A recent USA Today story highlighted the mental health struggles of numerous star athletes, including NBA legend Jerry West, New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt, WNBA center Imani Boyette, and history’s most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps.
Athletes are in the spotlight. If something isn’t working on the field, the ice, the court, or in the boat, it has to do with the athlete, right? It is easy to look at what is in front of you and believe that is where the course correction is needed. Often, the “invisible players” have a much larger role than is considered. These can include: the team dynamic, the environment of the organization, politics within the athletic department, and coaches. These are often last to be looked at, if at all. Truth be told, they can have a much greater impact on performance results than one individual athlete alone.
The weather may be cooling down, but fall sports are heating up! Maintain peak performance all season with our sport dietitian’s top nutrition strategies.
- Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You’re probably wondering why sleep is making an appearance in a nutrition-related post? Sleep is vital to muscle repair, recovery, and the regulation of hunger and fullness cues and stress hormones. Ever feel that your hunger is insatiable, experience strong carbohydrate cravings, or see a lack in results? Cumulative lack of sleep may be the culprit!
- Hydrate: Gone are the days of “aim for 8 cups of water per day.” Hydration needs are not “one-size-fits-all.” What we should really aim for as a baseline is drinking half of our body weight in ounces. For example, a person weighing 165 lbs. should roughly consume 82.5 oz. (or 10.5 cups) of water per day. Hydration needs can increase above that based on physical activity level, temperature, sweat rate, etc. If you don’t have an estimate of your weight, don’t sweat it! Monitor your hydration status by observing the color of your urine during the day. Click here for an example.
At the bi-annual Female Athlete Conference, Dr. Chirban gave a talk highlighting the issues related to the sexualization of girls and the implications of sexualization and self-objectification on both male and female athletes.
According the APA Task Force report (2007), sexualization occurs when a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior; when a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness with being sexy and when a person is sexually objectified — that is, made into a thing for the others’ sexual use.
Michael Berrebi at Amplifying Performance has been conducting monthly workshops with the Marx Fencing Academy, which offers elite fencing programs in Concord, Mass.
During these workshops, fencers have had the unique opportunity to explore core sport psychology skills and strategies aimed at helping to increase enjoyment and overall performance.
Topics to date have included: how to properly and positively self-assess one’s performance, understanding and improving the power of self-talk, and utilizing effective imagery.
We know a few things about exercise and depression. Many think that exercise is an effective anti-depressant. Others know that when they get injured or can’t exercise, they get depressed. The effects of exercise on depression have been a source of contentious debate.
The first multidisciplinary musician’s symposium of its kind, sponsored by the Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, the program will provide a thorough review of wrist and hand injuries unique to musicians, available diagnostic testing and treatments, prevention techniques and psychological issues associated with injury. Dr. Sharon Chirban is presenting on the psychological recovery of injury and recovery in the musician on April 2nd at The Micheli Center in Waltham. Her talk will be one of many addressing the multi-disciplinary sports medicine issues facing musicians. Registration is $75.00 per person.
Amplifying Performance is partnering with Spin @the Barn to offer an exercise is medicine spin class, located in a renovated barn in Carlisle, Mass. Classes will be scheduled on Saturdays. The 45-minute “Spin Mind Body” class will be led by a certified spin instructor who is trained to inspire in participants a positive mindset while safely modifying a class for all levels of physical fitness. A licensed mental health professional, who will participate in the spin class, will conduct the 45-minute group, to follow. Individuals appropriate for this group will be targeting a mental health issue (anxiety, depression, life balance, motivation, eating recovery, etc). The key to using exercise to improve mental health is accountability and supervision. See this helpful handout to distribute to patients and athletes looking to improve well-being with exercise. For more information contact email@example.com.
The demands of being an athlete can often be daunting, and this is a sentiment felt by athletes of all ages. A recent clinical experience crystallizes how an ankle injury, which resulted in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, can challenge an athlete in complex ways and can deeply impact their lives.
What you need to know with just 74 days left to train for the Boston Marathon.
Keep your “Want” thinking in check: Many athletes let their “want” thinking run their training. I just “want” to finish this run; I “want” a qualifying time; I don’t “want” to let my financial supporters down. We are tricked by the sport ethic which tells us that “overcoming pain and fatigue” for our goal is being strong.