631 Embrace the Necessity of Change
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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 15, 2015, Vol. 33, Issue 14

Embrace the Necessity of Change

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

My son, David, and my daughter, Deborah, play high-school and club soccer. For those of you who aren't familiar with this lifestyle, each practices two to three times a week, 48-50 weeks a year.

Between the two, they play approximately 70 games annually. Needless to say, it is a serious commitment for the entire family.

While the games are generally very exciting, there are times when it appears my children are just "going through the motions." On occasion, I wonder if they – and some of their teammates – have played so much for so many years that they have lost their enthusiasm for the sport. (Can you already see where this is going in terms of its relevance to your career / practice?)

Signs of Stagnation

Deborah and her club teammates have shown signs of this stagnation in their past two tournaments. The team played exceptionally well in their first out-of-state tournament in Las Vegas earlier this year; but followed that performance with lackluster showings in two tournaments they had won in previous years. Speculation ran rampant among parents during those two tournaments, particularly the second one:

  • "The girls don't seem to have the same chemistry; what happened?"
  • "Maybe it's because we've had a change in players."
  • "They just don't seem motivated to win like they used to be."
  • "Have they played too many games this month?"

While the parents were speculating, the coach was making new plans. After it was clear we wouldn't qualify for the championship game in the second tournament, the coach made some changes to the formation. Instead of a 4-4-2 formation (four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers / forwards), he changed to a 3-5-2 (three defenders, five midfielders, two forwards), with two defending midfielders and one attacking midfielder. Why not try something new? This was going to be our last game of the tournament, anyway.

You could tell the players were uncertain as the stepped onto the field. The new formation changed the positioning and responsibilities of every player. But the changes also brought opportunities. By controlling the midfield, we created more chances to take shots on goal.

After failing to score a single goal (with very few shots taken) in the first two games of the tournament, the girls were constantly on the offensive, with many shots from various angles. By the end of the last game, we had scored three goals while defending well, earning a 3-1 victory.

While initially unsettling (particularly with only three defenders), the change in formation has instituted new dynamics into the team that promise to improve their performance in the coming season. The coach recognized that what worked in the past wasn't successful anymore, and that a change was required to be more competitive and ultimately, more successful. The same can be said for everything we do.

Relating the Soccer Experience to Your Chiropractic Practice

Change is many times necessary in order to adjust to current circumstances, reinvigorate relationships or reach the next level. For example, when was the last time you made a significant change in your practice? If seeing patients has become a bit too routine, it may be time to make a strategic change.

You could renovate your office, learn new clinical skills or focus on a specific patient population. Maybe now is a good time to step out of your office and become the team doctor for the local soccer / football / rugby / (pick your favorite sport) team. Perhaps you (and other DCs in your area) could make August "Back-to-School" month and provide free spinal examinations for all schoolchildren in your community. You can make any number of changes to create a new dynamic in your office.

Change is a necessity for us as humans. We get bored when we don't experience change. We need change to challenge and inspire us to overcome and do more. Your practice is the same way.

You can't get different results unless you change what you are doing. Regardless of your level of success, one thing is clear: You're not seeing as many patients as you should / could be. We can argue over the cause(s) or we can do something about it. Be courageous and seek the changes that will lift your practice closer to your dreams.

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

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