As I mentioned in my last article I am in a equine situation due to my resume of work I tend to see more athletes that are injured or in pain than are not. Due to our progression and regression system we have we can normally keep athletes progressing over time with no pain. What I have come to realize over the past few weeks is when I ask a athlete “let me know if this hurts?” They will a 9 out of 10 times tell me it hurts.
I started thinking back on all the athletes I have trained, all the individuals I have watched train that are recovering from injury, and I even thought back to all the times I have been injured and worked myself back into a training program. What I started to notice is if I cue with “let me know if this hurts” I am cueing him/her to look and hunt for pain.
Now I have a pretty good idea if my exercise selection I have programed for the athlete will inflict pain or add discomfort. If we look at last weeks post on "Stop Doing That" we know that we want the athlete’s/individuals to come forward with key information about discomfort or pain.
What I have found to work well is starting the session off with the statement “I have programed your workout to minimize pain and discomfort, but I want you to realize I can change what we are doing rather easily if you do feel anything.” I will also make the comment that “remember pain is not weakness leaving the body, it is your body telling you NOT to do that”. Once I can ingrain a level of trust with these two statements I feel confident that I won’t have to keep reminding them to let me know if they have discomfort or pain.
With that said I feel we all get pretty good at reading our athletes and looking for signs of pain or discomfort. An I will search for answers if I do see anything that looks abnormal. Just remember try to keep your athletes/individuals from having that thought in the back of their head “should I have pain or discomfort with this?”. We want to avoid giving them a cue that makes them hunt for pain. Set expectations upfront and build the trust at the start of the session not before every set.
We have to remember the settings they may be coming from where if they speak up they don’t get to practice, train, or play. I need them to understand my job is for them to practice, train, and play and that I have a plan that is bigger than what is written on the paper in front of them, and that plan can change at a moments notice.