- Why the Athlete Recovery Academy?
- The Athlete Recovery Academy
- Peak Recovery Mindset
- The Athlete Recovery Academy Program
- Our New Location- Gold Coast Physio & Sports Health
- Download a4 info sheet
When a serious injury occurs your world changes in a flash. You experience the pain, the emotions, the isolation and limited movement, the waiting game, the rehab, uncertainty and doubt about your future.
No one likes dealing with injuries and it hits active athletes especially hard since so much of their time, identity, social circle, energy and attention goes into sport. To add to this doctors, physiotherapists, coaches and trainers are rarely trained to support the psychological side of injury recovery. Nonetheless, there are ways to get on top of the recovery process so you can come back physically stronger and mentally tougher than than before.
Summit Performance Psychology is excited to start 2017 by announcing the launch of the Athlete Recovery Academy for injured athletes! This is a new structured psychological skills training and support service to improve injury recovery, performance recovery and wellbeing outcomes. It also aims to prevent injury related mental health issues in the sporting community.
Why the Athlete Recovery Academy?
The Athlete Recovery Academy was developed to fill an important gap in athlete care. In the competitive sporting world incomplete recovery from injury, re-injury and post-injury performance issues are all too common. Sporting history has shown that athlete health, wellbeing and longevity are critically threatened by poor injury recovery. These patterns can be devastating for an athletes or team. They also have a direct influence on the sporting industry at a business level. The fact that these problems are so common in sport at all levels suggests that the traditional injury recovery approach, which focusses almost exclusively on physical rehabilitation, is not sufficient to ensure sustained recovery to peak performance levels.
Stress and Physical recovery
For a dedicated athlete a serious injury can represent a crisis involving both physical and psychological stress. Stress arises due to pain, lack of mobility, changes in routine, dependency on others, uncertainty about the future, confusion and way too much time to think. This kind of stress slows physical healing, undermines general health and impairs mood and thinking, making us less able to manage our own recovery. All of this undermines the quality of recovery, extends the time required for recovery and makes complete recovery less likely. Peak physical recovery depends on psychological resilience and coping resources that allow us to cope with and to reduce this stress.
So, peak physical recovery depends on psychological preparedness; but it is also important to remember that physical recovery alone does not account for performance recovery. Performance recovery is what we are after, and performance recovery requires both full physical and psychological recovery from injury. This is because performance is the product of a complex interaction between mind and body, and the psychological component requires support and maintenance during injury recovery.
Sport psychology has focused on developing peak performance mindset a great deal. For decades cutting edge cognitive behavioural science has partnered with other sport science fields and high performance areas to advance our understanding and application of psychology in performance enhancement. Much of this advancement has included the use of CBT and Mindfulness based mental skills training and positive psychology.
However, there has not been a parallel focus on mobilising sport psychology in the injury recovery process to develop peak recovery mindset, or in understanding how best to apply a strengths based psychological skills training approach to peak recovery. But when we prepare athletes mentally for injury recovery as well as we prepare them mentally for performance we can expect to see similar improvements in the quality and consistency of recovery outcomes.
Injury related Mental Health Risk
Often by the time an athlete is face-to-face with a sport psychologist, peak injury recovery is not the only problem they are facing. Recurrent or mismanaged injuries can be a major cause and trigger for mental health issues in the athlete population leading to ruined careers and sometimes lives. Athlete wellbeing and duty of care over athlete’s mental health is a growing focus in sport, with many past and present athletes speaking publically about their stories and the need for better preventative measures and support services. This is another important reason to seek preventative psychological support services for recently injured athletes.
Limitations and Access to Support
Coaches, doctors, physiotherapists, trainers and parents are generally limited in their training and skills to pro-actively manage the psychological aspects of injury recovery. Without an understanding of the interaction between the mind, physical recovery and performance it is difficult to guide an athlete in building the skills needed for peak recovery.
Not only are most athlete’s immediate support network unprepared, but it can be hard to access face-to-face psychological support services from a sport specialist. Problems such as the mental health stigma, anonymity, location, resources and referral network within the sporting organisations can limit athlete access. Many people do not know that sport psychologists can provide such specialist services for recently injured athletes.
Because sport psychologists are traditionally recruited when things go badly with injury recovery, few structured preventative programs exist to positively prepare recently injured athletes for peak recovery.
The Athlete Recovery Academy was developed by Summit Performance Psychology to provide athletes with a resilience-focussed service to get ahead of injuries and achieve peak recovery.
The Athlete Recovery Academy is a supportive, positive and goal oriented service aimed at promoting growth for athletes recovering from injury. The academy provides a platform of education, counselling, resilience and mental skills coaching to enhance physical and performance recovery outcomes and athlete wellbeing.
Recently injured athletes work through the recovery program with a highly qualified Sport and Exercise Psychologist face-to-face (in person and Skype) and through online education modules that can be accessed world wide. We aim to promote the development of Peak Recovery Mindset to improve recovery and prevent common injury related problems; slow recovery, re-injury, performance slumps and mental health issues.
Get ahead of your injury
The Athlete Recovery Academy helps athletes to anticipate the stressors implicated with serious injury and develop plans and coping strategies to stay motivated, confident and focussed for a smooth recovery. Psychological coping is important even for those in good mental health who may not show signs of struggle immediately after injury. This is a Positive Psychology approach that can be applied to boost knowledge, mental skills, resilience, wellbeing, physical recovery and ultimately, performance outcomes.
Taking a preventative and positive approach after injury can eliminate the need for ‘damage control’ down the track. It can also provide a foundation to approach the injury recovery process from a strength building and growth perspective. It is about pro-actively tackling mental and physical setbacks that injuries incur, while supporting growth during recovery, i.e. coming back stronger
Peak Recovery Mindset
We recognise that injury recovery and performance recovery are two different things and focussing solely on the physical side leaves athletes vulnerable. We believe that training, adaptation and mastery, not just rehabilitation, are key to optimal recovery from injury and future performance outcomes. Reducing the likelihood of re-injury, costly recovery time, mental health issues and performance slumps after serious injury requires training both mind and body.
Our goal is to coach athletes world-wide to develop Peak Recovery Mindset (similar to Peak Performance Mindset) soon after injury, enabling optimal physical and performance recovery. The Athlete Recovery Academy Program for developing Peak Recovery Mindset utilises tried and tested performance psychology tools and techniques. Peak Recovery Mindset coaching is based on a holistic bio-psycho-social model of physical and performance recovery. The program delivers evidence-based skills, coping strategies and coaching principles for managing challenges that are transferrable to sport, other performance areas and general wellbeing.
Turn adversity into opportunity
Recovery is important, but it is more important to go beyond recovering from injury. Using an injury as an opportunity to build physical and mental strengths and a strong foundation of resilience and mental toughness for the future is our passion. If you develop Peak Recovery Mindset you will get back to what you love even stronger than before.
The Athlete Recovery Academy Program
The Athlete Recovery Academy Program contains an educational component followed by 10 structured Peak Recovery Modules to work through with the assistance of a sport psychologist. For younger athletes the support of coaches or parents may also be helpful for best results. The program is aimed at adolescent and adults who have sustained injury that requires recovery of more than a few weeks or injury that was traumatic in nature. The program can be delivered to coaches, physios, trainers and parents to assist them with improving their professional care of injured athletes.
The educational component of the program provides background on the potential psychological effects of injuries on athletes to prepare the recently injured for what’s to come. The Peak Recovery Mindset Model is introduced in this component, outlining how the program aims to enhance mental toughness, resilience and athlete recovery.
Peak Recovery Modules
The 10 Peak Recovery Modules that follow provide a complete pathway to teach athletes coping strategies, mental skills, help-seeking methods and insight into how to change their attitudes towards injury recovery- building Peak Recovery Mindset. Each Recovery Module is designed to enhance the recovery process based on the Peak Recovery Mindset Model (Knowledge, Resilience, Enhancement, Support).
The 10 modules cover:
- Managing negative thoughts and emotions
- Adapting to the new situation
- Focussing on controllables
- Recruiting social and medical support
- Resolving uncertainty relating to the recovery process
- Learning rehabilitation enhancing mental skills (imagery, goal setting, motivation)
Each module contains a brief introduction and a series of activities to stimulate brainstorming, problem solving, skill building and external help-seeking. Some modules may be more applicable than others depending on individual circumstances and needs. Working with a sport psychologist, either face-to-face or through the e-learning portal, enhances the value gathered from each module and gives athletes access to supporting material and resources.
Graded Support Service Options
The Athlete Recovery Academy provides graded service options for this professional support with the program and can provide CPD for health and sports professionals. The Athlete Recovery Academy Program also acts as a mental health and athlete wellbeing screening service to help flag early signs of mental health issues that may arise as a result of serious injury.
For booking, pricing and more information on the Athlete Recovery Academy click here or contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0405259127
Download a PDF info Sheet
You can download an A4 info sheet about the Athlete Recovery Academy to share this information with your friends, colleagues or family. Click the image below or right click and choose download linked file.
Our 2017 New Location!
We are excited to announce that Summit Performance Psychology has teamed up with the world renowned Gold Coast Physio & Sport Health Clinic, directed by Britt Caling, Sport Physio for the Australian Olympic Team Rio 2016.
As of late January 2017 the Summit Performance Psychology HQ and clinic will be located within Gold Coast Physio & Sport Health with clinic locations in both Runaway Bay and Burleigh Heads Qld. Click here to learn more about our new location.
In addition to we will continue to provide sport & performance psychology services at our Tweed Heads locations, and online via Skype. You can find out more about our services here, or get in contact with us today.