“We have to know that as rehab practitioners and strength and conditioning coaches, there is a realm of stuff that we cannot create on our own, even with technology.”

Jess Elis

What You will learn

  • P.A.C.E. and how to effectively evaluate sports technology.
  • Strategies for managing multiple departments within professional sports.
  • The future of education and mentorship through Rehab Code.

Have you ever struggled with understanding how to incorporate technology into your training program? Or is there a piece of technology you’ve been eyeing, yet you do not know how to best utilize that tech? If you are interested in learning how to best understand how to integrate tech to upgrade your health and performance, then former NBA physical therapist and founder of Rehab Code Jess Elis is here to teach us how.

Jess is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and both a board-certified orthopedic and board-certified sports physical therapist. He has extensive experience in professional sports ranging from professional athletes in China, to pro tennis here in the States, and professional basketball players in the NBA. Jess also spent several years working for EXOS – a world leading company in the realm of human performance and rehab. Most recently Jess launched Rehab Code, a mentorship and online education platform helping practitioners translate rehab into performance.

Beyond his expertise as a physical therapist, Jess has fantastic experience in leadership and management having served as the Director of Player Health & Performance in the NBA. He understands some of the intricate, subtle details that help improve the success of multiple departments while ultimately helping athletes continue to improve their performance.

In this conversation I enjoyed learning from Jess about how he approaches the integration of technology and sports science (P.S. I love his acronym P.A.C.E. and have started implementing it in my own practice). He also shares some stories on how he found success in integrating departments as a leader. Truly understanding small wins and understanding how to upgrade health & performance comes naturally to Jess and I am excited for you to have an opportunity to learn from him.

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

015 | Jess Elis: Integration between technology & rehab.

Notable Quotes

“To get into pro sports, you need to have the three C’s:  Competence, Connections, and Charisma… you have to have the personality to match the industry.”

Jess Elis

“Any event or experience that makes you better, in the long run, is a small win.”

Jess Elis

Key Takeaways:

[2:45] Jess and Adam are NBA guys, Jess shares how they met.

[3:45] Jess described how ‘the bubble’ felt for him.

[5:37] Was Portland Trailblazers Jess’ first entry point working with athletes?

[6:59] Jess shares one of the greatest opportunities he got to experience from working with professional sports.

[9:24] What insights does Jess have towards effective leadership when managing multiple departments?

[11:52] Jess shares his perspective regarding two approaches, one that considers we operate in silos and another that is a more integrative approach.

[13:40] How to create an environment that promotes positive communication among departments?

[15:55] Jess describes the most important aspect of a leader: Everybody needs to feel heard.

[17:36] How does Jess address each athlete’s own agenda?

[20:10] Why and how should we consider incorporating technology in sports performance or rehab?

[21:07] Jess made an acronym regarding the use of technology: PACE Practicality, Applicability, Conceptual, and Effectiveness.

[23:06] What is the difference between isokinetic and isometric?

[26:04] What is the actual process of utilizing isokinetic versus isometric, for example, in assessing quad strength?

[27:50]  What is missing from isokinetic that isometrics could help better understand?

[31:32] Jess shares information about his thesis on the bioethics of wearable tech in the NBA.

[32:32] Plantiga is a valuable tool for asymmetry.

[33:37] What other information does Plantiga provide besides asymmetry?

[34:25] How does the Plantiga fit with a custom orthotic?

[35:03] What is IMU?  What is it used for?

[35:50] Jess describes a scenario where he would look at all three pieces of tech: HUMAC, RSI, and IMU, and shares how he would utilize that in a return to play for a knee injury.

[39:25] How does Jess help the next generation of practitioners manage the return to play space?

[41:06] Jess discusses the many ways to get to work in professional sports and the 3 C’s required: competence, connections, and charisma

[45:16] Where has Jess seen people fail in pro sports?

[46:36] Where have people been successful in pro sports?

[48:52] What was something Jess didn’t truly appreciate about sports until he started to work in this field?

[50:34]  Working in sports, what was one thing Jess enjoyed the most?

[50:47] What was one thing Jess did not enjoy about the NBA?

[53:32] Jess shares one of his dad’s life lessons.

[55:01] Looking back at his time in sports and NBA, if there was one thing Jess could go back and do differently, for better or for worse, what would that be?

[56:03] How did Jess find his small wins throughout the season to keep pushing forward?

[57:31] Could Jess create an encouraging environment for athletes to find their small wins?

[58:12] Jess calls his rehabs: the Small F-bomb Wins, SFW.

[1:01:24] Jess advises those who want to improve their health but are not in sports.

[1:03:17] How can people find the balance between what they love to do and what they need to do to improve their health?

[1:04:46] Jess talks about the education piece.

[1:06:14] What is next for Jess?

[1:07:30] Jess talks about what he loves about the Rehab Code.

[1:08:25] Fun questions with Jess!

Adam Loiacono

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