When a client is done with their breathing exercises, I can hear their nervous system submitting; "Okay, I’m ready to learn."
This response is quite an improvement from the initial, "I have no idea what I’m doing here, I’m just trying to survive!" that I hear from their nervous systems when clients first arrive.
I feel a connection with the nervous system, like it’s my job to calm it down. I want to make it feel safe and receptive to learning. At J&M, we also focus extensively on setting our clients up for successful training by starting them off with a solid foundation.
What I need from my clients is concentration. There are two different types of attention, purposeful attention and reactive. If I’m trying to change the way my clients move, it’s important that they’re giving me their purposeful attention. Purposeful attention only occurs when the body feels calm and safe. This is when the body is able to access learning.
Reactive attention, on the other hand, is reached through fight-or-flight. When our clients walk in it is their reactive attention that is most active, this why I hear their nervous systems yelling, "Get me the duck out of here!"
The only thing the client’s brain is concerned about in this state is surviving.
So what do we do? How do we get people out of Fight or Flight?
Hi, my name is Coach Jared, and I received poor training advice in high school.
It’s not a support group but it should be; there would be a lot of members.
Let’s flash back to when I was in eighth grade. During a basketball practice, I drove to the basket for a lay-up when a teammate attempted to block my shot.
We bumped knees, and I suffered a subluxation of my knee joint. My knee dislocated and relocated by itself.
Let’s just say it didn’t feel very good.
X-Rays showed no structural damage, but the sports medicine physical therapist informed me my hamstrings were tight and I needed to stretch them every day to loosen them up.
So I spent the next five years of my competitive career stretching diligently. Not only did my hamstring mobility fail to improve, but also I continually re-injured one or both knees.
Still, every time I returned to see my physical therapist, he told me I must continue to stretch my “tight” hamstrings.
That same injury occurred at least six times to both my right and left knees over the next eight years.
I thought I was simply doomed to become a sedentary ex-athlete reminiscing about my youth.
Flash forward to today.
I now train hard three to four days a week and compete in Olympic weightlifting. These movements require massive amounts of stability, mobility and force absorption – the same actions the previously resulted in injury.
So what changed?