Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group, LLC Blog

The $20,000 Phone Call by Seth Godin

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, May 16, 2011 @ 06:05 AM

basketball resources

The $20,000 phone call


When a homeowner decides to put his house on sale and calls a broker...

When he calls the moving company...

When a family arrives in town and calls someone recommended as the family doctor...

When a wealthy couple calls their favorite fancy restaurant looking for a reservation...

Go down the list. Stockbrokers, even hairdressers. And not just people who recently moved. When a new referral shows up, all that work and expense, and then the phone rings and it gets answered by your annoyed, overworked, burned out, never very good at it anyway receptionist, it all falls apart.

What is the doctor thinking when she allows her neither pleasant nor interested in new patients receptionist to answer the phone?

Topics: basketball resources, basketball conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training, boston hockey conference

The Flip Side by Seth Godin

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, May 6, 2011 @ 07:05 AM

 basketball resources


The flip side

It's impossible to have a coin with only one side. You can't have heads without tails.

Innovation is like that. Initiative is like that. Art is like that.

You can't have success unless you're prepared to have failure.

As soon as you say, "failure is not an option," you've just said, "innovation is not an option."


Topics: Basketball Related, basketball performance, basketball conference, athletic training conference, athletic training, boston hockey conference

Turning The Habit Of Self-Criticism Upside Down by Seth Godin

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, May 4, 2011 @ 07:05 AM

basketball resources


Turning the habit of self-criticism upside down

Perhaps this sounds familiar:

When it's time to write a resume or talk to a boss or discuss a project glitch with colleagues, the instinct is to spin, to avoid a little responsibility, to sit quietly. Put a best face forward, don't set yourself up.

When reviewing just about anything you've done with yourself (in your head), the instinct is to be brutal, relentlessly critical and filled with doubt and self-blame.

What if they were reversed?

What if the habit of the project review meeting was for each person to put their worst foot forward, to identify every item that they learned from? What if we took responsibility as a way of getting more authority next time?

And the flip side--when talking to ourselves, what if we were a little more supportive?

It's not an easy habit, but it works.


Topics: basketball conference, athletic training conference, athletic training, Seth Godin

Succuss and Motivation by Mark Cuban

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 @ 08:04 AM

basketball resources


I did it too. I drove by big houses and would wonder who lived there. What did they do for a living? How did they make their money? Someday, I would tell myself, I would live in a house like that. Every weekend I would do it.

I read books about successful people. In fact, I read every book or magazine I could get my hands on. I would tell myself 1 good idea would pay for the book and could make the difference between me making it or not.

I worked jobs I didn’t like. I worked jobs I loved, but had no chance of being a career. I worked jobs that barely paid the rent. I had so many jobs my parents wondered if I would be stable. Most of them aren’t on my resume anymore because I was there so short a time or they were so stupid I was embarrassed. You don’t want to write about selling powdered milk or selling franchises for TV repair shops. In every job, I would justify it in my mind whether I loved it or hated it that I was getting paid to learn and every experience would be of value when I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up.

If I ever grew up, I hoped to run my own business some day. It’s exactly what I told myself every day. In reality, I had as much doubt as confidence. I was just hoping the confidence would win over the doubt and it would all work out for the best.
I remember being 24 years old, living in Dallas in a 3-bedroom apartment with 5 other friends. This wasn’t a really nice place we all kicked in to move up for. This place has since been torn down. Probably condemned. I didn’t have my own bedroom. I slept on the couch or floor depending on what time I got home. I had no closet. Instead I had a pile that everyone knew was mine. My car had the usual hole in the floorboard, a ’77 FIAT X19 that burned a quart of oil that I couldn’t afford every week.

To make matters worse, because I was living on happy hour food, and the 2 beers cover charge, I was gaining weight like a pig. My confidence wasn’t at an all time high. I was having fun. Don’t get me wrong. I truly was having a blast. Great friends, great city, great energy, pretty girls. Ok, the pretty girls had no interest in my fat and growing ass at the time, but that’s another story….
I was motivated to do something I loved. I just wasn’t sure what it was. I made a list of all the different jobs I would love to do. (I still have it.) The problem was that I wasn’t qualified for any of them. But I needed to pay the bills.

I finally got a job working as a bartender at a club. A start, but it wasn’t a career. I had to keep on looking during the day.
About a week later I answered a want ad out of the newspaper for someone to sell PC Software at the first software retail store in Dallas. The ad was actually placed by an employment agency. The fee was to be paid by the company, so I gave it a shot.
I put on my interview face, and of course my interview suit, which just happened to be one of my 2 polyester suits that I had bought for the grand total of 99 dollars. Thank god for 2-fer, 2-fer, 2-fer madness at the local mens clothing store. Grey Pinstripe. Blue Pinstripe. Didn’t matter if it rained, those drops just rolled down the back of those suits. I could crumple them. They bounced right back. Polyester, the miracle fabric.

I wish I could say the blue suit and my interview skills impressed the employment agency enough to set up the interview with the software store. In reality, not many had applied for the job and the agency wanted the fee so they would have sent anyone over to interview. I didn’t care.

I pulled out the grey for my interview at Your Business Software. I was fired up. It was my shot to get into the computer business, one of the industries I had put on my list!

I remember the interview well. Michael Humecki the Prez, and Doug (don’t remember his last name), his partner double-teamed me. Michael did most of the talking to start. He asked me if I had used PC software before. My total PC experience at the time was on the long forgotten TI/99A that had cost me 79 dollars. I used it to try to teach myself Basic while recovering from hangovers and sleeping on the floor while my roommates were at work. They weren’t impressed.

I was trying to pull out every interview trick I knew. I went through the spiel about how I was a good salesperson, you know the part of the interview where you are basically begging for a job, using code phrases like “I care about the customer”, “I promise to work really, really hard” and “I will do whatever it takes to be successful”. Unfortunately, I was getting that “well if no one else applies for the job, maybe” look from Michael.
Finally, Doug spoke up. He asked me. “What do you do if a customer has a question about a software package and you don’t know the answer?” All of the possible answers raced through my mind. I had to ask myself if this was the “honesty test question” you know where they want to see if you will admit to things you don’t know. Is this some trick technology question and there is an answer everyone but me knows? After who knows how long, I blurted out that “I would look it up in the manual and find the answer for them.” Ding, ding, ding…Doug just loved this answer.
Michael wasn’t as convinced, but he then asked me the question I was dying to hear: “Would you not go back to the employment agency at all, so when we hire you we don’t have to pay the fee?”

I was in.

What does all this mean? Nothing yet. It was just fun to tell. You have to wait till part 2, if you care, and if there is a part two. Right now, it’s much more important that I go play with my daughter.

Topics: basketball conference, athletic training conference, athletic training, Mark Cuban

Can We Make It A Two-Way Street?

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 @ 07:03 AM

athletic training resources


As an athletic trainer I provide regular and constructive feedback to my patients.  Statements such as “Relax your traps and pinch your scapulas together,” or “Maintain this position,” or “Nope, you need to contract this muscle first,” routinely roll off my tongue.  All these corrections and advice are focused on getting my patients better.  Without supervision, oversight, and criticism of a patient’s treatment or rehabilitation plan I am doing them a disservice.

Observing a strength and conditioning session performed by a colleague the other day, I was quite impressed with the enthusiasm, motivation, and feedback he provided.  Echoing through the weight room are words of wisdom like “Don’t let your knees go over your toes,” or “Head up, chest out,” or my all time favorite “Do it right and we will get bigger, faster, stronger today.”  Immediately reflecting back on that day, I took away how much attention, education, and constructive criticism went into that one session.  All of these qualities demonstrated during the training were essential for the improvement of the athlete.

We owe it to our athletes to be critical of their performance.  We need to educate them all the time on items such as proper technique and appropriate activation of muscle. Without these pieces of feedback their recovery will be delayed or performance progression inhibited.  Going to extreme measures to provide appropriate feedback to our athletes are what quality athletic trainers and strength coaches do.  So I ask myself, why do we walk down a one way street?

When is the last time you critiqued your co-worker?  Can you recall correcting their treatment plan with validated research?  Have you changed a peer’s practice pattern by suggesting a more appropriate exercise?

As athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches are we doing a disservice to our profession by not providing timely and appropriate feedback of each other.  Why are we so afraid to be critical of one another, yet in the next breathe assess our athletes all for their benefit? 

Challenge yourself to not be defensive when a colleague points out something you are doing wrong, or shows you a better way (I mean we can’t be right all the time).  Embrace that opportunity as a way to get better.  Take some ownership in educating the person next to you; demand them to be critical of you.  If feedback is so important to those we service every day, it must be important for our improvement as well.

So ask yourself, can we make it a two-way street?

Scot Spak EdM, ATC, CSCS
Athletic Trainer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Topics: basketball conference, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training, boston hockey conference, Scot Spak

Do The Opposite - Part II

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 @ 06:02 AM

I once heard Mike Boyle say if you ever want to get fit, simply go to your nearest commercial gym and do the exact opposite of what everyone is doing.  I decided to put his theory to the test at our general student fitness facility this past week. 

Number 4-6


4. Commercial Gym Choice: Bicep Curls in the Squat Rack


athletic training resources

Squat Racks are for squatting – not barbell curls!  Why must everyone feel the need to curl inside of a squat rack? I know, the weight is soo heavy that if you were ever to fail you’d have the safety bars there – gotcha.

Opposite: This one is easy – I squatted.
Side note: apparently squatting in a rack designated for arm curls is not appreciated at commercial gyms – if you choose to squat – avoid eye contact with the gym members; you’re interrupting their bicep time.

basketball resources

5. Commercial Gym Choice: All Show – No Go.
If one thing became clearly evident during my squat time, it was the need to exercise and only exercise those muscles that can be seen in the mirror.  A quick survey of those around me included: cable cross-over, more bicep curls, overhead DB press, seated bench press and leg extensions. 

athletic training conference

Opposite:  decided to superset some scapular stabilization work with the squatting then finish up in the squat rack with some dead-lifts. (I know I’m not squatting in a squat rack but figured it was better than bicep curls – still getting weird looks)

boston hockey summit


6.  Commercial Gym Choice: All Push – No Pull

If there is one exercise, ok, the one other than bicep curls that seems to dominate commercial gyms it’s the bench press.  I’m not sure why no one likes pulling, I guess it’s because there is not enough mirrors in the gym – maybe if gyms put in mirrors like at department stores where you try on clothes and can see all angles people would start emphasizing other body parts in their training?

boston hockey conference

Opposite: Pull-ups (not lat machine pull downs), inverted body rows and bent over DB rows.

It’s not by accident that I added three pulling exercises to contrast the one dominant pushing exercise that is most popular.  3:1 ratio seems to clean up a lot of dysfunction and sure makes your shoulders feel a lot better.


basketball resources


7-9 tomorrow....


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

Topics: Art Horne, basketball performance, basketball conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training

If you're not fired up with enthusiasm...

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 @ 07:02 AM


.... you might just end up being fired with enthusiasm.


T.G.I.F - Thank Goodness I'm Fired-Up! 

athletic training conference

Topics: Art Horne, basketball conference, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training, boston hockey conference

Mark Toomey and Dr. Di Muro finalize Sports Med/Rehabilitation Track

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Tue, Feb 1, 2011 @ 07:02 AM

athletic training conference

Mark Toomey (right) pictured here with Pavel Tsatsouline.


I first met Mark at an SFMA course this past summer and although I signed up for the two day course and appreciated everything the course had to offer, I found myself returning for the second day solely to speak with Mark. To say Mark is electric and a true master of his trade would be a severe understatement – his energy and world experiences in elite level training along with his many experiences with rehabilitation is sure to enlighten and invigorate all those that hear him speak.  Along with Dr. Di Muro, Mark’s presentation will explore how best to approach pain management, rehabilitation and training from a truly integrated and patient centered approach.

Conference Agenda and Registration details for Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants, are coming soon.

Be sure to save the date and plan on joining us June 3rd and 4th in Boston this coming summer.


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



Topics: basketball conference, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training, boston hockey conference, Pavel Tsatsouline, Kettlebell Instruction, Mark Toomey

Water Please

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 @ 07:10 AM

everything basketball

A friend of mine and I were discussing the roles and responsibilities of athletic trainers the other day when he brought up a story about his time in graduate school.  He recounted the days where a fellow staff member’s (a full-time Certified Athletic Trainer with a Master’s Degree no less) only job during the fall semester was to drive from practice to practice filling up water coolers and bottles.

No patient care. No injury evaluation. No Assessment. No Prevention Strategies.

Just Water.

I shared a very different story with him about water service.

I remember a few summers ago when I traveled with our Men’s Basketball Team to Canada to play the defending Canadian national champions (six National Championships in the last seven years) - University of Carleton.   It was our first day on campus and we were preparing to practice when I noticed our hosts didn’t put out any water on the sideline for our team (Carleton was practicing down court and finishing up their practice time).  I approached their athletic therapist asking if I could obtain a cooler of water and some cups for practice – a standard practice I would assume across both Canadian and American Colleges.
Just as the words dripped from my mouth I looked a bit closer at the Carleton area and saw about 20 various bottles ranging from gallon sized water containers to reused Gatorade bottles lining their bench.  Each and every player had brought their own water to practice.  From that moment forward my view on water changed forever.

That was the day I stopped catering.

I’m not saying water isn’t important.  On the contrary.  In fact, I think it’s so important that I encourage each and every student-athlete to carry a water bottle with them at all times.  You can’t expect to just hydrate during practice can you? And if you can carry a water bottle with you all day – because that’s how important it is, then you can also bring it to practice can’t you?

I was actually scolded by a fellow athletic trainer when I brought up the idea of athletes bringing their own water to practice.

“What if they forgot their bottle one day? What would they do then?”

My response was simple.

What extraordinary patient care are you not delivering because you are so busy delivering and catering water?

If the defending national champions in Canada can bring their own water to practice I think our student-athletes can fill up a bottle and bring some H2O to practice too.

It only takes one time that you forget and you’ll never leave that bottle at home again.


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

Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne, basketball resources, basketball conference, athletic training, athletic trainer, female strength training

Caught In The Middle

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 @ 07:10 AM

everything basketball


This past week a good strength coach friend of mine from a major BCS school called me complaining about the Athletic Trainer that cared for the team that she coordinated the performance training for asking me if I thought teaching and training a body weight squat was contraindicated in an athlete’s progression back to sport after ankle surgery.  Apparently the athletic trainer told her that the athlete was not to do ANY lower extremity work in the weight room, even though she was weight bearing without crutches and performing about 100 heel raises daily in her rehab plan. 

I told her I didn't think so but then asked her if she had ever put on an in-service for the athletic trainers on what exercises and progressions they used in the weight room to safely return athletes back to activity.

…. Long pause….. “But that’s not my job.”

A few days later an old athletic trainer friend emailed me asking me how many female soccer athletes we had with stress fractures this season. I told him none and he went off about how the strength coach at his institution “just didn’t get it and was causing all the stress fractures.” I asked him if he evaluated the soccer team for hip and ankle dysfunction prior to the year to see if they were “qualified” to do take on the training program.

….. long pause…… “But that’s not my job.”

If it’s not your job, then whose job is it?

Unfortunately, when we make it someone else’s job and fail to make the initial investment needed to help our athletes we only end up making more work for ourselves.  You may 'lose' the argument with the athletic trainer or strength coach that day, but the only one that really ends up losing is the athlete stuck in the middle.


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

Topics: Art Horne, Strength Training, athletic training, Health