"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
"They're all just tools. There is no Holy Grail."
"Add this tool to your toolbox."
"Have the right tool for the job."
Whether it's a piece of exercise equipment, an exercise, a drill, or an assessment, "tools" get a lot of attention (good and bad) these days. The tricky part about tools is that all of the above statements are true ...but they don't tell the whole story.
The field of strength and conditioning seems to be tool-happy. We hoard tools and buy, sell, and trade them like stock. The critics speculate on worth while consumers buy on emotion. But, we are not talking about stock shares. What is the point of indiscriminately adding a tool every time you encounter a problem, especially when you have failed to fully exploit and master the old tools you already possess? Adding genuine, high quality tools that you can use effectively takes time. If your squat sucks, do you really need another tool (bands, chains, GHR, pull-throughs, cambered bar, etc), or do you need to spend more time and energy squatting? For complex activities, the answers may not be so straightforward - for example, a baseball player slow at running bases probably won't significantly improve simply by playing more baseball, but often the cause and solution CAN be found within the exercise itself.
Thoughts on tools from Clint...