lunedì 13 febbraio 2017

Decisions and information, two different layers.

Imagine this scenario.

You start practicing a discipline. Ten thousand hours of practice go by.
After that time period, you get the feeling of having something important to share with the people around you.
In that moment you will be asked to make some choices regarding what to pass on and how to do it.

The 10000 hours of your personal experience will be extremely relevant but you cannot be sure that everything that worked for you might work for everybody, nor that everyone would react to your experience in the same way. A lot of doubts will start to raise, and the directions you choose will be greatly limited by the small world you lived in.

Well guys, you know what? Good news, it’s not 600 BC anymore, you can choose to gather all the info you need. They are out there and considerably easier to grasp than in the past! Get you claws ready and transform into hunters and gatherers, like in the good old days. People are willing to share knowledge of any sort, everywhere.

One of the most important things I have learned is:

One cannot do what many can do.

Get on a plane and reach the people that can help you develop good answers and something even more everlasting: good questions.
It surely is expensive, hard and time consuming.
However, it is also very rewarding and I believe that’s what a well spent life feels like. From laziness nothing can grow, besides your ass of course.
Don’t get tricked by distorted perceptions and false gurus then.

His majesty, the diablo in one of his many shapes trying to convince you that you shouldn't leave the sofa to get better. You should give him your soul, instead. 

However, living authentic experiences and collecting the processes developed by others might still not be enough to make the best decisions when choosing what to teach.
The summative researches done by the people around us in different moments of time can help us get informed on how things happen and why they do happen.
Basically, my point is that travelling in time is also necessary.
To do that you will have two solutions:

  1. You ask these guys:

  1. You become an evidence based practitioner (EBP)

Even If I would love to try the first one, I chose the second.

Becoming an evidence based practitioner means to be able to get the best evidence developed in the scientific world about a topic, in order to make informed choices
...and informed decisions are the best, aren’t they?

Actually, it doesn’t even matter whether the evidence you are looking into are high or low quality, the importance is to try and understand everything that is out there and to critically evaluate it in order to create opinions on a wide variety of topics.
Once you know everything that has been created, you can move on into creating theories and consequently test them.

Careful now. Becoming an EB coach does not mean being an academic rat.
I believe it’s the very opposite.
In fact, I imagine an EBP more like Rambo with a notebook than a professor with a tie.
It is a process, it is a skill. And as a skill it takes time to be developed to good levels. And with time I mean decades.

Look at the diagram:
From a discussion with Dan Cleather and Jon Goodwin, my lecturers in my MSc in Strenght and Conditioning at St. Mary's University, Twickenham.

This is what being an EBC is about. Creating this pyramid with stronger and stronger materials in it, in order to be always as informed as possible. A single study will never give us the solution. Protocols and methods are not “answers”, since they are located on a completely different layer.
The decisions taken at the top of the pyramid should not be copied by anyone.
 If you find yourself doing so, you are probably failing in being a good researcher.

Surely, you might even come to someone else’s conclusions but this should happen through a personal, unique process. Taking others’ decisions and making them yours without questioning them, is dangerous. Choosing something over something else becomes a mere ritualistic practice.
Progress is made by challenging old ideas with (relevant) new ones.

Take home message

  • Becoming an evidence based practitioner and coach is a skill and needs time to be perfected.
  • Information and decisions lay on two different layers.
  • Copying others’ decisions will never let you grow.
  • Travelling is a must, both in time and in space.

I always make sure to keep this question in my mind: why do I choose what I choose?


Interesting article to look at to understand the EBP’s framework:

Leach, J. M. (2006). Evidence-based practice: A framework for clinical practice and research design. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 12, 248–251.

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