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Do Your Feet Turn Out When Squatting or Running?

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You and Your Feet

The foot is most stable when it is straight. When your feet are turned out, the integrity of your foot's arch is not being maintained. The further out you rotate your foot, inherently it tends to get less stable. As you stress out the plantar fascia, the flat connective tissues (ligaments) that connects the heel bone to your toes, the transverse and longitude arch will collapse without external rotation.

It is important to keep your feet pointing forward when you're walking and stable while lifting. If turned out of alignment, the knee and ankle will be open and the hip therefore be unstable. Instability can lead to hip, knee, ankle problems or even skeletal issues like bunions or chronic knee and/or back pain.

Hips or Feet?

Is the root of the issue coming from your hips or feet being turned out? A simple test can be performed by looking performing at the single leg squat.

  1. Set up a camera straight on

  2. Stand on one leg and drop into a single leg squat.

  3. Repeat on the other side.

Start by looking if any knee rotation occurs in or out but your feet appear relatively set. If so, the problem may be coming from your hips.

Do your knees remain stable, but your foot rotates in or out? Then it’s likely due to your feet.

Possibilities also include poor motor control, tight calves or an issue with your anterior tibialis (the muscle next to your shin).

The majority of cases I work with have exhibit some combination of the two.

The Good News

The good news is that you can fix muscular imbalances and improve subsequent motor control discrepancies.

Walking

The most common way doctors choose to remedy this problem is with the use of orthotics. They artificially create stability though the feet, which works great until you have to shell out a good chunk of change for a new pair. An expensive solution to a problem that can be remedied by training the intrinsic foot muscles and improving internal hip rotation.

Below is a whole post I created on Instagram around the topic:

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Build Stronger Feet 👣 - The initial shot shows maintaining a short foot-arch versus allowing the transverse arch to collapse. Collapse isn’t an issue, rather it’s uncontrollable collapse that is a problem. - Toe Control The ability to control your toes says a lot about the overall health of your feet and the muscles that cross the area. First begin by tapping the big toe up and down while maintaining the other four up. Then switch! Aim for controlled reps of 10. - Single Leg Balance Frontal Swings Taking the position from before maintaining your arch, now we add in movement making it more reactive in nature. Because the motion comes from the side, it’ll challenges you more dynamically. And dynamic stabilization is much more important because eventually you’ll have to test it out by running and cutting but initially this is where you begin building those intrinsic foot muscles. - Single Leg Balance and Reach An extension of the last exercise is a forward, side and backwards reach with the free leg. Good foot positioning allows the hip to do its job and by proxy aides proper alignment of the knee. - Concentrated Calf Raise Wall Nice and slow, we look to push through the ball of our foot up onto our toes, stabilizing via the big toe. If you can “stick” the position by pausing it’s a plus. - Single leg RDL w/ Band The band goes under the ball of your foot by the big toe. Proceed to add some tension to the band and perform SLRDLs. The goal is proper foot position, otherwise you’ll lose the band!

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It’s All in the Hips

Practice standing, walking, and running with neutral feet.  People watching in public places and see who walks/runs neutral and who has funky movement.  If you can spot the error in others than you will be more cognizant of your own movements. In most cases, being aware of the issue is more than half the battle.

Organizing our feet is easier if you are in a braced position as well.

1. Being Aware of Your Balance

A few key components to achieve neutral resting position (balanced posture) is the following:

1)  Engage your glutes (pelvis rotates posteriorly)
2)  Engage your abs (ribs rotate downward)
3)  Move your shoulders back and down (palms should be touching the side of your legs with thumbs pointing forward)
4)  Tuck you chin backwards (like a turtle retracting its head back into the shell or double-chin)
5) Weight distribution (tripod positioning, heel, ball of the foot and outside of the foot)Internal hip rotators

Tension is held in the following: Calf complex, peronal complex, bottom of feet.
Strength of: TFL, glute medius, glute minimus.

Keep in mind there is no perfect posture, the best one is a changing one

Keep in mind there is no perfect posture, the best one is a changing one

2) Strengthening the Hips

My favorite movement to use is the RNT split squat. It works to train both hip and foot muscles in one movement.

Place a band around your knee and have it pull you INTO collapse which will force the muscles to engage harder and thus help groove the motor pattern. You can load it with a dumbbell or kettlebell in a goblet position at chest level for added resistance.

Clamshells are a great exercise, big coaching cue is to make sure you aren’t rocking backwards as your open the hips. Think about keeping the hips stacked on top of each other.

Glute bridge variants are fantastic, you can start with the basic two legged bridge and progress to a single leg version, before trying things like marching or incorporating sliders.

  • Improve general glute strength (single leg work like the RNT split squat, clamshells, Glute bridges)

  • Strength in plantar muscles

  • Strengthen dorsiflexors (mainly the anterior tibialis, shin muscle)

3) Begin Mobilizing and Incorporating gait patterning

Single Leg RDL: Fantastic movement to train the hip in multiple planes of motion. Problem? It’s usually too hard on balance and subsequently a lack of tension in the right places.

Here I’m performing a TRX assist SLRDL where as you hinge back, reach with your arms and hands forward and back. As you go further, you can spread the arms to widen your balance.

Seated 90/90 mobilizations: The full movement might be too difficult for some, you can work on the 90-90 shifts first

Split stance kneeling adductor mobilizations: Good adductor length is important in maintaining good balance during lower body strength exercises. While it may not directly influence hip and foot dynamics, it can still have an indirect negative effect.

Good ankle dorsiflexion: here is a whole post I made about this before.
First about good foot balance

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Foot Position and Improving Hip & Knee Stability - A follow up to last nights post about hip stability, tonight I’ll be tying in our feet to the equation. Our feet have the ability to help us drive up out of a squat or contour as an athlete dynamically cuts through a court or field. Our feet also have the ability to slow us down or decrease neural drive by losing ground contact. - •Our weight should be distributed somewhere between the ball of our foot to the heel. •Too much pronation, or loss of 4 outside toes decreases hamstring recruitment and shifts more onto the quads •Too much supination, or big toe off the ground and we get decreased quad recruitment with more work going to the hamstrings. - So where do you go after you improve intrinsic foot strength and/or hip stability: Loading it via resistance training. One way to check you’re ready for more is to change the angle of your feet - Start feet Straight Ahead •Start with the feet straight ahead, achieving subtalar neutral. •Squat down to a depth while keeping the ankle centered. •You’ll want to watch if the midfoot collapses inward during motion, squat to or beyond your desired depth. - Feet Turned out •Achieve a centered ankle position •Drop down to depth desired •This position is “easier” for your hips but often may come at the expense of foot or back position. In which case I’d argue this isn’t a good position for lifting •Hugely important during almost every sport which requires change of direction. - Feet Turned In •Turn the feet in with the ankle neutral •Drop down while paying attention to positioning of the knee throughout. •Important for athletics (a position many basketball players take off from when dunking) or weightlifting/CrossFit when athlete catch a barbell overhead during the jerk. - “Knees Out!” This is a really common cue. Instead coaches and lifters should focus on their feet. This is key because if your feet are neutral, you will automatically be using your hips to achieve that centered ankle position. Think about using your hips to help in getting to neutral, and often better knee-hip function will follow

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Ankle PAILs and RAILs

  1. Start by placing the ankle in as deep of dorsiflexion as possible. Then relax for at minimum 1 minute

  2. Then start by contracting down towards the floor for 10 seconds as hard as you can manage (PAILs)

  3. Immediately without changing positions, try to pull your foot up towards your shin. Even if no movement occurs, continue pulling. It’s all about intent (RAILs)

  4. Then relax into the new end range and repeat 2 more times. You can begin the PAILs contraction once you feel like the tissues have “relaxed”

 

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4 Reasons Your Back Hurts and What to Do About It

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4 Reasons Your Back Hurts and What to Do About It

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The alarm goes off, you roll over to turn it off as you take a glimpse at the time, 6 AM.

Sigh, it’s okay, time to eat before heading to the gym. As you gingerly roll out of bed, you go to stand only to feel stiffer than usual. You make your way to the kitchen and are met with an immediate uncomfortable sensation. You continue to move but this sharp debilitating pain starts running throughout your back and radiating down your leg. As the sensation increases, you are frozen by the pain.


Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You sneeze and throw out your back
Bend over to tie your shoes, throw your back out
Rotate to place an object on the floor from a seated position and are met with back pain.

What all these innocuous scenarios have in common is that they’re not the reasons why your back hurts. They were the last straw, a coincidence because no one would argue that sneezing or tying your shoes are mechanisms for low back pain. There is no such thing as non-specific back pain, only reasons that have yet to snuffed out.


Relax…You’ll be Okay

Many individuals come into my office with some sort of “generic” back pain or self diagnosed sciatica. Their pain is real and they don’t care so much about what it is (at least not in the moment) and are more interested in if we can get rid of the issue.

After tissue exploration and manual therapy, we stand up to perform some exercises to help improve the tissue’s capacity. I’m quick to let them know its not as bad they think and that together we can solve this. Not surprising, most individuals I’ve worked on will remark that they feel immediate relief.

I’m not some magician, but I do let clients know that bending over, sneezing or standing up wasn’t the reason for their pain. Instead it was one of the following reason(s).

Your spine moves when your hips should

By now, most know that if you’re always putting yourself into bad spots, it’s not if but when will you get into trouble. Your body is no different.

The topic of posture is at the current forefront of social media with polarizing views that you have to be a certain way for perfect posture or that posture doesn’t matter. The truth is always somewhere in the middle. If you’ve read my work on Instagram you’ve heard me say this but it begs to be said again:

“The best posture for you is one that is always changing.”

Your movement capacity is the same. Say you have a job that requires you to bend over and move 15 lb sandbags. If you only needed to move 10 bags, you could essentially move them however you felt like and be fine. But if you needed to do that for 8 hours each day, 6 days a week; you’re probably going to want to move in a biomechanically sound manner.

Learning how to hinge, disassociate hip from lumbar movement and rotate well go a long ways in improving load bearing and avoiding an overuse pattern.

Related to movement from the hips and not the lower back would be the ability to contract into hip extension without compensation. Lying on the floor offers a great deal of stability and lets you see what each side is capable of doing.

If one can’t get good hip extension while lying down, there stands a solid chance there is excess motion elsewhere when upright.

Your Spine Doesn’t Segment Well

Can you Cat-Cow? Many have performed this ubiquitous yoga movement, but few have used it to asses their capacity to move their spine.

Common for individuals with lower back pain is an inability to move segmentally move their lumbar spine without overly hinging through their mid backs. When this is the case, a hinge point develops and this is the site of stress. The back is a bridge, so the load should be evenly distributed versus being placed just in one section of the vertebral column.

Your Hips Don’t Move Well

Single leg stability: You should be able to drop down to about an equal depth on both sides. This is an easy way to assess whether one hip moves better than the other. Things to note would be how smooth each side feels and if the foot/knee collapses during the squat.

The RNT split squat is a great way to help shore up the strength and subsequently their stability on that side as well. The band helps pull your knee into compensation, so you have to use your muscles to maintain proper tension and alignment during the exercise.

90-90 Hip Transitions: These are a fantastic way to mobilize and loosen up the hips before activity. I also like them to discern if there’s a control issue somewhere along the chain. You go from transitions to a lunge and squat pattern during them as well here.

You Have a Structural Problem

Spinal Compression Test
Take a seat and sit up tall
•Get into a good “posture” with your arms by your side (slight arch in your back)
•Grab the chair with your hands and pull up to compress your spine.
•Did you have pain in your back now that it we added a bit of compression in the rounded position?
•If so, it would mean that even when your spine is in a good biomechnical position, it doesn’t tolerate compressive forces well.

Shear Test:
•Same as above but let your back round out
•Did this recreate your pain?
•If so, it would indicate that your pain is triggered by lifting out neutral, flexion intolerance.


What to do if these tests come back positive?

Flexion Intolerance
•Try not to slouch too much when standing or sitting
•When bending down to grab things, learn to hinge properly or kneel down in addition to improving core strength
•Lie stomach down a few times a day.
Extension Intolerance

  • When standing, try to vary positions. When seated, sit back into your chair.

  • Work on improving mechanics during movement and core strength as well.

Ultimately should you have an issue, be sure to visit a professional to help rule out any serious problems. The advice shared here should help the majority of individuals get on the right track, but you always want to be sure to not be overlooking a larger problem.

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If You Think You Have Carpal Tunnel, You Probably Don't

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Every year, over three million cases of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are reported in the United States (Mayo Clinic). True CTS results from irritation or inflammation of the median nerve as it passes through the tunnel in your wrist. This tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligaments and bones at the base of your hand. Pressure can build up in this tunnel, resulting in numbness or tingling in the hand. Continued strain can lead to severe pain in your wrist, making work and daily activities uncomfortable to accomplish.

However, symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and wrist pain are oftentimes resulting from musculoskeletal dysfunction (meaning: tight muscles), and not true CTS.

Sometimes, thickening from the lining of irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed.  The result may be numbness, weakness, or sometimes pain in the hand and wrist, or occasionally in the forearm and arm.  CTS is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies, in which one of the body’s peripheral nerves is pressed upon.

Many cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are misdiagnosed for several reasons.

  • We don’t truly understand the causes of Carpal Tunnel. It seems to be aggravated by overuse and strong evidence that by correcting daily movement you can make significant improvement.

  • While the Median Nerve is implicated in CTS, it actually begins from the spinal cord and rooting through your neck and out almost every vertebrae before running down towards your fingers.

  • Given that the Median Nerve crosses many muscles on the way to your fingers. It’s no wonder that any number of factors might cause CTS-like symptoms like a tight muscle in your neck or shoulder may cause “tingling” in the fingers. And while it’s similar it isn’t necessarily CTS.

  • It goes misdiagnosed because most doctors aren’t necessarily well versed in understanding soft tissue related dysfunction. This leads to a general diagnosis of “tendonitis” which often will call for you to rest.

    • Do seek a second and third opinion if the doctor wants to inject you or schedule you for surgery.

Fortunately, carpal tunnel-like symptoms can often be easily managed with soft tissue work performed on the scalenes, pec minor, coracobrachialis, and several other upper extremity adhesion sites at the cervical spine.

Two very common suggestions to relieve CTS are cortisone injections in your wrist, or surgery to cut the transverse carpal ligament to release pressure.

While it may seem like a quick fix, I am strongly against cortisone injections as they have been shown to speed up degeneration of damaged ligaments and cartilage.

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Do I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Many cases of CTS are often misdiagnosed but can be resolved with soft tissue work and improving every day movement. The following tests will help gauge if you should seek help from a medical professional:

1. Phalen's Test

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  1. You can perform this seated or standing.

  2. Passively let your wrist flop into a flexed position as shown in the diagram above.

  3. Hold this position for 60 seconds or until symptoms are reproduced.
    Positive response: numbness and tingling occurs on the palmar aspect.
    Negative response: 3 minutes passing without symptoms reproduced.

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(The two hand version above is an alternative way to test, though I prefer the one hand version.)

2. Tinel's Test

Tap where circled

Tap where circled

  1. Lightly tap over the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist.

  2. Follow your index finger from the tip, then down the palm and up the forearm looking for any sensation.
    Positive response: A sensation of tingling in the distribution of the median nerve over the hand or in the thumb or first 3 digits.
    Negative response: no sensations.

If either test returns positive, I recommend seeing a doctor. If both tests return negative, great! You most likely do not have CTS and can relieve symptoms without surgery.

What to do if both tests return negative:

1. Correct Your Posture

Great little infograph from The Art of Manliness on standing posture

Great little infograph from The Art of Manliness on standing posture

  • Focus on sitting up straight, shoulders neutral, and keep the chin in and head straight. By making sure you're sitting and standing upright, it will take the tension of the muscles that might be causing your CTS-like symptoms in the first place.
    Releated: Thoracic Spine and Breathing to help unlock better posture

  • Keep your wrists in a neutral position, not bent backwards. This can help prevent a lot of the tightening of the muscles which can possibly entrap a nerve.

2. Stretch

As stated above, something as simple as poor posture can give you CTS-like symptoms. Here are three main areas of the body and their stretches to relieve poor posture:

  • Upper shoulders and neck (upper trapezius, levators, SCM, scalenes)

  • Upper chest/shoulders (pectoralis major and minor, serratus anterior)

  • Forearm (numerous muscles, including pronator teres.)

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Upper Shoulders and Neck (Trap) Stretch: 

  1. Reaching your right hand down at your side towards the floor, let your head tip to the left.

  2. Slightly vary the angle of your head to feel different versions of the stretch.

  3. Hold this to each side for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times per side.

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Chest and Shoulder Stretch:

  1. Standing up straight with a tightened belly, reach your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height (as seen above).

  2. Move your arms straight back as far as they’ll go without arching your back. You can do this with assistance from a doorway or wall to help your hands move back.

  3. Hold for 10-30 seconds, without pain. Repeat 2-3 times.

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Forearm Stretch:

  1. With your right arm held out in front of you, use your left hand to stretch the wrist stretching the hand up (shown above).

  2. Hold each for 15-30 seconds, 2-3 times. Repeat on other side.

3. Manual Therapy & Corrective Exercise

In conjunction with the improving your posture, wrist position, and stretching, manual therapy from a Licensed Massage Therapist can greatly relieve CTS-like pain. After finding and relaxing the contracted muscles in the above mentioned areas, corrective exercises are performed to offset any problems associated with poor posture and poor breathing patterns.


Has a doctor suggested wearing a wrist brace for extended periods of time (all day and all night, even when you're sleeping)? Restricting wrist movement isn't a solution and doesn't address the true underlying problem.

If this sounds like you and the tests above show you don't have true carpal tunnel syndrome, schedule a consultation in person or online and get rid of your tingling, numbing, debilitating wrist pain for good.

Lack of Internal Hip Rotation Relates to Low Back & Hip Pain

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Improving internal hip rotation is important for a variety of reasons including:

  • It allows us to go into a deep squat position safely

  • Key contributor to knee and low back pain

  • Poor movement for rotation sport athletes like baseball or even golf

  • For runners, it doesn’t allow the athlete to extend the hip to engage the glute.

Hip IR should be tested in two positions, because different structures can limit your range of motion depending on whether the hip is extended or flexed. The second test is actually a mobilization for improving hip IR if and when progressed properly.

Testing Seated Internal Hip Rotation

Sit at the end of a table, with your knees bent over the side, and hold onto the table itself.

Now internally rotate the hip, without abducting or side bending, which is a sign of compensating with the lower back.

Generally speaking 35 degrees is good in the general fitness population and 40-45 degrees in competitive athletes.

A quick check to see if you may simply have a "lazy" side if one leg has better hip IR than the other. Perform a side plank on the side that's lagging and reassess. It should improve if it's simply an activation problem, otherwise it helps to narrow down the problem to a structural/muscular or alignment (though not very common) problem. 

Mobilizations to Improve Hip IR

Kneeling Glute MOB

  • Set up on all fours with hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips.

  • Maintain a slight arch in the lower back and place your right foot on the back of your left knee.

  • With your back set sit back into your right hip and hold for a 1-2 count before moving back. Perform 5-10 reps on both sides.

Lying Knee Pull Ins

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

  • Exaggerate the width between your feet.

  • Think about trying to internally rotate your femurs which as a result have your knees touch together while keeping your feet on the floor. Hold for a two count and return to the starting position. The stretch should be felt in the hips and not the knees.

  • Perform 8-12 reps before working out.

  • Good for those with muscular restrictions.

Prone Windshield Wipers (TEST #2)

  • Lie on your stomach with your knees together and feet up in the air.

  • Keeping the knees together, let the feet fall out to the sides.

  • Hold for a two count and return to the starting position.

  • Perform 8-12 reps prior to workout.

  • This is great in particular for those with a capsular restriction.

Passive Internal Rotation Stretch

This goodie comes courtesy of Dean Somerset. This is more of an advanced stretch and would be sure to be able to knock out all the above aforementioned ones before using this one to help maintain proper hip IR.

  • Sit at the end of a table or elevated step and lift one leg back into internal rotation as shown.

  • Progressively work your work close to the table, and hold for 30 seconds.

  • Repeat on the other leg.

I hope that this post will help steer you in the right direction to improve your lifts in the gym and your times on the trail.

If you should have any specific questions please shoot me a message and I'll be happy to try and help out. If any of this information was insightful, helpful or funny please share it with a friend!

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I'm All In: What Poker Taught Me About Life and Business

The photo above was taken in 2010 I believe while I was playing in the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino. 

I used to take playing poker very seriously. I spent countless hours playing out hands in my head, reading forums and books to go along with thousands of hours spent playing online (before it was deemed illegal). My best stretch was when I was 22 and cleared a shade under $10,000 in 4 months during a summer. I was pretty good but I really disliked the unhealthy lifestyle that came with playing for 8-12 hours daily to make a living.

Poker is a zero sum game. This means that in order for there to be a winner, there has to be a loser. And at times the best play was to target those who would exhibit signs of addiction as those people aren't playing a sound game, mathamatically speaking, This is not something I feel particularly proud of but that's the game. 

And while I no longer play to pay my bills there were a lot of lessons I picked up playing cards.  Many lessons that translates over to life and business. Here are a few of them.

Expected Value (EV)

In probability theory the expected value of a random variable is the sum of the probability of each possible outcome of the experiment multiplied by the outcome value (or payoff). 

Simply stated EV (in poker) is the amount of money you can win or lose on your average bet. It's often explained by flipping a coin, which is an example of neutral EV. What are the odds it will be heads or tails? Over a small sample size it's 70% tails, extrapolated over 1,000 or 10,000 flips, it will be closer to 50/50. 

No one, not even the best players win every tournament, let alone every single hand they play. Whether you play well or poorly, you'll win some and lose some. Good players are profitable over the long haul because they maximize their spots when they're winning and minimizing losses when cards aren't running their way. They focus on making good decisions regardless of the outcome.

This rings true in business. If you continue to put yourself in the best position by playing the positive percentage plays, more often than not you'll be a winner. 

Which leads me to the next point. 

You can do all the right things and still lose

This one drove me insane. How can I be an overwhelming 95% favorite and STILL LOSE!!!

Because like in life, you aren't in control of everything so anything can happen. Yes you should've won, you should've gotten that business because you're better than your competition, but a'las they've decided to go with Joe-Trainer instead. That's completely out of your control and you need to accept the cards of life as they fall even if they're not in your favor. Move on to the next play.

Always Moving Forward

Piggybacking off the last point, even if you don't get the business, you can't dwell on it for long. Continually beating yourself up for mistakes isn't going to help you change for the better. It's only a complete failure if you fail to learn from your mistakes.

There were so many times I made the wrong move at the table which cost me tournament wins and money! I was angry/sad for a bit but ultimately I would reflect on what I could've done differently. There's no point in being upset with something that's now in the past.

Learn from the past, be in the NOW, and always be preparing for the future

Bankroll Management

If I bring in $1,000 and spend $900 of it on going out. I'm not left with much else for anything else. Let alone any unanticipated expenses. 

Knowing how to budget your money is an invaluable skip to learn. You need to stay within your means because you never quite know what might happen. In the case of Poker it might be a few dry months where your cards couldn't hit the side of a barn; in life it could be a car accident or broken appliance you clearly weren't expecting.

It goes without saying again: Always be saving and stay within your means so you can weather the bad times. If you take one too many risks, you might play yourself right out of the game. 

Know Your Numbers

What are the odds of flopping a third Ace when you have two of them in Texas hold em?
Odds of flopping a straight?
How about completing a flush on the river if I only need one last card?

I know these numbers off the top of my head like the back of my hand. I'm not rain man, I just memorized them. But knowing your numbers is just as important in business. 

What's your conversion rate for free consultiations to paid clients?
Run any marketing campaigns? What's your CAC (customer acquisition costs)?
What are your food costs? 

You don't need to know these things at an accountant level, but you should know what's going on behind the scenes. Knowing the lingo helps you communicate with experts and understand what's going on in your business. 

In case you were wondering:
Flopping 3 of a kind 8.5:1 or 10.5%
Flopping a straight about 1%
Completing a flush on the river, assuming you have all 9 remaining cards of that suit, is roughly 18%. 

Understanding basic human psychology

Most people have watched high level poker on ESPN and imagine that pros can detect any facial tick or lean which gives them an edge. While this is sort of true, what great players pick up on are patterns. I would often pay close attention to deviations in patterns:

How did they play after losing a hand?
Does that change if it was "unlucky" versus playing poorly? Do they even think that was a poor play?
Are they more talkative when they're nervous? Do they always take a sip of water when making a borderline decision?

It comes down to understanding how people normally act and if or when there's a change, deciphering what it means. When dealing with clients who are resistant to change, knowing how to pick up on non-verbal cues has been an invaluable skill to have cultivated.

Implied Odds

This is calculating the odds of completing your hand and the future bets you would collect if you do. You need to take stock of the percentage chance you have to complete you hand versus the amount of money already sitting in middle of the table. 

Simply stated: Calculating risks is a little more cut and dry in poker since it's all math. But the same basic principles apply where you need to take stock of what an investment of time or money will cost you, and whether or not it's going to be worth doing. If you make decision"x" what will be your return on investment? And how long will it take for you to break even?

Poker is a game that's easy to learn but hard to master. There are only a few of the lessons I've picked up from this game. I believe poker is a fantastic training camp for those looking to cultivate skill necessary for business and critical thinking. 

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