I started a small company called “Performax” in 1989 and I invented my own job title: performance consultant. Mainly because that was the world I lived in: creating champions or at least assisting athletes to become champions at the highest level. It was rare profession at that time, there were only coaches and support staff in sports, not too many people tried to cover the broad scope of performance, but I thought my task was broader than coaching.
But look around now, less than 30 years down the road, there is hardly a coach, or fitness instructor, who isn’t a “high-performance expert”. Everybody has become an “expert”, a “master” or a “specialist’. So where are all those low-performance specialists, since low performers are the majority of athletes, like the basis of a pyramid, high-performers are only a handful.
We see a strong dilution of the expression “high-performance”. Talking to these guys, they are the “speed specialist”, while their fastest guy barely breaks the 11 seconds barrier… high performance….. where? They work with elite-teams, even if these are only competing in the 8th division. Many “strength and conditioning specialists” are just average fitness-instructors who have never coached a high-performance athlete or contributed significantly to high-performances or experienced the world of high-performance hands-on for a longer period of time.
Now I don’t blame them, the world of social media, self-branding, self-marketing, and inflated ego’s demands people selling themselves as being much bigger than they really are, to stand out, and to be unique in a competitive field. Unfortunately this bears no resemblance to their really qualities. They try to impress me with their limitless knowledge (reading the Strength and Conditioning Journal being their main source of information) and dropping the names of the elite-athletes they worked with, even if they only have met them for 10 minutes in their lives.
You can believe whatever you want but I always tend to look at the performances of the athletes a person coached instead of falling for sharp-sounding job titles or exaggerated curriculums.