Coaches have the ability to solve much bigger problems than they have been given credit for addressing. For decades this profession has been characterized by those who give meatheads bigger biceps, help people improve their vanity, or at the most respected degree, work with high-level professional athletes. For many, the thought of the coaching profession as an integral part of improving the health of the world and having a seat at the table within healthcare is still a joke. Indeed many “coaches” exist who believe they are toeing the line in delivering health to their clients or members, but don’t even approach the goal line. It’s not hard to understand why this is such an uphill battle of perception.
The coaches at Central Athlete work with clients both locally in Austin and remotely across the globe, taking a unique, but thankfully growing, holistic approach to coaching. Coaches must learn that looking at the entire individual from the ground up and the inside out is the only and most effective way to affect real change to clients’ health. It is this type of coaching that has a seat at the table in the world of healthcare.
This brand of coaching is by all accounts preventative healthcare. It aims to bring all clients to a point of optimal flexibility and range of motion of their joints through thorough assessments and individual prescriptions, reducing their risk of orthopedic injury. It prioritizes improving their blood pressure and oxygen saturation through targeted exercise and lifestyle improvements, significantly reducing their risk of hypertension. It works to establish real lifelong habits to improve muscle tissue, bone density, and reduce adipose tissue, greatly lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
All of these ailments that top-tier coaches support on a daily basis are some of the most common that Americans seek medical treatment from after they become ill. “According to the CDC, chronic diseases that are avoidable through preventive care services account for 75 percent of the nation’s healthcare spending and lower economic output in the US by $260 billion dollars a year’’(1). Billions of dollars could have been saved, never mind the agony and despair of being afflicted with many of these diseases or conditions, if the professional coach had been a more sought after and recognized form of healthcare.
The number one killer of Americans at this moment is heart disease. Seven hundred thousand will die this year from heart disease alone (1). According to Medline, preventing heart disease involves exercise, a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, getting adequate sleep, and controlling blood pressure (2). If you have ever been a client of Central Athlete, you have probably heard the coaches talk ad nauseam about making improvements to each of these areas. Coaches are now on the front lines in preventing the number one cause of death in the US.
The opioid crisis is another monumental problem that has been exacerbated, if not created by, traditional healthcare and Big Pharma. From 1999 to 2010, distribution of prescription opioids has increased by 400%, and since 1999 the number of overdoses from prescription opioids has increased 300% (3). A large portion of people prescribed opioids by doctors are for orthopedic-related injuries or trauma. Not only do professional coaches work to improve clients’ range of motion and strength to get out of a pain cycle, but choosing to build and maintain it every day allows clients to stay further away from the types of injuries that would deliver them to a situation where they may be prescribed opioids as a first line of treatment.
The change that coaches can affect in this world on the stage of healthcare is just emerging. Continuing to push the boundaries of how coaches are perceived and the problems they assist clients in preventing, the professional coach will be sought after as a critical component of preventative healthcare.