Vern Gambetta

Mind plus muscle equals life

We believe that there is no algorithm for leadership and so we interview great sports coaches from around the world to try and find ideas to help all of us lead our families, our colleagues, and our teams better.

The best ideas from those interviews are in this newsletter.

We hope you find one or two things here that you can bring to your dinner table, locker room or boardroom table for discussion.

Latest Interview

Our Great Coach this week is Vern Gambetta, whose career spans around five decades and has seen him coaching multiple sports at the elite level.

From his first experiences as a Track & Field coach, Vern has gone on to work in Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, the NBA, Cricket, the NHL, Softball, and Swimming.

A coaching polymath by any definition, Vern has worked as the conditioning consultant to the US Men’s World Cup Soccer team, spent time as the Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox, and was Director of Athletic Development for the New York Mets.

Through 9 books, over 100 articles, and a number of lecturing and speaking appearances across the world, Vern continues to share his expert knowledge and has helped countless coaches, trainers, and leaders to improve their own skills.

Some key highlights from our terrific conversation were:

  • Vern’s persistence in identifying an athlete’s negative self-talk and helping them to reframe their mindset.

  • The very simple equation of mind and muscle that constitutes his definition of muscle training.

  • The importance of rhythm in analysing elite performance.

  • His personal philosophy of helping the best to be better, and how he prepares his athletes for the path that lays ahead of them.

Catch the full interview now: Apple | Spotify  | Google


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Leadership Insights

You may have heard of the phrase “break them down to build them up”, which implies that athletes, team members and colleagues need to be criticised and critiqued in order to unlock their true potential.

According to Natasha Adair, however, this method just does not work.

In this clip from our past interview, the head women's college basketball coach for Arizona State shares her own approach to encouraging her athletes, using examples rather than criticism.

If you like this, you can find more than 1200 other insight videos on our website, covering a variety of leadership topics such as setting up new team cultures, establishing team values, or helping others with their inner voice.

All of the insights are indexed, searchable, and can be downloaded to share. Some may require a one-time purchase or subscription - check the individual insight’s description for more information.

Leadership Skills

The topics of mental health and the psyche often pop up in our conversations with Great Coaches, and it’s easy to see why. The heat of competition, mixed with intense training sessions and the pressure to reach expectations, can have a considerable impact on the minds of athletes and open the door to negative self-talk and even mental health struggles.

In this special lesson on Psychological Safety, we’ve combined a series of quotes from 7 Great Coaches discussing their own approaches to keeping their players, athletes, and team members safe, including:

  • The value of leaders being open about their own failures and shortcomings, and opening themselves up to feedback.

  • How allowing players to express their individuality builds confidence and encourages players to take leaps into the unknown.

  • Methods for inspiring courage and helping others out of their comfort zone.

Want to find more content like this? You can find lessons on a wide range of leadership-related themes and topics on our website:


This is a fascinating article that I wanted to share, discussing the way that modern soccer/football could be if it was redesigned from scratch and approaches to existing issues were reconsidered.

"If things were healthy and stable, then the three richest leagues in the world -- the Bundesliga, Premier League and LaLiga -- would've produced more than six combined champions over the past 18 combined seasons."

Elevate Your Leadership

CEOs, parents, and partners; our coaches are living proof that their methods work.

With decades of combined leadership experience across multiple countries, continents and companies, there are very few challenges Grant, Paul and Zuzana haven’t experienced first-hand.

Get in touch today at [email protected] to learn how Elevated Leadership can help you.


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