I am currently reading Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee, it is very revealing and disturbing. Naturally it got me thinking about my own filter. How do I sort through the tsunami of stuff available in the space of sports performance, athletic development, sport science and coaching? Wading through the training porn, misinformation and outright stupid stuff is not an easy proposition and I am very selective in who I follow and what I read. Training porn just like porn is seductive and addictive. It disturbs me to see so many coaches consume this stuff like it is gospel, especially if they find a research article to validate it. How are some of the things I do and people I respect do:
- Start with well-defined and articulated core beliefs.
- Have a working compass oriented to true north.
- Be an informed skeptic – Ask well informed pointed questions?
- Recognize that there are no absolutes – context is ALWAYS king.
- Follow your gut instincts – If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Make sure you are not part of a filter bubble or an echo chamber – seek outside and diverse opinions to validate or invalidate the ideas.
- Have go to experts that will give a straight answer. I have my own experts (In most cases world recognized) in Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Skill Acquisition, Coaching, Athletic Medicine and Rehabilitation. If they don’t know they will refer me to someone who does.
- Everything old is new again – know history and know who the historical game changers were in your field. Much of what is portrayed today as new and innovative has been done before. Isometric training was used extensively in the early 60’s.
- You are only an expert if you are willing to share your failures and your successes.
- Last but not least what are they selling? When you see headlines like this: “The Money Lift: How a Top-Flight Trainer Discovered the Most Important Exercise Every Athlete Should Do.” Click off that page and barf.
Wake up! Don’t be afraid to call bullshit on the bullshitters.