What do you think of when the word “injury” gets mentioned?
Pain? Medical professionals? Physical therapists?
Of course you do! And quite right too, but when it comes to preventing injuries, thinking down the same road will get you absolutely nowhere. Here’s why…
As fitness coaches, we deal with people (whether that’s in groups or individuals) and injuries happen to those people. Once the pain comes, the next step in the chain of events is usually to see someone to diagnose the problem. That might be a doctor or a physical therapist. It doesn’t really matter who it is, the point is that the professional dealing with the pain is the next step.
And that’s fine. That’s how injuries are treated
But what about all that time that WE are working with our clients and they are NOT in pain?
If we still think of injuries as being about pain and needing other professionals to deal with them then as fitness coaches, we are simply sitting back and letting these problems build up right before our eyes – just because we’re trying to use the same language and assessment tools as those who treat the pain.
And it doesn’t work!
Fitness coaches are NOT medical professionals or physical therapists and most of us don’t want to be either…but we find injuries so fascinating and all we want to do is help.
So, what can we do?
Our industry guidelines tell us that injuries are not our responsibility…and they’re NOT…but the majority of sporting injuries are made up of pain that seems to appear for no apparent reason (non-specific) and these types of pains DON’T just come out of nowhere.
These types of pains appear after a LONG period of our clients struggling with movement restrictions (which lead to compensatory movement patterns that we see as poor technique), stiff or achy bodies (which they might describe as “just getting old”) or pushing too hard without sufficient recovery.
But the thing is, none of the things described above are actually painful, so they get overlooked and DON’T get dealt with early enough.
The truth is, THIS is where the REAL potential for preventing injuries lies.
But there’s one HUGE problem that stops any intervention at this early stage from being effective…
It’s that the industry has been talking about “poor technique” and “movement dysfunctions” for so long, that our clients have lost the connection with their own bodies.
They trust us to tell them that they’re “doing it right”, they rely on us to tell them how hard to train and they listen to us when we push them to do “just one more” when they want to stop.
Yet, we rely on them to tell us when they’re having problems with their bodies.
This lack of awareness leads to our clients not telling us about problems they’re having until either it’s too late or we’ve started the session – which means that the only thing we can do is blame them for not telling us about it if and when problems arise.
But accepting our clients’ word, or waiting for them to tell us about the problem can only ever be effective if they are aware of their issues (which most of the time they’re not).
That’s why I created a strategy that I call “Eyes, Ears, Ask, Give”
This strategy not only helps us as coaches get the information we need to help our clients avoid injury, but also helps them reconnect with their bodies so that they can tell us about problems they may be experiencing much EARLIER…therefore preventing the pain from happening in the first place.
So, if you want to be able to do MUCH more to help your clients avoid injury, without being dragged away from the coaching you love or needing ANY knowledge of the injuries themselves, check out the video right now!