I received an email recently from a physical therapist – something that happens quite frequently but the tone of this one annoyed me. Those close to me would probably accuse me of becoming irritable at the slightest miscommunication but the amount of presumptions and evident lack of getting ‘it’ from this particular therapist galled me. I had written an exasperated reply highlighting just about every error within the email but for whatever reason decided not to send and instead took one more step to entrepreneurial zen and blocked his email address permanently.
This got me thinking, not only do we strive to promote and undertake in sensible coaching, but we have a full time sports therapist and rehabilitator on board as part of the team at SDSC and that is probably something that a lot of members and non members don’t know.
We tend not to over promote ourselves in the gym (which is undoubtedly bad for business) as this is something that does not sit well with me but that is another blog post. There are gyms opening up on a daily basis in Dublin and proclaiming to be the best in the country with proven results – good going when they are only open a week. At SDSC we try to stay outside of this self promotional rat race as much as possible, as it is a drain on time and energy but having said that every now and again it is important to re-emphasise what we do and what we are about. The above email was a great reminder to do so.
The email got straight into business…
‘(they) specialise in physical therapy and exercise based rehabilitation and injury prevention programmes for athletes and non athletes. –
Excellent. If you had taken 2 minutes to read our website you would see this (injury prevention for athletes and non athletes) is a large part what we do too. I have seen first hand and heard countless stories of members of other gyms partaking in ludicrous workouts and injuring themselves badly. If 100 burpee box jumps for time is a workout that piques your interest, we are not the gym for you.
One thing we have insisted on overtime, to the point that it is absolute compulsory – is that every prospective member of SDSC MUST book an initial consultation, no matter the athletic level and go through a number of movement screens and review of current fitness levels and exercise and injury history. From there it is determined which service would be best going forward. We do not allow people to drop in ‘try out’ a session, throw random workouts at them and see them the next day for more of the same.
I think it is highly idiotic but unfortunately not uncommon that someone would assume that there is minimal injury prevention measures in place in a gym – if we are hurting people and doing so regularly, we suck at what we do and would probably have been out of business long before now.
To assume we don’t screen people initially and don’t modify the workouts for each individual depending on their current fitness level, movement ability and goals is insulting. This is a full time profession for all of the coaches involved here, not a side job, we are extremely passionate about what we do and view it as our craft.
‘Physical therapy/sports massage services are an increasingly important part of facilities such as yours. Injured clients cannot take part in classes/sessions and therefore are not able to continue their health/fitness journey’.
Thanks for underlining that – as I said above, we have these services in place. Actually, quite a lot of folks come to us with previous injuries and as stated above, we have the capacity to cater for these individuals and allow them to continue their health and fitness journey – it is part of our job description to make sure we strengthen their weaknesses and bring them back to balanced fitness and/or improved athletic performance. We are not a bootcamp or a boxercise class, we have a plan.
Places are limited to 4 clubs to insure we can provide the highest quality care to our Allied members.
And I am sure you would turn away club number 5,6 or 7 if it got to that point?….
Anyway, rant aside, this got me thinking. Without doubt there is a risk in training (health v performance…). I have heard my sport of choice, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu being referred to as reverse physio and I think that is an excellent phrase! Sports do bring their own risks – especially when competing at a high level but strength and conditioning should, by design, minimise the risk of injury. With the initial assessment and screening we look to address any weaknesses or imbalances from the start and keep this in mind throughout the clients membership, workouts are scaled if needs be and additional accessory work is prescribed. It is of upmost importance to reduce the risk of injury as much as possible – Dan John’s overly simple mantra ‘Do no harm’, is something we constantly refer to on the coaching staff here.
With the experience myself and Conor have working within the industry, we have seen and worked with a lot of different body types, injuries and ailments and can adapt things on the fly if needs be.
Aaaand back to the main point of this post – raising the awareness of our own physical therapy service…
Stephanie – who most of the members know, trains regularly in the gym ,competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA (and previously Boxing) and also runs her own injury and sports rehabilitation clinic in Kimmage. She is available for appointments in the treatment room in the gym also. Non members can also make appointments by getting in touch at [email protected] or contacting Stephanie on 086 2069224.
A detailed (rant-free) post listing Stephanie’s qualifications and experience will be posted soon!