Creating a Champion’s Mindset with Dr. Steve Capobianco
Co-Founder of Rock Tape
Dr. Steve Capobianco not only holds a B.A. and M.A. in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in addition to a doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine – he’s also an avid athlete with a passion for sports having spent 25 years competing in ice hockey, lacrosse, triathlons, adventure racing, and natural bodybuilding. Dr. Capobianco launched a sports specific rehab and performance institute called ProjectMOVE, acts as the Medical Director for Rocktape, and lectures world-wide.
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Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Hey Docs – Dr. Jeff Langmaid here with my co-host, Dr. Jason Deitch, and welcome to our featured guest segment today, we have a special guest gentleman that I have known for a while, and I’m sure it’s going to be a familiar face to many people watching. We have Dr. Steve Capobianco, co-founder of Rock Tape and senior director of Movement Innovation at MLS. I hope I got that right. Steve, thanks for taking some time and chatting with us today.
Dr. Steve Capobianco: My pleasure. Gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be here, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes us.
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I like I like the openness and the open endedness. And with that, you know, I’ve been to a host of rock type events throughout the years. Jason and I have talked, you know, about rock tape for years. I think that you’ve done something just really, really and continue to do something really unique in the profession. If I were to trace it back, I love starting with this question. What’s sort of the origin story like, how did this even start and come to fruition? And then we could talk about where things are going next?
Dr. Steve Capobianco: Sure. It’s a story that I think it’s evolved and probably changed. I’m not sure if it’s completely accurate any longer because the the stories have come from multiple different sources. But this this source is saying that in two thousand nine, I met a gentleman I was practicing in Northern California, Los Gatos, California, in fact, and I was the local taping guy. I was. I was using Vinicio Tape and Katie and others that existed at that time. And a gentleman showed up at my office, had a had a box of tape and had a box of rock tape that he had already created. And he wanted some answers on how best to to bring it to the market. And at that time, I was having some difficulty just with just with the tape sticking on the body. Ultimately, that was the biggest issue that I was having with the patients that I was working with, and those patients were primarily endurance athletes. And so he kind of gave me he gave me the tape. He said, Test it out. Let me know what you think. And I did. It did exactly what I was looking for. And so I called him back in and I I I presented an argument that there’s some education that I think could be updated as it relates to kinesiology tape. I had a viewpoint of applying the tape in a movement based setting. And we we kind of joined forces at that time. And since 2010, we created an education platform that has changed names, but currently is called the functional movement training system. And we’ve evolved from not just creating and developing education for kinesiology tape, but now we’ve added instrument assisted techniques, myofascial cupping, compression or floss band therapy and more. So since 2010, we’ve created education and products for the manual therapist, in particular chiropractors.
Dr. Jason Deitch: That is a very cool story. I think almost everybody knows of your brand, if not uses your brand. You guys have really done just, I think, a remarkable job getting your name out there in what would appear to be, I guess, sort of a commodity type product. I mean, movement tapes, movement tape, as far as I know anyway. But what you do so well that I’d love to learn more about really is your education to the doctors. And my question more specifically is what kind of education do you give the doctors to give their patients? I mean, ultimately, it’s the users patients, clients of the doctors that have to sort of understand and or appreciate coming in to get taped up. Tell us about. Obviously, part of it is teaching doctors what they need to know. But what do you teach doctors about what patients need to know and how do you sort of set that sequencing up being that we teach doctors how to teach and invite their communities, how to understand things that they don’t currently understand? What’s your approach with that?
Dr. Steve Capobianco: I think that’s a great question, and to be honest, in over ten years, no one’s really asked that question. So I really appreciate it and I’ll tell you why. I think that point in particular is probably most important. And I do believe chiropractors is one of the reasons why I love our profession do that best. We we create that relationship with the patient, the individual, and I’m going to kind of use the individual versus the patient because I I quite often believe that we forget we’re treating an individual like a human being. And I might be, you know? Going a little bit astray when I’m answering this question, but ultimately, I think it’s it’s important to discuss. And what I mean by this is that we could teach the mechanic how to thrust through a specific joint, how to apply an instrument assisted technique to be able to affect the mobility of X tissue and to apply a strip of tape on a specific area of the body. That part is ultimately consistent with what most people teach. What I feel that we do and what I feel most proud about in respect to our education is doing exactly that is explaining to the practitioner how to relay the information to the individual that they’re working with, they’re interacting with to be able to get the best buy in and understanding of what’s really happening.
Dr. Steve Capobianco: And I think that’s most important. So let me just kind of bring it back to a strip of tape on someone that has injured me. I want that individual. I want the practitioner to convey the message that that strip of tape does have an effect on influencing your pain. And we can explain in a in a user friendly way to be able to suggest that the tape is having these types of, in effect, to be able to mitigate your pain. But most importantly, what I want that individual to understand is that we’re really connecting that body part to their nervous system and that relationship between the body, part that has been somewhat smudged due to their painful experience or their lack of movement. We’re just reconnecting them to that body part with that strip of tape or our hands on their body or the use of an instrument. That’s really where the central message is around. Around our education is that we’re connecting the body to their nervous system. We’re connecting the body part to the individual, and that’s what creates meaning. That’s what develops. Buy with that patient and that individual. So then we can get a more robust outcome. Does that make sense to you guys?
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I think that’s a great answer, and I’m going to go. I want to extend that a little bit to, I guess, you know, to you personally, you know, I think of you and consider you somebody, you know, very cerebral with what you’ve been able to achieve, how you think about education and how you’ve been able to grow and develop that. I see behind you, you know, never give up some positive slogans. How does like personal development and you know your own mindset? How has that played a role in your own business development, you know, throughout time? I don’t know why I’m going that direction, but it’s something I’ve never really asked to you, and I just would be super interested because I’m sure that you’ve had challenges, had missed opportunities, had things that went, you know, wonderfully and had some things that maybe you wish went different directions. How do you wake up every day? What are some maybe personal developments or positive mindset, you know, tips, tricks or strategies that you personally have utilized throughout your career?
Dr. Steve Capobianco: Yeah, again, great question. And you know, obviously everyone is influenced through their personal experience within their lifetime. And, you know, I think a consistent story that I hear with a lot of chiropractors is that they were driven towards the profession due to an ailment that was ameliorated by a Chiropractor. And and so I also have a story and the story is years of athletics, typically collision sports that have left my body know less than ideal, you know, to say some say it best. And so I have multiple injuries that I’ve always struggled with in chronic pain is one of them, and I’ve always been able to manage the pain as a as a mechanic, as I was traditionally trained. But the evolution of my my experience has evolved the way that I interact with my own body. And before I would, I would mash and bash and do everything that I was taught as a mechanic to be able to influence the the tissues, not really paying attention to the system attached to those tissues. And so some of the things that that that has been an evolution in my care model has been taking some mindfulness to my own practice to be able to influence the my emotional attachment to my physical body. And so the kind of the most tangible thing that I could probably express to you and your viewers would be just mindful meditation. I’ve been incorporating morning practice of meditation to be able to start to pay attention to certain emotions that I might be experiencing and starting to kind of identify. What does that mean? How do I? Tackle that throughout my day, and then the mindful meditation is as I moved my body, especially when I’m moving my body, that’s experiencing pain.
Dr. Steve Capobianco: I take that mindful, meditative practice that I started my day with, and I apply it within my movement practice. And we’re starting to integrate that, and I’m doing that in a in a slow way as it relates to our education because not everyone is ready as a as a manual therapist, as a Chiropractor to be able to start to have a conversation with the individual that they’re working with. Talking about these these components of pain as it relates to how are they adapting to the pain emotionally? These are conversations that I think are critical for us to be able to have comfortably with our with our patients. And I think that there’s a way of doing that by marrying our touch therapies, our adjusted therapies, our soft tissue therapies are inter interventions like tape and starting to have a conversation saying, When I put this tape on your knee and you start to experience a change in your symptoms, how does that make you feel? And just having an open ended conversation of getting some more feedback of the individual saying, well, it gives me more confidence. Well, how are you going to take that confidence and how is that going to influence your behaviors leading this office? And these are things that we’re starting to layer into our education because I think they’re important. So going all the way back to your initial question, my personal experience of my physical ailments and how I was addressing them, let’s say eight years ago is significantly different now because I’ve layered in. A mindful approach to my physical body that has been giving me some good outcomes that I wasn’t able to get with just the physical interventions.
Dr. Jason Deitch: That’s awesome. I’m curious, Steve, you know, a lot of different people come to you, come to learn from you for a lot of different reasons. I’m sure there’s everything from the clinical side of how do I get better outcomes with my patients all the way to the, you know, can I build for it and make more money? And will I attract more athletes and my practice will be more financially successful? Why do you know? Is that accurate? Why do you think most people, most doctors come to you? And from your perspective, what do you hope to teach them to be, in your opinion, most successful? And how do you define success for docs that come to you? What what’s the outcome they’re looking for when they come to learn from you?
Dr. Steve Capobianco: Yeah, good. That’s another good one. So the I guess the first way to answer that question is that the the the brand that we’ve created with rock tape is identifying with the practitioner that wants to specialize. And it’s not a secret that we focus our attention around patients or individuals that move. And so we are kind of leaning more heavily towards a practitioner that is interacting or treating those that move their bodies that are either daily activities of just walking or hiking to the elite athlete, the professional athlete. So we do kind of lean more towards that audience because of how we branded ourselves from the beginning. So but as it relates to the practitioner and what what I would deem to be success as a practitioner is is practicing in an an environment that feeds you and that feeding for some might be just interpreted as feeds you financially. And that is one component of being successful. But I strongly do believe that success also means. Are you content with your what the daily environment? You could make a lot of money by seeing a lot of patients, but if those patients don’t feed you and aren’t going back to that emotional component of ourselves, I don’t necessarily believe that you could completely say that you’re successful just by just by realizing the financial income associated with your practice. So success to me is a combination of of financial support, obviously. But but more is is the environment that feeds you emotionally, behaviorally, all the all the intangibles that people don’t necessarily pay attention to. So I think that rock tape really kind of feeds the those individuals that want to work with the population that move their body. And we have products and education to be able to kind of highlight them or differentiate them from the rest in the markets. And then they could really be known within their territory as the specialist as it relates to movement.
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: There’s I think there are a lot of dynamics in movement in life, and I certainly how we go through our careers as well. And with that, there’s there’s something that, you know, I noticed, you know, from the outside looking in and it seemed like a bit of an evolution to me. But I’m interested in your thoughts on it and that’s around movement dynamics that, you know, perhaps there’s not, you know, in a perfect way to do something, but that different individuals have different ranges of what could be considered normal. And everybody is, you know, built differently. The dynamics are different moment to moment when you think of movement and movement patterns, you know, obviously, you know, my understanding is that you stress the dynamics around that. But as a doc who might be new to that thought process, could you just explore that and dig in around the dynamics of movement and how everybody, you know, very likely has a range of normal for them? And, you know, maybe encourage not to be so myopic for some of the docs out there that are very, very structural based. I don’t know if I’m asking that correctly, but I just would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Dr. Steve Capobianco: No, I think you’re at answering asking that correctly. It’s just it’s a difficult conversation, you know, basically, I think what we’re talking about is that do we believe that there’s a movement ideal and the the the one movement that I’ve tackled and I’ve done it in a structured way within one of our curricula within the program called F.A. Movement Specialist, it’s it’s our first course that we created, let’s say, four or five years ago that’s starting to move away from just the manual therapy tactics that. We provide with tape and tools and cups and floss. Now we’re moving into how do we provide movement based rehab for the Chiropractor in mind? And so the movement specialist was the first horse. And so the the first thing that I wanted to tackle in that course was, do we believe that there is an ideal way of squatting, for example, because everyone is tackled, you know how to improve your squat? And so we did just that within this course and the start of it really has a discussion of is there an ideal way of squatting? Should your feet be turned out at 15 degrees, five degrees, 30 degrees? What what is that ideal? How deep should you be able to squat? How much range of motion should your spine really go through when you’re squatting? All these things have been argued for decades, really. And so by looking at that kind of a more like what some would consider the Burnstein in the philosophy, and Bernstein really talked about this idea of repetition without repetition. And what that means is, is that we all can accomplish a specific task like a squat, but we all do it with with specific nuance to our physical. And let’s start with our physical restrictions, so I might have a specific architecture of my hip that’s different than yours, Dr. Jeff.
Dr. Steve Capobianco: And so then we would accomplish the squat, slightly different. But we’re still accomplishing the task, which is going from one position to the other to be able to accomplish whatever the goal is. So we take that stance of saying, let’s take the individual. Going back to what we just talked about is like, there is an individual that you’re working with. They have a specific goal and that goal might be to squat from standing to the ground. And we’re going to take that individual and screen that individual according to what they need to accomplish in the most effective and efficient manner. And we define what we deem to be effective and what efficient is for that individual and that becomes your screen rescreen process. You’re not taking the ideal of what I don’t even know who would be your best quarter would be, but taking the ideal of what the community might accept, we’re we’re stripping that down and saying, I really want to look what look at what’s effective and efficient for this individual in my office right now to accomplish the goal that they want to accomplish. And that’s really our viewpoint on on human movement is that we don’t believe that there’s a there’s a one size fits all. We do know that the individual has a goal movement, movement minded goal, and we want to be able to give that individual the best opportunity to be able to effectively and efficiently accomplish that, that task. So that’s kind of my best answer, which is, which is a difficult one I’m not going to deny, but that that is how we approach movement is talking about movement fluency for the individual specifically.
Dr. Jason Deitch: That is very cool. I’m I’m going to go back to sort of the education question, but I’m going to ask it from a different standpoint, which is, you know, you’ve got the unique perspective of obviously being both a Chiropractor and a co-founder of a very successful company. Marketing oftentimes is a major part of that. You guys have stood out in this, you know, basically tape product category, and much of it is from your branding and from your marketing. What can you teach us and others about sort of your philosophy on brand social media, email marketing? How do you think about these tools today and how do you use them? Or how do you recommend doctors use them in order to be able to sort of get the message out or their own message out, including rock? How do you teach your recommend that doctors think about it and use these types of tools?
Dr. Steve Capobianco: Yeah, I’m not the expert, but but I had, in my opinion, the best team to be able to to take the message that both Greg and I, Greg Vantages and I had when we initially started to create this, this rock tape machine, and we both agreed. Greg and I both agreed that movement was the focus of attention. And we had tools beginning with rock tape to be able to influence how you move your body in an effective and an efficient manner, just like I was referencing. And so we, we we met with multiple individuals that. Going to give us multiple examples of how to get that message out. Greg, I’ll give him credit. Greg just said, Let’s let’s be as authentic as we can and go to social media to begin with. So I have to admit that I didn’t I didn’t believe that it was going to be successful. But Greg put all of our eggs into social media, and we wanted to convey the message that we’re a movement based company with tools to influence how you move your body. And we did so strictly on social media.
Dr. Steve Capobianco: I’d say for the first. Two to three years, ultimately, all of our messaging was at that time was Facebook, primarily Twitter. Then we moved into Instagram, and it was this ultimately just posting individuals with using these products, moving in a more effective and efficient manner. And then we started to kind of layer in that messaging through some email campaigns, ultimately just explaining to practitioners and individuals that use this product how how it works in a in a way that made sense to the individual. So then we got better adoption for the products as it relates to a specific goal, which is movement. So that’s kind of the best answer I can give you. You know, surround yourself by those that understand social media if you don’t feel comfortable with it. That’s probably my first bit of advice. I didn’t have that understanding. And once they started to coach me on just being authentic in front of a camera and taking images that really make sense to people that capture their attention. Social media was the engine that we used, and we still do.
Dr. Jeff Langmaid: That is super powerful. And you know, I think of what we talk about with Teach and Invite and it just it marries into education first approach, which you describe, you know, teach something about, you know, their body that’s educational, entertaining, you know, engaging, whatever it might be and then invite them to take the next step. And it sounds like it seems like in your showcasing it right now that that really is, you know, the foundation of how many different businesses and practices can and should be built in an effective manner is that if you get out there and you’re really, you know, educating, teaching, inspiring people in a way, meeting them where they’re at, where they can understand what’s going on and then showcasing, OK, here’s the next step on how they can improve either their own body, their clinical practice, whatever it might be, it’s just such a powerful way. And then the back end of that, obviously, of course, is the consistency day after day, week after week, month after month. And there’s no question that with your educational programs, there’s a lot of consistency. So I kudos to you. We could talk for hours, but I want to be absolutely respectful of your time. Steve, thank you so much for coming on chatting this down. It has been, you know, this is one that Joe and I were both looking forward to is talking with you. So, you know, keep up. The fantastic work is an understatement. I’m excited to see what you guys have coming out this year next and as the evolution continues, and thank you so much for coming on today.
Dr. Steve Capobianco: I appreciate you guys. Thank you very much for your time.