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Are you evidence “based” or evidence “led” in your training? By: Gunnar Thompson, NASM-CPT, PES, CPPS

Evidence and research can be a great thing. It is the basis for our never-ending quest for knowledge. But what if I told you relying on evidence and research could be harmful or even set you back in your training? I would venture to say most people would highly doubt such an opinion. After all, SCIENCE is ALWAYS RIGHT! I am not here to argue the validity of research, but I am here to ask if you need to be absolutely assured by scientific evidence that something is right before you place it into your training program? In my opinion, the answer to this question is no, not really. Let me explain.

As players, coaches, parents, and trainers, we are all trying to get an edge in everything we do. We try to implement protocols that give us a leg up on the competition. We must be “cutting edge”. Is being “cutting edge” really waiting for clinical trials, lab testing, or data accumulation to provide clear conclusions on the basis for training protocols?  The answer is no. If you are waiting for these, you are behind the times. Once you wait until your protocols and conclusions are evidence based, you no longer have the edge over your competition!

Oates Specialties has several pieces of equipment that started from evidence led thinking that gives players, coaches, and trainers an advantage over their competition. These invaluable tools include the Connection Ball, Baseball Training Sock, Shoulder Tube, and the Rocket Wrap Compression Floss. When these tools were first brought into Oates Specialties’ line of products—with the help of some of the brightest minds in the industry—there were some people who refused to consider using these products because there was not a lot of scientific backing. The people who did implement these products into their training program did so because previous research and applicable thinking led them to believe it would work. The theory with the Baseball Training Sock is that it strengthens the arm through eccentric contraction at a higher rate of speed. This helps in the deceleration pattern as well as providing a throwing method with less stress on the arm. This was all based on circumstantial evidence, not direct evidence. Fast forward a couple of years and people are using the Baseball Training Sock because of the results from numerous others who were “cutting edge.”

In closing, I would like to challenge you as a player, parent, coach, or trainer. Are you going to wait until undeniable facts or success comes out regarding a theory, product, and regimen, or are you going to use present knowledge to come up with your own conclusion? Are you going to fall behind the curve, or are you going to press forward and separate yourself from the pack? I am extremely fortunate to work for a company that is evidence led in its thinking, and surrounds itself with forward thinkers. Where is your edge?

Be unique and #BeELITE!!

Oates Specialties LLC

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