Are you a translator or a teacher?
Understanding the technical names for injury problems is literally like learning another language (because most of them are Latin)… let’s call it “injury speak” just for demonstration purposes.
If the medical profession are fluent in “injury speak”, then when sports and fitness coaches become injury specialists, what we’re really saying is that they too have a good understanding of “injury speak”.
But the difference between injury specialist coaching and SMARTT® coaching isn’t the “injury speak” itself… it’s how we choose to USE it.
Let’s say there are two coaches, Mary and Jane.
Mary has gone through many of the industry standard qualifications for fitness, she’s a highly experienced athletics coach, runs her own athletics academy and considers herself to be an injury specialist.
She loves talking “injury speak” with her Physio connections and those connections love talking to her because she understands them.
But when it comes to coaching her athletes, Mary has fallen into the common trap of trying to TEACH her athletes a little bit of “injury speak” in the hope that they would understand what was happening and why they needed to stick to her programming.
Many of those athletes did what she asked (but still didn’t really understand) but many didn’t, which was frustrating for Mary and her athletes.
This lead to many incidents of miscommunication and misunderstandings, which ultimately led to limited results.
Mary’s athletes felt like they were spending ages on something irrelevant to their training, taking it too easy and like they were being held back from their training for no real reason.
All they wanted to do was get back to the way that they had been training before and forget all this injury nonsense.
But Jane took the SMARTT® approach…
Jane is highly experienced running coach. She’s been running for most of her adult life and got into coaching when running helped her through an emotionally traumatic event in her life – and wanted to help others use running to do the same.
Although Jane doesn’t have the fancy “specialist” titles of the fitness industry qualifications, her SMARTT® Coach training means that she understands “injury speak” just as well as Mary.
Jane also has Physio connections that love talking “shop” with her.
The difference is that Jane doesn’t try to teach her runners “injury speak”, she translates it into something meaningful for them.
She doesn’t use big words that end in “itis” or “syndrome”, she uses words like “stuck” to help her runners understand what’s happening to their bodies and familiar movements to help solve the problem.
Her runners completely understand how having joints that are “stuck” isn’t helpful for their performance so they are happy to help Jane find ways to unstick them.
Jane’s runners don’t understand a word of “injury speak” but her Physio connections LOVE sending their patients to her because she understands “injury speak” (so the physio’s don’t feel like they’re having to dumb anything down or spend ages explaining stuff) AND how to translate it into something that their patients can do for themselves (which saves the physios having to spend time on the movement stuff that they don’t like).
Jane’s connections know that SHE is the difference between a faster recovery from injury or a lengthy, drawn-out, expensive one.
They also know that connecting with her helps their own reputations for fast and effective injury treatment.
And that’s the SMARTT® difference.
When we stop trying to teach people what we know, and instead translate it into something they can use, we become MUCH more valuable to everyone.
I mean, can you imagine how well international diplomatic relations would work without translators?
But we can’t start adding value by learning the “injury speak” first.
Our first, and most important job is to truly understand our participants from a mental and physical point of view because if we don’t know them, how can we hope to translate that “injury speak” into something that’s meaningful for them?
Fortunately, this process is easier than you might think… in fact, I’ve developed the secret cheat code that helps every sports coach to prevent injury AND skyrocket performance, without spending thousands on specialist courses… no injury knowledge required!