Self Development - Evidence Based Coaching (part 1)

A common conversation I get into on social media is how to be a better coach, personal trainer, strength coach, or physical therapist. People usually reach out for resources and tips on developing a better skill set and knowledge base. With our vast amount of information within a click, it can be hard to sift through the noise and find a good signal on what to devote time to.

Whether someone is a personal trainer, strength coach, or a physical therapist, there are a lot of overlapping important traits to work on. Today we are going to talk about resources that can help all individuals in these professions grow and be more skillful. Below we will break down my top 5 articles that will develop you more than a lot of weekend courses out there. In the next installment we will examine books!

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Top 5 articles to being a better coach/trainer/physical therapist

1. Periodization theory: confront an inconvenient truth by Kiely J

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"In moving this field forward, our task is neither to reflexively accept nor automatically reject historical convention. Instead, an awareness of the embedded nature of path-dependent phenomena should encourage us to mindfully scrutinize engrained, often cherished, beliefs so we may better distinguish conveniently simplistic myths from inconveniently complex truths."

Periodization can seem like this mystical secret language that people try to decode as they read Russian sport texts. Kiely brings the heat in this article and challenges our current paradigm in the way most people think about the topic. This article is an excellent step in understanding the basics of dynamic humans and what we need to consider in programming for them.

2. Sticks and stones: the impact of language in musculoskeletal rehabilitation by Stewart and Loftus

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"Words contain both the ability to heal and harm. Gaining an improved understanding of the frequently hidden influence that language can have on musculoskeletal rehabilitation is of paramount importance."

Anyone who works with other people will benefit from improving their ability to communicate. Specifically in the context of those who hold positions of authority and influence - such as those of coaches and clinicians - should improve this, particularly in the development of semantics.

3. The placebo effect in sports performance: a brief review by Beedie C

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"Findings suggest that psychological variables such as motivation, expectancy and conditioning, and the interaction of these variables with physiological variables, might be significant factors in driving both positive and negative outcomes"

Whether you are a sport coach, strength coach, or a physical therapist, much of what we do is affected by contextual factors that can have a placebo effect. Interventions that we think are having a specific effect may in fact be influenced more in regards to the context than the specific stimulus of intervention we believe.

4. Energy system development and load management through the return to play process by Morrison, Ward, and Dumanoir

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"It is typical that strength and conditioning is performed by “healthy” athletes. However, injured athletes also benefit from a training program that prevents detraining and helps to re-develop any biomotor adaptations lost during the initial rehabilitation process"

The key details discussed in the article help to bring many coaches and clinicians up to speed on energy system development (as well as return to play). Most of the time coaches and clinicians are heavy on the strength, speed, and movement aspect of things and can neglect thoughtful energy system development. The authors work through an excellent series for this and help teach considerations for sporting demands.

5. Tolerating uncertainty - the next medical revolution? by Simpkin and Schwartzstein

"Ironically, only uncertainty is a sure thing. Certainty is an illusion"

I read a lot of research and attempt to be guided by it as much as possible. However, there are limitations in every article, in our ability to reason, in our ability research topics, and so much more. The famous line from Aristotle - the more you know, the more you know you don't know. Learning to embrace this, accepting the limitations where they are present and going forward is critical.

Strength, Confidence, Success


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