Thanks, Doc Thanks, Doc

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Thread: Thanks, Doc

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Thanks, Doc

    I just got a phone call from the mother of a young female athlete that I work with and felt the need to share/vent, because I am dumbfounded right now. The athlete is 15, zero training history, has been active in sports her entire life, but has suffered some major injuries in the last year. She suffered a broken ankle last spring and on a follow up they found she had a stress fracture at her distal femur. Run through a battery of tests and nothing was found in terms of bone health, labs, etc. 3 doctors from Yale all conclude MOI was from her running gait. The prescription from the doctors after she healed was to find a running coach to work on her gait and to get stronger. Great.

    Fast forward to 8 weeks ago when I started working with her. 2 days a week, NLP with everything but cleans. Squat went from 45lb bar to 115 for 3 sets of 5. Deadlift 55 lbs to 145 for a set of 5. We started press with 15lbs dumbbells and got to 65 for 3 sets of 5. Bench 75 for 3 sets of 5. I didn't want to weigh her, because I knew the scale would go up and didnt want to go there. I spoke with her mom last week about how much better she looks and how great she is doing. Her mom proceeded to tell me she needs new jeans. Not because of her waist. Mom wasn't happy about that. She had her follow up last week with her Ortho. This particular Ortho is involved with the US Women's lacrosse team, so she obviously knows about training. I was excited to hear about the results of her progress from her Ortho about how strong she has gotten. As you might suspect, this is the report I received from mom.

    "The Orthopedic is concerned with the fact that she has gained a few pounds. She is recommending that she stop getting stronger because it will not help her as much as increasing her speed and agility will. She wants her to "maintain" what she has gained in strength, but lose the weight she has gained and focus on cone drills and agility ladders. I hope that you are able to help with this"

    Training her has been great for me. First female lifter I have worked with and I learned a ton. What a waste. Thanks, Doc.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    Fuck, this is frustrating. I think there's a lot to said for restricting our practice to adults.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2011
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Fuck, this is frustrating. I think there's a lot to said for restricting our practice to adults.
    That will solve part of the problem, but the crux of the issue is that there are people in positions of power that don't understand training and the requirements of the sport that they work in.

    OP, I hear you loud and clear and understand how frustrated you are. The unfortunate reality is that if you want to work with athletes - you will have to deal with this constantly. From Sports Docs, PT's, Dietitians.. you name it, all weighing in on things they don't really understand and bringing their own bias into the discussion. The thing is, this Ortho - regardless of their credentials, does not understand what you're trying to do. 'Strength won't help but speed and agility will' - that really sums it up.

    You can try and speak to the Ortho, and present sound logic, but I don't rate your chances. And the unfortunate reality is that this girl's mother will of course listen to the Ortho over you.

    Sorry my friend, welcome to the S&C world. I deal with this on a weekly basis with adult athletes, so I can only sympathize with you dealing with parents on top of that!

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmaxaus View Post
    That will solve part of the problem, but the crux of the issue is that there are people in positions of power that don't understand training and the requirements of the sport that they work in.

    OP, I hear you loud and clear and understand how frustrated you are. The unfortunate reality is that if you want to work with athletes - you will have to deal with this constantly. From Sports Docs, PT's, Dietitians.. you name it, all weighing in on things they don't really understand and bringing their own bias into the discussion. The thing is, this Ortho - regardless of their credentials, does not understand what you're trying to do. 'Strength won't help but speed and agility will' - that really sums it up.

    You can try and speak to the Ortho, and present sound logic, but I don't rate your chances. And the unfortunate reality is that this girl's mother will of course listen to the Ortho over you.

    Sorry my friend, welcome to the S&C world. I deal with this on a weekly basis with adult athletes, so I can only sympathize with you dealing with parents on top of that!
    Oh, I get it. I've worked in private secondary education my entire career and deal with it every day. We have two AT's on staff who deal with our boys every day. Office is under weight room. If they see a kid for anything that isn't emergent, the recommendation is rest, ice, and PT to strengthen said area. I get the liability on them, I do, but come on. Luckily the culture has developed to the point where our serious lifters avoid that room because they know what will happen. The new kids don't get it, but figure it out. When did training rooms become comfortable places that stroke ego's? I was scared shitless of my high school AT and the dungeon that he worked in.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2014
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    Sounds like it's the mom working against you as well. In my experience with patients, families are harder to deal with than the patient, and I'll probably get in trouble for saying so, but the female relatives are the worst. Daughters and wives of elderly men will camp out in the room and seemingly never leave. They will second guess everything and are never satisfied with the answers. It's just so much bottled up neurosis spewing out at any available target. They will demand things that make no sense and fire you when you try to explain why it's not a good idea.

    The only time I see dads doing something similar is when the patient is a young woman with cyclic vomiting syndrome. For some reason it's always the dads.

    Not defending the ortho at all, but sounds like you were fucked even without him.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2013
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    Wow. What a fucking twit of a doctor. Hopefully when this young lady is an adult and still having the problems that come from being weak, she will recall her time with you and start strength training again. One can hope.

  7. #7
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    May 2008
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    It probably wouldn't help, but if you had body composition data for before and after the strength training, you can show the weight gain as lean body mass. Very occasionally this works with rational people.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2008
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    What was so ideal about her previous weight that necessitates losing what she gained? So mind-numbingly arbitrary. And at 15, she could just be growing...ya know?

    Was this Ortho one of the doctors from your first paragraph that recommended she get stronger? If so, why the change? If not, why the discrepancy between doctors? Maybe pointing out the double talk to Mom will help your case.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2015
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    Have you thought about doing this:

    1. Explain that strength will actually help her daughter get faster. Offer to prove this by testing a 40 yd. dash time at the beginning of a 3 month period of strength training and testing it again at the end.

    2. Work some sprints in as conditioning. Not ideal for a novice, but if it means the difference between training and not training then itís a compromise well made.

    You could also ask her if she would take roofing advice from a doctor who had roofers as patients. But that would probably come off as condescending, and you may lose the client as a result.

    Of course, all this hinges on your desire to continue to deal with this parent weighed against your desire to make her daughter stronger. Have to pick your battles.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinic View Post
    What was so ideal about her previous weight that necessitates losing what she gained? So mind-numbingly arbitrary. And at 15, she could just be growing...ya know?

    Was this Ortho one of the doctors from your first paragraph that recommended she get stronger? If so, why the change? If not, why the discrepancy between doctors? Maybe pointing out the double talk to Mom will help your case.
    Same ortho. I have no idea why the change. I think its because she is "strong enough".

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