Most people hear the word connection, and they quickly think of a connection with another person or a place they’ve been.
When wannabe injury hackers hear the word connection they usually think of the connection they have with the people they are coaching.
Some coaches even think of a connection as being something electrical or digital, like a cable or the internet.
When I hear the word connection, I think about the connection the people I coach have with themselves.
Here’s what comes to my mind when I think about the word connection when it comes to injury prevention, especially if you really want to help injuries become a thing of past for everyone you coach:
In the coaching world, we’ve been telling people that they “should” be feeling stretches in certain places and that their technique needs improving for so long that people have lost trust in their own abilities to move and feel pain
This means that they’ve stopped listening to their own bodies – relying instead on other people or gadgets to give them guidance
The result is that people wait for pain to tell them that there’s an injury problem
Then they ignore that pain, hoping it’ll go away on its own.
Finally, when they can’t ignore it anymore, or it’s affecting their training, they’ll tell you about it.
Here’s the bottom line for all wannabe injury hackers: if we can help our people to connect with their own bodies so they recognise the more subtle restrictions in their joint movement, before it becomes painful, we can help them to prevent the majority of sporting aches and pains.
Let me share how you can apply this to your coaching – try to remove the word “should” from your coaching cues when it comes to stretching. Maybe using the phrase “it’s my intention that” instead, and allow your people to position themselves how THEY need to, to feel the stretch in the place you want. It might not look like you thought it would, but that’s ok because everyone is different..
Here’s just some of the advantages this simple practice will bring to you and the people you coach:
- Deeper relationship between you and the people you coach, improves communication and trust
- Faster recovery times if your people DO get injured
- More effective stretching practices which improve movement more quickly, leading to less risk of injury AND improved performance
- Develop coaching practices that complement any other treatments/therapies your people might be having, which may lead to building relationships with those professionals later.
Oh, one more thing, if you want to help injuries become a thing of past for everyone you coach, check out my exciting book – Unlocking Fitness – at unlockingfitness.com right now.