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Off-Topic Careful When Calling Folks Out

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Today while cooling down from training I was listening to a new-to-me podcast, "RX'D Radio." The host was interviewing Kelly Starrett, and Kelly said something I thought was really interesting. Here it is, should be able to start it when he starts the story, if not, time stamp is about 1:03.


Basically, it boils down to this quote: "I don't know what's happening with that athlete in that moment ... I will never comment on anyone's movement on the internet ever again."

It was a good reminder.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
It’s good to remind oneself that everything needs to have its context understood. That being said, there are still some things in the fitness world (without naming specifics) that some folks push as “what/how everyone needs to do ‘x.’” It makes me think of a particular back and forth I have been seeing between some fitness accounts on IG about some particular subjects. While I agree with one side of the “debate,” I am bothered by the way that side consistently attacks and belittles the other. I much prefer to see a discussion of principles and ideas which is backed by evidence or client success, etc…

Human movement is complex and simple at the same time, and I for one would like to see a little more decency in the discussions out there.
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
Once upon a time there were champion sprinters who ran pigeon-toed and with a high degree of body sway (they just hurled themselves down the track) but you don’t see that any more. Running efficiency is the hallmark now of champions and we shouldn’t be discouraged from telling an athlete who’s got a losing style, exactly that. But I agree that you do see some gratuitous comments that are more about performance bias than science and, of course, every comment should be courteous and constructive.
 
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Period

Level 7 Valued Member
Once upon a time there were champion sprinters who ran pigeon-toed and with a high degree of body sway (they just hurled themselves down the track) but you don’t see that any more. Running efficiency is the hallmark now of champions and we shouldn’t be discouraged from telling an athlete who’s got a losing style, exactly that. But I agree that you do see some gratuitous comments that are more about performance bias than science and, of course, every comment should be courteous and constructive.
I generally agree that correcting an athlete's technique isn't taboo, however, it needs to be approached very carefully, and different aspects need to be evaluated. Some mistakes / oddities may have more negative consequences than others, and sometimes trying to fix a small thing may take a lot of effort that could be spent more productively elsewhere. In some cases, running style may be such a thing. I agree that runners should learn decent style early on. On the other hand, just because we haven't had an Emil Zatopek for a while now doesn't mean he might not come along again in the future. In fact, a lot of top runners have some quirks, especially on the longer distances. Some may not be as bad as they seem at first sight, some might even be considered good form at some point in the future. I'd argue the mantra always has been and always will be "correct as much as necessary" not "as much as possible".
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
@bluejeff @LukeV @Period - I don't think Kelly's comments are about correcting an athlete's form ... but about commenting on someone's form that you see on the internet that you don't know and have no context for. This is different than working with an athlete and correcting their technique.

@Boris Bachmann totally agreed, I haven't followed him much in a couple years. He's kind of like Freud in that even if there are areas of disagreement, he's influenced a lot of the (public) conversations that occur.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
@Boris Bachmann totally agreed, I haven't followed him much in a couple years. He's kind of like Freud in that even if there are areas of disagreement, he's influenced a lot of the (public) conversations that occur.
I've never really been a fan. I guess I just kinda tuned him out when he was coming up in CF and selling "stretching is dead" but then essentially selling... wait for it... stretching.
The toes forward and knees out thing was another thing that bothered me - I mean, there's cues and there's technique, and they are not the same - Kelly seemed (and apparently still seems) to be unable or unwilling to acknowledge that. It was weird to me.
He is absolutely an influencer. Yes, that is true. And, in this day and age, yeah, that's a thing.

edit: Cripes. The title of the thread is "careful calling people out" and here I am...
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I don't think Kelly's comments are about correcting an athlete's form ... but about commenting on someone's form that you see on the internet that you don't know and have no context for. This is different than working with an athlete and correcting their technique
Oh I agree! I guess it seemed to me that something he was getting at in that quote/segment was this thing we see where people feel like they have to give unsolicited advice and/or opinions. It’s sometimes unhelpful, sometimes offensive, sometimes makes the person more confused about what they should be doing…. I have seen comments on high level athlete’s pages by random people trying to correct their form… seems weird to me.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Oh I agree! I guess it seemed to me that something he was getting at in that quote/segment was this thing we see where people feel like they have to give unsolicited advice and/or opinions. It’s sometimes unhelpful, sometimes offensive, sometimes makes the person more confused about what they should be doing…. I have seen comments on high level athlete’s pages by random people trying to correct their form… seems weird to me.
Yes, and like you said, the "decency" is often missing.
 
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