I often wonder how the “timing of rewards” affect our student-athletes view on their rehabilitation programs?
“Do this stretch and your groin strain will get better.”
In a world dominated by the Iphone, instant gratification and the ability to download an “app” to solve almost any problem, how long are your athletes willing to wait for your program to work?
As an example, we’ve over sold the “reward” of stretching to decrease back pain and then undelivered on results. At PT clinics, patients stop coming in and we assume they got better because they stopped coming – the same can be said in the college setting.
Did you really expect your athlete to continue to come in day after day with no change?
“Stretching takes time – they’re probably not stretching at home like I told them to.”
True – stretching does take time. But maybe they didn’t need stretching. Maybe you were applying a good tool in the wrong place?
If you didn’t test your athlete at the beginning of your treatment session, whether it be a simple toe touch or squat pattern and then demonstrated improvement immediately after your treatment, how long do you expect your athletes to continue buy “your product”?
How many times would you come back?
Art Horne is the Coordinator of Care and Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Men’s Basketball Team at Northeastern University, Boston MA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.