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In that moment, I HATED him.

I knew exactly what he was trying to get me to do, but I refused.

I don’t know if it was rebellion, stubbornness or a crippling fear of looking stupid in front of everyone but that day, I wasn’t going to make it easy for him.

In high school, I chose to take a fast-tracked GSCE German class, which meant learning the language in 2 years rather than 5.

In the first 5 minutes of our first lesson the teacher started asking the class (in German – which none of us knew a word of) “What’s your name?”. When he got the expected wall of blank faces, he continued (in German) “My name is Mr. Sinnett, what’s your name?”.

Then he went round each of us in turn, expecting a reply – in German.

I was third in line.

As a shy 14 year old, sitting in a class with a teacher I’d never met before, speaking a language I’d never even heard before and an intense fear of looking stupid, there was no way I was going to utter a word.

And after sitting directly in front of me, asking for about the fifth time, he finally moved on.

So, what has this squeamishly embarrassing story got to do with you and preventing injury?

R. T. A..


In my German class, I heard the unfamiliar German words, translated them in my head into something that I understood (English), then I could have taken the action of replying, but chose not to.

When it comes to injury hacking, as non-specialist coaches, there are TWO different “languages” we need to be able to recognise… emotional discomfort and restricted joint movement.

Fortunately, in the human body, the emotional and physical cannot be separated, so they can BOTH be demonstrated in our participants’ postures, body language and behaviours.

It’s YOUR job to be able to:

  1. RECOGNISE these physical demonstrations of distress
  2. TRANSLATE them into something you’re comfortable with
  3. Take ACTION to help relieve the problem

What does that mean?


It means recognising familiar everyday actions, like standing with your arms crossed as potential emotional discomfort with a situation (which can lead to increased tension in the body), or restricted elbow movement (which can lead to elbow or shoulder pain) – or both.


As an injury hacker, it’s not your job to know the ins and outs of psychological or anatomical problems, which means that you have to translate this recognition into something you ARE familiar with… movement. Once you have made the translation in your mind, then it’s time for…


But where do you start? How do you translate emotional discomfort into movements?

The simplest answer to that is to take what IS happening (emotional tension and restricted elbow movement) and do the opposite.

The opposite of tension is fun and the opposite of restriction is freedom. This means that the actions you put into practice should be fun and encourage the elbow to move in lots of different directions.

What that looks like for your particular group of participants or clients will depend on your understanding of them and your coaching skills – which might mean that it’s slightly different for each, but once you understand the PRINCIPLES of what you’re doing, the possible actions you could take are infinite!

How cool is that?

But notice the first step: Recognise.

If you don’t recognise what’s actually happening in your participants’ bodies, it doesn’t matter what action you try to take – it simply won’t be as effective.

Don’t be one of those douche-bag coaches who just want to jump straight to the actions!

Your actions matter – YOU are an Injury Hacker!

Oh, by the way, if you want to learn how to recognise 36 different signs of distress, how to easily remove the mental barriers they create and MUCH more, check out the SMARTT® Coach Level 1 online training in the “Great Coach Bundle” over on the Crowdfunding page… there’s only a few days left to grab yourself a bargain!

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