Coach House asked me to weigh in on the article PRI- A Continued Conversation. To be honest when it comes to giving opinions on acronyms via social media I usually stay away. 9 times out of 10 it ends in petty infighting worthy of the Black & Blue Vs. Gold & White Dress debate.

“Duh guys — it’s Gold & White.”



On a more serious note I draw parallels to the perennial philosophy when I hear such debates within our industry. I truly believe we all begin from the same universal truth and as time passes our own societal need for uniqueness (research based) balanced with our need for acceptance diverts us into groups, sects, clans, etc. The point being we all start from the same universal truth, we just call it something different.

As a coach who is trying to understand ALL. THINGS. you learn fast not to get overwhelmed and concerned about the fighting between different schools of thought but instead search for universal truths.

As we dissolve the arguments or philosophies down we see the universal truths being breathing, and pattern recognition. All important and all are a part of the process.


For obvious structural reasons there is a need to address breathing with our athletes. As Coach House alluded to previously, we need to get off the training table and have this integrated within our sessions. We are strength and conditioning coaches aren’t we? If an athlete is spending more time on a table than on the weight room floor chances are you are doing something wrong.

For simple integration within the session, breathing exercises in the warm ups or core exercises are great focused reminders. This allows you time (not under load) to really help the athlete feel the dynamics of the rib cage in inhalation and exhalation. This also sets up coaching cues used in the actual lifting session — Win Win.

On the programming side it’s important to limit anaerobic work if an athlete is really in need of changing their breathing dynamics. If not you will be chasing your tail (especially in the CrossFit population) though loaded carries and holds sometimes have their place when bridging the gap between table and specificity.

Pattern Recognition

It’s not the patterns themselves but how we recognize patterns in athletes which seems to be the most debated within our industry.

What system do you use? Are you on the table using an orthopedic assessment, stationary or dynamic movement screen?

Just pick one or two, or none. I mean who is this eval for?

It’s for US.

We cling to certain systems to tease out the lowest hanging fruit but these systems…

“makes us see the world as more tidy, simple, predictable, and coherent than it really is. The illusion that one has understood the past feeds the further illusion that one can predict and control the future. These illusions are comforting. They reduce the anxiety that we would experience if we allowed ourselves to fully acknowledge the uncertainties of existence.”
-Daniel Kahneman

How does the athlete feel when they leave the evaluation? Do they feel good about themselves? Do they now feel dependent on you — got you a new client now? Or have we now left them with a “thing” (dysfunction/asymmetry/insecurity?).

I understand the need for some to have a standardized language when discussing athletes between coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, etc. but haven’t we done a shit job using the english language as it comes to communication in general let alone trying to simplify or make it more complex?

That’s why I always enjoy our network in Austin. Ideas and thoughts clearly exchanged but the most important part of this is the willingness to do so.

This always brings me back to the eval process. How can we lose the name (eval/assessment), make it more free flowing, less writing shit down (numbers, letters), make the athlete unaware of what we are doing? Move to the psycho-social model.. yet still tease out the information we need and become more athlete centered?

By: Aaron Davis