Integrating technology can upgrade your workflow in countless ways, allowing you to train more athletes, connect with your clients, and stay on trend. Though, what you decide to bring into your weight room may vary depending on your clients. EXOS’ Director of Continuous Improvement Stefan Underwood and Jon Barlow who oversees the Pro and Elite Sports at Exos Arizona, share how they balance technology with a human connection in Part II of this Powering Performance episode.
Missed Part I? Check it out here.
As many of you may have already figured out, integrating technology into your workflow can be difficult at times, Stefan describes this when saying,
“There’s a pendulum that swings in regards to technology. We have technology that helps our coaches but we’re not trying to replace our coaches. I think the pendulum can swim too far in the other direction where you lose human connection.”
At EXOS the human connection is a key component to their performance methodology.
As Stefan put it, they aren’t making “big macs” at EXOS, they are customizing their methods to fit the needs of their athletes. And at times, that can mean integrating different aspects of technology to fit with the athlete's needs and expectations.
A notable trend with technology Jon and Stefan mention is the growing use of social media. They caution their athletes that social media doesn’t always show the whole process.
“The money shot doesn’t really respect the process and I’m all about the process.”
While social media can put an emphasis on more of the end product or a well posed photo, understanding this growing trend is another way to understand your athletes and their expectations. Jon points out the positive side of social media, as it exposes fitness to a wider and younger audience, encouraging more people to get active.
“With social media you need to understand it is a blessing and a curse”
So, what do you do when a client comes in with what they believe is the next best workout they saw scrolling through their Instagram feed? Jon believes everything can be done in moderation. If they are excited about a new workout, that is progress in itself, so don’t turn down an idea just because it wasn’t originally in your workout plan. Jon advises to have them do it for a little while, just not for very long.
Speaking of being able to make adjustments to your workout plans, this brings us to another growing trend with the integration of technology and fitness: remote training.
By bringing in technology to train their remote athletes, Jon and Stefan have effectively reinvented their workflow. Before using Bridge to send workouts, they were using Excel sheets and snippets of iPhone videos to help educate and train their athletes while apart. But, now with the use of more advanced systems, the distance between them and their athletes is made smaller. Why? Because the best tools will allow you to maintain the "human" component to your training plans.
While building connections is always easier face to face, Stefan stresses the importance of making every interaction intentional.
#1: Weekly Check Ins
Check in with your athletes weekly (if not more often), so they know you are in this together.
#2: Highlight Progress Updates
Keep track of their progress and highlight aspects of their training to keep them motivated. These should be in addition to your traditional check ins. Don't wait to mention something special in your weekly updates, call it out when you see it so they know you're keep track.
Training is all about staying connected. Whether you choose digital training solutions, social media or other avenues, be sure to keep it personal, keep it human. Not only will you gain buy-in, but you'll also create a uniquely connection to each athlete. As Stefan and Jon did, bring in technology that will fit into your workflow and allow your values to still shine through.
Topics: Powering Performance