Many have argued that practically applicable training information and thoroughly researched sport science are mutually exclusive entities. Dr. Gamble proves this assertion false as he has become my go to resource for just such material. Through his books, website and social media presence, Paul has proven to be the industry leader in providing information that manages to bridge the gap between scientific researchers and the in the trenches practitioners.
I first discovered Paul’s work while searching for quality information on agility training. I came across Training for Sports Speed and Agility and was blown away. It was by far the best book I had seen on the subject and inspired me to search for and follow any other information I could find from Dr. Gamble. Being that I had not heard of him prior to reading that book, I thought I found my secret weapon in the quest for superior athletic development. The secret didn’t last long as over the coming months and years more and more of my peers in the Strength & Conditioning industry began discussing his work.
Through a stroke of luck, and the ever easier access to worldwide communication made possible by the internet, I was fortunate to be introduced to Dr. Gamble. Since that point, Paul has become the person I reach out to when an issue pops up that I just can’t seem to find a solution to. He has consistently given me tips and ideas that could be immediately implemented with my teams. He has always been more than gracious in his willingness to help and I am grateful to be able to consider him as both a mentor and friend.
Paul Gamble was National Strength and Conditioning Lead for the Scottish Squash Performance Programme based in Edinburgh. Over the five years we worked together, Paul worked daily with me preparing, delivering and supervising individualised strength and conditioning programmes for my senior squad, including ex-world No.1, John White, and current world No.28, Alan Clyne. Paul was also involved in the preparation for our highly successful Commonwealth Games campaign (all of our doubles pairings reached the quarter-finals and one team reaching the semi-finals). Many of the junior players Paul helped to develop from an early age have also since made a very successful transition to senior competition and the professional circuit.
Paul’s role with the squad based at the national training centre required him to manage all aspects of physical development of my players. This included overseeing sports medical treatment and sports science support, as well as strength and conditioning planning and delivery. Paul often attended treatment sessions and served as the conduit for relaying information from providers in order that the coaching staff remained updated with clear and accurate information.
Paul also prepared and managed the delivery of strength programmes to our regionally based players by the various Area Institute of Sport S&C specialists. In addition to coordinating delivery and support with providers in the regions, Paul maintained regular contact with these players and personally carried out regular assessments and provided feedback to players, coaches and parents at our monthly Academy training squads.
Paul provided individualised periodised plans for all our players and worked tirelessly to ensure that players’ training was constantly optimised to ensure the best performances. He pays exceptional attention to detail in lifting technique and he works hard to incorporate the latest information and research into his programmes.
For a small nation, Scotland punches well above our weight in the sport and are renowned for our athletic prowess - due totally to the expertise and professionalism that Paul has brought to our players’ physical development. Our injury rates are extraordinarily low and I attribute this to the combination of functional development, proactive physiotherapy and performance strength training that Paul designed.
I cannot commend anyone more highly in the field of strength and conditioning.
Paul has been one of my strongest and most influential supporters since I first met him in 2013. The knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm he brought to each training session consistently astounded me. Every aspect of my training was created as a specific piece to fit into the week's training and build towards my training programme for the entire athletics season. He was always flexible and responsive to my form on the day and never hesitated to make the changes necessary to get the most out of each training session. He was dedicated to supporting my pursuit of athletic success and did everything in his power to help me achieve my goals. I will be forever thankful to him for the powerful combination of coaching intelligence and friendship he blessed me with for the 4 years up to my retirement from athletics in 2017.
I met Paul at the start of his career in elite sport: Paul was embarking on a PhD in elite rugby union as I arrived into the role of Player/Head Coach at London Irish rugby football club. The short time available to introduce a whole new game plan and style of play meant that we had to make the time spent performing fitness work as efficient and productive as possible; I also wanted to make training fun. This led to the genesis of the idea to take the radical step of undertaking our preseason conditioning in the form of skill-based conditioning games. Paul had previously used heart rate monitoring to assess the demands of rugby football match play and he planned to use this technology in his PhD; he was therefore the perfect person to start this journey with. With Paul’s expertise and new heart rate technology developed for team sports we were soon able to prove that our novel approach was highly effective. Secure in this knowledge, we continued to employ conditioning games as our exclusive means of fitness development for the squad throughout the remainder of the preseason and the season that followed, constantly developing and evolving our approach over this time with Paul's aid. That year was the most successful in the club’s history: we won the national cup and had the club’s highest ever final standing in the league, qualifying for the following year’s prestigious European cup tournament.
Paul’s dedication and readiness to embrace and develop new ideas readily fit with the culture I sought to develop at the club, and in a short time Paul established himself as an important part of the support team for both the senior squad and academy. Following my departure to return to my medical practice in South Africa Paul’s role with the club continued to grow; by the time he left the club and completed his PhD he had risen to the position of head strength and conditioning coach.
The Somerville Hockey Club is one of New Zealand's premier clubs which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary. Every year we run a high performance academy with 20 of our highest potential athletes. The programme includes skill development, nutrition and physical conditioning.
Paul has led the strength and conditioning programme for our athletes, including initial assessments, preparing a plan for each athlete, a 1-to-1 session with each player to discuss results and programmes, and weekly sessions with the group, centering on different aspects of their offseason conditioning.
With his assistance (in the last year) we have managed to promote 16 of the 20 athletes into higher grades of competition. The improvement in overall conditioning has been evident during the year, and we would expect to use Paul in future programmes.