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What’s in a name?

My Grandma’s name was Mary Pitts. To my sister, my cousins and I she was Grandma. To my Dad she was Mum, and to my cousins kids she was Granny.

But her name was still Mary.

Each generation of my family has different memories of her (even of the same occasion!) and she meant different things to each of us.

But her name was still Mary.

So, what does that have to do with injuries?

A lot actually.

Most coaches only have a vague understanding of injury names. They’ve probably experienced having one or two themselves and can use those ones with confidence in an appropriate sentence.

But even if they can use the right words in the right context, the name itself doesn’t MEAN anything to them.

I’m not dumbing things down too much when I say that injury names are nothing more than locations on the body, so if you know for example what “patella tendinitis” is, all you’ll REALLY know is that if you point at the area just below the kneecap, that’s where the pain is.

Well, good for you!

For the medical profession, this is super important because they often have multiple professionals involved in a patient’s care and being very specific in a short space of time helps to reduce mistakes (after all, you wouldn’t want surgery on the wrong leg now would you?😆)

But for coaches, if we keep heading down the same road of following the pain, we’re on a road to nowhere.


Because there’s nothing we can actually DO about it. Pain is not, nor will it ever be, our responsibility as non-specialist coaches.

But in the same way that the name “Mary Pitts” meant different things to different people, injury names can be the same.

Once you know that patella tendinitis is pain below the kneecap, you can apply your joint movement restriction knowledge to figure out why that might be happening and work within your non-painful movement coaching guidelines to help relieve the strain on the knee.

Often that means starting from somewhere completely different to the site of the pain… which is a GOOD thing!

(Remember the order of tension release starts with the spine?)

When we work like this, we are providing our clients with the very BEST of both worlds.

We can focus on removing the strain on the tissue from elsewhere in the body, while the therapists work on the site of the pain, and the medics can use their scanning equipment to make sure there’s nothing more serious going on.

This is collaborative working at its best, but none of it works if we don’t understand a LOT more stuff before we get to this point.

The SMARTT® methods aren’t about jumping in at the deep end with enough information to do half the job (if that’s your style of coaching then I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place).

SMARTT® Coaching isn’t about making ourselves sound cleverer than everyone else either (so if you think learning the technical jargon puts you on a different level, again, you’re in the wrong place).

SMARTT® Coaching is about having ALL the strategies and insights that allow you to leverage your coaching skills to get the very BEST from your participants and seamlessly collaborate with other professionals – no matter what sport you coach, who you coach or how much experience you have.

If you want to have ALL the tools at your disposal, and more support along your coaching journey than you know what to do with, then I’ve laid out the entire framework for you in my Amazon bestselling book “The Coaches Guide to Long-Term Injury Prevention Success”.

If you haven’t got your copy yet, head on over to Amazon right now to grab one so you can discover the EXACT strategies you can use – and how they build on each other to become the most powerful coaching practices you’ve ever known.

Oh, and don’t forget to come and join the Facebook community for more tips and strategies at

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