1) We have our S#!+ together
It has been many years since a continuing educational event has completely overhauled one of our programs, usually we pick
up a few finer nuances that improve our programs, assessments or coaching techniques but this year the biggest AH HA moment was that we really have our training and coaching systems dialed in! We are on par with the training centers owned and operated by the presenters we learned from this weekend that are leading the health/wellness/performance enhancement industry. Will there be some changes/additions? Absolutely, there is no way that an event this packed with quality professionals would not provide a list of training a coaching diamonds for us to utilize, but they are not major
overhauls and most will probably go unnoticed to the athletes within our program. And that is due to the detail that our program is designed and coached. We are fine tuning the engine of a high performance automobile.
2) Fitness in the Erie area is unequivocally broken!
A motto we operate by is, changing the way sports performance is done in Erie. We say this not because we are full of ourselves and like to pump our own tires, it is because it is a glaring need. Look no further then social media outlets for local gyms and "personal trainers" and they present the problem without question. What we see is a complete lack of ethical, effective and efficient training practices. Full disclosure, the only thing one can truly define by watching a short social media clip is the ethical nature of what we see, and that is formed through the education we have invested in over the last 15 years. What we see is in violations of the ethical standards we have and is downright negligence for someone who calls themselves a professional trainer or training facility. As far as being effective and efficient, if it's dangerous it can't really fall into those two categories that well.
Case and point, this weekend I stumbled upon a video of a local college athlete deadlifting at a local training facility. I never met this athlete so I was contemplating whether to comment on the post or not and then I saw a well thought out an articulated comment that was not questioning this athletes work ethic or dedication, but expressing a concern for their safety based upon the technical flaw in the repetition she completed. I though to myself, couldn't have said it better myself. Minutes afterward this comment was deleted to make more room for the praise and accolades received from those who don't have the expertise to know this athlete was potentially, and most likely, more harm than good. There is no number of "way to go's" and "great jobs" that can repair a ruptured vertebral disc that the shear forces a loaded spine in that position must deal with. And I am not saying that every repetition in our facility is perfect. Athletes deserve an environment to learn the techniques some of the more complicated exercises, like the deadlift, require. But more importantly, they deserve a professional evaluation that qualifies them as competent in the movement pattern(s) involved and sub maximal loads that allow for a safer learning environment that will not harm the athlete during the trial and error learning process that movement learning requires.
And that is not the disturbing part! The main concern is what are we not seeing. If training centers and personal trainers are putting video out there this bad, what are they not showing? Logic would tell you that if you are going to use video to build value in what you do our your brand you would put out your best stuff.
We have a core value in our business to "Constantly Learn" this is what brought us down to the Summit in Orlando this past weekend. It is what will take our staff to Chicago, IL, and Providence RI, and Long Beach California throughout the rest of the summer. We sacrifice a lot for our values within our business. They are not just things we say because businesses are supposed to have them, we live by them. The girl in the picture above deserves better than that. 70% of athletes drop out of sports by the age of 16. They do this for a multitude of reasons, but for those around our program it won't be because they got hurt in the weight room.
We have invested a lot of time, energy and money into educating ourselves and our coaching staff to provide the most ethical, effective and efficient programs we can. And when we see things, like in the athlete above, we get frustrated because it is such a violation of the technical standards of our industry and it is posted in such a positive light. We are all for such post, we post athletes setting PRs (personal records) all the time. But our athletes have earned the right to attempt those types of maximal efforts. They have earned it through the standards and assessment check points we have learned through the sacrifice of having such an important core value of continually learning. And there is tremendous sacrifice involved in the process. The little guy in yellow had his first soccer game while we were in Orlando. He also scored his first goal. I wasn't there.