The Hoare 4 (The Four Series)

By John Rahme

Over my years I have met many a person. Its infrequent for me to meet somebody who has an immediate impact on me. This unique person not only influenced me instantly as a strength and conditioner but more so from the point of view on managing yourself, your behavior, your language and your professionalism at all times. Klint Hoare has a stupendous record when it comes to bettering young and senior athletes in a strength and conditioning way. For me, it’s his remarkable trait which he has which inspires, guides and helps people become better people. Each time I do see Klint, it is always with a smile on his face and an aura of passion and enthusiasm which besieges Klint.

 

Without further ado, my four questions,

 

  1. what do you see or find as the biggest error made or what isn’t taken into consideration when it comes to injury prevention?

My thoughts on this straight away turn to the word ‘collaboration’. As an athletic performance department or a strength & conditioning team when it comes to the prevention of injury and / or the rehabilitation of an injury reoccurrence, the key is for my athlete to know there is  collaboration between the support staff ensuring the athlete that as team, we have the best interest and health of our player as a priority.

 

Collectively we all need to be on the same page! In my experience there is tremendous buy in and trust from an athlete when they see partnership and engagement of the support staff which includes the team’s medical officer, the physiotherapist, the rehabilitation co-ordinator, the S & C personnel and that which adds greater weight, the head coach! With an injury sustained, ultimately its coordinating all aspects of the rehabilitation program to ensure effective and timely implementation in order to minimise training and game time missed due to the injury.

 

I’m fortunate that an exposure to both semi-professional and professional sporting teams has exposed me to the fact, ego and micro management styles can unfortunately dictate the athletes / players rehabilitation program. Often, I’ve seen a breakdown in the communication channels between medical personnel and the S & C team and unfortunately the players and their return to full training or play can be hindered as a result. Worse case scenarios I’ve actually experienced athletes go off site for treatment or diagnosis.

 

With reference to the prevention of injury again it comes down to a ‘support staff team’ working together to ensure optimal exposure of dose of volume, intensity, contact and non-contact bouts, recovery or fatigue responses. As an S & C Coach, a common mistake I’ve seen especially within semi-professional sport is the concerning lack of awareness of the different demands and fatigue responses that matches, field-based training, contact and non-contact sessions can have and the effect these markers play on possible injury occurrence. For me the cumulative wear and tear taxes muscles and erodes the integrity of the body’s delicate architecture of bones, joints, and ligaments, so load management is crucial. As S & C Coaches we are hired to build resilient, robust, repeatable athletes not break them.

I’ve made a short answer long, however probably as a profession we don’t do ‘load management’ good enough! Even with all the technology and advancements in load management software we find it hard to deliberately reduce the external physiological stressors such as amount of training and/or competition an athlete takes on which is intended to help them recover and perform better over the long term, because unfortunately some of us are still caught up in the ‘more is better’ or ‘if we can’t break them we will never make them’ mentality.

 

  1. What is the method which you subscribe to or YOUR way when it comes to athlete preparation in the gym and field?

 

I guess after 23 years within physical preparation of athletes / players across multidisciplinary sports, the football codes, and individual events such as triathlon, cycling and boxing, I’m proud of the work I’ve rolled out for National, Olympian and World Champions alike , and whether prepping international teams or emerging athletes within the training to train or training to compete stage of development  my approach is to ensure programs are always developed from best practice methods and underlined with research. Programs are designed and delivered with a big picture in mind and never a ‘hit or miss’ approach. They are designed to bring long term results whilst also ensuring within the immediate, the athlete turns up the best version of themselves.

 

John I’ve always taken to my task like an artist to a blank canvas. I look at the demands of the particular game / sport, the demands of the individual positions or individual disciplines within the sport and I look at the athlete’s profile. I liken this to a SWOT analysis. What are their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as an athlete? I take into consideration their training age, their current work capacity, injury history, their attitudes past and present, their motivation, the actual hook I can continue to bring them in with that will keep them pressing on when the training seems relentless, repeatable and a process and not what is flashy and what others may be doing.

 

I remember Dan Baker once coined a phrase within a workshop I attended, ‘Win the Workout!’ and for me that recapitulates the training I want my athletes to be involved in. An environment, a culture that is centred on every minute counts, every rep matter, every exposure develops. If I expect my athlete  / player to be intentional, then they need to see that I’m also turning up to every session with intent, with purpose and that every athlete I serve I do so passionately and that every athlete no matter what age, level, or standing in the game, they deserve my best.

 

  1. What are the main ingredients for a good medical team, including the S & C?

 

Probably answered this within question 1 regarding support staff and collaboration, however another area which I deem priority is the ‘singing from the same hymn book’ mentality.

 

There needs to be as with any organisation whether that be in business, education or sport, a common purpose. Understanding what is our role? Why do we exist?

There are two key areas which I’ve coined Hardware & Software – The hardware I believe as an area of the industry we do really great at, it’s the things we can categorise such as KPI’s, strategic planning, technical skill and operating processes but this must be enveloped by the software.

This as an industry we are not doing too well in. John it’s no accident that the great sporting or successful corporate organisations are high performing teams, as they understand the importance of the software, the human element, where culture and behaviours are priority.

Where strong professional relationships are formed and an agreed behavioural framework established which ultimately leads to genuine conversations where each team member no matter the position held within the organisation structure can hold one another accountable and help one another grow and therefore the department / team of staff collectively progresses.

The software for me will drive the delivery of the hardware and performance levels. Above all for me, team is a powerful resource in the quest to produce the best outcomes for our athletes individually and collectively.

 

  1. What advice would you give to a young sports scientist, strength coach?

 

Well mate, early on in my career I was surrounded by great technicians and better yet, super people. Mentors not only in the industry but also life.

I have lifelong friends from my time in the industry and these come from direct involvement or with people I’ve met through the many doors that the profession has opened. I believe young, emerging, aspiring S & C Coaches like any profession I guess, need to be exposed to those that are at the coal face, that have earned their stripes in the game!

One way to do that is go and seek out a mentor learn from vicarious experiences. Observe them, seek them out as mentors and partners within our industry. Create yourself an intentional platform for community and connection of like mindedness.

 

  1. 1. Know what you want with your career – have a clear and concise game plan (for both your career and for LIFE). They can’t be separate.
  2. Know how to get it.
  3. Provide yourself with the expertise, knowledge and capacity to deliver. Get a mentor, attend workshops, conferences, cut your teeth!
  4. Take an honest assessment of exactly where you are now. You have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and get rid of all the bullshit.

Develop your coaching styles and method. Revisit it annually asks others to analyse it. That’s the genuine conversations we all find tough to

have.

  1. Don’t give up, have fun and take time out to relax and recover. You’ll burn out if you never take any breaks! I have seen to many awesome coaches and people leave our industry due to avoidable burnt out!

 

Klint Hoare is and always has been a man of passion. Within this, there is a deep thinker whom carefully examines each individual, each session, each workout to be a WIN.

 

 

john.rahme@neptune.net.au