Problem > Pain

coach crossfit rehab rehab professional rts Jul 17, 2023

How long have we been focusing on the pain that we neglect to see the problem?

2 weeks ago, on one of our client training calls, we were recapping an initial evaluation that a client of our clients had: an Amateur fighter looking to go pro with mild hip pain. The pain - very mild, 2/10… The problem - she was unable to train at the level she wanted to) because she lacked confidence in the painful area… likely holding back her full potential. BIG problem.

Now the issue we ran into is initially since the pain wasn’t bad, there was a hard justification for selling this client into a plan of care, but as we dug further and expanded the process, the rationale became more and more evident. 

In the performance space, I think we have a leg up on the rest of the PT industry. Our clients already attach a high level of value to their health and wellness, and often we are solving problems that the traditional healthcare model doesn’t care to solve - we can go beyond ADLs and into performance - I’ve always loved this space. 

But my client was a little stuck… focusing on the magnitude, or lack thereof, of the pain and missing the problem. So how can we read between the lines?

At one point, he mentioned that the client stated she focused primarily on striking as her primary fight tactic because she was nervous to take the fight to the ground….

Next is the lesson on how we bring tactful awareness to the problem, and this was the question I directed him towards:

“So when a fight goes to the ground, what happens?” - this mini consequence, with minimal pain, highlights the MAJOR problem - lack of confidence, lack of training ability, lack of full potential. 

In the MMA space, you’d like to think you can control the fight to your style, but as Mike Tyson famously said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”... in this case… “Everybody has a plan until they get taken to the ground” - kind of a big deal if you’re trying to go pro. 

Now here’s where things can get interesting… Sometimes, clients truly don’t know what the “problem” is… they just know, “This shit hurts, HELP!”. 

A secret Jedi question we teach our clients to ask… “Well, if you had to think about it? What is the pain preventing you from doing that you’d like to do?” - a nice phase 1 push toward understanding your client's real goals and, thus, their problems. 

One thing I can promise you, when you master this within your niche, everything gets easier. When I was working with CrossFit athletes, I knew their problems and how my system broke down for them like the back of my hand. I credit a lot of my success to this aspect. 

Now, it’s your turn… Learn the PROBLEMS of your ideal client, and worry less about the magnitude of pain - watch your conversions skyrocket. 

Interested in learning how to apply this to your clients?

Click here to find out how!