The first things that I need to know when I meet a new student is where they are at, where they want to go and is there anything holding them back from reaching their goals. The only way we can create a clear and concise snapshot of where your client is at is to complete an initial functional screen. Dr. Greg Rose, Dave Phillips and the rest of the TPI Advisory Board came up with a functional screen for golf which translates to any sport that requires explosive rotational power. Before you start training your athlete you need to know if they poses the stability, mobility and proper movement patterning to perform the desired skill. If your athlete is throwing, striking, kicking or spinning they will require incredible balance, coordination, freedom of movement and the ability to stabilize during the loading phase, unloading and posting phases of rotation.
If you screen your athlete and find that they have a restriction, you need to create a game plan to remove the restriction. Restrictions are areas of their function that can be altered but currently are restricting their ability to efficiently perform the skill. Corrective exercises will reestablish function in your athlete when administered correctly. Sometimes exercises won’t do the trick and you might have to call in your manual therapist to help remove the restriction. This is especially effective when the restriction is mobility based. Usually stability issues can be handled by the strength coach.
A barrier is an issue that cannot be rectified by exercise or medical intervention. If you find a barrier, you will need to coach around that barrier by changing technique to maximize what ever strengths they have. I hate compensation but in some cases we need to encourage compensation to work around an immovable barrier. I have included a video for you to watch and share with your clients when you hear them saying “I can’t!” or “It is because my hips are tight” or any other excuse for a lack of performance. Break through restrictions and work around barriers!