Musculoskeletal conditions, many of them sporting injuries, have been a burden on the NHS for many years, but when COVID 19 hit, it wiped out the NHS's resources overnight, for everyday people with "non-urgent" sports injuries.
The NHS staff are exhausted and the backlog of postponed appointments and treatments is huge. This means the normal support network people with minor injury issues usually rely on is virtually non-existent now - and there's a rising tide of unmet need for help with these issues, which is only storing up trouble for the future.
The problem is...
If we don't do something to tackle these minor injury issues now, no amount of money or resources will be able to fix it later when these minor muscle pulls and strains have quickly become urgent issues.
This wave of delayed and complex musculoskeletal problems will mean that existing specialists will be overwhelmed, training new specialists takes time... and the participants in our coaching sessions will be the ones suffering hugely in the meantime.
The great news is...
As sports and fitness coaches we can make a difference to the NHS and the whole country both immediately and long term.
We are in the perfect position to spot injuries early so that people don't end up in hospital or even have to go to the doctor. This means they lose less training time and the NHS can devote their resources to dealing with the backlog.
But we won't get there by doing what we're doing now...
This problem isn't going to fix itself. Things are not going to go back to normal anytime soon. It'll take years for the NHS to catch up and these injury problems don't just go away on their own. Ignoring the small aches and pains now will only lead to bigger problems later, when the NHS may only be under more strain.
The truth is...
The NHS was struggling to manage before COVID, but now it's really in deep, deep trouble because the volume of people entering the system is simply too big.
According to gponline.com, musculoskeletal conditions account for 30% of GP appointments in England each year. That’s roughly 90 million appointments, on top of the COVID strain and the NHS simply can't deal with it.
They'll never catch up.
Every little bit of injury we can prevent, will help on every level of our sporting society.
It means that we as sports and fitness coaches can step in and take the strain off the NHS.
We can help our participants with injury prevention and recovery ourselves, which will take the strain off the system by helping to prevent small injuries from turning into much bigger medical issues.
And the best thing is, we don't even need to be specialists to do it.
Every coach in any sport at any level can contribute something to alleviate the problem.
and THAT means...
The SMARTT® Coach Education Series from mostmotion® is the solution we need.
The traditional approach to injury puts the injuries themselves at the centre of any solution. These solutions take detailed learning of complex anatomy and physiology, drag coaches away from the coaching they love and take years of learning followed by mastery!
The SMARTT® methods keep coaching at the centre of everything, creating injury prevention solutions around how sessions are already structured and taking advantage of skills coaches already have so that they can be included as part of any coaching programme no matter what the sport or area of fitness.
By focusing on the injury itself, you'll appeal to a small minority of coaches who are interested in specialising in injuries, but with the situation we're in right now, that's not enough.
We need every coach, in every sport, at every level to be able to play their part. This means focusing on what coaches are already doing so everyone can be involved without getting bogged down in complexities or time-consuming specialisms.
In short, every other approach focuses on the PROBLEM of the injury itself (which by then is too late!), instead of looking at the coaching structure itself and finding ways to integrate injury prevention at every level.
It's entirely possible for us to do this...
Because here at mostmotion®, we're already doing it!
We've been helping coaches from all kinds of sporting backgrounds around the world integrate injury prevention into everything they do, every day, for years
And our training is internationally recognised by CIMSPA here in the UK and the National Strength and Conditioning Association in the US.
If we're going to make a REAL difference to the NHS...
Every coach, in every sport, at every level needs to commit to injury prevention on a consistent basis.
This means integrating it with our existing skills in every part of every session, from the moment our participants arrive for their session, to the second they leave.
And it means treating injury prevention with just as much - if not more - urgency than we do injury treatment.
If we can do that...
We can create immediate benefits for ourselves and the whole country, starting by immediately taking some of the pressure off the NHS.
This will have an instant impact for not only the COVID patients and everyone caught up in the backlog, but for the over-burdened NHS heroes themselves.
It will also mean that everybody will get the help they need with their injury problems at an appropriate level - quickly.
Once we do that...
Not only will injury prevention and care in this country be revolutionised, but we'll also:
- create generations of older people who can live independent lives
- help more juniors reach their full sporting potential
- create a bigger pool of Olympic hopefuls
- prevent isolation for adults who rely on their club activities for their social network
- reduce the impact of long-term sick on the economy by helping to prevent back pain and other long-term musculoskeletal conditions
- improve the mental health of those suffering with long-term or chronic pain
- and much more
By helping to take the pressure off the NHS at this time, we can make a real difference to many areas of society and we can lessen (or even eliminate) much of the pain that goes untreated for sports and other types of injuries.
But to make this a robust and sustainable solution...
We need easy access to the tools and resources that can make it happen - and that's where I need your help.
I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to developing and testing the SMARTT® Methods, so that they can be used in any coaching situation, with any group of participants, at any time.
But there's always been one thing preventing this approach from scaling up to help millions more people... technology.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of applications and websites that can be used for communication these days, but knowing which one to choose to suit a growing company, with flexible demands is challenging.
Typically, the one that best suits the startup's immediate needs is chosen, and ongoing growth often means relying on additional tech solutions that each do a great job in their own right, but don't perfectly fit together - leaving gaps which have the potential to disrupt or even prevent taking the message to the masses.
And that's the point that we're at right now with mostmotion® and the SMARTT® methods.
We're restricted to using off-the-shelf tech tools and trying to make them fit around what we want to be doing.
But it just isn't working anymore.
If we are to make any meaningful inroads into taking the strain from the NHS, individuals, coaches and therapists need to be able to communicate easily with each other, find suitable collaboration partners to join their growing teams and have access to a ready-made library of simple, easy to follow movements that everyone can understand.
And that means creating a bespoke platform to do the job properly. Which is exactly what we're raising money for.
With the SMARTT® Communication Hub, finding the right people at the right level of expertise to help will be easy, opening simple communication channels between coach, therapist and participant.
Shared access to training information and/or rehab exercises will be available to whoever needs it, decided entirely by the people involved in the case.
This means that coaches and therapists will no longer have to rely on the half-understood, kind-of-remembered information relayed from the client that is the current way of doing things. They will just be able to talk to each other directly, in a language they both understand, no matter where they are in the world!
With a proper communication platform, minor problems and injury issues can quickly and easily be resolved without needing to bother the NHS, with only the cases who really need more services being referred on.
The money raised will go towards the building and running costs of this communication hub, creating a radical and sustainable solution to help take pressure off the NHS.
And this is just the start!
Getting the SMARTT® Methods to where they are now has been a 20 year journey, but the country and the NHS can't wait much longer.
They need help right now, before the whole system breaks.
As a nation, we demonstrated just how much we love our NHS by standing in our gardens or hanging out of windows clapping and banging pans every Thursday night in the summer of 2020.
But now, our utterly exhausted yet still devoted NHS staff need more, and quickly.
That’s why we’re not stopping at creating this communication hub.
Once built and tested (we're aiming for early July 2021), the SMARTT® Communication Hub will easily be able to prevent large volumes of people from needing the NHS to help with their minor, low-level injury complaints.
So, it’s my ambition to have 1 MILLION sports and fitness coaches capable of safely contributing to injury prevention in the UK by successfully completing the SMARTT® Coach Level 1 training by the end of 2021.
If you're someone who just wants to help, an individual coach, a club or even a corporate sponsor, please donate what you can to this project right now!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m trying to raise £25,000 for:
- £20,000 to build communication hub
- £2,000 1st year running costs
- £3,000 admin costs for scaling the business to cope with 1 million+ users
Instead of making the injuries the stars of the show, the SMARTT® Coach Education Series keeps coaching front and centre of our focus so we can compliment other therapies and create true collaboration. Here's how it works:
Coaches of all levels can start here and help with preventing injuries right away. Level 1 provides a solid foundation to move up through the SMARTT® Coach Education Series for those who would like to improve their knowledge and ability to help.
As a human being, your non-verbal assessment of someone happens from the very first moment you meet them, which is why this is the first step in the SMARTT® Coach journey.
The first part of any coaching session is greeting the client or group. It's the coach's chance to find out about any previous issues prior to the session... and it's also a fantastic opportunity to observe the patterns in behaviour, posture and movement that provide the clues to potential injury problems, before they become painful.
Level 1 will help you identify these physical displays which are often a reflection of the emotional toll restricted movement can take on individuals (painful or not). Your ability to read the bodies in front of you will help you to tailor your session content, your language and your own behaviour, without the need to pry into your clients' personal circumstances.
This will help those clients who can't, or don't want to verbalise their emotions or admit that they're having problems, as well as those who simply want to avoid the frustration of injury.
If every coach in the UK learnt the skills taught in this course, it would give the NHS approximately 3 million extra practitioners capable of identifying potential musculoskeletal and/or mental health issues early that can, and do, arise from restricted joint movement and pain.
This online self-study course is suitable for coaches of all levels, including assistant coaches. On successful completion, you have the opportunity to claim CPD credits from CIMSPA or NSCA.
Coaches who qualify at this level will be able to work in conjunction with other practitioners to find appropriate support for their clients quickly and easily via the SMARTT® Communication Hub without adding burden to the NHS.
Level 2 of the SMARTT® Coach Certification allows you to build on the observation skills learned in Level 1. You get to design your own warm-up, cool-down and stand-alone movement improvement sessions based on the movement restrictions you’ve seen in your clients, using simple non-painful movement to do it.
Traditionally the warmup, along with the cool down has long been thought of as the best way to prevent injuries. But if the traditional methods were really working, injury prevalence wouldn’t be increasing, including in progressively younger age groups.
At this level Certified SMARTT® Coaches can not only identify potential problems, but actually take appropriate preventative action too, using the exclusive 3M Flow™ technique at the start and end of every session!
This 12-week course is taught LIVE online. It is open to coaches who have successfully completed the SMARTT® Coach Level 1 and are certified by their sporting governing body as being able to teach sessions without supervision (proof required).
Level 3 of the SMARTT® Coach Technique & Performance Specialist course helps you work with individuals to assess for specific movement restrictions, then plan all elements of their session to deal with it - all using non-painful movement.
In addition to the warm-up, cool-down and movement improvement sessions learned in Level 2, this course deals with drills, skill acquisition, strength training and more to both enhance performance and build resilience against injury returning.
Experienced coaches have a superb ability to spot technique problems from a mile away, but repetitive drills to "correct" these problems can actually contribute to the development of injuries, this course will help you work with clients and find the best ways of avoiding injury.
This 12 week course is also taught LIVE online and is open to Certified SMARTT® Coaches who are recognised by their sporting governing body as being qualified to work with clients on a 1-to-1 basis.
By Level 4, SMARTT® Coaches are able to build their entire session around the movement restrictions that lead to injury, without needing to know anything about the injuries themselves. But true collaboration doesn't just come from knowing what YOU can do to help, it comes from understanding where others are coming from too.
The SMARTT® Coach Injury Prevention Specialist certification investigates the technical language around injuries, what standard industry treatment methods are trying to achieve and how coaches can compliment the process through non-painful movement.
When you understand the emotional and physical therapies, the language used and intended outcomes, you improve your ability to collaborate and communicate which eliminates fears and misunderstandings from all sides.
Again, this course is taught LIVE online and is open to Certified SMARTT® Coach Technique & Performance Specialists.
For SMARTT® Coaches who want to take their businesses or clubs further. The SMARTT® Coach Change Makers Mastermind is an opportunity to work with a small group of like-minded individuals investigating ways of creating your own "ecosystem" of coaches, therapists and other professionals to really make a difference to your communities (either online or local).
By putting injury prevention at the centre, and using movement as the communication tool, a seamless team of multiple coaches (all levels of experience) and therapists working together, each with their own set of skills and strengths, combine to benefit the individual.
The more teams created, the less reliant the sporting community will be on the NHS both now and in the future
Musculoskeletal problems are currently one of the biggest strains on the NHS, but we have a real chance at changing that, right here, right now.
Let's be SMARTT® - Let's do this together!