Vern Gambetta on Finding Your Compass


There was an interesting exchange on Charlie Weingroff’s Facebook page that I wanted to share with you between Charlie and Vern Gambetta. For those of you that don’t recognize Vern’s name he was a pioneer in our field in the eighties. The text is below. Let me know what you think.

Charlie- I wish people would listen to all of Mike Boyle’s message and not just hear bits and pieces. I think his message is a relentless seek and find for best practice for his training environments. Best practice as anyone would define it is indeed absolute at that moment. My best practice is not the same as Coach Boyle’s, but I think green folks can do a lot worse than copying him. As we know, I do many things differently than and even contrary to Coach, however, at the core of it all, we are in the same camp.

Vern- All I seem to hear is absolutes. What is his real message? Let me explain – I have respect for people who are consistent in their message and hold to their core beliefs. You must have your compass oriented to true north, not magnetic north that changes all the time.

Charlie- Coach [Gambetta], your statement’s brilliance is on the figurative nature of magnetism. My magnetism is to be the greatest at what I do that has ever lived. If I happen to see an unexpected new tool on the way to my true north, my compass draws me to pick up this tool. If I have to remove a tool I am already carrying, then at least I know where I left it if I need to go back and get it.

Vern- I am all for seeking a better way, that is something I have been trying to do for 41 years in coaching and some 8 years before that as an athlete. I am concerned about “experts” creating confusion for profit. We all need to raise our standards and expect more from each other. I am not attacking anyone, I learned a long time that it gets you nowhere, but I will call someone out if I think they are off base.

I only post this to illustrate how a guy who showed many of us how to reorient our compass in the 80’s now is critical of those of us who continue to do it. Vern was the father of functional training. He moved many of us, me included, away from a powerlifting and bodybuilding mentality. Now as we continue that move we get criticized for creating confusion for profit. Funny thought coming from one of the first guys to do seminars and videos for profit. I think Vern created the industry he now criticizes. What do you think?

22 Responses to “Vern Gambetta on Finding Your Compass”

  1. […] Vern Gambetta on Finding Your Compass June 2010 21 comments 5 […]

  2. I think the industry has passed him by and he is upset that no one will listen to him and no one will bye his stuff

  3. I think great coaches are great thinkers and history has shown us despite their brilliance great thinkers are unable to agree with each other. For coaches that are trying to learn or find best practice you can not rely on these great coaches alone to figure out what really works, what doesn’t and why.

  4. Sometimes you can’t win I guess. Regardless, you shoudn’t feel the need to defend yourself. Those of us who follow your stuff know who you really are. 🙂

  5. mboyle1959 Says:

    Mark- interesting point. Not the kind of disagreements I generally get into but, when Vern took the time to post to Charlie’s Facebook page I felt a response was necessary. I have tried being direct with Vern but, that has not really gone anywhere. I think what you see some pent up frustration.

  6. Hey Mike,

    I personally don’t know much about Vern, but it is sad to me that two veteran coaches have to resort to blogging about one another instead of working together to find the best methods for improving performance.

    I don’t say this to put you down Mike as I have tremendous respect for you and everything you’ve done for the industry. Instead, I guess I just wish that you and coach Gambetta could come together to show the younger coaches how collaborative efforts can create greater results than conflict.

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