Whenever I go on a trip or to a seminar I always look back at my notes/thoughts and write up my take aways. Some of the stuff I publish on this blog, some I never do anything with. A few weeks ago I spent 10 days down in Scottsdale, AZ with the professional track and field organization called ALTIS.
ALTIS is where professional track and field athletes (mostly sprinters/jumpers/throwers) come to live, train, get high level coaching and high level therapy year round. They make a living as an athlete. They travel the world competing on the track. Most will be competing for their country at the Olympics (hopefully). ALTIS isn't just for Americans. Any country or athlete that qualifies can come train. While I was there athletes from China, South Africa, Canada, Korea, Germany, Scotland, England, Australia, Ivory Coast and I'm sure a few others were there living and training.
First, some impressions. There isn't magic formulas and secret workouts. It's often assumed because someone is elite, that they do special "stuff." In fact, if you were to write it down on paper it would be somewhat boring "Really, this is it?"
When you step back you can see the beauty in the basics. Mastery. They master the basics. They master drills, they master posture, they master the boring. They sleep well. Hydrate well. Eat well. Bring enthusiasm and joy to the workplace (track) They listen well....and do it day after day.
There aren't secrets. Successful people and organizations don't have secrets. In fact, ALTIS offers clinics all the time that allow coaches and therapist come and watch and learn exactly what they do. Day in and day out. The programming and coaching is simply smart.
I think often times athletes get injured when they or there coach over reach (over complicate) their progressions/workouts. Probably the notion that mental toughness can be achieved by physical beat downs still exist in the college track scene. Running to get tired. If being tired meant you got better, I'd be world class athlete from my chasing my 2 kids around. Smart training, done consistently.
2nd, some questions I have received.
Can someone if they work hard enough become that fast? Quite simply, no! To have the ability to run 9.9 in the 100m is a God given genetic talent. Does that mean they don't have to work that hard to do it? Absolutely not. Just because you have the ability doesn't mean it will happen. Years and years of training and hard work on top of unique talent is what it takes.
Is it a lot different working with elite athletes vs the average joe? Honestly, no. Anatomy is anatomy. Histology is histology. Joints move and muscles contract. Fascia transmits. Humans respond to load and fatigue. The nervous system is the same. What is different is sometimes the quality of muscle tissue. They have taken better care of themselves. This lends to faster recovery. But, the same attention to detail goes into treating an average joe as goes into treating the elite sprinter.
If you had to do it all over again, would you do the same educational path? A lot of the work I do isn't traditional chiropractic in the truest sense. There are PT's that adjust. I consider myself a strength coach that adjusts joints and treats connective tissue and makes everything play nice. I doubt if I would need a Chiropractic license to do the exact stuff I do today, but I also don't think I would have been afforded the opportunities that I was presented with without it. Catch 22. (PS..I'm glad I went to school)
Take aways. Start today on getting better at the basics. Being around Olympians and Elite athletes you can't help but feel the urge to get better. Today is the first day of Spring. Pick something in every area of your life to improve on and commit to doing it every day. Walk 10 minutes. Do 50 push ups. Read (study) for 20 min on a topic in your field. Write a paragraph. Eat 3 more vegetables. Save 10 dollars. Get 8 more minutes of sleep tonight. Drink 2 more glasses of water. Start becoming a master of the basics. That is the path to an Elite life.