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Business Talk: Primetime advice (Q&A with Canadian football maven Pat Woodcock)

How staying in shape can elevate your practice


March 8, 2021
By Anthony Lombardi


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Photo: © Danny Hooks / Adobe Stock

NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Deion Sanders was nicknamed “Primetime” for his penchant for making the big play. He asserted that if he played good he would in turn be paid well for his contributions. For this piece I had the honour of interviewing a Canadian football maven who currently helps the self-employed maximize their financial gains – through physical fitness and goal setting.

Pat Woodcock is a strength, speed and conditioning coach, personal trainer, and speaker. He has won two Grey Cup championships: One as the Head Strength Coordinator of the CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks, and one as a player with the Montreal Alouettes in 2002. He had an eight-year professional football career in the NFL and CFL and was named Most Outstanding Canadian Player in the Grey Cup in 2002.

But what makes Pat so special these days is that he helps entrepreneurs, executives, CEOs, busy dads, and chiropractors make their physical health symmetric with their financial gains.

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I asked Mr. Woodcock four questions to help us understand the limiting factors to success and how it might apply to chiropractors in this COVID culture:

Q: Explain your experience with chiropractic care and the various benefits you have had personally.

A: I was first introduced to chiropractic care as an athlete, while playing football for the Ottawa Renegades. It quickly became a vital part of my body maintenance routine, and I would have treatments every week during the playing season, and generally every two weeks in the off-season. Chiropractic care became such a valuable tool for me as an athlete, that I sought out recommended chiropractors in every city that I played in, in order to keep my body functioning at the highest possible level. Chiropractic care certainly helped extend my playing career – and kept me playing at a high level – by helping me maintain proper movement mechanics throughout the long season, and accelerated my recovery between games. Although I am no longer competing as an athlete, I still train hard and am very physically active as a strength coach, and chiropractic care continues to keep me finely tuned and able to be at my best every day.

Q: Clearly the last year has been a different one. Do you think that both stress and exercise have taken on new roles in the working world?

A: Absolutely. Most people’s working routines have been completely disrupted and changed, which can be stressful at the best of times. Add in the fact that the cause of these changes is a worldwide pandemic, and the stress factor is obviously multiplied. Certainly for many people, their exercise routine is not only their source of fitness and health, but also a stress release from worries about work, family, money, etc., and for many, that was taken away from them. More than ever, it has become vital for people to incorporate physical fitness and exercise into their daily routines in order to maintain both physical and mental health.

Q: Chiropractors are always taking care of their patients. In the new world they are wearing masks and eye protection which can present challenges with breathing and endurance all day long. What do you recommend they do to address these issues while staying productive?

A: Masks are definitely a challenge when being worn for hours and hours on end. First, I think it’s crucial for everyone to find a style of mask or protection that is not only safe, but that is comfortable and as unrestrictive as possible. Certainly between patients and at every possible opportunity, I’d recommend removing the mask to allow for free, unrestricted breathing, and if possible getting some fresh air into the lungs as well. Finally, it would certainly be beneficial to maintain a high level of cardiovascular fitness and overall health.

Q: You speak of using exercise to increase income. Can you please describe your philosophy and how it can be applied?

A: Of course exercise can increase income – Instagram models do it all the time. In all seriousness, though, I believe that when we are physically at our best, all aspects of our lives are improved. When you are strong and healthy and fit, your energy and your ability to focus are increased, which can lead to greater productivity. In addition, improved health generally means that you will not have your performance hampered or miss work days due to sickness. And finally, I am a firm believer that when you look and feel good, you carry yourself with more confidence, and confidence often carries over into improved performance in everything you do, including your career. As Deion Sanders used to say: “When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. And when you play good, they PAY good!” Being strong and fit allows you to always be presenting the very best version of yourself.


Anthony LOMBARDI, DC, is a private consultant to athletes in the NFL, CFL and NHL, and founder of the Hamilton Back Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic. He teaches his fundamental EXSTORE Assessment System and practice building workshops to various health professionals. For more information, visit www.exstore.ca.


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