This past week I had the opportunity to take part in the first Performance Therapy Course offered from the World Athletic Center (WAC) in Phoenix AZ. The WAC is an integrated performance center that offers top flight coaching and therapy to Professional Track And Field athletes and up and coming track athletes.
Dan Pfaff, Stu McMillan, Andreas Behm, Nick Scheuerman and John Godina are just some of the names involved in the coaching aspect. There is an unbelievable amount of wisdom, knowledge and experience in this crew.
To lead the first Performance Therapy section was Dr. Gerry Ramogida DC. He is the Seattle Seahawks Chiropractor since 2002 and lead therapist for Fortius a large Performance center in Vancouver. He was the lead therapist for the UK up till the 2012 London Olympics. Gerry was a wealth of information. He has accumulated a very large knowledge base from which to add nuggets of insight into many different situations.
The idea behind the course is to integrate coach, therapist and athlete into a triangle of communication. Coach should be able to look at an athlete warming up and provide a manual correction to improve the warm up or workout. A therapist should know what a coach is looking for in an athlete warming up and working out.
Seems pretty common sense, until you realize, most people don't know this!
The course is split up into a nice trident of education. Lecture, Practical and Discussion over a four day stretch. Each was solid in application. For many people it was there first time hearing about mechanotransduction, fascial health, sprint mechanics, ElDOA, and more. The practical section involved learning about warm ups and the why of progression. Evaluating athletes on the move, essentially a movement based movement screen! Can you watch an athlete warm up, make an intervention when needed, and create better movement? Gait analysis on the fly! Discussion was gold. It's not often you get some heavy hitters asking questions and having open discourse on therapy and training. Very cool.
If you are a coach or therapist this is great course to help you take your professional development to the next level. It really brought out some areas of learning I need to improve on (foot mechanics) and pointed me in direction of potential other learning opportunities. I learned just as much from the quality of attendees and have noticed that is a trend. Great courses bring out great attendees. I noticed this with attending the Functional Range Release seminars last year. Quality teaching, brings quality people. Wins all around.
The coaches, therapists and athletes that are associated with the WAC are all tremendous. It was an awesome 5 days I was down there. There is an incredible vibe that is in the atmosphere around the WAC. I learned a lot, improved my skills and enjoyed some nice Phoenix weather.