This past week I was working with our newest Football partner in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As they gear up for another season on the gridiron it was clear that alignment and strategy are of utmost importance. While players are in full-go for the upcoming season, the sports medicine and strength and conditioning staff must have clear, consistent communication. During my long flight home to the west coast, I thought about the specific topics we covered. With each partner that we work with we truly get different questions and concerns, and this case was no different.
While in most organizations the Performance and Medical staffs work closely, there is a growing realization of the importance of creating great relationships between these two disciplines. More and more organizations are working to increase transparency and communication between medical staff and performance staff. This is a huge step forward as the goals of both of these departments should align: keeping athletes healthy and performing their best.
With both performance and medical in the room, we spoke candidly about the Jump Scan, Balance Scan, and Plank Scan along with the critical thresholds we have seen when using these assessments. There were discussions had on how often assessments would be done, how it would fit into the training, but also what to do when they saw this or that. It shows the power of technology, and how simplified it can be when both parties are looking at the same information.
When you introduce anything new to a program it is imperative to understand how it will fit into the workflow of what’s already in place, and ultimately improve it. For example, we have partners that include the 6 Sparta Jumps into their warm-up before training. Adding in jumps as a primer to the central nervous system would happen anyway, but now they are collecting valuable data points that can help them understand their programming on a deeper level. The same could be said of the Plank Scan for an activation exercise.
It is to no one’s surprise that our most successful partners to date all have a similar understanding internally of the what and the how technology best fits in their workflow and philosophy. In fact, our most successful users have taken it a step further with the “what to do next” part, and utilize our planning feature to provide programming to their populations.
For those looking to improve their workflow in order to spend more time in front of their athletes, it’s necessary to simplify the x’s and o’s and provide programming based on the specific need of each individual, especially in places where the coach to athlete ratio isn’t optimal. On this visit, we dove into specifics of exercises and the impact they could have on various types of movers – and what could work best. These conversations seem basic, but as we’ve touched on before, a squat is not just a squat. Everything done with specific intent can have various effects depending on how it’s used. Exercises used with intent become medicine, and potent medicine at that.
Understanding what needs to be looked at on a deeper level, what needs to be done about it, and how that can all be done at high efficiency is what separates the good from great performance units. In a world where everything is about winning and winning now – You can’t afford to be left behind.