[EN] The value of live courses
Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand…
I’m a firm believer in the principle of continuous education: #neverstoplearning! Hence, I’m grateful for the opportunities the internet gives me: searches made easy by keywords, libraries of readily available research and of course online learning. Online learning has made a huge impact on our learning opportunities, but if unbalanced, it’s effect can sometimes be perverse. Personally, I access online learning for some courses; I also teach courses that have an online component. Still, I know that for any course the practical component simply loses detail - and sometimes meaning - if not accompanied by direct contact hours with an expert in the field. As a NASM Master Trainer and NASM Master Instructor who teaches many courses, I have always honed my expertise and insight through continued live learning opportunities in the USA and elsewhere in the world.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Corrective Exercise Specialist course is a perfect example of the value of blending live and online learning (as are the CPT and PES courses). Undeniably, NASM produces great learning material – lectures, videos, quizzes... The online content gives the opportunity for the student to accumulate a basis of knowledge. Background information, theoretical concepts to do with functional anatomy and the structure of the corrective model proposed. Great information, yet I couldn’t conceive the course as being only that.
The value of any course is limited without the insights, detail and hands-on experience that can only be accumulated during practical learning opportunities. In order to evaluate and resolve compensation behavior, the Corrective Exercise Specialist needs to be far more precise and skilled then can ever be described in an online course. NASM itself recognizes this in that the online course does not even deal with Manual Muscle testing or Goniometry for evaluation. On the treatment side, this applies equally to Isometric muscle activation techniques and Neuro-muscular stretching – which again are not treated in the online content. All these techniques require dexterity and tactile expertise. Without, these techniques are ineffective or even have the potential to lead to injury (how can you learn to differentiate end-feels by watching a video?!!).
In the three contact days of Physical Coaching Academy NASM CES course, students have the opportunity to use the hands-on techniques, as well as analyze the possibilities and limitations of each technique. Drawing on experience that I gained in the USA at NASM’s Optima Conferences and through Master Instructor summits I can share the knowledge that ensures students come out of the course as true Corrective Specialists, confident in their ability to use advanced techniques to evaluate and help clients.
To me, in the end, there’s a simple question you must ask yourself: “Are you going to do the course simply to get the certificate or to acquire the expertise?”.