The SYSTEM – You’re LOST Without It! 

 October 29, 2021

By  Don White

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Over the past few years, well maybe 35 years, I’ve seen a lot of intelligent, passionate, energetic, and seemingly financially sound trainers/coaches come and go – what was missing? A SYSTEM.

They finished school or worse, a weekend certification, with a plan of how they would transform their clients.  It worked great for a period but then boredom kicked in or the client plateaued – hmmm, what to do? There was this cool exercise/machine in that magazine and that other trainer was doing with their clients – it looks like it works.

They attended all the seminars, but not listening to the speakers talk about why they do things a certain way (read: SYSTEM); they’re at the back of the room buying VHS, CDs, DVDs, digital media – yes, they had VHS back then.  They would only attend the practical sessions because they just wanted to see what the latest exercise was or how to use that cool new piece of equipment.

About fifteen years ago a trainer said “You’re so lucky because you get away with doing the basics with your clients!  My clients want something new all the time?!”  Well, if you’re not making them better at the basics, then of course they want to do something else?!  Who wants to be s…t at something?

“Oh, it hurts when you squat low?  OK don’t squat that low.  And it hurts when you do push ups?  OK we won’t do those, but I’ll show you something cool I saw at the seminar I went to!” – how often have we heard that?

How about when you attend those seminars really listen to what the successful coaches are doing, ask them why they do it that way, and try to figure out if/how you should implement it in your coaching system – build your toolbox!

Those that know me have heard me give kudos to the likes of Mark Verstegen, Mike Boyle, Paul Chek, Danny Roberge, Gray Cook, Ron Hruska – these pioneers gave me the tools to begin working on the foundation of what is now our SYSTEM. The system has evolved tremendously, especially in the last ten years – not because of gadgets or fads but because of ongoing continuing education and by being challenged by a knowledgeable and passionate team.  We strive to find more efficient tools/methodologies to help coach our clients to success.

Notice how at every level of the system, we assess?

We look for feedback at every level of the process.  

Are their Plyometric landing mechanics off?  

Do they not have good hip alignment when doing split squats?  

Does one arm swing more than the other when running?  And so on…

“Assess and Correct” as Eric Cressey would say.  Twenty years ago, our only tool was FMS (Functional Movement System). With the addition of our Multi-Disciplinary Sports Clinic in 2013, evaluating existing and potential clients has become more productive in getting to the root cause of movement impairments. Since then, Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) has provided much more insight to our assessment protocols.

 In the last 7-10 years, there has been a surge in the need to add speed training to our athletes’/clients’ programs, so we enlisted the teachings of Derek Hanson (Running Mechanics Professional) and Les Spellman (Spellman Performance) to our system.

Don’t wait for the client to tell you something is wrong – by then, the issue is probably chronic?!

Coaching Checklist

  • Find out WHO the better coaches are in your city/province/state/country.
  • Either mentor or intern with them to get a better understanding of WHAT their system is all about and ask WHY they run their system as they do.
  • After gaining a good understanding of how their program works, copy it!! They are smarter and more experienced than you, so why shouldn’t your clients benefit from their knowledge.
  • Once you’ve become a craftsman with the tools in your toolbox, only then should you start putting together your system.

Are you all fired up and ready to get after it? WAIT!!  

You need to take 20 minutes and listen to Martin Rooney – then you’re ready!!

Don White


Coaching coaches and clients to optimize their life through proper training protocols and all aspects of metabolic health. #IntensityDoneRight

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