Triathlon Physiotherapist Paul Westwood shares his current thoughts are on the development of a model of best practice when it comes to Team & Athlete health:

  1. Don't pander to athletes pain/issues explain and reassure instead. Therefore possible mal adaptive behaviour is not rewarded and reinforced.
  2. Similarly limit the use of adjuncts / passive intervention (tape, ice, acupuncture, electro) anything that promotes the belief that 'this is something serious / more of a problem than it actually is'.
  3. Avoid the nocebo effect; athletes must believe that there is nothing inherently wrong with their bodies / ability.
  4. Therefore athletes become less sensitive / more resilient / more capable. This is spread throughout the team with athletes learning 'healthy pain behaviour' rather than mal adaptive behaviour. 
  5. Once this culture is engendered an issue or expression of pain from an athlete can be taken more seriously as a sign of overloading / injury.
  6. By keeping the coaching / support staff to the limit of necessity and limiting the amount of 'shareholders' in the team allows this culture to be sustained.
  7. Progressive load management and therefore injury / over load prevention can be achieved from the coaching/support staff through consistent training and the layering effect of training over days, weeks, months, years. Athlete monitoring should be done on a daily basis regarding mood, behaviour, performance etc. "

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AuthorJoel Filliol