Investigate > Integrate > Implement > Influence
The phrase ‘Assess don’t guess’ should reach beyond physical investigations. Taking a moment to assess how we will investigate each client on a case by case basis, should be the starting point of this practice.
Gen-pop exerciser with no pain or injury? Perhaps most of what we need to know to influence PD could be derived from great questioning and listening skills in consultation + careful goal setting + watching attentively in practice?
There is no right or wrong here, only what the coach feels to be the most beneficial approach in the moment for them, with their experience, great intentions, a solid definition of success, and the client in mind.
Remember that assessment options are simply tools; the craft lies in when, how and where we use them. The use of tools in our craft should not be fixed; we should have freedom to be creative, with the clients needs and ambitions as our brief.
Of course, we might conclude that some physical assessment is required [as is often the case] to enable us to formulate our plan for any given client?
This being the case, care must be taken to assess only that which we understand how to implement [i.e. attempting to impress a client with a show of anatomical prowess and jargon in investigation is all for nothing if you have no use for – cannot implement – your findings], and only that which makes sense and aligns with the goals of the client [i.e. a 1RM Snatch probably won’t tell you much as an assessment tool for the social cyclist who wishes to do a triathlon and who’s just starting out in resistance training].
Sure, have a template of a general physical assessment in place for your investigation practice as a whole, but see it as a neatly laid out garden shed containing all of your tools – you don’t want to get them all out only to have to put the bastards away again each time you do a job, and you definitely don’t want to use a chain saw to trim your shrubs – select your tools for each task wisely.
[No idea where that analogy came from – we have fake turf and no plants 🤷🏼♂️😂].
If you want to learn the best approaches to personal training, then be sure to check out our L3 personal training course.