How do you get buy-in from a coach or team?
I'm often asked, "How do you get buy-in with a coach or a team in your group testing, your pre-participation physical testing?" I will tell you, this actually goes to getting buy-in in just about anything.
See, we're so excited about what we're doing, whether that's group testing or a rehabilitation process, that we don't always recognize that other people don't share that same level of excitement. I always joke I'm like a Labrador Retriever after a tennis ball. I'm all moving around slobbery and everything talking about this type of stuff. But people aren't where I am.
They haven't been thinking about it as long as I have. So one of the key things to get them to do is to ask questions. The way you do that is by leaving breadcrumbs of information, leaving a little bit of a trail that they can follow at their own pace. So, for example, if I'm going to do testing on an athlete or group testing, I will leave the coach and I'll say, "Okay, here is how your player did", and I won't explain anything else. They will then ask the question, "Well, what does this mean?". "I'm glad you asked."
So we need to be saying more frequently, I'm glad you asked, because if we're not, we're just flooding them with information that they're not ready for that they need to kind of own and take their own time to get excited about it. So we're going to provide morsels of information. We're going to say, "Alright, now, well, this is what this report means, that this person has these deficits." And again, pause. That silence is golden in this because when you pause, you give an opportunity for the other person to process the information and to ask that question so that you know what, they're ready for it. So you say, "Okay, these are their deficits." Pause. Be quiet, don't say anything. Then you wait for them to say, "Hey, what are you going to do about this?"
Okay, now, they're bought into the solution, right? Because they're asking for it. And they're like, "Oh, I'm glad you asked because I need your buy in on this. I need you to show the importance of this to the player so that they understand how this is going to affect their performance. And so here's what we're going to be doing, and this is how it looks." So the biggest thing I can tell you, make sure you're hearing more often the questions coming to you so you can respond with, "I'm glad you asked."