Did you know that about 13 million adults and 3 million children take part in sport each year in Australia?
We know that sport is good for our health and fitness https://www.health.gov.au/topics/sport/about-sport-in-australia , but the benefits don’t stop there. Sport teaches us personal skills like motivation and coordination, while being part of a team gives us the opportunity to learn cooperation, synergy and leadership.
Whether you play team sports or are an individual participating in a solo sport, taking your game to the next level will mean getting a great team around you. So who should be on your team and how can they help you?
Your dream team will likely include an array of health professionals, such as a nutritionist, physiotherapist, podiatrist and a sports psychologist.
· A nutritionist can tailor plan a diet that improves your sporting performance. They will recommend a variety of foods that meet your vitamin and mineral needs, as well as giving you enough protein for muscle growth and repair.
Chowing down on unrefined carbohydrates, such as wholegrain breads and cereals, before playing sport, ensures your body has the energy it needs.
· Sore muscles and stiffness are common among sports players. Your physiotherapist can use techniques like soft tissue release, dry needling, taping and exercise to treat sore muscles and decrease stiffness. They can also prevent and treat common injuries.
· When playing sports, your legs and feet are under a lot of stress. Rapid changes in direction and quick acceleration are a feature of many sports, and a sports podiatrist can focus on the biomechanics and proper care of your feet. If you do sustain an injury, they will treat it effectively so you can get back in the game as soon as possible.
· Sports players need to be mentally tough and resilient in the face of pressure. A sports psychologist can help you perform at your best by mastering the mind. They know strategies to motivate you and improve your personal wellbeing, along with setting and achieving manageable goals.
Improving your sports game isn’t just about more intense training or extra practice. It requires a broader view where your health and functionality are considered.
A supportive team of professionals will take a holistic approach, by not just looking at the physical aspects of your sport, but also the mental, emotional and nutritional factors that contribute to next-level performance. They can identify ways to improve your game, whilst reducing your risk of injury.
So no matter what sport you play, make sure you have a strong support team if you want to achieve your sporting goals!