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WARNING! Here’s What Every Injury Hacker Needs to Know About Inclusion. Hey, I’m Sarah from mostmotion® and I’m here with another video for every sports and fitness coach who wants to help with their clients movement and injury problems, but doesn’t want to specialise or become a therapist. So what is inclusion? Well, UK Coaching have developed a five pillar strategy called their Duty to Care. And this basically is designed to help every sports and fitness coach make every single participant in sport feel included and considered and respected in their chosen sport. So inclusion is one of those pillars and what they mean by that, let me just read this to you.

UK coaching says that inclusion is the idea that everyone should be able to use the same facilities take part in the same activities and enjoy the same experiences. So how does that relate to injuries? And you? Well, firstly, what happens most of the time when people are injured is that coaches, because we’re not allowed to get involved in injuries, we avoid the situation. So let’s say for example, somebody comes to you they’ve had an issue with their knee for ages, and it’s just flared up. Let’s call her Sally. Okay. Sally comes to us. She says, I’ve got a bit of an issue with my bad knee. I can’t do such and such today. And most of the time, the coaches will just say, Oh, well, that’s fine. You do something else instead. Okay. An example of this would be if the warmup was supposed to be a, I don’t know, let’s say a 400 metre run, or a jog around the track or something like that. And Sally says, “Oh, I can’t run today”. So you as a coach may find her something else to do, she might do rowing, she might sit on a bike, but she might do something else instead of what the rest of the group is doing. But let’s just stop there for a second and consider how Sally feels about the fact that her knee is hurting.

Having had extensive experience with nagging injury issues, I can tell you for sure that Sally feels awful. She is probably very sick of this nagging little issue that keeps flaring up, she will feel like she’s not part of the group, she will feel like she’s letting herself down because she can’t give her activity, the full effort that she wants to because her body is holding her back. So she will feel disheartened. Because of that, she will feel like she’s not good enough, maybe just all these negative feelings around the fact that her knee is a bit of a problem today, it might not be sore, it might just be a bit uncomfortable for her, whatever it is, that issue is stopping her taking part in the session fully. And it is making her feel very negative about the situation. So what can you do as a coach to make her feel included?

If your solution to the issue is that you are going to give her something completely different to the rest of the group to do, then you’re making the situation for her worse. How? Because you’re making her feel like she’s not included in the situation. Let’s say let’s take that warm up as an example, straight away from the very first minute of the session, you are making her feel different and separate. This is not helpful when it comes to including people in the session, we want her to feel like she’s part of the group. So what can you do? Well, the first thing is you cannot get involved with her pain. So please don’t even try. Okay, that is not your remit as a coach. Okay, so just don’t even bother with that. The second thing is that you can choose activities in your warmup that can include everybody, regardless of their ability to do something, okay. So if running is your

is your warmup activity of choice, then you’re automatically excluding those people who cannot run, okay, whether that’s through injury, or whether it’s through disability or whatever it is, you’re automatically making them feel different, okay? So you can change your activity so that it doesn’t involve excluding people, it may well be that you have them in a group situation there might be walking, there might be high fiving, then they might jog. They might, you know, you can choose lots and lots of different activities to warm people up, that do not exclude people, okay? And the third thing that you can do is give people the freedom to tailor those movements to themselves and how they feel about moving in those ways, okay, if you ask a group of people to walk in different directions, and when they come across somebody, give them a high five, you are allowing them to do that in a way that suits them. You’re not asking them to focus on a technique that looks correct to you. Okay? That’s very, very subtle, but it’s a huge, huge difference. And this way, it doesn’t matter if you have somebody with minor aches, or just old chronic movement problems, or permanent disabilities, you are including everybody in that movement, and in that group.

Now, as coaches, we are in a super powerful position, okay, our actions and our attitudes towards certain elements, certain parts of our sessions, teach our participants what to think and how to feel about them. Let’s take a cooldown for example, if you say that to somebody, it’s okay that they do that stretching at home, or you just skip over the cooldown by just asking them to do a few extra laps at a lower intensity, you are teaching your participants that the cooldown doesn’t matter. Okay? If you are consistently giving people separate movements to do excluding them from the group when it comes to injury issues and movement problems that they might have, you are teaching them that if they are injured, they are separate, different and maybe even not good enough, okay. However subconscious that teaching may be okay. That might not be your intention. But actually that’s the message that our clients get. And it’s really, really important that we acknowledge this and step up and be the difference so that our clients don’t have to feel excluded from what they’re doing. Your actions matter, because you are an injury hacker! And if you want to be involved or hang around with other injury hackers who feel exactly the same as you, you want to help out with their clients but don’t want to specialise in injuries, then come and join our awesome little Facebook group is at we’re hanging out there. There’s loads of tips and tricks and videos like this every week. So make sure you come and join us I’ll see you there. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again next time.

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