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In this article I’d like to discuss the importance of Evidence-Based Coaching (EBC) and what EBC means to me. Many of you might have read up on the topic of “Evidence-Based Practice” (click the link to read about it on Wikipedia). Many fields have adopted this approach to decision-making and typically it relies upon the research, meaning that the literature tends to dictate one’s practices.
If we stuck to this definition for EBC, then I would strongly disagree with sticking to this approach. Why? Strength & Conditioning research is very young, and there’s so much we don’t know. Many coaches say that S&C is “an art and a science,” but to me it’s all science. In other words, I believe that any “art” a coach describes could easily be turned into a cool study, in which case it would then be labelled “science.”
Today’s post is an excellent guestblog by Rob Panariello. I won’t introduce Rob as I’ve interviewed him in the past and posted a couple of guestblogs from him in the past year or two. This is an important topic for strength coaches, and I really love how Rob blends together science and anecdotes which demonstrates good critical thinking and decision making methodology.
Considerations in Athletic Performance Enhancement Training: How Much Strength Do Our Athletes Need?
Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York
Throughout my 30-year career in in the fields of Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Performance Training, I have spent thousands of hours in conversation with many good friends and mentors in the Strength and Conditioning profession. In a specific conversation that occurred in 2009 with renowned NFL and Hall of Fame Strength Coach Johnny Parker, he expressed his concern upon reading a newspaper article reporting an 800-pound squat performance by a collegiate football player. Coach Parker’s concern was the necessity of such a high intensity squat lift as a strength requirement for the game of football and is the risk of such a high intensity squat performance worth the reward? Certainly extremely high intensity loads are necessary in the sports of Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting, as the level of athletic achievement during these competitions is based upon the successful weightlifting performance of the heaviest loads possible. In regard to athletes who are not competitive weightlifters, but are utilizing weightlifting to enhance athleticism, is such a high intensity squat, as the previously mentioned 800-pound performance, necessary for an athlete such as a football, basketball, or baseball player?
Having been a personal trainer for 14 years now, I have done some pretty idiotic things. Since my readership contains a wide variety of individuals, including general athletes/lifters, personal trainers, strength coaches, and physical therapists, I figure that this post can benefit many individuals as it will enable them to learn from my mistakes. Considering I’ve already written a good post about idiotic things that strength coaches doHERE, I wanted to write a post more specific to personal trainers. Here are my top three dumbest mistakes as a personal trainer:
1. Box Squat Nightmare
Though I’ve gotten many clients unnecessarily sore or had them experience nagging pain that went away within a week or two, in all my years of training I’ve only injured 1 lifter. This mishap occurred around five years ago at my Scottsdale personal training studio Lifts. One of my best female clients was performing heavy high box squats (15″ height). I had her squatting with 155 lbs on the bar and during the set I felt that she wasn’t arching hard enough at the bottom of the lift. I noticed that she’d relax a bit and fail to keep a rigid lumbar extension moment while she was seated on the box. During her set I instructed for her to “arch the low back.” Unfortunately, she wasn’t thinking clearly and she confused “arch” with “flex” and rounded her low back. Heavy axial loading + rounded lumbar spine to end-range flexion = herniated disc. She couldn’t train for over a month.
Every once in a while I get emails from various coaches, trainers, or bloggers who ask me how I’ve been successful as a writer in such a short amount of time. I figured a lot of different people might have this question, so a blogpost is warranted, especially considering the fact that I’m tired of answering this question via emails and will now be able to simply send these folks the link to this post.
I can’t tell you how to make millions as I’m not there yet. I’m not well-versed in marketing so I’ll steer clear of those methods. What I can tell you is what I’ve done to be taken seriously in the field and how I’ve stack the odds in my favor for success. Your path will be much different than mine, but hopefully you can learn from the route I’ve taken.