Originally aired on 05/27/2019
Maintaining healthy fitness levels is challenging enough for the general population and can be even more complicated for those with disabilities. What can we do about some of the common barriers so our loved one with special needs is on a path toward health?
I joined Kim of the LOMAH Special Needs Podcast to share the story of Specialty Athletic Training, talk about the business, and share some client success stories. This is a show that you don't want to miss. Click below to listen now!
Emily Hatch, CSCS is our Vancouver Facility Manager. She was recently highlighted by KATU News in their "Everyday Heroes" segment. We couldn't agree more!
"Today's everyday hero was a standout basketball player at Lake Oswego High School and at the University of San Diego.
After turning pro and playing several seasons in the women's league in Denmark, Emily Hatch is back in the Pacific Northwest, training special needs athletes.
You’ll see a lot of happy faces during Emily Hatch’s Specialty Athletic Training classes in Vancouver twice a week.
There’re squats and weight training, plenty of time to get in some reps. And also, work on balance and coordination.
And throughout, there is Emily Hatch’s guidance and encouragement.
"Three, good job. Four. Big smile, man. Five. That’s six."
It's as much about getting in shape as it is about having fun and building self-confidence.
“Our main goal is just to make it fun and to empower these individuals and make them feel really great about themselves while integrating a healthy lifestyle," Hatch said.
A chance meeting with the head of Specialty Athletic Training was a turning point.
"I just have been so attached and drawn to the special needs community,” she said. “I was lucky enough to get this opportunity.”
Two of Emily’s client's moms say they have seen profound changes in their sons.
"He gets up at the crack of dawn and is just excited to come work out. He loves the workout partners and he also loves Emily,” said Aaron Robinson’s mom, Vickie Robinson. “It’s made him a lot stronger. You see him lifting those weights -- he's pretty fast and intense.”
Mark Stewart is blind and developmentally delayed.
His mom Patty Stewart said it was tough to find activities for him after he finished school.
“This is a great program," Stewart said. “I mean, I am amazed. The trainers are awesome -- it’s going to make me cry because she’s so cool.”
But Emily says she's also learning from them.
“Oh, so much,” she said. “A lot of what I’ve learned is patience, listening. How each individual is so different. Just how to enjoy life, enjoy the simple things. All of my clients have brought so much joy to my life.”
Emily tells us that the exercise regimes for her clients are tailored to their individual needs, with an emphasis on the lower and upper body, and core-strength conditioning."
We love hearing the reasons why our clients enjoy coming to train with us. Here is our friend Vanessa explaining why she likes working out at Specialty Athletic Training!
Many of you have reached out saying that you want to work out, but are intimidated to go to the gym. One of the reasons why you're intimidated is because you don't know how to use the equipment. Make sure to visit your YouTube channel for more videos like the one below!
1) Before starting ensure that the machine pads have contact with the insteps “laces” of feet. Making sure legs, and feet are hip-width apart and parallel to one another.
2) Place both hands on the side handles.
3) Start by slowly extending knees with control. Do not lock out knees.
4) Lower legs with control to starting position.
5) Repeat movement for 8-12 repetitions.
Looking for a simple, yet effective exercise that you can do anywhere? Give Farmer Walks a try!
1) Stand upright holding weight with your arms straight by your sides.
2) Walk forward to the targeted distance.
3) Rest, turn around, and repeat.
We love hearing the reasons why our clients enjoy coming to see us at Specialty Athletic Training. Many of them have the same goals as many of us do when we join a gym; lose some weight, gain strength, and live a healthier lifestyle. Gyms can also be a great place to socialize and meet new people as well and many of our clients have found their new BFFs during their workouts :) Here is our buddy Matt explaining why he likes coming to Specialty Athletic Training.
How many trainers have you seen lately on Instagram posting photos and videos highlighting their clients doing insane workouts? Social media has been a great resource for sharing ideas and knowledge, but unfortunately it has been a great resource of what not to do as well. Don't believe me? Just look at @gymfuckery on Instagram. People are now posting things hoping to be the next viral profile; worrying more about likes and engagement that their posts receive rather that providing a quality product for their clients. And sadly this happens more and more with trainers training the general and special populations.
Olympic lifts are being programmed for people that struggle with basic movement patterns and by trainers that also aren't certified to coach them. It is also becoming popular for trainers to try and create a new complex exercise for their clients to do, which often are inefficient and can result an injury to their client.
If you are a trainer, remember that it has all has been done before. Chances are that you are not the first one to think of that "awesome" new exercise and that the basics are the basics for a reason; they WORK! Instead of focusing of being the next viral sensation on IG, focus on providing a quality service to your clients and keeping them safe by providing proper progamming.
So you think you're a great coach or trainer because you have the best drills or program design? Come on now! Your athletes deserve better than that!
One of my biggest pet peeves (besides people not reracking weights) is when coaches or trainers don't actively coach.
One of the very first pieces of coaching advice I received from @coachphil21 my first year coaching college football was that, "There is something to be coached on every rep." That holds true whether it's on the field or in the weightroom. It's your job as a coach to increase certain behaviors, while decreasing others, to get the desired results from your athletes. This is done through reinforcement.
Learn what types of reinforcement your athletes respond to. It may be different for each one of them, but please don't passively coach and only put them through a drill or weight program.
Remember, there is something to be coached on every rep. Be an active coach. Your athletes deserve it!
Photo Credit: Mary Rebekah Moore
Our buddy Marcus has been coming to see us at our Vancouver, WA for some time now. Emily Hatch, our Vancouver facility manager, asked Marcus what he enjoyed about his visits with us.
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CSPS is the founder and head trainer of Specialty Athletic Training and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Special Populations Specialist. He is a member of the board of directors for the Autism Society of America and the Central Oregon Disability Support Network.