‘You must look at the fundamentals’. You hear this phrase often in finance circles. And for the most part it has been an accurate principle to live by. But as we have shifted into the information age, the age of fake news, the age of hype and bs, we have seen things change in both the financial world and in most other industries. The change has brought with it a shift in the way financial markets work. Valuations have soared on the sniff of positive information, only to see the stock, price or company fall to pieces under the scrutiny of mother time. 

What the hell does this have to do with health and performance?

It has always been the case that new or recycled information that is well marketed and shiny gets attention. But in the information age the circulation of popular approaches leads to the amplification of excitement for a concept or approach. Whilst this has its advantages; namely the easy dissemination of quality information. There lies bare to see the adoption of untested, unproven and often over-hyped approaches. All at the detriment of looking at the fundamentals. 

In health and performance there are clear fundamentals, but they are often thrown out the window to try the latest, greatest guru ridden approaches. However the reality remains. If you can assess the requirements of a task (sporting, occupational, home activity) and clearly identify the requirements, you have the opportunity to assess what the individual you have in front of you presents with and work towards the features of that need. However increasingly the common areas that are fundamental; range of motion, strength, power, endurance etc are explained away by outliers in the sample. You hear statements such as ‘Athlete X can’t touch their toes’ or ‘Athlete Y does not squat or do Olympic lifts’. Whilst that may be true and they are used as examples due to the success that they have, they are the outlier and ultimately the chances or success will present at a lower probability if the fundamental features are not present. 

So how do you put this together in practice?

Always come back to assessing the task at hand. Assessing the individual in front of you, and fill the gaps between the requirements of the task and the features that the individual presents with. If they have the right tools in the toolkit, any job becomes possible. Stick to the fundamentals.