My industry is in trouble. That means I'm in trouble and my clients are in trouble. And I think I might have a solution. Maybe. I think we should ask louder, and more persistently.
Because I think our industry has lost the art of asking.
"Asking what?" I hear you mind asking. Well, there's a start. You're asking me what asking we've lost.
We don't ask each other what we think. Social media has driven us to be tellers, and there's so much telling that anyone who views our telling is already scrolling on before they've stopped to read.
The limited attention span and character space limits the telling to absolute statements with little room for relativity.
I keep waiting for someone to ask me what I think instead of telling me what I should think.
So, I'm going on a delayed Askgust. Not August, because we're too far into it to start this month again. The Gregorian Calender is evolving to include a new month, Askgust.
What do you think?
Get to know about Flow, a powerful concept to guide changes in performance of you and your athletes.
Like bowling bumpers, Flow can keep you happy, on track, and scoring more frequently.
Let me summarise it. Every moment you face will be a challenge or a difficulty. If it is too difficult, you will compensate to get it done. This will be less quality than you want and will be less than satisfying. Boo to that. If it is only just outside of your current skills, we call this a challenge, rather than difficult, you will be so close to having everything to complete it that you will rise to meet it. It is in these moments that magic feelings occur.
So, what is Flow?
Flow is related to happiness, but you can’t chase it directly.
Flow brings achievement, but not always success.
Flow lets you step towards worthy ideals.
Flow happens when you’re not looking….
Like a pat on the back.
Flow is possibly the best feeling you’ll ever get.
Flow is enhanced in many ways, not the least of which is your service to others.
Flow is a state of optimal experience.
Flow occurs when you rise to meet a challenge that is just beyond what you’ve done before, with a skill you hadn’t yet shown.
Flow occurs when the challenge you rise to is a worthy one, but Flow can occur at any level of life’s challenges.
Here’s some examples of Flow:
How do you know how to get Flow in your life? You can be guided by how you feel.
How do you find Flow?
Flow is enhanced in many ways.
The process of attaining flow starts with:
• Asking questions of the world;
• Raising awareness of who you are related to others;
• Clarifying how you aspire to live.
So….Flow starts with questions asked.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” – Voltaire
“Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.” - J.S.Mills
It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find flow, and happiness.
Many times it’s up to us to create those optimal experiences for others.
Viktor Frankl, Austrian Psychologist and holocaust survivor, said, “Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it, the more you will miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
Let us repeat that last line, “it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
So, how do we reach the elusive goal of flow, or of happiness?
“It is a circuitous path of achieving control over the contents of our consciousness”
– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
…a circuitous path of achieving control over the contents of our consciousness.
The TEAR Principle….
If we have a closer look at the Emotion side of things, and how it leads to desire. Here’s the thing – it’s ok to have unlimited DESIRE – remember when we looked at C Goals?
The smart thing, and most efficient, and most rewarding, is to shape your desires.
That is our role, as it is the role of coaches, support services, to shape desire of our athletes. In my sporting work, I get to help people shape their desire.
Let’s have a look at Results. Many forces shape our experiences. Each one has an impact on whether we feel good or bad. Most of them are beyond our control, for example:
So, if there are so many things outside our control, is our happiness, our fate, controlled by outside agencies?
You still have control of the wheel. You still set the course.
You still make the brush strokes on a canvas yet to be finished.
And we are still in charge of who we are to others, when times are tough.
Optimal experiences can still occur. We can still be in control of our actions.
The results we have in life demand our thoughts to lead us.
Observe your emotions and act on them to get a better result…. For you and for others.
Let’s look at some examples of how Flow can affect you physically.
The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to it’s limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
Physical + Spiritual + T.E.A.R = The Best Way to Find Success
“Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.” – Earl Nightingale
Worthy ideals come when you serve others, to make the world a better place.
Success and happiness are side effects of dedicating yourself to a cause greater than yourself.
Remember what Viktor Frankl said, “Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it, the more you will miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.”
To improve your ability to climb the mountain of success as a physiotherapist in sport, set your challenges progressively higher, then upskill.
Rinse and repeat.
There is a difference between absolute and relative statements when talking to all in our profession – ignoring this could cause you to miss opportunities.
The examples I gave you in previous "how to..." posts are are absolute statements. I’ve told you that you should have them. They are told to you to make a point and to begin a conversation between us, or at least between you and another. Very few statements are dogmatically true, in my experience. I will tell you some examples that are variations of the same. For all other dogmatic statements you hear, recognise it as a statement to make a point and to begin a conversation. They always depend. It’s always relative.
Absolutely, “player welfare is our top priority” except when it is superseded by a subjective reason that is more important, made by someone else. I was approached by two military decision makers to help them build a new soldier recovery and rehabilitation system. I’d seen a system work very well in the UK and Germany and I suggested that it could be a beginning point for Australia because it had a track record of success, efficiency and safety. No was the answer. It didn’t suit a subjective reason of somebody else. I was asked how to manage the system of restoring function of soldiers with back injuries. I recounted a system of assessment and intervention in the private sector that I worked for with a return to work rate for those with chronic low back pain that was six times the rate of clients who did not participate. The Major General with the money to implement the program said it wouldn’t happen because it was a direct solution to a direct problem and bureaucratically that wasn’t how the Australian Army worked. Absolutely, the success of returning to work, efficiently and safely, was paramount, except when it was decided that it wasn’t as important as something else.
Absolutely, injury prevention is very serious except when the perception of training hard at the beginning of a pre-season is a better use of time than pre-season evaluation of who was ready for training. Here’s a case study:
Screening and analysis of this team, using the Move2Perform software revealed the following:
This was shown to the coach. Three-quarters of the team needed either individual attention or modified programming. That didn’t happen because pain, injury, limited or asymmetrical movement was not considered important, even though injury prevention was absolutely considered desirable.
The team picture and pie-chart colours were collaborated into the following, to demonstrate that the team was likely to not look the same by season end, due to “reds” and “oranges”:
Still no change to team management of training. This indicated that “safety” was absolutely a priority, but it was relative to how the management didn’t want to do anything different this year. In this population, athletes could be replaced.
A similar approach was taken with the Chinese Women’s Volleyball team. On this occasion, I had a mandate to develop more power and speed in the team. At first, we tested the athletes using a battery of tests and produced a “power quotient”, ranking the athletes. I still used a colour scheme to indicate those in red who, coincidentally, performed the worst and were injured.
Some professionals you work with may not have a taste for safety. They might have a taste for saving money.
The details of that conversation are the relative statements that refine whether or not you have the resources to follow those recommendations. It is often said that “strength underpins everything we do.” An absolute statement. We could argue whether that’s correct or not. There’s no doubt performers need to produce and absorb forces quickly, reactively. The relative statement, borne from the absolute statement, begins with “however”, and continues with it’s not possible to force any more strength out of our athlete’s body’s than our nervous system allows. So, an absolute statement like that is the beginning of a conversation that progresses to suggest that underpinning strength (capacity) is competency of mobility and motor control. Further, underpinning those is the absence of ill-health.
If you are exasperated at absolute statements made by those in positions of influence, remember that they often are the beginnings of conversations, with relative statements borne from your knowledge that all depends on all else. Know that you can take an absolute statement you might disagree with and bring it around to agreement in the three crucial elements of a process – success, efficiency and safety.
Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it. That’s integrity. Accept that not everyone else will do the same.
If you’re like me, words matter. For me it’s because I define integrity as “doing what you said you would do, when you said you would do it”. I still value that, but I no longer assume everyone has integrity.
In the early days of being recruited into professional sports, many things are said. Everything that is said at the recruitment stage is strategically chosen to encourage membership and applications to work. Those same words aren’t always followed through. When organisations are large, these words are followed through even less since they are often uttered by someone senior, delegated to someone subordinate, further delegated. Follow up can be missed until it’s too late. It can be a source of frustration early in your career. So you can choose to be one of those who CANNOT OR DO NOT follow up on what you said you would do, or you CAN DO AND WILL DO what you said you would do – that is called standing up. When you simply do that, stand up, you stand out.
In my experience, standing up is the new standing out.
Standing up to do the minimum, in this day, is enough to make you stand out. It’s not an accolade that’s popular but it takes the least amount of effort to simply do the minimum. The reason one stands out is that few people will do just that. Here are specific examples: