - I ask have they tried to develop their athleticism, have they put in the work. There is always 2 sides of the story but some decisions astound me such as one wiith a young GK I use to work with who is a great talent being cut from a team after a fantastic season. Keep your chin up Stefan it will work out for the betterment of you.
A funny word but has its place when we talk about people involved in Athletic Development. Isnt it funny that its always the most insecure I wonder if our cities A League club has worked out yet injuries may be related to the arrogance of the strength and conditioing man. I wonder why he is so arrogant - no formal qualifications may be the reason insecurity so he attacks everyone else. This is the genius that does no testing all pre season and claims everyone steals his programs. Sacked from most previous jobs we can hope this will be another one. Sorry I should not get personal but I get upset at people like this who do not treat people with resepect
Started athletics training yesterday just to experience being coached by a very good sprint coack Shez from Sprintology (check the website) I enjoyed it very much and even though this is different from speed for soccer obviouly there is much to lean and the more you experience the better you will be. I am concerned that not enough people in our field know or experience the movements they are presecribing. Get out and do it
Where have all the coaches gone? I mean we are doing something wrong in our university courses when few students come out ready to conduct sessions with confidence. I hope it is not a lost art but basic communication skills are not being developed at our universities
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The article below shows that in reality its all about growth and if you are not born in the first part of the year it is difficult. Sad I know and I wish people would just understand that the junior years are about development - particularly athletic development because when size evens out so many big youngsters are shocked to find that they should have worked harder on their movement when they were younger and not just relied on their size
Selection of young soccer players in terms of anthropometric and physiological factors.
Gil S; Ruiz F; Irazusta A; Gil J; Irazusta J
Department of High Performance, Basque Institute of Physical Education, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
The Journal Of Sports Medicine And Physical Fitness [J Sports Med Phys Fitness] 2007 Mar; Vol. 47 (1), pp. 25-32.
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
AIM: The aim of this paper was to describe the anthropometric and physiological characteristics of young soccer players (14-17 years old) which were associated with their being successful or not as soccer players. METHODS: Somatotype and body composition was calculated by measuring skinfolds, limb circumferences and joint diameters. VO(2max) was estimated by the Astrand's Test. Sprint, jump and endurance tests were also performed. RESULTS: The most relevant differences were obtained between selected and non-selected players belonging to the 14-year-old team. Selected players were taller, heavier, leaner and faster and they had higher absolute or relative VO(2max). In addition, a higher % of selected players was found among those born during the first 6 months of the year. In the rest of the teams, the agility was better in selected than in non-selected players. At later ages, there was also a predominance of players born during the first 6 months of the year. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that around the time of puberty, parameters associated with physical maturity such as height, size, speed, VO(2max), or chronological age are important to determine the success of a soccer player. At older ages, other factors such as agility seem to be more important. Nevertheless, players born in the 1st semester of the year are also more frequent in the older teams. These findings should be taken into account by trainers and coaches, in order to avoid biasing their selection choices.
Thoughts re above article
- why use an astrand test to measure aerobic power (soccer is not played on a bike)
- As we get older movement starts to impact - re agility
- Interesting to see how many of these big kids make good adult players
- My own observations suggest very few as their is to much reliance on size when they should be developing movement techniques
- I see very few superstar 14 year olds but many that are missing out on selection
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
THE EFFECT OF IN-SEASON, HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING IN SOCCER PLAYERS.
Dupont, Grégory1Akakpo, Koffi1Berthoin, Serge1 firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research Aug2004, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p584 6p.
The effects of in season, high-intensity interval training on professional male soccer players' running performances were investigated. Twentytwo subjects participated in 2 consecutive training periods of 10 weeks. The first period was considered a control period and was compared with a period where 2 high-intensity interval training exercises were included in the usual training program. Intermittent runs consisted of 12-15 runs lasting 15 seconds at 120% of maximal aerobic speed alternated with 15 seconds of rest. Sprint repetitions consisted of 12-15 all-out 40-m runs alternated with 30 seconds of rest. Results from the high-intensity interval training have shown that maximal aerobic speed was improved (+8.1 ± 3.1%; p <>
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The first one is a confusing study b Rampinini et al. and I havent yet red the full text version so I wont be too critical but read the abstract for yourself.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 May;40(5):934-42.
Effect of match-related fatigue on short-passing ability in young soccer players.
Rampinini E, Impellizzeri FM, Castagna C, Azzalin A, Bravo DF, Wisløff U.
Human Performance Laboratory, Mapei Sport Research Center, Castellanza, Varese, Italy.
PURPOSE: To examine whether the fatigue accumulated during match play or determined by short bouts of high-intensity intermittent activities affect short-passing ability in junior soccer players. A further aim was to examine the influence of physical fitness as measured using the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (YYIRT) on the changes in short-passing ability after a 5-min simulation of high-intensity activities (HIS).
METHODS: Sixteen players (mean +/- SD: age 17.6 +/- 0.5 yr, height 174 +/- 7 cm, body mass 68 +/- 6 kg) participated in the study. A quasi-experimental control-period design was used for the study. Short-passing ability was measured using the Loughborough Soccer Passing Test (LSPT). Players completed the LSPT in two sessions during the 1-wk control period, followed by two unofficial matches during which the LSPT was performed during and after the first and the second halves of the game. Furthermore, the change in LSPT performance was determined after 5 min of HIS.
RESULTS: A decline in LSPT performance was found during and after the game (P < 0.01). The accuracy of the LSPT decreased after the HIS. A significant correlation was found between the YYIRT scores and the decline in LSPT performance (accuracy, total time, total time with penalties) after HIS (r = -0.51 to -0.65; P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the fatigue developed during a match and after relatively short bouts of high-intensity intermittent activities has a detrimental effect on short-passing ability, and that the fatigue-related decline in technical proficiency for a given intensity is associated with the fitness level of the players.
Ok One of my professors always taught me to sk the question So What? when I have ever conducted research and when I read research I also ask this question. Would you expect this to happen YES the more exciting research is to then do soemthing about it. The next phase would be to increase the physiological condition of these players and then see what happens. Like I said I will reserve my criticism until I read the paper.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
5 x 20sec work @>95%/20sec recovery over a 20metre shuttle
2 min recovery
6 x 15 sec work @>95%/15 sec recovery over 15 metre shuttle
2 min recovery
8 x 10sec work @> 95%/10 sec recovery over 10 metre shuttle
2 min recovery
Total Time - 15 minutes
This will be used 2x/week during the first 3 weeks and extended to 3x/week for the following 3. Data from previous studies of ours have shown a very positive adaptations abnd the beauty of it is the short length as com[pared to previously published protocols. I cant wait to get the publication out as this is a great protocol that works.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
One of my favourite blogs is Chris conditioningresearch.blogspot.com where Chris discusses research from many different areas including football and some great stuff on nutrition. Here is one of his lates posts
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Train for football - play football
one for Dr Duncan....
This makes sense. If you want to train football....then play football. Sprints, balance, calisthenics etc are all fine, but the functional training is in the game
Heart Rate Responses During Small-Sided Games and Short Intermittent Running Training in Elite Soccer Players: A Comparative Study.
The purpose of this study was to compare heart rate (HR) responses within and between physical controlled (short-duration intermittent running) and physical integrated (sided games) training methods in elite soccer players.
In conclusion, these findings showed that some small-sided games allow the HR to increase to the same level as that in short-duration intermittent running. The sided game method can be used to bring more variety during training, mixing physical, technical, and tactical training approaching the intensity of short-duration intermittent running but with higher intersubject variability.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Step 1 - Analysis
I first analyse the sport, the movements, the physiology involved, the research outlining what is required to be a success anything I can find or do so that I know and understand the sport from a movement perspective. If there are specific positions in the sport than I must also analyse that position (for instance the GK in soccer)
Once I know the sport I must tham know the athlete and analyse their present physical condition. Now if I dont know the sport how do I know what to analyse and if I dont analyse how can I program. Testing needs to be completed and too ofetn it is not completed many professional teams do not test but how do they know where their athlete is at and how do they know if there program is working. testing is not the be all and end all of this but it does give a very important view point. The tests I conduct must be specific to the sport
Plan - Here you plan the season, phase (block), the week, the session if you have no plan you will fail and you are not a professional. I dont think it is possible to have a season plan spot on from the start but you must have the outline but it must be flexible if changes are needed. You than plan the phase, then the week and the session and this must be done in detail. I always say to my students a plan should have enough detail so if you are sick an assistant can run the session from the plan
The implementation stage where players perform the session etc and this is where you put the plan into practise. This is imperative that you are involved in this stage so you can see how your plan is working in reality
Review and Reflect
Often not used but so powerful after every session that you review and reflect on the positives and negatives and adjust if required. The system is flexible and fluid and requires constant tinkering dont get set in your ways be open Review how players feel, use player monitioring forms, interview your players anything to make your programs better.
This is not rocket science it is a basic educational model and you may vary what you do but at least be sure in your mind that you do have structure
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
August 08, 2008
Athletic Development not Strength and Conditioning
Do we really need strength and conditioning? Over the past several weeks I have seen and heard different situations that make me question the viability of the concept of strength and conditioning and underscore the need for athletic development. I am a firm believer that words create images and images create action. Strength and conditioning creates two images, heavy lifting all the time and running until you puke conditioning; the subsequent actions reinforce those images. It is difficult for me to understand why with all the knowledge, experience and sports science research that we have available that it is so difficult to move off this paradigm. Athletic development is a complete polar opposite of the above. Athletic development coaching builds better completely adaptable athletes. Athletic development addresses all components of the individual athletes and a team’s development based upon the needs of the sport, the position or the event and the qualities of the individual athlete. At the risk of offending people it is easy to get strong in the weight room and fit for a running test, but the real art and science is to apply that strength to the sport and the fitness to the game. Athletic Development demands a systematic long term plan with everyone on the performance team involved in the process. Today S&C works in isolation. The players go to the weight room, disappear for an hour or two and come out magically stronger and conditioned. Who knows what they do there, does it connect with what they are doing in their sport training, most of the situations I have seen there is no connection, S&C is an end unto itself. Athletic Development is all about mindful movements that connect to the sport. Why are you doing what you are doing and when are you doing it? I get criticized that I do not believe in lifting weights, or that I do not believe in Olympic lifting, that is totally wrong. I believe in strength training as part of a bigger picture. Olympic lifting MOVEMNTS are an integral part of a good strength training program, but remember Olympic movements do not have to done with an Olympic bar, it is the movement that matters and how it helps the athlete apply the strength gained to the sport. Remember a good strength training program should incorporate pulling, pushing, squatting and rotational movements.
What about conditioning? What about it? A good sound athletic development program thoroughly analyzes the fitness needs of the sport and addresses those needs in a systematic manner. It all about getting match, game or race fit. Mindless running without a purpose does not mean you will be fit for the game. Game fit is a cumulative process that incorporates all elements into building the complete athlete. Arbitrary “fitness” tests that do not reflect the demands of the game have no place in a good athletic development program. To use a test to determine if someone is fit is an easy out. Most of the time the standards for these tests are arbitrary at best, I recently saw a situation where a player was one step from passing the “fitness” test; they did not pass so they had to do extra fitness work. That is absurd. Use the testing to determine where each athlete is and determine the workouts accordingly. Make conditioning specific to the game and to the position within the game and to the individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
So where are we headed – I am afraid that we are heading down a one way dead end street. We need to wake up and rethink the approach to all of this. None of this is an end unto itself, it is all about preparing the athlete for optimum performance in the competitive arena. I think sport coaches and administrators need to wake up and reassess this field. More importantly those of us in the field need to shift the paradigm to developing completely adaptable athletes who have the ability to thrive in the competitive arena.
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Monday, July 28, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
By Vern Gambetta
July 04, 2008
Training Program Evaluation
Many people have asked for my opinion and/or an evaluation of various programs that are commercially available and very popular. Since I have not been able to observe these programs first hand for an extended period of time and in the spirit of maintaining a positive tone on this blog I thought it would be better to give you the general principles and ideas that that I look for in a program. From this you can draw your own conclusions. These criteria are the same criteria that I use to evaluate and continually upgrade my own training programs. • What is the philosophy of the program? • What are the goals and objectives? • Does it result in being adapted or adaptable or are you creating one trick ponies? • What is the context of each exercise and workout? • Is there a clearly identifiable progression? • Does it train movements and do the movements connect? • Is it manageable? Is it time efficient? • What is the big picture? Is it training or just mindless work that gets you tired? • Is it principle driven? • If it is norm based, where did the norms come from? • How is progress determined? What are the criteria for progression? • Does it travel well or do you need certain equipment or a trainer to implement it? • Are there injuries? If the answer is yes, is there a discernable pattern of injuries? • How much does it cost to be certified in the program? • Are various methodologies appropriately used? For example are power cleans done to fatigue with an Olympic bar? • Is it based on one series of exercises or machines? • Is it mindful or mindless? • Is it age appropriate? • How are people evaluated before beginning the program? • How are intensity and volume determined? • Is it one size fits all or is it individualized? In summary evaluation of an exercise or training program must be dispassionate and objective. Try to eliminate bias. I have the advantage of being able to draw on years of experience, so I have seen what has worked and what has not over the years. Remember that a hammer can be a very effective in the hands of a skilled craftsman or it can be very destructive if used improperly.
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Read Vern's blog each day it is well worth it