One of the ways we can waste a lot of time and get our professions nowhere is by debating about which side is correct or which way is better.
What works vs. What doesn’t. Who is a genius who changes lives and is a scammer looking for clicks and likes?
I’m often introduced at lectures as “Please welcome Dr. Peters from South Texas, this guy hates stretching and he’s here to tell you why.”
As much as I dispute this, true to the intro, I got into my own hype last week, and when asked a good question by a cross country coach about stretching, I basically “took a side.”
After thinking it through, I later rescinded my intent, but the damage was done. I solidified my “anti-stretching” label.
It was a small group, and we were face to face, therefore better behaved, but I imagine this could easily play out differently in a more significant online forum.
I enjoy imagining the “stretch debate” playing out like an old-time newspaper “Extra! Extra! edition.”
A hem-haw of an 1860’s era political 2nd page cartoon that showed viscous caricatures of rivals drawn in a way to sell papers, start arguments, and debate. The “pro-stretching” squad goes ballistic with shouts of “Hear! Hear!” while judges’ gavels pound on wooden sound blocks. The yoga specialist divided and split with a whole spin-off on “eccentric elongation,” Then, as the noise simmered down to a bit of background of “Hmmpphs and t’sks”, someone would ask about Pilates, and the roar would begin anew. Finally, an Athletic Trainer for a pro sports team would declare, “I work on SuperBowl Champion “so and so,” and he’s a winner. Let me tell you what he does” while we’d all hold our breath waiting for the “Holy Grails of Answers.”
Do you think that’s too much? A little far-fetched? It’s closer to reality than you think.
Take a guess how many clients asked me if they should eat 15,000 Calories of, “Big Macs, Fillet O’ Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries.” when Michael Phelps won 47 gold medals eating McDonald’s. And how many people still show up to sports arenas with giant hickey’s all over their bodies for the exact same reason? 1 athlete – 2 huge repercussions in sports science on the same day.
Dry Needling, Cups, Vibrations, Tape, Tools, Keto, Intermittent fasting, Lifting for kids, foot strike, cardio…
I am asked about these every single day. It’s exhausting to discuss. It’s saves so much time just taking a stance and saying, “I do THIS!”
This pillow, this mattress, this way of sleeping, this foot strike, this tool. That guy is wrong, this technique is bad, Do this, Don’t do that. This is my STANCE!
But that’s not fair. It’s poor doctoring. Because there really is a better way. Things have changed. Science is real, and technology is constantly evolving our intel. If someone asks my opinion, I feel it’s my duty to tell them WHY.
You get this with any and all info you read on the internet, right? This site included. Information is not a problem anymore. Sifting through poor information, though, that’s the new Mount Everest.
And you have to have this awareness and be Sharp and Alert, or you‘re going to end up doing a bunch of wrong things and wasting time. Information can say anything. So do the experts. It may be arrogant, but I think I am one of them. It’s not a secret. We’re not all in agreement.
An incredible YouTube Short is going viral right now that I just love. I will try to link it, but it may be taken down. A guy sits down for breakfast and picks up his phone, which through social media, immediately tells him, “Cereal is a terrible way to start the day.”
So he thankfully and immediately throws it away, goes to his fridge, and gets out a fruit bowl.
As he sits down to eat, his phone now tells him, “Fruit has too many sugars in it and is dangerous for you.”
Thank God he dodged this bullet. He throws the food out and grabs a steak.
“ Cooked meat is carcinogenic; you will die.”
At this point, he’s getting confused and frustrated.
It goes on with his drinking water and even his toothpaste before he finally slams his phone down in disgust.
The reality is there’s just too much information. The internet will give you whatever you are looking for.
When I do some of my lectures, I will often say,
“You can easily look up what stretches will help you with your back pain and then look up how water can cure you of cancer. The trouble isn’t that there’s no information; it more along the lines of, a lot of the information out there is wrong.”
The Internet’s been with us for decades now. Understand this fundamental principle: so much of the information, in fact, in my opinion, the majority of the data is wrong. This slows down everything.
The internet was built to streamline and make things go faster, but we aren’t learning at a Faster Pace. In fact, even at the professional level, when I sit through Sports Performance seminars, much of the time is spent arguing about who has got the correct information.
What shoes to wear, how to land when running, when to run, how to run, and even if you should run.
Do you need surgery? Should you avoid surgery at all costs? Should you get rehab? Should you do the workout at your house? It’s exhausting.
One of the new trends on the lecture circuit for healthcare professionals’ is “if ice and heat work as a a therapy.” And if you think that’s crazy, I will tell you that over the last two decades, that has been one of the most significant topics and questions from clinical patients as well as when I lecture in hospitals and universities. You think we could figure this out by now right?
When to use heat vs ice. I too, have a HUGE opinion on this and a valid reason WHY.
Even some of the most intelligent people I have ever been around in human performance will debate this to the death. They take a stand and fight for their cause.
This satire of my field may come off as highly hypocritical when I devoted an entire website and a massive chunk of my professional life to trying to share Superior ideas and ways of doing things for sports performance, Rehab & Health.
When, at the end of it all, as professionals and consumers, we can create much more value by going out and just trying new things.
I’m asking you to experiment.
Try something new.
Simply just pay attention and have awareness.
Especially when what you are doing isn’t working quickly.
It’s not that you need more; it is that you need something different. And then pay attention to the results. Make decisions based on how you feel, not what you are being told by professionals. The professionals are for advice, and the best opinions will have a “Why we do this? And Why it may work for you.”
I certainly hope that’s why you come to this website. I hope it’s why you share it with your friends. (and just a little plug here…will you please?)
Everyone in every profession will have levels of Confirmation Bias; it’s an impossibility to avoid entirely, and we cannot eliminate it. The best we can hope for is to be aware of it and look for it in our work and in the work of others. It’s why a blend of research vs. experience and result-based findings have to mesh.
I wanted to create this website to give you more options and try different things that may come from a slightly different direction. To stay up to date on “What’s new and what’s working.” and, most importantly, “WHY!” It doesn’t have to be conventional versus unconventional. It’s all about having what we term in our professions-
“More tools in your toolbox!’
But fun little quips like this have to be based on reality. I see ideas like using the wrong tool for the job as memes all over the Internet. They are basically suggesting that you are trying to use a hammer when a screwdriver is needed.
But I live in reality. I have an actual toolbox at home, and in it are 15-20 different types of screwdrivers because sometimes it takes a different kind of screwdriver to get the job done correctly. It’s not, “If it’s not right, it’s wrong!” The idea is to look for slight shifts that allow you to get the most beneficial results and save time, money, and energy.
Let’s stop the fight both professionally and as a consumer of “This way vs. That way.”
Avoid clickbait such as, “This (add the thing you’ve been doing) is killing you!” and shift your thinking to ideas that encourage personal growth and experimentation. As professionals, trust that the guys you are butting heads with are also professionals with successful experience and are well worth seeking out and listening to. These “conflicting” ideas will stimulate your own growth, modification, and evolution, which makes this profession so fascinating.