Last year, I attended the Seattle Sounders Sport Science conference and took away 3 things:
1.) Oysters from the Pacific Ocean are the best.
2.) It’s okay to inject coffee into your blood stream.
3.) Never stop learning.
And that last one speaks to me so much. Not only was it said by Michael Li, owner of Mobility Plus Sports Rehab, who is a straight up boss, but it also humbled me into realizing there’s a lot I have yet to learn.
At age 27, damn do I feel like a young one in this industry. And can you imagine how I felt when I was alongside doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists, and 5-time phD candidates at the Sport Science conference?
It was tantamount to entering the middle school lunch room, wanting to sit with the popular kids.
Alas, it was refreshing to hear from industry veterans how much they had yet to still learn. They were modest in their demeanors, and humble with their accomplishments.
And a few even took me out for Pacific Ocean oysters and drinks.
I felt cool. For 30 minutes. ;-O
Why Is Continuing Education Important?
Our industry is dynamic. One day the shake weight is in, when the next day functional training is the answer.
And even then, functional training is susceptible to getting bashed.
The point is: this industry is in endless oscillation, and if you don’t stay ahead of the curve, you’re doing your clients and athletes a disservice.
It’s okay to have a core philosophy, but new methods for training are being discussed every day.
As an example, I used to do time-based conditioning, but then after watching Mike Boyle’s Complete Sports Conditioning, my world went up in flames.
So I gave heart rate monitors a whirl with my soccer players, and was blown away with the physiological results. They increased their conditioning, as well as their speed.
With that said, continuing education is about being open-minded, experimental, and fearless. It will always be worth giving something innovative a try.
What Are the Options for Continuing Education?
The internet is a beautiful thing. So that’s one option. There are plenty of strength and conditioning blogs, forums, and social media groups.
My top strength coaches to follow:
Oh, and do you even Google Scholar, bro? If you enjoy burying your head in research studies, by all means, go nerd out.
Personally, I hate research, but I’ll at least read the abstract and conclusion and have a pretty good idea of what crazy muscle fibers contract during an eccentric hamstring curl. If I go any further into a study than that, my eyes WILL BLEED.
The internet is a great alternative if you want to evade spending your month’s rent on a conference or workshop. Don’t get me wrong, networking and attending conferences are the shit. But they do cost a pretty penny, while the internet is free. So it’s comforting to know you can get a plethora of information at no cost when money may be tight.
What About Books?
I love books. And while they may be a little more time consuming, I find plopping on a couch and reading tremendously relaxing.
Some of my favorite books divided into categories:
Time to put the reading specs on. But when you’re done, be sure to put the words you read into action.
Sure, you can read every book Gary V wrote on making-x-amount-of-money-by-selling-crap-online-and-investing-it-and-growing-your-social-media-following-and-shitting-glitter, but how are you going to take actionable steps to get to that point?
With that said, never stop learning, but also, never stop taking action.