Josh and I are by no means experts in the strength and conditioning community. In saying that I do think we are on the right track by associating with the right people and by reading people who are smarter than ourselves. I’m not a fan of the word ‘guru’. I think if you want to be the best at something you need to be a lifelong student. You always need to educate yourself, be willing to change, and always keep an open mind. These are the best ways to continually grow in whatever profession you are involved in.
We’ve gotten substantially smarter in the last few years. There’s a few reasons for this. One is that we work closely with Bruce Craven and his staff at Craven Sport Services. If we see something wrong with any of our athletes we send them over there. They’ve been great at teaching and working with us to ensure our athletes and clients are as healthy as possible. I love the fact that they are an open book and not scared to share any information. We’ve learned so much about how to fix any dysfunction we see on a daily basis. We’ve also learned how to modify exercises to work around injuries so we can still overload our athletes.
If you want to add a large number of tools to your toolbox, work with a smart physiotherapist. Being able to pick their brains on a weekly basis and getting to see first-hand what they do in certain situations has been instrumental in getting our athletes to perform at their highest levels. Any exercises they give us we implement right away in our athlete’s program and the results have been fantastic. It’s great hearing an NHL player tell you this is the best he’s ever felt on the ice. It’s great hearing a young boy with Osgood-Slatters tell you he no longer has knee pain while doing any activity. It’s great hearing a volleyball girl with Scoliosis tell you she doesn’t need surgery anymore. We can attribute these things to the guidance from the staff at Craven and our programming.
Another way to get smarter?
Read people who are smarter than you. Unfortunately in the fitness industry people you may think are ‘experts’ really aren’t. For some reason the media likes to portray people like Tracy Anderson, Jillian Michaels, and Dr. Oz as experts. Tracy Anderson says that females should never lift weights over 3lbs because they will get ‘big and bulky’. By that logic women shouldn’t carry their own children, carry groceries, or do any physically labour intensive job. The lights are on but no one is home at the Anderson residence.
Who do we read?
In no particular order here is a list of some of the people we read for a variety of reasons:
If you’re serious about becoming a great Strength and Conditioning Coach, read any or all of these people. Josh and I do on a daily basis and it’s helped us immensely with our business.
The best way to get smarter?
Go to a conference put on by any of these people. We went to Edmonton last year to see Dean Somerset and Tony Gentilcore speak. No amount of reading will teach you as much as hands on learning from 2 of the best in the business. It was a great experience and something we would do again without question.
In closing, always remain a lifelong student. Never stay content with your current knowledge base. In 5 years I’ll happily look at the programs we make now and smirk. We can’t wait to continually grow as a business, as coaches, and as people.