“But coach, it only hurts a little”
The hardest part of a coach’s job and the most important thing is figuring out the complex answers to the question WHY? Why do athletes develop pain? Why does a little hurt become a BIG hurt and what can be done about it? There is always, always an answer if you look hard enough and listen to your body. Are you ready?
Consider yourself a part of this story if you have ever heard or made one of these statements.
1. “Oh, that’s my weaker side; it’s always been that way.” Um, does that mean it has to be that way for the rest of your always? And what do you suppose this means in terms of your biomechanics, equal distribution of force, movement patterns, force production, acceleration, balance, and performance when you are fatigued?
2. “It only hurts a little bit” Really ? And today’s little ache becomes tomorrow’s…… ? Yes, exactly. A little pain becomes a big one. Your body whispers warning signals and if you don’t listen eventually it screams at you. Your injury will always win unless you figure out why you have this ache, what problem causes it, and what is the solution. Just a little pain soon means a lot.
3. ”I’ll just rest it. It wil go away.” Sure, you can rest it for some instant relief, just like you can pop a few ibuprofen when things hurt. And then you will start training again on soft tissue that has atrophied a bit, repeat your same movement patterns, and back you go into a cycle of disrupted training. You can do better than this. You have to.
4. “Its an old injury. I’ve had it forever” Ok then, do you want it to continue forever? Maybe you are a person wants to just keep trying and to go harder, to suffer more. But suffering at your max heart rate is a very than suffering through tendonopathies, tears, stress reactions, stress fractures, and the like. You have a chance every day to strengthen your body wisely, to train in all planes of motion and to move your body more efficiently. Dare to change the elements of your kinetic chain and to weed out energy leaks aka wiggles, waggles and weirdness. Will you put that old injury to rest forever or just hope it doesn’t come back?
5. “I don’t have time to address this” Might be high time to make the time. Functional strength work, physical therapy, movement training, video analysis and time with a highly skilled coach are well worth your time. Ask yourself if you want to take the time now or later when you are sidelined and have tons of time to mull it over. Pay now or pay later. Either way, you will pay.