Over the last few months since joining MARSOC, I have been doing a lot of philosophizing and creating a vision of what we are going to do, and how we are going to do it.  It’s kind of like a clinical piece to a business plan.
Below is an editted version of a recent draft where the goal was to define the methodology of the program.
I think it would be most applicable to an athletic setting where the medical and strength & conditioning departments were designed to work hand in hand under the same leadership.

The program at no point will suppose, judge, or recommend any activity, coaching strategy, load in an event not known as a rehab or conditioning-directed event. Staff are fashioned as general practitioners in order to provide sport coaches with an individual generally prepared to move more efficiently, move with greater limit force, and move with greater rate of force development, move with greater duration of the above in the presence of a stressful and/or fatiguing environment.

The program will screen and improve if necessary efficient movement via the principles and application of the Functional Movement Screen. A score of 14 with no asymmetries will be the cutpoint in remedial programming for the athlete. A measurement other than above a 14 with no asymmetries will mandate a level of one-on-one training with the evidence-based focus of limiting injury as a result of an aggressive general fitness program.

The program will test and improve limit force and rate of force development through graded instruction and progression of full-body, long-chain movements to include but not limited to methods of multi-planar bodyweight movement, barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, uncommon implements, and high intensity interval training. Limiting factors to programming will include but not be limited to facility availability in terms of space and equipment, the skill set of the clinician, and/or the training age of the athlete.

The program will never engage in teaching or adjusting of special skills typical of the athlete’s sport. Examples of special skills are but not limited to positioning and execution of the techniques of the sport.  The program will indirectly impact and improve special preparedness via general preparedness as above (2-4). When limiting factors are appropriate, general training can and will shift to a more special focus, but never to suppose, judge, or recommend special skill performance.

The above principles of the program are graded and prioritized by the Functional Performance Pyramid. The most caudal and widest portion of the pyramid is Functional Movement (3), which includes mobility, stability, and motor control. The central portion of the pyramid, which should not exceed the caudal portion in width, is Functional Performance (4), which includes limit force, rate of force development, and endurance of all qualities. The cephalad portion of the pyramid, not to exceed Functional Performance or Functional Movement in width, is Functional Skill (5).

Functional Skill is considered Special Physical Preparedness only to be instructed by sport coaches. Functional Performance and Functional Movement are considered General Physical Preparedness, which are to be instructed by therapists, trainers, and strength & conditioning coaches and supplemented by sport coaches as seen fit.

In the presence of pain and/or injury, the program’s medical professionals will utilize an assessment system guided by the Selective Functional Movement Assessment. Once pain is remediated as per these standards, the medical professional will base discharge to fitness program as per above (3). Medically-based and fitness-based programming will/may be concurrent under the supervision of the medical professional until the Functional Movement Screen criteria (3) are met.

Rehabilitation programming will employ principles of passive techniques to restore the body to a safe and manageable state, active assisted techniques to allow the body to utilize and integrate the new atmosphere, and active techniques to promote maintaining movement pattern reorganization. All rehabilitation exercise will fall into categories of unloaded, unloaded with core engagement, loaded, and loaded with core engagement.

Fitness and Rehab programming will always employ a Functionally Dense program design to employ as many of the following qualities as general preparedness allows: Soft Tissue Quality, Specific Mobility/Stability, General Mobility/Stability, Bodyweight Power, Low Load Power, High Load Power, High Load Strength, and Energy System Development. Rehabilitation programs will shift to the left. Fitness programs will shift to the right.

All programs are guided by Mission to improve performance, improve durability, and improve rapid return to full capabilities in the presence of pain or injury.

All programs are guided by Function to improve specific demands of the sport and performance in the environment of stress and/or repetition.

Programs are graded by championships, win-loss records, and games missed due to non-contact injuries compared to previous years.

  • November 11, 2010

Leave a Reply 5 comments

Patrick Ward Reply

Looks like an excellent methodology!


Larry Reply

I hope they realize how valuable you are to them. This methodolgy is something everyone should impliment in some way, shape or form. It is very clear in its intent and covers many different bases. Well done! Have they seen this yet? If so what was their response?

Charlie Reply

This is just my submission. I don’t know if it will be used in its form.

Simon Reply

Genius. I’ve spent the day reading through the archives of the blog, and look forward every day to what I will read next.

Coach Len Kuhn Reply

Well thought out and explained, I hope the right people are paying attention, best of luck Charlie, and thank you for all your help

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