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"I hurt my toe. No lower body today."

I'm sick, with flu-like symptoms - so needless to say I'm a little anxious and overly sensitive to statements like this. I can't count how many times I've heard my athletes come to the weightroom with this type of news. Along the same lines, "I hurt my wrist, so no upper body today" or "my back's tight, so I'm not supposed to lift today." I hate this, I really hate this. I don't hate the fact that the athlete needs to adjust the workout, I really don't. I hate the fact that someone told them only what they CAN'T do. I've never had an athlete come to me and say "I got kicked in the ankle today at soccer practice, but I can do all the stuff on my good leg, some more upper body, and maybe some extra core stuff while the other athletes are finishing up." In fact, I would never expect them to say that, but maybe just "I got kicked in the ankle today at soccer practice, but I can do everything that doesn't hurt it."

Best quote tangent: "I rather have an athlete with one weak leg, than two," Mike Boyle

The issue is that when I get this news, I have to obey by principle of authority. I'm handcuffed, so please, coaches, athletic trainers, whoever the evil news-bearers are that are telling my athletes they can't do any lower body because they took a fastball off the toe, take a second to tell them what they can do. They already feel incapable as it is and distanced from the team because they now need a special workout. People who know me, know that I don't care how much my athletes squat or bench. But the last thing I want them to feel is weak. I'm going back to bed.

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Comment by Aaron Hillmann on May 6, 2009 at 8:17am
Joe: I had this problem early on in my tenure and it was corrected by educating the sports medicine staff on your philosophy and working around injuries. We like to make sure that the volume of work is the same for everyone participating that day. We now have shared vocabulary like "no hands upper body", "no feet lower body", "no knees lower body" or single limb work. Once we got on the same page with SMed and collectively held the SA accountable we actually starting getting a lot less "workout modifications" because they knew it wasn't a free pass to take the day off. Incidently the only physical problem that gets you out is a fever and this must be confirmed by sports med.
Comment by Craig Cheek on April 30, 2009 at 11:46am
Amen. 90% of the problem is trainers and doctors.

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