I bet you can do it – easily too!
It might be a children’s book but the characters in the Winnie-the-Pooh books perfectly represent many easily identifiable personality types.
I bet you could easily assign each of the people in your life a Winnie-the-Pooh character that best represents them.
You’ll have an Eeyore – who always destroys the idea of anything new before they’ve even tried it, sees the glass as half empty and just seems happy to moan.
You’ll have a Tigger – who is impossibly optimistic, believes they can do or achieve anything easily, but who moves on to the next thing when times get tough
You’ll have a Piglet – who sees the dangers in everything and is scared of doing anything outside of his comfort zone
And of course, you’ll have a Rabbit – who likes to be seen to know what he’s doing, and an Owl who likes folks to think he knows what he’s talking about.
So what does this have to do with YOU and injury prevention?
When it comes to preventing injuries, there’s a quote by Benjamin Hoff that perfectly describes what we’re trying to do as fitness coaches…
“Most major difficulties are caused by a failure to observe the minor difficulties that they start out as”
As fitness coaches, it’s not our job to deal with injuries themselves (the major difficulty), but if we fail to observe – and deal with – the movement restrictions (the minor difficulties) that they started out as, our clients…and our income, will suffer.
It’s our job to keep the body moving in as many different ways as possible to help the joints stay able to move in all directions they were supposed to. But if anyone has the audacity to suggest something different, like sitting on the floor cross-legged to do a shoulder workout…that’s when the Winnie-the-Pooh characters emerge.
The Eeyores will say it’s ridiculous and dangerous before they’ve even seen what you’re doing.
The Piglets will worry that they’re doing the exercise “wrong”, or that they’ll hurt their clients.
The Tiggers will go overboard with it and hurt someone
And the Rabbits & Owls will tell you you’re wrong and no doubt produce some kind of scientific study to “prove” it.
But they are ALL failing to observe the minor difficulties that injuries start out as.
They’re the ones who’ll be waiting for the pain before doing anything about it, and they’re the ones who will lose clients while they go for treatment.
YOU have to be more Pooh about it.
You recognise that having fun with movement makes people smile (which benefits their mental health).
You recognise that being in a slightly different position to do the odd workout here and there challenges muscles to work differently, which builds strength and reduces movement restrictions (both of which help to prevent injury)
And YOU recognise that adding variety into your workouts helps your clients stay engaged, interested and motivated (which increases adherence to your programming and therefore delivers better results).
So when it comes to preventing injuries, be like Pooh bear – give it try and see what happens before passing judgement (Eeyore), worrying (Piglet), pretending that science has all the answers (Rabbit & Owl), or going completely overboard (Tigger).
Remember, your clients’ success depends on your ability to observe and deal with the minor difficulties before they develop into major ones.
Can you imagine being able to SEE your clients’ potential injury problems in seconds…BEFORE they become painful?