Highlights from the episode:

  • Tips for S&C coaches that struggle to connect with their medical teammates
  • How Tim mediates his S&C and medical team who have conflicting ideas
  • How to reach Tim Schleiger


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/timschleiger.coach/
Website: https://sportsclinicmelb.com.au/

Listen: iTunesSpotify

Interview Transcript:

Jack: Next, we have Tim Schleiger the Director of the Sports Clinic of Melbourne. He is located in Prahran. His topic is discussing the key to strong working relationships between physio therapists and strength conditioning coaches. Welcome Tim.

Tim: Thanks for having me Jack. First and foremost, well done on getting the group together like you’ve done a terrific job in putting together a group of guys in a pretty short period of time. So well done.

Jack: Nah, thanks mate I’m absolutely loving the panel that we have and, and just, yeah, hosting this event made it work in a treat and no doubt, the ones that are tuned in we’re still got 30 listeners of listening through the whole way. So I load onto you guys and, and thanks to the whole panel for jumping on mate but we’ll jump in folks.

Tim: It’s good to have Woody back. Cause it looks like he was starting to atrophy a bit. So he’s obviously got some nutrition onboard there. Yeah. Bravo. So look, I also come in with another side tonight quickly, Jack, and that’s just a safe for those of you that were a part of the Victorian shit show the last couple of years.

It brings me a lot of joy just to see everyone back yeah, obviously after the role that a tiny Dougherty and I, and a few others played going from GMO owners and physio clinic owners to all of a sudden becoming gym lobbyists and political activists and doing negotiations with government. It’s just so good to see how an underappreciated industry has come back to life.

I know there’s a range of outcomes in terms of some gyms have gone particularly well, some haven’t, but it’s great to see you guys who are passionate about the industry back on track and I know Woody tends to call me dad a lot. So I do sort of feel a little bit like the old bloke here who’s, you know, when I hear about, you know, experiences from the, the mid 2000s, I’m thinking, geez, I was already. You know, 15 years into it at that point, but it’s, it’s just so good to see a great group here. So, so well done to all of you that you’re you’re back and you’re open and you got.

Jack: Mate the dawn you, you saved us. He kept us batting NAB. Appreciate your work, Tim. And I was lucky enough to get in contact with you through a local colleague. And, and I know as soon as things were whispers were happening you’re the first man to, to get onto the call. And you did a great job of keeping us in the loop with everything, everyone working in gyms.

So I really appreciate your work. Well, we’ll get into, into the topic mate. We’ll start with tips for strength & conditioning coaches that are listening in that are have struggle in the workplace to connect or get on the same page with their medical teammates.

Well, I think so when we started this sort of movement in it was 1995, so ESSA hadn’t been sort of invented at that time.

And we took in the first ever exercise physiologists graduates. And there was nowhere else for an exercise physiologist to go, except for our business, because of the relationships we created with orthopedic surgeons that were forward thinking about gang loop.

And when I say these Chris, cause we’ve got physios and S&Cs and everyone on board, it was just that thing of just going sometimes the minute stuff around just spending too much time doing a clam and doing all that sort of stuff wasn’t relevant.

And just following up a good old glute max and having a femoral head seat better in a hip joint around a whole host of things. There was, there was components that, we were able to offer at the time as an S&C based business with physios in it, which were driven from an S&C, but someone that was very passionate about movement training and sports specific training, et cetera, as a you know, NSL soccer player that had failed through, you know, what was I pay at the time, but it was the old inguinal hernias. I felt really passionate about bringing in all sorts of things.

We, you know through bough and bud checking and we bought yogurt in 1996, you know, and all these different things that you know are now commonplace. And as you know, Jack you’ve had the history lesson from you about where everything comes from. I think the key component is I use a saying a lot and I say, seek first to understand where someone comes from.

So I think the beauty of what we’re talking about today is we’ve got these really wonderful strength and conditioning coaches who have such amazing strengths. And then like in our clinic, we’ve got, you know, five or six of those. And then we who are working in AFL systems and so forth. And then we’ve also got you know, it’s seven or eight physiotherapists as well.

And the soft caps being good to us. We’ve been at a pinch, a couple of guys that, you know, with young families, haven’t perhaps been able to you know, commit to a football club on that level. And so then it’s enabled us to sort of talk about that Venn diagram where, you know, if we understand where the strength and conditioning coach is coming from, and if we understand where the physiotherapist is coming from, we know that from an S&C component that a physio therapist is probably going to be more often than not conservative with some things. And we know that probably traditionally the S&C person without perhaps the injury history component in where their trainings come from is possibly going to be trying to push the envelope.

Then you’ve got, you’ve got your sports med docs, you know, high-performance coaches, and also we look at the dynamic and especially, we’ve certainly seen that in the last five years is everyone’s trying to look after their job in the high-performance environment. And so it can, you know, if the club’s doing well and fantastic, but if the clubs struggling, then obviously that can become somewhat of a shit show.

So, we’re in private practice now. So by developing relationships, by understanding whether it’s within the clinic, I think that Venn diagram, rather than there only being a small meeting point, what I like to talk about is that Venn diagram meeting becomes bigger because how wonderful I know with the physios in my clinic, if Chris could know, I didn’t have to fill in the gaps with this S&C because he’s across all that sort of stuff.

He’s not only done his masters, he’s a good programmer, but because Chris knows he, that S&C is in his locker. He spent a bit of time and he knows that he’s going to get a relevant activation program relevant for that person, whether it’s firing up a QF or getting a glutamine going or whatever the case is in order to get a glute max hip hinge movement done properly and efficiently, maybe with the Meyer has done a cellar release earlier.

If Chris knows that’s being done, then he can get on with more important stuff to and so I think the physio needs to strive to also try and find more S&Cs who can fill the middle of that Venn diagram, but also the same way the S&Cs need to go well, look, it’s one thing to me that, and reach out to a physiotherapist from private practice, but also don’t spend some time.

You know, as you know, as each of you, I think I’ve talked about tonight where you’ve said, you know, don’t be cagey with your information, you know, 28 years in, you know, anyone I’ve seen has been cagey with their desire to share knowledge over time. Isn’t still in the industry or they got tired of it.

And I think the one thing we haven’t touched on, which I think You know Durham, you touched on it a little bit, and I think Jared, as well as like, you’re trying to feed those little minuscule bits into an already overloaded week through communication, you can start to understand it. And certainly for me in my life, I find that, you know, working in performance sport when you’ve treated and got through their careers, the guys that are now the coaches.

And the high-performance coaches have worked for you are now young. Lot’s pretty easy. You can go about your work with confidence, knowing that the club knows what you’re doing. So I know that we talk about on social media, they go just be careful you know, because you don’t want to step on the club’s toes.

Certainly for anyone that comes into our clinic to see me from international soccer or A League soccer or the AFL guys coming through, because I’ve got such a good working relationship over, you know, nearly three decades with doctors, with surgeons and so forth that if anything, I’ll get a call from the doctor going, Hey, the young lad’s broken down again could you just check on his mental state?

And I’m not even in the system I mean, you know, I mean for the boy, the lad. I don’t think Mike put that, so well-received look, Hey, look, you can put your phone on airplane mode, but the one lesson I say to each person in this industry, and even though, you know, we’ve watched, you know, our good friends Cam Faloon and Richie Burnett do well.

And, and with a BFT sale, the reality is the bulk of people that will enter these industry, by the time you’ve got your private business going, you’re working really hard. You’re getting a lot of efficacy out of what you do. And that’s a really great outcome. If you want it to make a whole heap of money, you could work half as hard, the mind numb, working investment banking and wait, make way more money, but that’s not why each of you are sitting here and passionate about the industry.

So I think, just remember that, that over time, your passion, that drives it. You know, what he talked about, you know, being who he was, the authenticity building the relationships don’t be cagey. They’re the critical moments. If there are any S&C coaches sitting out there, don’t sit there, don’t sit there and feed of that sports doctor or that surgeon or that you know or the physio that’s perhaps maybe got a bit of a complex or your perception of that information.

And I think it’s really important that you break down those barriers so that you can improve your relationships because once your relationships are improved, then a way you go. And I was, thinking to not, you know, what’s your definition of delegation. So if I’m Chris and I’m saying, right. Okay. I want this glute program.

You know, and there’s an S&C coach, that’s just started at West Coast Health. And we’ve certainly go through that and, you know, seeking first to understand what that guy knows. So I can sit there cause we’re all time poor on the hop and doing what we do. But then to say to Chris and say you know, Chris, Christopher, okay, well, here’s your program and we need a lot of hip hinge stuff we’re going to do a lot of anterior, oblique chain posterior longitudinal stuff. We’re going to do all that. We’ve got the measures we’re going to do. Now that language is, is something that, you know, it might be clear to us and that person may be somewhat different in terms of what their perception of, even though in our minds, it’s perfectly clear.

So, you know someone like boxes or repaired all this sort of stuff, where he talks about how he breaks down the language. And so they understand not only do we need to understand the scientific jargon and be able to share that together in that middle of that Venn diagram, but also what we need to be able to do is ensure that the language we’re using actually means the same thing.

And so what’s your definition of honesty. What’s your definition of if we can find that correct language, then your delegation process he’s well, I need that program and in my head, that’s what I thought I was getting and is your S&C understanding it? So you can see also we’ve got the issue of learning about the issue of a master’s in S&C.

We’ve got the issue of a sports masters, physio, and not only are they trying differently, but we want to make sure that the language they’re using actually means the same. And that actually you’ve got to spend a bit of time with people. And that’s why you’ll often see in, in the, sports sector that each of you all know that, you know, is it that, you know, by the time I’ve got I’ve been through four different roles at a footy club, but I know that S&C understands what I’m saying or the AFL coach has already know that that assistant coach understands what I’m saying.

So. I just can’t, you know, enforce enough to those S&Cs to be if you’re really passionate and you really want to go to that next level, make contact with these people stalk them, to a point I’m not saying getting that, you know, a police order out on you or anything like that, but certainly make those connections with people.

And so all of a sudden your understanding, I mean, for anyone in rehab, as Chris will say, like your perception of how you rehabilitate a hip scope becomes very different after you’ve watched one. And so the more tangible information you guys can get, the more common language you can get. The more of that Venn diagram becomes not a small little space, but a very large one. I tell you what, that’s the sort of stuff that’s going to build a lot of success in what you do.

Jack: That’s great mate and you mentioned the importance of building that relationship. In a leadership position for a facility like you have the ability where your physios and S&C are actually in the same building, so that must help opposed to obviously working via email and those sort of communication platforms where other clinics might have to do if they’re not working together.

But when, and I imagine it happens at time at your facility where they are butting heads and they’re not seeing eye to eye, but they’re managing the same athlete as it from a leader’s perspective, how do you?

Tim: Are we saying in the facility or are we saying at a footy club?

Jack: Now within your facility.

Tim: Would never happen. Like in terms of there could be a butting head around some comfortable dialogue because I would get my experienced S&Cs to be wanting to challenge the physio. But the other thing we, we do to break down those barriers. If we had a Mike cried and working, I’d have him present a lot of information to the physios because the physios have received their training and that’s what they do.

And I would have the physios doing a lot of presenting to Mike. And so Mike already understands that, you know what, he’s actually not that strong in that area. Or we always know that Dave is coming from that space or Ryan’s coming from that space. So you understand as assignment orthopedic surgeons, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got orthopods and I’m sure Chris does this all the time, where you go, you know, he’s 65 and he plays golf.

You know, Royal Melbourne, and there’s a surgeon that’s just perfect for that kind of bloke, because you’ll want to get back to Ida and holes. And then there’s, you know, someone who wants a surgeon that’s prepared to push the boundaries a bit. Cause this bloke goes, I can’t just get back to that level of KPI.

I want to get back to that in my life. And then of course you’ve got athletes again that have that level of, you know, you couldn’t have a conservative orthopedic surgeon working in alignment with a footy club. It just wouldn’t happen. You’ve got to have someone at time who’s prepared to take a risk to go. We’ve got to get this player back for the finals.

So I think healthy dialogues are good. And I think always the S&C should be pushing the high-performance that obviously you have to understand all the different dynamics of what’s going on amongst medical docs, but I’ve also seen some really funny stuff was you’ve also got to stay within your lanes.

And so, you know, there was a AFL club last year, for instance, where let’s call it a high performance coach who has an area that is you know it is his area of high performance at the football club, but now he’s not a surgeon, but yet at that football club, that particular high performance coach was not able or sorry the surgeon was not able to guarantee a surgery had gone through, unless it was ticked off, not by a panel, including the medical department, but just the high-performance coach. Now for mine, you gotta stay within your lane.

You seek the advice from an expert in another area. You’re not by the time you’re a high performance coach, you’re not an orthopod, a sports doc. You’ve got to surround yourself with good people, good relationships, and create that Venn diagram.

So the same model we’ve used in, you know, in high performance environments and, and people who’ve got your back and you, you using similar language is the same thing you can create in your private sector and the theme when your people come in and even if it’s for a hip replacement, or as Chris was saying, you bring in the force plates and most sort of things.

The technology use with athletes, all of a sudden gives the opportunity for, you know, for them to our battles next to, you know a certain play yesterday. I was next to Jody or whatever else, and that was great.

You know what I’m doing similar sort of stuff that he’s doing and that just helps drag up the quality of the whole environment. It can create an environment also that is not always, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to include everyone, but that’s okay too. As Mike was saying, are you going to, you’re going to attract actually certain sorts of patients into your place that that are motivated and I want to get better and they want to get the best outcome.

And that works perfectly because that’s what you want a high-performance center, not just for your athletes, but also for your general population.

Jack: Fantastic. Thanks for sharing thoughts. We could go on all night mate.

Tim: I was going to say, I get short. I feel sorry for sure. I’m sure it looks he’s had four pec stretches, seven yawns and rubbed his eyes nine times. So get the poll.

Jack: I reckon he’s ready to roll but finishing with energy. That’s where I thought we needed it.

It could get late tonight. So I thought we’ll have Sean at the end and he’s just going to pick us up now. Thanks Schleigs, for the athletes as well as coaches, practitioners, parents that want to send their kids to your clinic, what’s the best place to get in contact?

Tim: That’s just I’m more aligned with the old blokes in the groups. So anyone with a bald head and my gray beard, just remember it’s the Sports Clinic of Melbourne. That’s where I work. Vic Active is still going to be doing a little bit of work this year, just to put a bit of political pressure on the landscape. We’ve got some stuff coming out in the next couple of weeks in Victoria, just to make sure that we get an essential service type scenario going.

So there’s a couple of things they’re coming out in the next month that I’ve of just humming along in the background. And then I’ve got the Instagram Tim Schleiger Coach page, but you know, any of that sort of stuff, people can find me if they want. And if they don’t, that’s fine too. It’s all good.

Jack: Yeah. Awesome, thanks Schleigs.

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