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Athletic development specialists dedicated to the art and science of excellence in movement

Creating A Team For Optimal Results

In the professional sports world, coaches, medical and strength and conditioning coaches all have their own important roles in an athletes development. I like to use Dr. Greg Rose’s (Co-founder of the Titleist Performance Institute) analogy when describing this team approach: the athlete is the race car, the coach is the driver, strength and conditioning is pit crew and medical takes care of the major mechanical issues in the garage. The car cannot perform if it is missing any of these cornerstones and for optimal performance each team member needs to keep the other team members informed.
 
In the non-professional sports world I have noticed a couple of patterns. Scenario one is where no one on the team knows what anyone else is doing.  The athlete participates in their sport, has a personal trainer or attends a "speed school" (don't even get me started on this, if you want to run fast join the track team) and goes to medical when injured. Other than knowing what sport the athlete competes in and when their season is, medical and strength and conditioning never picks up the phone to call the coach and vice versa! All three members of the athlete’s team have distrust for each other. The coach is wary of medical since they believe medical is going to withhold the athlete from competition. Coaches are unsure of strength and conditioning because they believe they will just wear the athlete out for practice. On the other hand, medical and strength and conditioning do not always have a full appreciation for the practice time needed for an athlete to reach their full potential in a sport. Yes, an elite gymnast does need to be in the gym 30 hours a week and a 10k collegiate male distance runner should be running 80+ miles a week.
 
Scenario two is the coach tries to do everything. Whether it is because they want full control of the situation or because they do not see the resources as available, this is not a good thing. Experts are called experts because they specialize in their fields. For some reason coaches who are experts in their sport think they can broaden their horizon and give athletes rehab exercises or act as strength and conditioning coaches. If this was the way to go then the PGA, NFL and MLB would be using this model. They are not because a team of experts will kick the rears of a single person trying to do it all any day of the week.
 
As a coach you are the head of the team. Find out who is on your athlete’s team and make it a point to stay in contact. Usually coaches do not get involved with strength and conditioning or physical therapists/trainers until the athlete is injured. Instead of rehabbing your athletes, take a pre-hab approach. This will led to better results at the end of the season and healthier athletes with extended careers. Other coaches will be in awe of you as you will be one of THOSE coaches whose team improves year after year and has it's best results during the championship season!

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