The experiences you want the most will probably be experienced the least, but you can increase their frequency.
You can do this by gaining a perspective through having a system that clarifies what you need to do to change the behaviour of your athletes.
The highs of being a performance sports physiotherapist in professional sport can be exhilarating. These “green light moments” are seen when athletes peak. Outweighing these moments in frequency are the moments from red light through orange, to green. Red light is the time when we protect for medical or musculoskeletal injury reasons. All moments after red are where we correct and develop for competency and capacity of performance. The orange-light time of correcting patterns has historically been given little attention or credence in the world of performance change. It is here, where a person isn’t in pain, or medically unwell, that we screen and intervene. I can tell you that this is often where double-figure percentage performance changes are found. Since the exhilarating highs are so dopamine-dump-worthy, it stands to my reason that increasing the frequency of these can be done by doing the good things in the “red light, orange light and green light zones” properly. Within each of these areas, the assessment, screen or testing areas, we contribute more to the world of professional sport thanks to being on the shoulders of giants before us who created a bandwidth of real-world testing data to guide us and our athletes.
I feel how disconcerting must be words of mine that what we want most is what we experience the least in professional sports. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of your charges and your soul for persisting to feel the need to uptake such an important service to the world. You will receive cherished memories and solemn pride will be yours to lay such a sacrifice as your academic, technical and tactical everything at the foot of the professional sporting mountain.
To be continued in part 3.