In the realm of pain and injury rehabilitation, clinicians, such as physical therapists, are trained to employ evidence-based practice.
Evidence-based practice, as the name suggests, entails practicing physical therapy in a manner that is supported by evidence.
Clinicians are taught three fundamental pillars of evidence-based practice:
1. Utilizing the most up-to-date research
2. Leveraging their own knowledge and experience
3. Considering the individual needs and preferences of their patients
By adhering to these pillars, clinicians thought to provide the best care possible to their patients.
While evidence-based practice was initially intended for the clinical domain, I firmly believe that its principles can be extended to the realm of strength training.
The principles underlying effective rehabilitation are not vastly different from those of effective coaching and programming for sports performance.
In my opinion, coaches should adhere to the principles of evidence-based practice to provide optimal coaching and programming to their athletes.
To truly embody evidence-based practice, coaches should strive for the following:
1. Staying up to date with the latest research:
Extensive research has been conducted on strength training and Olympic weightlifting specifically, with new studies being published regularly. This research can yield valuable insights into enhancing athletes' training. Coaches should subscribe to scientific journals related to strength training or establish a routine to check databases and read newly published research.
2. Enhancing knowledge and experience:
While research is invaluable, applying its findings to athlete training can be challenging. Much of our practical knowledge regarding the application of scientific principles is derived from experienced coaches who have spent years in the field. Coaches should actively seek out and learn from experts in their field. Research provides the "why," but seasoned coaches offer the invaluable "how."
3. Catering to individual needs of the athlete:
Recognizing that every person is unique, coaches should pay close attention to the specific requirements of each athlete. Every athlete comes with a distinct background, experience, skill level, goals, and more. Consequently, each athlete will respond differently to training. Coaches should establish a system for identifying the specific needs of each athlete and developing customized programs accordingly.
Benefits of being an evidence-based coach
Adhering to these principles, just like in rehabilitation, enables strength coaches to provide exceptional service to their athletes.
By becoming evidence-based coaches, we ensure that we set our athletes up for success and assist them in realizing their full potential.
I am committed to being an evidence-based clinician and coach, and I believe that all coaches should strive for the same.
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