One of my goals in starting this blog was to help define the ATC at the high school level. It is important to remember we are not physical therapists. A P.T. gets to spend maybe 3 days a week for a few months with an athlete. We spend 6 days a week with them for 4 years. We see intra & inter injury patterns develop within that time. The athlete is going through physiological changes during that time period that may be insignificant to a P.T. It could be said then that "the P.T. treats injuries, the A.T. treats the athlete". The P.T.'s program would be protocol centered, while ours needs to be athlete centered.
Vern uses the term "athletic development" rather than strength & conditioning. Athleticism is something you can carry with you for the rest of your life, long after your playing days are over. It helps prevent injuries, and just makes life more fun. In Josef Drabek's "Sports Training for Children", he makes a point of discussing important developmental windows of opportunity where athletic skills can be developed. It's not that they can't be developed at a later time, it's that those skills may never get developed to their optimum.
What is unique about Vern is that he has worked on every level, from elementary through elite professional. Not as a consultant either- I mean hands on in the trenches. He understands the needs of the adolescent athlete, and his "Planned Performance Training" concept reflects that. He also understands that we must work with multiple athletes at once, and his training session management techniques come in handy. I will be commenting more on the Gambetta Method & it's application to high school athletic training in future posts. If you want to learn more about him, I have a link to his web site to the right of this page.