Category Archives: How To

Communication is King, Here’s How To Improve It with Clients

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I think a lot about communication.

As a coach, being able to communicate instructions to clients is of primary importance.
As a coach, being able to listen is of even more primary importance (primarier??)

It holds true as a Dad and Husband too, but that’s another blog post….

I heard a great quote the other day while out walking the dog and listening to the Blindboy podcast.

If you don’t know who Blindboy is, he’s one half of an Irish comedy act called the Rubber Bandits, famous for their songs, for wearing plastic bags on their heads, and in Blindboy’s case, being a very surprising voice of reason on some deep topics.

Blindboy Boatclub of the Rubber Bandits

In this episode he says, “Good communication lies in the ear of the receiver, you have to talk at their level in a way they understand”

Ok, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist.
And I also know he’s not the first to say this, but it was him that set off this thought process.

I, like most trainers and coaches have a variety of people coming to me.
And by variety, I’m talking not just in interests, but origins.
My female BJJ player from Italy sees the world differently to my Irish male rock climber. He in turn see’s the world differently from the Polish wrestler who sees it differently from the IT guy or the Solicitor.

Different cultures, both from where they grew up, and the environment they spend most time in.

I’m sure you’ve experienced just this when telling a joke, some people laugh, some don’t get it and some think it’s simply unfunny.
Is it the joke, or is it, in the words of comedian Frank Carson, “the way I tell em”

Lets take a very common gym cue: Chest Up

Go to any gym anywhere and you’ll hear this.
Especially at the squat rack. Or from the Kettlebell coach teaching swings.

Backswing – don’t let the chest sink!

I’ve used this cue for years, but some just don’t get it.
For them “Shoulders back” gets a better response.

But you know what works across the board?

“Tit’s out, arse out!”

Yes, it’s crude, but that is it’s charm.

There is NO misinterpretation.
Everyone knows what it means.
And it catches the attention far better than “chest up” at least in the early stages of training until the person has acclimatised to the common language of the gym.

If we think back to my last blog post on FEAR, aka the Nocebo effect (as one of my lads mentioned to me yesterday after reading that blog).
Nocebo, in a negative manner, is clear example of poor communication.
It’s often the expert using expert language, language that is alien and possibly frightening to the client.

How to we circumnavigate this problem?

1: we don’t use words like “circumnavigate”, instead we say “get around”

2: Listen. If good comms is in the ear of the receiver, then BE the receiver.
This give you time and opportunity to pick on language use, speech patterns, body language, tone, speed of conversation.
It allows you time to receive the verbal and non verbal cues that can aid you to steer the rest of the session.
By the way, this also what I used to teach when I was teaching self defence, as creating some form of empathy through mirroring the bad guys traits can often buy you more time to diffuse or escape a threat.

It’s no different on the training floor or the clinic.





Put your ego and needs aside, let theirs take front and centre.

“But Dave, your ego is fucking massive!!”

Fair point, I know.
And it’s a battle not letting my egeo and want to show off get the better of me. It took me years to get the hang of it.
Now, I like to let me ego shine by steering people to answer their own questions, create their own solutions and become independent.
My ego gets massaged everytime I take a complex concept and explain in it in a way that my 7yr old son would understand.

One more time:

Good comms is in the ear of the receiver.

If the person you are working with does not understand what you are saying, you may as well have not said it.

Now, after all that, come and test MY communication ability by attending one (or both) of the two upcoming workshops.
The details are right here:

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Dave Hedges


The Art of Running Efficiently, Effectively and Injury Free


If you believe the internet then running is:

  • Going to make you fat and weak, cos “cardio”
  • Not natural for human beings
  • Will ruin your knees
  • Will hurt your back
  • Will cause plantar fasciitis

And a whole lot of other misconstrued, conformation bias lead claims.

Claims that are mere correlation, not causation.

If you follow my work, you will know that I approve of running.
It IS completely natural for the human being to run, to run well, to be able to run at a variety of speeds of a variety of distances.

And while it is very true that a great many runners fall victim to injury, mostly in the lower body, I believe that this has nothing to with the act of running itself and everything to do with the body being ill prepared for running.

It’s my opinion that poor biomechanics are more to blame than poor choice of shoes.
Many runners take on ambitious weekly mileages with little to no thought on how they run.

And the myths that are spouted by the running media is, well, pure mythology. Very little talk of bio mechanics, of introspectively developing a smooth, efficient style that optimises your individual attributes.
And those that do talk about running methodology, usually try to get everyone to fit into a one size fits all approach.

And I’m sure I don’t have to convince you that one size does NOT fit all.

But then through my Anatomy in Motion studies, I met a fellow practitioner named Helen Hall.
Helen, it turns out, is a running coach, a bike fitter, an accomplished Ironman Triathlete who runs the Perpetual Forward Motion School of Efficient Running (PFM)

When she launched her book “Even With Your Shoes On” I was on the waiting list and received a very early copy.
Which I devoured voraciously.

The approach laid out is anathema to the majority of other running coaches.

The PFM style is way of encouraging self learning. To offer exercises and drills that offer experiential learning with a set of progressions based on where you actually are.

A way of finding how you and your body can run without developing the issues that are “expected” in fact, because your develop “your” running, the potential is there to clear up the causes of those problems as your joints move better, in greater synchronicity, loading the correct tissues in the correct manner, ie the manner in which they have evolved to be loaded, a way that is actually built into our DNA.

That is possibly the longest sentence ever written……

Enough waffle, lets get to the point.

Helen will be in Dublin to teach this method in person for one day only.

On April 6th, 15 lucky people will spend the day with Helen, and myself of course, on a one day workshop where she will bring the information in her book to life.

The day is strictly limited to 15 places, first come, first served.
If you don’t book, I can’t promise you a place, I expect this to sell out as there’s already been interest as I’ve been setting this up.

This will tell you all about the topics we’ll be covering, the times and location and most importantly, how to secure your spot:

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You don’t have to be runner to benefit from this.

Running is superb supplementary training to develop the aerobic system for any sport. Especially for Combat Athletes and Kettlebell Sport competitors.

To please the marketing gods, here’s another booking link:

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I hope to see you there


Dave Hedges