Athletic performance is a developmental process, one that ideally involves the integrated efforts of coaches/trainers and therapists in order to maximize results. This is often a complete paradigm shift for many of our athletes and their parents. Unfortunately being focused on short-term results over long-term development is hurting athletes more than it will ever benefit them.
After some recent conversations with our athletes and their parents about the importance of understanding the integrated approach taken to athletic development at GP, we thought we'd provide our readers with a few recommendations. Our hope is that these recommendations help guide the decision making process for young aspiring athletes when it comes to selecting who oversees their training and why an integrated approach may just be what they need.
- The ‘watchful’ eye of a coach/trainer and therapist is an invaluable asset to athletic development. This is a skill set that many athletes are unfortunately never exposed to. The ability to identify mechanical faults and implement collaborative strategies between coach and therapist to correct these faults sets the stage for reaching athletic mastery while minimizing injury risk. The ‘eye’ for mechanical faults is one thing, knowing how to manage and correct them is an entirely different story. Athletes require an individual(s) competent in both.
- Physical limitations due to anatomical/structural changes and motor control/technical deficiencies require different management strategies in an athlete’s programming. It is the job of the coach/trainer and therapist to recognize this difference. This should be a prerequisite when considering the services you are about to invest in. If they don't understand these concepts, that should be a red flag. Developing movement efficiency is arguably the best way to simultaneously enhance sport performance and reduce injury risk. Understanding how to manage physical limitations will directly impact movement efficiency and athleticism.
- When injury occurs, integrated models for “rehab” are better than medically driven models. This of course is dependent on the level and experience of both the coach/trainer and therapist involved. Ideally the athlete’s recovery process utilizes exercises and drills within a modified training program. This serves to minimize time away from the field or weight room and maximize technical improvement of sport-related skills. Dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal system can also be addressed through performance therapy. For more reading on performance therapy, check out this article.
These recommendations are by no means a comprehensive list. When considering the appropriate path for an athlete's development, there can be several factors to keep in mind at any one time. However, these tips cover several of the basic essentials when it comes to improving an athlete's performance while keeping them healthy.
The model used at Gallagher Performance isn't used solely for our athletes. A number of our patients and training clientele have benefited tremendously from experiencing how we integrate training and therapy. We use this model to optimize health and performance while getting to the root of many chronic pain problems. It's why we have adopted the tag line "Experience the Difference".
If you think the model of training and therapy at Gallagher Performance is for you, give our office a call at (724) 875-2657 and Experience the Difference.