by Rachel Jones, Sport & Exercise Psychologist
Sport and performance psychology is all about maximising your mental game, whatever your area of performance might be.
I believe that everyone is a performer, whether it be in sport, business, performing arts, school, work, parenting or everyday life.
Performance is about how you perform any task, and as humans, we never reach perfection, which is a blessing because we can always improve! Your brain is your biggest asset when it comes to performance. You might be thinking that I’m overstating the obvious, however, how often do you actually dedicate time to maximising your biggest asset? It makes good business sense to invest where you can get the biggest return and therefore, a practical understanding of how your brain works can be a great way to get a performance advantage.
Psychology is known as the study of the soul, and, combined with the latest in neuroscience research, gives us great insight and practical strategies that can be incredibly useful in sport, performing arts, academics, business, etc, because of its implications for both mental health and performance. Sport and performance psychology focuses on the interaction between thoughts, feelings, behaviours and the environment and is an important part of physical and mental performance.
Here are 3 things you need to know about Sport and Performance Psychology and how it might apply to you:
1- Sport and performance psychology is about training your brain. The same principles apply to training your brain as apply to training your body. You need consistent, targeted training with high volume and repetition. The equivalent of muscle fibres in the brain are neural pathways and creating new ones are like creating pathways in the bush. The more traffic you send down a particular pathway, the more it clears and becomes established. Finding ways to daily practice good patterns of thinking and behaviour will help to create healthy mindsets and habits. Creating a routine, for example, something as simple as identifying 3 things you did well everyday, will help you to make it easy for your brain to reinforce new habits, similar to having a regular physical training time and focus. A sport and performance psychologist will help you to set brain training goals and implement strategies consistently
to create the change you are looking for.
2- Sport psychologists work with mental illness as well as performance and proactive mental health. Sport psychologists in Australia have the same base training as other psychologists, including general and clinical psychologists, which means that I am trained to work with managing mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders. To become an endorsed sport psychologist I had to do additional training via postgraduate study as well as a registrar program specialising in working with teams and individuals and understanding high performance demands and populations. As a result, I work with a combination of teams and individuals on a variety of performance issues and challenges as well as putting proactive strategies in place to gain an extra edge in performance or to maintain positive mental health.
3- Children, young people and adults can all benefit from sport and performance psychology. Did you know I work with people as young as 10 years old? Sport and performance psychology is very practical with strategies that can be applied across all areas of life. The skills that are worked on and put in place at a young age can create healthy patterns that build resilience and can reduce the risk of mental illness later in life. Older, more experienced adults can also benefit from sport and performance psychology, again by learning new skills and strategies that challenge existing and inhibiting beliefs that may be limiting performance.
For more information on how sport and performance psychology can help you, contact Rachel via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Physiologic to make a booking on (07) 5578 7155.
Once we would warm-up like these guys! We now know better.
Follow Physiologic’s top 6 tips for the perfect warm-up;
1. Don’t foam roll
This sounds like the exact opposite of what we have been told for the last millennium BUT foam rolling and trigger ball / self massage techniques generally place our muscles in a state of relaxation. For some pain based problems this may be of benefit BUT if we are about to participate in exercise one of the last things you want is a state of relaxation – more so we should be after a state of physical readiness both physically and mentally. Instead of foam rolling to warm up – try it for warming down or just before you ago to bed at night – like a massage you should feel the serotonin flow more readily and calm you rather than amp you up.
2. Avoid static stretching
Bending forward to stretch your back and hamstrings and holding it for 20 secs is not the way our body behaves during exercise. As such there is no real reason to do this when preparing for exercise.
3. Dynamic warm up is best
Movement, mobility work, light resistance and moving your joints / muscles in a way that would reflect what you are about to do is best. Eg. if you are a golfer – you should be working on rotation movements. For a weight lifter you could performing a set of reps at 30-40% of normal load prior to lifting OR if you are preparing for surfing – dynamics squats and single legged landing type movements. Even yoga type exercises that allow your body to mobilise through different positions is often relevant to many types of exercise.
4. Progressively build the intensity
Try to work up a light sweat. Start easy and build the range of movement for your limbs, the speed of movement and the load on each muscle. If you do it right you should feel the transition into your chosen exercise is simple and non stressful.
5. Routine your warm up
Personally I hate trying to think about a warm up routine when I go training. It makes training less enjoyable. It’s much easier to know the same routine off by heart and pump it out at will – then you can move through it without thinking and enjoy the rest of your training / exercise.
6. Keep it short
Currently there is no evidence to say that a longer warm up is more beneficial than a shorter one. It seems to be more related to the way you do it rather than the time it takes. My advice is to keep it short but build it up quickly. Short warm ups mean your overall exercise time doesn’t have to be too long – in this day and age time is critical and if you are anything like us at Physiologic its not always easy to fit the time in for fitness etc.
by Josh Meyer, Principal Physiotherapist B.Ex.Sc.M.Phty
Mark Barrett was recently a guest on the Beyond Bariatric Surgery podcast.
To hear Mark’s best tips on how to boost your metabolism and jump starting weight loss with interval training click the link below.
Click here if to listen now
Over the past few months I have been seeing an increasing amount of patients with shoulder related pain who are complaining of very similar issues.
These things include :
“ I have pain laying on my shoulder at night”
“ My Shoulder pain warms up and becomes sore only after exercise”
“ It feels weak and painful”
“ Im finding it difficult reaching behind my back – in particular getting things out of the back seat in the car”
“ I find it painful only when I put the washing on the line or taking my shirt off “
If these things are familiar with your shoulder, here are things to keep in mind:
- DON’T PANIC – forget the imaging results! Research now suggests that findings on MRI and Ultrasound may just be normal for you age and function and may not be actually causing your pain. Consult your physio before over-analysing scan results!
- STRENGTHENING – rest most likely WILL NOT HELP! Your muscles and tendons will respond well to appropriate exercise. There is a good chance your shoulder is just not “fit” enough to tolerate certain movements – YOU can retrain this!!
- THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE – the biggest RISK FACTOR for a poor outcome / surgery with shoulder pain is in fact a patients LACK of understanding of their shoulder condition. Understanding their pain and how to manage their pain guided from your Physiotherapist is KEY – NOT GOOGLE.
- Shoulder pain is MULTI DIMENSIONAL – meaning other risk factors in your life may be making your pain more susceptible to staying there for a long time. These can include; Stress / Inactivity / Obesity / Smoking
If your someone suffering from recurrent shoulder pain and your not sure where to go from here or what exercises may help… We can help you get back on track
by Tim Rigby, Associate Physiotherapist
The Kokoda Challenge is Australia’s iconic team ultra-marathon, with 4 person teams tackling the tough 96km (4500m elevation) event through the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland.
The event raises funds for the Kokoda youth Foundation. Our team this year comprised of 4 very experienced runners with our resident running physio Dave Coombs joined by Simon Byrne, Brad Glover, Kieran O’Brien and crewed by Troy Lethlean and Rob Bele.
The boys led things from the start and although their lead was only a handful of minutes at the Polly’s Kitchen checkpoint at 30k, they continued to extend their lead to over an hour by the finish. They completed the run in 12hours 55 minutes. To put this in perspective the cut-off time for all teams was 39hours and some teams needed all of that time to get through to the finish.
Photo of winning team and our ‘Running Physio’ Dave Coombs (right).
We asked Dave a few questions about the run:
How do you train for a run like this?
The key thing in training is to set yourself and your team some realistic goals and then work towards them. Most teams will spend the majority of the day walking so its important to practice being on your feet and walking for many hours at a time. We knew that we would be running as much of the event as possible, so we included lots of running in our own training and then got together as a team in the weeks leading up to the race to get familiar with the course. I was running about 10 hours a week in the weeks leading up to the event.
Was it all plain sailing or did you have any low points during the run?
Oh, we definitely had our moments! Actually this is one of the things that makes me so proud of our team performance on the day, that we dealt with everything that came our way calmly and with the minimum of fuss. The team spirit was extremely high all day. At one stage we had split up slightly and the two boys in front went the wrong way, so we had a few minutes of panic trying to sort that out, and at the last checkpoint we couldn’t find our crew and were running about yelling, stressing that we would have to do the last 15km without topping up our food and water. We finally found them frying sausages and drinking beer – they certainly weren’t panicking (picnicking more like!).
And what were the high points for you?
There were so many, its hard to pick. I loved seeing my family and friends who came out to support at Syd Duncan Park and at the finish. Running the last 2k into the Velodrome was incredible -suddenly we were all charging down the final decent, pain forgotten, buzzing with the adrenaline of getting to the finish, as a complete team of 4, in a time we were really happy with.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
Wow, so many people. Here is the abridged version! First up, a huge thanks to Simon, Brad, Kieran, Troy, and Rob. This truly is a team event and we nailed it this year. Thanks to all of the Physiologic family who supported our journey and contributed to the charity fundraising. Finally, massive thanks to Amanda and my boys for being my inspiration and best supporters!
Make your first break your last.
The Australian National SOS Fracture Alliance unites 30 medical, allied health, patient advocacy, carer and other organisations under its umbrella. The more than 2.91 million members have one common goal – to ‘make the first break the last’ by improving the care of patients presenting with an osteoporotic fracture. This is the first time in Australia an alliance of organisations has formed to address this public health issue across the nation.
The overwhelming majority of patients who sustain an osteoporotic fracture receive no investigation, nor treatment to prevent further fractures. Comparatively, Australia has one of the world’s poorest rates of identifying and managing osteoporotic fractures – some 70 to 80 per cent of men and women who have broken a bone and would qualify for osteoporosis treatment are not investigated or diagnosed, nor do they receive appropriate medical care and follow-up. As a result the numbers of preventable fractures impacting patients, their families and the healthcare system are steadily growing. The SOS Fracture Alliance is working to close this unacceptable gap in osteoporosis care, which greatly affects some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
The SOS Fracture Alliance advocates for the nation-wide implementation of fracture liaison services in hospitals and primary care to achieve better patient outcomes and prevent fractures. Founder and Chair of the SOS Fracture Alliance, Professor Markus Seibel says “The SOS Fracture Alliance is seeking to increase the recognition, nation-wide, of first fractures in people with undiagnosed osteoporosis, to make their first break their last. This is why the SOS Fracture Alliance strongly advocates the implementation of routine services that identify, investigate and treat patients with osteoporotic fractures.”
Physiologic runs weekly Bones and Balance Classes to cater for those patients wanting to improve their bone health.
Call now to book an assessment with Kelly Meddings – 07 55 787 155.