By Jon Jones

Being a great doctor is a lot like being a great coach. Surprisingly, the term “coach” did not originate in
the world of sports. The term “coach” originated in the world of olden-day transportation. A
“stagecoach,” as it were, was a horse-drawn carriage that would pick people up and take them where
they wanted to go. I love this analogy as it relates to the role of a professional “coach.” I also believe it’s
a great analogy for the modern-day chiropractor. What if we thought of chiropractic care in a much
broader sense? In addition to performing adjustments, what if we recognized an opportunity to pick
people up and take them where they want to go? While working with Joint Ventures LLC, one of the
largest DC teams in the country, we’ve come to realize that treating pain and disease is only part of the
chiropractic journey. Let’s face it, reducing pain and discomfort from someone’s life is an incredible and
fulfilling experience. Imagine, how very few people have a vocation that allows them to impact
someone’s life in such a meaningful way. Our doctors at JV are brilliant at restoring balance and
comfort. They do it effectively every single day. And yet there is still more work to do, and more
profound ways to impact lives. We know that the benefits of aligning the skeletal system and releasing
the natural power of the human nervous system knows no bounds. I believe it’s now time for the world
to know of this power, and more importantly, to experience it. In addition to pain relief, we can also
help “take our patients where they want to go.” Surely, our patients have higher standards and
expectations for their lives than the mere reduction of pain. What else do they want out of life? And
how can chiropractic care contribute to their success? Are you asking these questions? In addition to
seeing yourself as the good doctor that you are, what if you also identified yourself as a COACH?

As a former Division 1-AA college athlete and a professional business coach, I have learned a great deal
about the essence of coaching. I can tell you, with 100% certainty, that the medical discipline of
chiropractic, and the communicative discipline of coaching is an unstoppable combination. They are
symbiotic because a chiropractor cannot build a thriving career or a thriving practice without committed
patients…patients who buy-in to the process, patients who are disciplined to receive routine care, and
patients who believe. Helping others to visualize their own promising future, inspiring them to believe it
is now within their grasp, and then holding them accountable to take positive and consistent action… this

is the essence of what great coaches do. Doctor, as you contemplate the next level for your chiropractic
career or practice, consider adopting the following 3 attributes of influential coaches…

  • Belief in Others: Hall of Fame players often describe their most influential coach in the following
    way, “He/She made us better than we thought we could be.” Great chiropractors and great
    coaches don’t make exaggerated promises, instead, they inspire hope. My personal observation
    is this…most doctors and coaches believe in their process. After all, they’ve worked hard to
    master the fundamentals of their sport or their field of expertise. They possess valuable
    knowledge. But when they begin to define their success by their own knowledge and skillset,
    then their personal power is directed inward rather than onto their worthy subjects. As a result,
    they fail to transfer energy and certainty towards others. Great coaches and doctors realize that
    their technical ability is only a mere tool. The power resides within the individual. Your job is to
    unleash the power that already exists within your patient. Don’t forget how amazing your
    patients are…tell them with uncommon congruency and passion that they are already designed
    for health, and wellness, and greatness. How often do we hear from physicians that our bodies
    are living miracles with incredible healing capability? The great artist, Michael Angelo, described
    his approach to sculpting in the following way, “The Angel of David was already dwelling inside
    the massive marble rock. My job was to simply remove the excess stone.”
  • Wholeness Mindset: Every great college football coach will tell you that their primary business
    is not about winning championships but molding great men. Winning is a mere symptom of
    developing people. This idea always inspired me…why settle for teaching players how to block
    and tackle when you can teach them how to be a great teammate in life? How to become a
    great role model, how to overcome adversity, and how to sacrifice for something larger than
    yourself. I submit to you…ITS NOT ABOUT THE TASK AT HAND! It’s not about the proper
    execution of a palpation or a side-posture adjustment. That’s not what makes you great. A
    football coach is not great because of his playbook, and a chiropractor is not great because of
    her adjustment technique…you are great because of your ability to transcend the art and
    science of chiropractic and impact lives. This is where physicians often ask me, “0k, how do I do
    that? What’s the procedure?” THERE IS NO PROCEDURE! It’s a decision about WHO you want to
    be as a doctor, and WHY you get up in the morning. And then bringing that purpose with you
    every single day.
  • Consistency: When it comes to changing a life for the better NOTHING trumps the installation of
    a good habit. Someone once said, “First, we make our habits, and then our habits make us.” The
    truth is, consistency is the ultimate life hack, and the ultimate competitive edge. Here’s the
    problem…consistency is not a sexy idea, is it? Most people don’t want to hear about the
    importance of consistency. Instead, they want to hear about a new short-cut, perhaps a pill,
    surgery, or a new mechanical contraption that “pops” you back into place. Our culture is
    obsessed with the quick and easy. Great coaches understand this fact. They see this paradigm as
    a major threat to their team and their mission. They must help their players battle and win the
    fight against instant gratification…just as you must help your patients do the same. In a tactful
    and loving way…hold your patients accountable. The best coaches motivate their players to
    adopt winning habits. And the best chiropractors motivate their patients to adopt winning
    health and wellness habits. True or False? Intellectually, we know this to be true.

But does this truth reveal itself in the way that you approach chiropractic care? Are you coaching your
patients to live their best life? And are you coaching them on the importance of routine care?
DC’s have an extraordinary advantage over other medical practitioners when it comes to the
time spent with their patients and the frequency of engagement. But according to research, DCs
miss the mark when it comes to positioning themselves as their patient’s trusted advisor. One
study researched one thousand loyal chiropractic patients who were all self-proclaimed
“smokers.” The study revealed that only 18% of these patients were engaged by their DC about
the ramifications of their unhealthy habit. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Think of all the
possibilities. Think of all the missed opportunities. Think of how an on-purpose chiropractor with
an unstoppable belief system might courageously confront, educate, and inspire their patients.

My partners and I, at Joint Ventures LLC, are passionate about improving quality of life through routine
and affordable chiropractic care. We know that this mission requires more than delivering quality
adjustments…it requires purposeful communication and leadership every day. If you are a like-minded
DC looking to make a serious career change, or if you are a new graduate ready to begin your journey as
a chiropractic physician, we’d love to get to know you better.