Kaiti Jones on Criteria-Based Approaches to Reconditioning

Kaiti Jones has had a personal journey with sports and athleticism.

After playing sports throughout high school, Kaiti was approached by many educational institutions to play at the collegiate level.

But, growing up in a small town in Michigan, Kaiti wanted to go to a larger university and be around many people. She decided to forego her athletic career and worked on her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training at Central Michigan University.

Yet, her competitive side remained and eventually led her to work on her master’s degree in Health Science Business Administration at Florida Gulf Coast University, while overseeing their men’s soccer and volleyball teams.

Today, Kaiti is the Senior Sports Performance Coach at the University of Louisville, where she manages programming and coaching for the women’s basketball and lacrosse teams.

Kaiti joins me today to discuss how she transitioned from being an athletic trainer to being a Performance Coach at the University of Louisville.

She highlights the difference between a criteria-based and a timeline-driven approach to rehabilitation.

She explains how a data-driven approach to reconditioning athletes helps them recover better and discusses why she uses the term reconditioning instead of rehabilitation.

And finally, she illustrates how athletes lose a part of their identities as performers when injured, and describes how coaches can better support their recovery.


Athletes are objective and data-driven; set them up for success by giving them moments during the reconditioning process where they can get wins. – Kaiti Jones


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • What led Kaiti to the world of physical preparation
  • Kaiti’s Big Rocks and where she got the three principles she strives for
  • Pulling an athlete out of an injury and getting them back on the field
  • What the day-to-day looks like for Kaiti as a Performance Coach at the University of Louisville
  • Kaiti’s definition of a criteria-based approach to reconditioning and how she uses it with athletes
  • The downsides of a timeline-driven rehabilitation protocol
  • The role of data and objective elements in the rehab process
  • The difference between reconditioning and rehabilitation
  • How athletes lose a piece of their identity when recovering from an injury
  • Integrating the strength & conditioning process with reconditioning
  • The importance of building relationships with sports medicine professionals
  • What arthrogenic muscle inhibition means and how it can help athletes get back to the athletic normal
  • Trusting the process and how having great mentors took Kaiti to where she is today


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