Noise

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We certainly have become an information driven society, but information is not always equated with knowledge. Ultimately remember it is knowledge that we are seeking not information. Today we have unlimited sources of information, but it is up to us to put it in a context framed by our beliefs, experience and education to transform that information into knowledge. This is not always easy for the coach. The athletes’ and parents access the same information as the coaches. Gary Winckler, Women’s’ track & Field coach at the University of Illinois sums it up quite well: “Getting them off the internet and not looking for short cuts. The human body does not adapt any faster than it did 30 years ago so why should be expect performance gains to be accomplished faster today. A challenge I face today that I did not face as a coach 10 years ago is helping athletes get the ‘noise’ out of their lives and learn to focus on the training process.” The explosion of information is “noise.” They, the athletes, do not have the background to differentiate good information from fallacious information. This makes it even more imperative that the coach stay on the cutting edge in terms of knowledge. The information that is acquired needs to be put in context of how and why it is going to be used. A good way to cross check information and stimulate new ideas is to form a local coach’s colloquium or network to share knowledge, include the ATC and the physical therapist and doctors. This does not have to formal. Meet once a month with a suggested topic for each session. In a group situation you quickly realize that there are commonalities both in terms of problems and solutions. If everyone agrees to share ideas and information and not let their egos interfere this is a great way to keep learning.

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