Giving Credit Where It’s Due: A Simple Guide For Fitness Pros on Plagiarism
This post will be brief today.
While it may be a bit dearth in prose I hope to make up for it with ample bluster in message.
Here it is:
“Don’t be an asshole.“
It’s rather simple:
- Call your mother.
- Don’t recline your seat on an airplane.
- Turn your phone off in the theater.
- Give credit where it’s due and stop taking credit for work/ideas you didn’t come up with.
I Don’t Get It
I can’t comprehend why some people risk their reputation and credibility plagiarizing the work of others.
– Is it for the additional clicks and page views?
– Is it due to our infatuation with “likes” and shares on social media and the facade of success it insinuates?
– Is it because some people just lack any form of original thought and commonsense?
I honestly don’t know the answer, and it dumbfounds me why some people would jeopardize their integrity at the prospect of maybe gaining more of a following, maybe generating a few more hits on their website, and/or maybe making a bit more money.
It seems obvious to me it’s not worth the risk given the fleeting euphoria of all of the above when news comes out you’re nothing more than a cut and paste hack.
There have been some egregious examples of plagiarism within the fitness industry of late.
My friend, Georgie Fear, used Facebook earlier this year to call out another fitness professional who was repeatedly copying her work. She only went public after all previous attempts to rectify the situation privately failed to stick.
I’m not gonna lie, it made for great reading.
Likewise, Sohee Lee took matters into her own hands not too long ago and took another fitness pro to task for blatantly taking credit for her work (and other’s)…repeatedly.
You can read about it HERE.
Heck, I remember a few years ago, when I was still at Cressey Sports Performance, Pete Dupuis typing CSPs mission statement into Google and watching, in a matter of 0.007 seconds, several examples popping up on screen of other fitness facilities having cut/pasted that – word for word – and using it as their own.
I mean, if you can’t even come up with your own mission statement for your facility why are you even in this industry?
What Is Plagiarism?
The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
What Is Not Plagiarism?
Now that we’re all on the same page – thanks to Webster’s – of what plagiarism is, lets discuss what it is not.
- Anything that is not plagiarism.
- A cheese sandwich, a free month’s subscription to Hulu, my wife’s curling iron, that weird oddly shaped mark on your left leg below your kneecap (you might want to get that checked out), anything else that’s not plagiarism.
Go out of your way to give credit.
You will not lose demerit points and people will not think any less of you in doing so. Speaking on a personal level I can’t tell you how many times people have gone out of their way to commend me on my persistence to always give credit.
Whether I’m presenting or writing I’m always name dropping other coaches who’s information and intellectual prowess I borrow.
Here’s an example yesterday from my IG account:
30 Days of Deadlifts Day 5: “Getting slack out of the bar.” What the heck does that even mean? Well, in short, it refers to getting better leverage and “connectivity” before you initiate the pull. Many lifters yank the bar off the ground which in turn elicits a loud “clank” noise (barbell hitting inside of plates). Getting slack out of the bar = using barbell as a counterbalance to 1) gain leverage and 2) get everything connected. Credit to @jesseburdick for explaining this point years ago which really resonated with me. I like to tell trainees to get two clicks, bend the bar, then push away. WU-TANG!
And here’s an example from an article I wrote last week on this site:
In neither scenario did I risk my reputation, compromise my integrity, or spontaneously combust in a flash of ineptitude because I had the audacity (and conscious) to reference someone else’s work.
I didn’t lose credibility in anyone’s eyes (I think).
Give props, people.
It’s not that hard.