Ooh, it got me so mad.
An innocent conversation escalated into a huge argument over absolutely nothing.
It was ridiculous really.
It was so long ago now that I don’t even remember why we were having the conversation in the first place, but I do remember being about fifteen years old, standing in the kitchen by the back door talking to my Dad about something or other and not being able to make any sense of the conversation at all.
It wasn’t that my Dad was talking gibberish (he’s a very intelligent fella), but there was one thing missing from what he was telling me that would have made everything we’d been discussing for the last ten minutes, make total sense.
The problem was, he’d assumed he’d said it, and I was a grumpy teenager, so the more he talked, the angrier I got because I couldn’t understand what he was talking about!
As it turned out, the thing he thought he’d said was “the key in the lock”.
Can you imagine having a conversation with someone about a specific thing, and they don’t actually TELL you what the thing is that they’re talking about?
Well, the injury management system is like this.
As fitness coaches, we’re mainly concerned with getting results for our clients. We focus on the requirements of our sport and do our best to match these requirements with the abilities of our clients. When we do it well, our clients achieve these requirements and feel successful.
In our fitness coaching capacity, it is not our responsibility to treat injuries.
To put it simply, we speak results.
The problem is, that everyone else involved in the treatment or management of injuries speaks body.
Whenever injuries are concerned, the therapists main goal is to restore as much function to the body as possible so that the pain goes away.
They speak body, we speak results.
That’s two sides of the same conversation talking about two completely different things.
In trying to bridge the gap between the two, we have therapists who are certified fitness coaches (think physiotherapists who teach Yoga/Pilates), and we have fitness coaches who are certified therapists (sports massage, physiotherapy etc), and that’s ok for those who want to be able to do both, but what about the millions of fitness coaches who are being completely left out of the injury conversation simply because they don’t (and don’t want to) speak body?
Well, the thing is, the body and results are not two separate things, despite the industry’s best efforts to divide them up. Because without a well functioning body, you don’t GET results. So, why is the industry keeping coaches in the dark?
Fitness coaches are intelligent people who CARE that their clients don’t get injured. But the current system won’t let them help, so what can we do to change that?
Actually, that’s quite simple.
All it takes is a small shift in focus (where appropriate during the session) from the desired results, to the abilities of the body to move.
I call this Applied Variety of Movement.
Most fitness sessions are focused, from start to finish, on the desired outcome. It doesn’t matter whether it’s lifting more in a deadlift or swimming faster, everything from the first minute the clients walk through the door to the minute they leave is based around achieving that outcome.
Because our job is to deliver results.
But if the body doesn’t move well, those results won’t come because our clients will struggle with injury, or they’ll get so tight that they can’t move easily, which will impact performance.
So if we spent more time encouraging the body to move well in ALL ways, not just the ways that the skills of the sport require, then we’d be helping our clients get better results AND helping them to avoid pain. Oh, and we’d be able to start joining in the injury conversation, without overstepping our role as a coach.
The injury conversation needs to change from just treatment and management, and WE as fitness coaches are the ones who can help change it.
The more we can help to PREVENT problem from happening in the first place, the fewer injuries the system will have to deal with, which will reduce strain and save BILLIONS.
But the industry isn’t going to do this for us.
We have to step up and SHOW them just how capable we are.
We have to show them that we can help with injuries WHILE we’re coaching – and that’s why I’ve developed a simple, 5 minute warm up routine based around the problem of tight hips, to show (and explain to) you, just how easy it is to do.
You can grab this awesome little routine here, for FREE!
If you’re serious about helping your clients avoid injury problems, but you don’t want to bogged down with complex anatomy or technical jargon and you don’t want to become a therapist or injury specialist, I’d highly recommend that you take a look at this amazing routine. It could be the thing that takes your coaching skills AND your clients’ results to a whole new level!