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First Do No Harm: Iatrogenics in Coaching and Practice

First Do No Harm: Iatrogenics in Coaching and Practice

Iatrogenics is a term most commonly used in medicine. As attested by the Hippocratic oath (and the premise ‘First Do No Harm’), the medical profession is familiar with the concept that an intervention may pose potential risks and unforeseen consequences. In contrast, the idea that we may either not be helping or through our involvement inadvertently making the athlete worse off does not necessarily occur to coaches and practitioners. In this post we explore how iatrogenics applies in the context of coaching and practice, and make the case for considering potential risks as well as benefits before we intervene.