How to thrive in a complex world: the role of systems thinking

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Ian Jeffreys

So many of the challenges of strength and conditioning defy classic linear analysis and so require a different way of thinking. This is the first in a series of articles which will outline why systems thinking is important to the strength and conditioning coach. The articles will outline the value of systems thinking and the impact it should have on how our profession functions in terms of the way we think, together with our approach to research and education. This first article is designed to provide an overview of why systems thinking is important and how it changes our perspective on various challenges. Importantly, it is not meant to be a detailed analysis of the full complexities of systems thinking and definitely not meant to be a comprehensive account of the diverse ways in which systems thinking can be achieved. Instead, it is simply a primer: an introduction as to how thinking in systems can open up a greater awareness of the challenges we face and help coaches to utilise some simple tools to facilitate a more comprehensive approach to our work.

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