Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The price the children pay

I looked at two young boys (7 year olds) for their dad, as part of their long term preparation for sporting success. I showed dad what I saw. No, they didn't stretch. Yes, there were very active in sport and had already done a lot of training. I shared my concerns re injuries with this approach and the direction they were heading. Two weeks later I got a call from Dad - one of his boys had an inflamed Achilles and needed attention.

A few days before I was stretching a group of 9-10 year old boys involved in soccer. I had one of their older brothers (11-12 yrs) in the group for the workout. He was not participating in the stretches. I asked why. He said "I can't do stretching before games or training." I said "What are you talking about?" He said "I've been told by a physio that I am not to do any stretching before a game or training." I was shocked and saddened. The boy had already had his first knee surgery under general anaesthetic.

A week before I gave a presentation to a netball coaching group, during which I shared my belief that the absence or lack of stretching, including pre-training stretching, was a breach of our duty to athletes, and in my opinion criminally negligent. But don't worry, I assured them - you won't get sued, because it is the dominant belief that avoiding stretching is right and good.

About this time I heard of a local netball club that has informed their amateur/parent coaches that static stretching before training is banned. They are not allowed to do it. I felt sad for this sport.

Last Friday I attended an introductory coaching course for a specific sport. The young, enthusiastic and well meaning coaching director proudly talked to the group about doing a 'dynamic warm up'. He did one or two quick static stretches, but mostly the 'dynamic stretches'. He also mentioned the words 'core strength' during the workout, confirming that he is 'up to date' and 'all over' the dominant trends and buzzwords. I felt sad for this sport.

Just today a mum told me of her sons diagnosis of his ankle injury. Don't worry, she assured me, he is doing a lot of stretching. I felt encouraged about this situation. Then she continued, and demonstrated two dynamic stretches. Then my heart sank for the body....

The price the kids pay. The price the adult athletes and physically active play. For their desire to conform. For their blind belief that their best interests are being taken care of by those who promoted the trends. The trends, that is, once they identify the market acceptance is adequate but not to exposed, so they appear to be the leader of the information.

The irony is this - a trend promoter /information broker can promote the trend, then a few years later promote a new trend, even one 180 degrees turnaround from the first - and walk away with no penalty. Those who follow the trends pay the price.

In the case of stretching, one exact example where a particular information broker spent a number of years warning people off static stretching. Now that there appears to be an inkling of a groundswell of a swing back to the habit of static stretching by the masses, this trend promoter / information broker / social commentator now tells you its okay to do static stretching, and further you should do it. But of course you probably needs to buy their video they currently promote to help you cope with the reversal of position they've taken. No mention of the trail of destruction from the dogmatically held 'belief before this belief' that static stretching before training has no place. Nor the damage that will occur moving forward in those who cling to the last trend of 'you can't do static stretching before training'....

The masses pay the price - the marketeer moves on collecting revenue from what ever information sells the most and provides optimal market positioning at any given time....
If only people knew...But even if they did, they probably wouldn't believe it....

Hint - don't take flexibility advice from those who can't touch their toes....and who don't live with a commitment to stretching...but how do we tell the kids that, when they accept the authority of those who society has given authority to. Especially those who don't stretch but have conformed to the dominant and misguided belief that pre-training static stretching is bad. Here's one technique I use to discern - I listen to what a person giving advice says. If they regurgitate trend based information or buzzwords, I don't take much notice of them. Just what I do, if it helps.

This morning my 12 year old daughter complained of pain just under her knee joint, and reminded me of it after school. She does 10 or so sessions of training/games a week including school PE, none of which I control. Tonight my 9 year old son complained of back pain. He does about the same volume, of which one of those sessions I control. All I can do is seek to influence the other sessions. And that's the big battle.

I have added millions of dollars to athletes bank accounts by extending and heightening their careers through my injury prevention work. That's easy. Typically just the athlete and I, so easy to guide the process and outcome.

But this much more complex. Influencing the beliefs of the average coach - that's much harder. The faceless men in manufacutring pulling the strings from the shadows, granting those who willing to comply with their quiet requests on content - the researcher, the information broker, the publishing prac-demic. Selling their soul for the short term promise of financial or marketing promotion support.

As I trace the influences back to their sources, I wonder if the information broker publishing content for the sake of maintaining market position and cash flow has a full understanding of the responsibility they bear by disseminating what they do. Flippantly flip-flopping from idea to idea, trend to trend.

The battle to undo the damage caused by these influences is a massive fight. One that I don't expect to fully win. However it's a good fight, a worthy battle. If you have children, I believe you will know what I am saying.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I don’t know if you made this up or stole it from someone - but lets credit you anyway

First they steal, meaning they publish material with no credit. Then they continue to take the credit years later - 12 years later in this case.....

This from a person who claims to 'have read everything ever written in this industry':

"This illustrates Cosgrove's short-term overreaction and long term under-reaction concept."
--Boyle, M., The Static Stretching Renaissance, strengthcoach.com

When will they stop bullshitting? This guy is ether really poorly read or wants to contiue the lie.

The standard reaction to a new idea is over-reaction in the short term, and under-reaction in the long term.  The excitement burns bright until the realisation sinks in that perhaps it is not the panacea for all performance limitations. 
--King, I., 1999, Understanding Plyometrics – A Guide for Athletes and Coaches

Futurists describe human response to a new idea as an over-reaction in the short term and an under-reaction in the long term. so a new idea comes up, like say the Swiss ball and everybody jumps on it, they’re having breakfast on it, they’re having dinner on it, they’re having lunch on it, they are sleeping on it and then they realise that wasn't necessary so they lose interest in. There is a happy medium.
--King, I., 2000, Foundations of Physical Preparation (DVD)
I've probably lead the anti-aerobic movement. You go back ten years ago and everything was aerobic. I was one of the first to say, listen, I've tried it and I've tried other ways and I think I can give you a better way. Now what we're seeing is an overreaction. We're seeing people saying to not do any aerobics. It's just gone too far. 
--King, I., 2000, in interview with Shugart, C., Fri 29 Dec 2000

It is also appropriate to remind you of the natural human and social reactions – an over-reaction in the short term and an under-reaction in the long term.  When a ‘new’ thing becomes popular, many over-promote it and many over use it. After a while they become disillusioned or bored, and then under-use it. 
--King, I., 2002, Heavy Metal Q & A, T-mag.com, 30 Oct
You may see a swing towards a training trend or piece of training equipment followed by a trend away. This may be the natural realization of the market that the trend or equipment was over-rated. It may be a misunderstanding of the market as to how the trend or equipment is to be used optimally. It may be a reflection of the over-reaction initially followed by an under-reaction that underpins human nature.
--King, I., 2005, The Way of the Physical Preparation Coach
When it comes to training tools or methods, it's natural for people to overreact in the short-term and under-react in the long-term. When a "new" thing becomes popular, many over-promote it and many overuse it. After a while they become disillusioned or bored, and then under-use it. Instead of going through this yo-yo response, I encourage you to objectively analysis any new trend. Ask yourself, "What application would that have for me?"
--King, 2006, over and under-reaction, t-mag.com (written in 2005)

Less than 12 months prior to this information broker crediting his buddy with this concept as above, he was a bit more accurate - he wasn't sure if he had stolen it....:

Boyle: I don’t know, I guess I give you credit for this all the time, I don’t know if you made this up or stole it from someone but you talk about this idea of over-reaction under-reaction sort of phenomenon …

His buddy choose not to clarify or address the point about the origin....:

Cosgrove: …you’re right, we are definitely seeing an over-reaction
--Boyle, M., interviewed by A. Cosgrove, 2009, State of the Industry (audio)

Another case of 'omit to mention' must mean its yours.......

So then it became:

Cosgrove is fond of saying we over-react in the short term and under-react in the long term. ...This illustrates Cosgrove's short-term overreaction and long term under-reaction concept.
--Boyle, M., 2011, The static stretching renaissonce, strengthcoach.com

I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see lies..after all, apparently it okay to lie:

Here's my premise. It's OK to tell a lie if you know that it's a lie... Once a personal trainer or performance specialist knows the truth then, they can tell a little white lie to make the sale or to get the client on board. The key to selling fitness lies (clever play on words) in knowing the truth but, also knowing when to lie. 
--Boyle, M., 2006, Telling lies in America, strengthcoach.com

Or 'stealing'...:

If someone else got results faster than I did, I would copy them. I don't have a religious attachment to my ideas. I'd steal their ideas.
-- Cosgrove, A., 2009 in interview by Chris Shugart titled ‘Straight Talk about the Fitness Biz, T-mag.com, Thu, Apr 02 2009

Maybe because there are:

That there are so many fucking arseholes in this industry. And so many weirdoes.
--Cosgrove, A., 2009, in an Interview by Chris Shugart titled The Evil Scot: An Interview with Strength and Conditioning Coach, Alwyn Cosgrove, Wed, Aug 17, 2005

Going beyond the 'stealing' and 'lying' and laying claim for other peoples concepts such as 'over-reaction/under-reaction', how many times are they going to re-use my 2005 paragraphs about 'swings' in over-reaction ..."

You may see a swing towards a training trend or piece of training equipment followed by a trend away. This may be the natural realization of the market that the trend or equipment was over-rated. It may be a misunderstanding of the market as to how the trend or equipment is to be used optimally. It may be a reflection of the over-reaction initially followed by an under-reaction that underpins human nature.
-- King, I., 2005, The Way of the Physical Preparation Coach

Keep your own personal attitude pendulum in the center. In training, nutrition, and pretty much everything, we always see an overreaction to anything new in the short term and an under-reaction in the long term.
-- Cosgrove, A., 2006, 10 Things I've Learned, Feb 20, 2006, tmuscle.com

In the field of strength and conditioning the pendulum always swings. ....we over-react in the short term and under-react in the long term. A classic example is the use of, or current disdain for, static stretching.
--Boyle, M., 2010 (?),The Static Stretching Renaissance, strengthcoach.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The moral and economic decline of a once great nation

My attention was brought to a recent US blog extolling the benefits of stealing. From the outset, I say perhaps I have lost touch with the ‘new world’, because I was stunned by the content and the message.

Apparently, if you are not stealing:

• You do not have the keys to being a good strength coach or personal trainer
• You are a dumb personal trainer
• You are not participating in continuing education
• You are not a good person like Robin Hood (allegedly) was

Apparently, stealing in this context is synonymous with continuing education. Stealing in my legal contexts goes along these lines – an intent to permenantely deprive the owner.

There are apparently added benefits to ‘stealling’:

• Its cool
• All the good coaches do it

Of course, like any advertorial, there was a call to spend money in the writers directions. The reader was encouraged and invited to ‘come and steal’ from the writer and his buddies. And the investment needed, the reader was assured, was akin to buying the tools needed for burglary.

You see, ordinary ‘stealing’ may be free, but ‘good stealing’ involves parting with money. And there were two specific products/services promoted.

Now perhaps I live in a cave hidden form the world, but my understanding was that no religion or law endorsed, promoted or condoned stealing. If fact some cultures cut off your hand for doing so.

So how does the incitement to ‘steal’ help America? A once proud nation, whose national currency has halved in value in the last decade, with no signs of recovery. My understanding was what drove America in its growth periods was innovation and productivity. Writings such as these are the antithesis of this – don’t bother innovating, and don’t bother with productivity – you can get what you want the easy way.

I believe a criminologist from the school of ‘theres a correlation between poverty and criminality’. Are the recommendation and acceptance of these values a result and an indication of how much poverty abounding in this industry in America.

I suggest that the values promoted in this blog contribute to the moral and economic decline of a culture and nation. But what I am learning is those in a sinking ship don’t always think rationally. In fact, in raising similar points, one of their colleagues has labelled me as dishonest, so you are going to have to make up your own mind on this one.

So what was the motive of this promotion of the concept of stealing? Apart from another way to market goods and services, my opinion is that there is a desire to de-sensitize the market to intellectual property ‘stealing’ because this gives more latitude to those who want to publish but don’t have any original ideas.

Personally, I don’t see how the promotion of these values helps anyone, and I don’t know who it serves for America to stay morally and economically depressed or decline further.

Two misguided analogies were given –

1. Anthony Robbins
2. Robin Hood

In relation to Anthony Robbins, copying what they do and copying what they published are not one and the same. Additionally, I doubt Anthony Robbins would have been promoting the concept of stealing and that the investment in his educational material was akin to paying for the tools of burglary. And as for the Robin Hood analogy – I doubt the marketer/author was giving the proceeds of his sales to charity, so that was a real big stretch to make it fit the message.

I’ll say it again – perhaps I am too old fashioned for this world. However I stand by what I said – I don’t see how these values positively serve, and suggest they instead contribute to the moral and economic decline of a once great nation.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Be honest? I'd like to see that....

I must say I was surprised to read this author promote a call for credit to the original source. Very UnAmerican, as least as the US 'fitness-industry' has been influenced during the last decade, from 2000 to 2010. A period I refer to as the 'decade of the bullshitter'.

In this recent book this author referred to another coaches plea for respect and credit to be given to his works. 

From what I’ve heard, from the far end of Siberia to Iceland to California, thousands of coaches are performing with their athletes Javorek’s complex exercise, but some of them give credit to themselves. I really worked hard on developing these exercises and I like to share with everyone my ‘little secrets’. Just give credit to the creator.

My original goal with the complex exercises was to find an efficient and aggressive method of performance enhancement that saves time and makes the program more enjoyable. If you choose to use them (in some form) with your athletes, be honest and call your new complex exercises ‘Variations to Javorek’s Complex Exercises’.
--John, D., 2011, Mass Made Simple, Quoting Istvan Javorek's comments on Javorek’s web site, p. 108

This is the first time I can recall seeing a call of this nature. What I have seen a lot of is what Javorek is referring to - people who know the source, yet choose to take credit, or fail to give credit.

After all, the most common term in the US 'fitness' industry lingo of the last decade has been 'Steal'. Everyone wanted to say they 'stole' x from someone else. It was hip. A badge of honor. After all, many of these, especially those who informal education exposure was limited to the period 2000-2011, had been extolled the virtues of stealing. 'It not cheating' etc etc. In fact, they had also been extolled to lie.

It was the first time I have seen the act of stealing (in relation to intellectual property) being discouraged. Isn't that interesting.

As impressive as this is, it did raise a few questions for me.

Firstly, would Americans reach out to non-Americans with the same call? Would Americans encourage their fellow coaches to show the same respect for out-of-country intellectual property? What if those breaching the intellectual property rights of the out-of-country coaches were their mentors, people they had been taught to believe were really knowledgeable, experienced, competent coaches?

I'm not so sure that this would happen. Why? In addition to my belief that America has a history of recognizing only that which is within their own country (have observed this myopic view during my 22 years of travelling in and through North America) it would be a tough pill to swallow for any 'student'.

Another question, inter linked with the first, relates to the Javoreks plea for those using his intellectual property to be honest. Imagine that - those who seek to control and influence the masses in the US fitness industry being honest. I'd like to see that.

"No, I didn't come up with that idea."

"Nor that one." 

"Or that one."

"No, not that one either."

I believe one of the reasons these information brokers fail to give credit when they know the source is that the majority of their publications would be credited. If you took out the credited content, their wouldn't be enough pages left to hold the book up. Who would buy it? What impact would this have on their reputation? After all, they have wormed for years to be in the position they are in.  Why give it up for honesty? I've got certain books on my book shelf where I have color highlighted the copied and / or uncredited content - and there aren't too many pages left unmarked. The 'books' look more like a kids coloring in book than an educational text. On that thought, the kids colouring book would hvae more credibility, and probably more value for a student to study!

Honesty? Istvan would like to see that. I'd like to see that.