I was watching SportsCenter a week or two ago – they showed a funny clip of Babe Ruth working out with his trainer in what appeared to be the 1920’s. Ruth (one of the best baseball players of all-time) was laying on his back and the trainer was jamming Ruth’s knees into his chest and drilling him in the gut with a medicine ball among other laughable things. Although this was accepted practice at the time, it’s obvious to us almost 100 years later that training has greatly evolved since then.
Now, what if all the trainers and researchers believed in the same 1920’s methods and never changed their ways? Never decided to continue to learn better forms of athletic performance training and exercise science? Then players would still train 1920’s-style, lacking the speed and athleticism we have grown to enjoy watching today. What I am trying to convey is that sometimes it’s ok to leave behind ideas you once believed to be true and make adjustments or learn completely new methods, moving on better than before. I hear it all the time with training and nutrition – “But you used to tell me to do it this way” or “That’s how we’ve always done it”. It’s like continuing to improve is a bad thing! As a coach, teacher, parent or anyone who lends advice, there’s nothing wrong with saying “This is what I know to be true today”, knowing later you may change your stance because new and more thought-provoking research or evidence came out. Nothing is worse than someone who remains hardheaded even when the proof is right in front of them.
As with what we do in training and nutrition at RNS, and what you might do in your career – never be afraid to constantly learn and adapt to the information given to you. Some information might be good, some bad, but keep an open mind and you’ll never stop evolving.