One of the greatest challenges for individuals seeking to optimize their health and performance is the vast differences in ideologies and philosophies that exist. How many times do you hear of professional athletes getting second, third, and fourth opinions? Even average Joe’s are often getting different advice or recommendations from practitioners with different backgrounds, or experiences.
Here at Sparta, we have a unique lens of which to observe these interactions (especially in sports), as we work with both public and private institutions – as well as run our own private training grounds where we train and rehab athletes of all sports. Along with that, we have been working alongside top Physical Therapists and Military Combat specialist where we have been exposed to a unique blend of perspectives.
With the amount of information available today, the simplest answer is usually the best. While we all are guilty of having our own biases, it is important to always remember the goal: Create the best chance of outcomes for each individual. The simplest way to do this?
Sparta’s software is utilized by high school, collegiate, and professional sports teams. In these realms, there is often a disagreement about what the best plan or program is, especially at the individual level. “We Olympic lift here.” “We didn’t squat in season there.” While we often hear this whispered by athletes, the solution here is to empower the individual through education – by answering one simple question.
This is why we are doing this. This is why we are not doing that. This is why you should stop doing this. This is why you should start doing that. Here is what the research says, and here is what we have seen. When it comes to treating the individual, N always equals 1.
Organizations we work with often see value by having objective data in order to answer these questions. I need you to do this because of x, and stop doing that because of y. The goal is always the same, improve the health and/or performance of the individual. The individual can (and SHOULD) question and challenge everything. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place, but trust needs to be earned, not just blindly given. We are long past the days of “because I said so.”
We preach these same concepts to both the organizations we work with and the individuals we train. Your coach has you doing this… did you ask them why? Your doctor recommended that, do you know why? The athlete wants to do what… did you ask them why? More times than not individuals don’t have the answers to these questions, but they should.
In order to ensure the best outcomes for each individual, practitioners need to align, and the simplest way to do this is to teach each individual to be their own best advocate (take ownership of their body). While this may not always be pretty, it can force alignment to occur as each party needs to defend their advice.