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Why you need to be treated like an elite athlete

When you think of how an elite athlete gets treated, you probably think of daily massages and on-call dietitians. And while massage and dietetics play a part in elite athlete management, it’s not what sets their care apart from the way everyday athletes are managed.

The goal of the performance management team is exactly that – performance. They’re not there to pamper and they’re certainly not there to tell their athlete to sit down and rest from training for extended periods. They don’t waste their time on “rehab” routines that don’t help achieve the end goal, be it a race or grand final. They aim to maintain their athlete’s training momentum without extended breaks and they’re always looking to find that extra 1%.

So why can’t we take the same approach with non-elite athletes?

Are we saying that their goal means less to them? Or to us? Do the physiological principles that guide our elite care somehow differ if you’re not at the pointy end of the game?

Obviously the answer to all that is a resounding NO!

It would be a disaster to tell an Olympic runner to rest for 6 weeks, just because their knee got sore when they ran. And what was rest meant to do anyway? If the cause is muscle weakness, joint stiffness or technique issues, how is rest meant to solve that?

 

“Treating you like an elite athlete means doing whatever it takes to maintain your training momentum”

 

But avoiding rest is not about taking risks or being gung-ho. It’s about understanding your sport and its demands, right down to the techniques and biomechanics required, so we can modify your training sessions, equipment and footwear, whatever it takes to keep you moving.

And because there’s less downtime, there’s less rebuilding time. So all that sport-specific know-how and understanding actually costs you less in the long run because you’re back to 100% in weeks, not months.

 

 

So whether your goal is “elite” or not, if you’re committed to it, if it brings you happiness, you deserve to be treated like elite athlete! Don’t settle for less…