I recently had a conversation with a physician in Flagstaff, who takes the now “outmoded” route of treating patients at their homes, instead of out of an office. This method is clearly less than the lucrative model of funneling large volumes of patients through in the shortest time possible, but, as my friend insists, this model is only a partly successful treatment protocol. He insists that the physician who fails to take the time to learn about the patient is missing a huge piece of the puzzle.
It came as no surprise that he views Patch Adams as one of his idols in the medical field. For those who’ve seen the film, you may recall a quote that went something like “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. If you treat the patient, I’ll guarantee that you’ll always win.” The same is true in the performance training and physical therapy fields. We must recognize each individual as just that, an individual. Without doing so, as Patch warned us, we will win some and lose some. This is unacceptable.
I am, without doubt, a huge proponent of seeking more knowledge and basing your practice on the latest and cutting edge science as well as what you’ve found to work in the past. That said, we must always be careful and realize that the human element should play an decisive role in the choices we make as coaches, be it program design, cuing, or scolding.
Success starts with you.