Coach and Trainer Reviews

Richard Pady Triathlon Coach, Trainer and Competitor

As a high performance coach to athletes in the world of endurance sports I see the wear and tear training has on the body over time. You would be hard pressed to meet a serious runner, triathlete, or cyclist who has not had a training related injury. It is these injuries that destroy the dreams and goals of my athletes.

The number one way I find to make my clients successful is to create a program that is challenging but allow them to be consistent, which means staying injury free. Being able to train consistently allows the body to adapt slowly. But this type of training also breaks the body down even with the proper rest. The reality is our bodies are not perfect, as we train we strengthen the muscles we are working even if these are not the correct muscle that should be used. In doing so we create imbalances in our movements and this makes the body weak and open to injury.

As the coach it is my job to figure out how to stop these imbalances from occurring in the first place which is not an easy job. So when there is a product that helps not masks the problem I’m always interested to learn more.

About a year ago I was introduced to Barefoot Science. The concept was proactive which I really like. I was dealing with an injury from a fall that had changed my gait and I had created pain in my heel. The Barefoot Science was not an instant fix for me as my injury was severe but what I noticed was over time how my gait changed. How my shoes are now wearing down differently. My increased arch height and strength has eliminated my pronation, re-aligned my ankle, knee, hips and reduced my internal tibial rotation which allows for a much more efficient power transfer from the ground or the pedal. I am now driving off my big toe which I had never done in the past. I also found my glutes are firing more which we know are very inactive in most runners/cyclists and is the reason for many injuries.

I now realize that orthoses which are designed to accommodate ankle, foot, knee misalignments and weak ,dysfunctional foot musculature, is not the best option. Anyone that puts Barefoot Science insoles in their shoes will have an increase in performance and a greatly reduced chance of injury. I now wear my Barefoot Science ever day and recommend them to all of my clients.

Kostas Coach, Greek National Basketball Team

Most of my athletes are basketball players, both professional and amateur. I work for a professional basketball team here in Greece and I also own a facility where I train individual athletes. I have a few athletes from other sports (soccer, volleyball and windsurfing), but my main focus is basketball.

We gave some of these athletes Barefoot until we ran out! The results where very promising and the guys loved the insoles. We had two athletes recovering from patella tendon pain after they have been treated and given Barefoot. On another case, I had an athlete with chronic big toe pain gradually recovering in the course of about two weeks, after going through treatments and wearing Barefoot. Generally, we saw an improved foot function (as shown in manual muscle testing) in the athletes that used Barefoot. We didn't have a single case of plantar fasciitis with all the athletes we work with, both professional and amateur. We also didn't have complaints for Achilles tendon pain, which is quite common at this time of the year.

Finally, in two occasions we saw a 2 inch improvement in Vertical Jump measure with SmartJump (Fusion Sport) after having our athletes train wearing Barefoot for only one day.

Dr. Peter Gorman President, Microgate USA

Shumway-Cook, Horak (1986) gave us the CTSIB Clinical test of sensory organization and balance. This test helps the clinician decide how vision, vestibular, and somatosensory input interact to help to maintain balance. This is a profound test with great insight into the balance system. To help quantify results, the authors also graded the test from 1-4 encapsulating minimal sway (1) to falling (4). I am grateful and have used this test hundreds if not thousands of times at my clinic. Now with 21st century technology, even more precise objective results can be obtained. The use of accelerometers and gyroscopes can now objectify sway to a millisecond of accuracy.

A full explanation of the CTSIB test can be found at CTSIB - Clinical Test of Sensor [PDF]

Over thirty years of clinical experience has shown that this test is an excellent gauge on the components and interactions of balance. Especially in the geriatric population, for whom the test was originally designed. With simple modification, this test can also be an excellent gauge on the interactions of balance in the athletic population. In this population, due to ability, compensation for deficit can be easily performed. Remember, before trainings and movements are given to the athlete, compensations should be identified and removed. We want to train the TRUE athlete, not the compensatory process.

The standing single leg balance test has been performed millions of times. Every possible way to perform this test has been employed. Eyes open and closed, firm and soft surfaces. Why not organize these tests into the original protocol of CTSIB. By doing so, the interpretations of CTSIB can be used, while greater demand to override compensation can be tried. Once an area of deficit is identified, interventions to improve can be made.

  1. Vision make sure your athlete gets a complete Opthamologic exam. Visual spatial field test, useful field of view (UFOV), prism analysis, should all be included
  2. Vestibular must get a thorough exam. In many instances the test becomes the treatment. Eye movement, tracking, fluidity, accommodation, etc.
  3. Somatosensory the standards pinwheel, pinprick, lateral shear, etc. What I would like to bring everyone’s attention to is a product out of Toronto Canada called Barefoot Science. Barefoot Science is a non- orthotic, mid arch proprioceptive stimulator. This product worn in the shoe comes with a program that takes approximately one year to complete. In my 39 years of clinical experience I have never found a product to help a somatosensory deficit work so well.

Learn More: 4YourGait Program

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To conclude. Before we train and recommend to our athletes, lets first take a step back to understand WHO they really are. No sense in trying to create speed and strength, on an unstable foundation. This would only lead to compensation by the athlete. Vision, vestibular, somatosensory have a direct effect on the balance system. By employing a simple approach CTSIB and increasing the demand (stand on one leg) I feel that pertinent information can be obtained both with and without technology.

Remember .... Athletes do not allow athletes to perform D.R.U.N.K. Dramatically Reduced Utilization of Normal Kinematics. Let’s sober the athlete by fixing the imbalances first, then train the TRUE ATHLETE.