What we do!

At The Athlete Clinic we believe that there is a correct way to train for one’s goal. Be that a fun run or a world championship event, it starts with having a clear goal, developing your relationship with your coach, performing structured training and actioning the relevant feed back from your structured training files and notes. Our culture and environment of personalised and individual attention will help guide you on your journey to success. The Results you want start here with us!

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The Athlete Clinic uses TrainingPeaks as it’s communication tool between athlete & coach. It provides a complete web, mobile and desktop solution for enabling smart and effective endurance training communication. The Athlete Clinic runs the Golden Cheetah, Training Peaks Coach Edition & WKO+ desktop software for cutting-edge scientific analysis and planning, along with the TrainingPeaks mobile apps for iOS and Android. The Athlete Clinic has also developed its own in house software and analysis systems providing an extra advantage to the athletes through file analysis. The Athlete Clinic solutions & systems have been and are used by National, European & World Champions from Professional, Elite and Age Group Athletes to analyze and plan their training.

Our in house skill set covers the majority of service needed by the athlete to succeed. A full list can be found here and should you require any clarification please contact us here or at theathleteclinic@gmail.com. Remember a “Goal is only a wish until you have a Plan”

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 10.02.25Please browse our web site and social media platforms and give us a follow to stay up to date with all the latest information, advances in training and offers from The Athlete Clinic.

We look forward to seeing you on the road in 2016 and succeeding in your Goal.

Team Athlete Clinic.

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What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping (Week 2 – Responsibility)

 

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-12-55-56Our definition of Responsibility is the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management.

When one explores synonyms for responsibility words like authority, burden, duty, guilt, importance, liability, trust, obligation, power, restraint and more surface. In light of the number and importance of these synonyms, one can understand the value of responsibility, and its importance to the individual athlete and sports team. For the athlete we have Personal Responsibility and for the team, Collective Responsibility.

Personal Responsibility is defined as a person’s “response-ability,” that is, the ability of a person to maturely respond to the various challenges and circumstances in front of them and is also closely connected with character, where character is defined as a person’s moral or ethical quality. In team environments, managers must be aware of the individuals “response-ability” and strategically locate the individual within the team to best utilise the individuals response-ability.

Collective Responsibility is the ascription to a group or organisation of something to be done, of doing, or of answering to something done. Collective responsibility refers to arrangements appropriate for addressing goals, actions and success within the team by the team and it’s individuals. The key components of the basic notion of collective responsibility are deeply rooted in the fabric of the culture within the team and it’s function as a unit. And the team is not just the athletes – Manager & Staff are part of this process.

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Diffusion of Responsibility is a sociopsychological phenomenon whereby a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present. Considered a form of attribution, the individual assumes that others either are responsible for taking action or have already done so. The phenomenon tends to occur in groups above a certain critical size and when responsibility is not explicitly assigned. It rarely occurs when the person is alone and diffusion increases with groups of three or more. The bystander affect will spring to mind for most. This technique can be used in a positive application in sports. Attack from a cycling bunch and hope the bystander affect will work. Diffusion of responsibility can be used positively to affect outcomes in sporting events and also negatively. Team leaders and managers beware. Delegation tends to eliminate this effect. Direct the responsibility to an appointed individual.

Individual Responsibility is concerned with people taking individual accountability for their decisions and actions, together with the outcomes they create and their impacts on others. An individual responsibility can be the same for two people in a team, as opposed to a personal responsibility which is personal to only one person. Maybe two riders have broken their bikes the day before an event. Both have the same individual responsibility to have the bike repaired for the following days event, but, will both have the same personal responsibility in dealing with the bike. Lets look at what happens when one rider arrives at the start of a stage race with their bike broken and failing in their individual and personal responsibilities. Firstly, they have failed in their responsibility to themselves, and secondly to the team. The collective responsibility has been broken. They have not been responsible to the riders or staff. If the staff mechanic does not have sufficient time to fully repair the bike, the individual will not be able to perform at his/her best to support the team. The ramifications from this lack of responsibility by the rider extend wider. Extra responsibilities are now loaded onto the mechanic and staff to correct the fallout from such actions. In the other scenario with the other riders bike being broken, and then repaired, the rider has upheld their responsibility both individual and personal with no issues for the rider or team. Collective responsibility is solid. Within philosophy, the concept has been referred to as moral responsibility, although with a narrower focus on causal accountability for actions either undertaken or not undertaken.

Looking back at the discussed, different responsibilities above one can see the weight carried by such responsible duties. Inaction can result in an individual or team culture being widely affected and corrupted. Inactions generally result in the failure of a team, and in individuals in achieving goals. On the positive side, a team or individual with a culture founded on responsibility strives, grows and succeeds in its quest for gaol attainment. This culture breeds success and collective responsibility. The collectiveness over powers those who lack responsibility. Responsibility is a Team Sport. 

References

Bratman, Michael (1999). Faces of Intention. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Copp, David (1979). “Collective Actions and Secondary Actions”, American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 16, pp. 177-187.

French, Peter A. (1984). Collective and Corporate Responsibility. New York: Columbia University Press.

French, Peter A. (1992). Responsibility Matters. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

French, Peter A., editor (1972, 1998). Individual and Collective Responsibility, Second Edition. Rochester, VT: Schenkman Books.

French, Peter A. and Howard K. Wettstein, editors (2006). Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. XXX; Shared Intentions and Collective Responsibility. Boston, MA and Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Gilbert, Margaret (1989). On Social Facts. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

Isaacs, Tracy (2011). Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts. New York: Oxford University Press.

Jaspers, Karl (1947, 2001). The Question of German Guilt. New York: Fordham University Press.

Journal of Ethics, (2002). Special Issue on Collective Responsibility, Vol. 6, No. 2.

Journal of Social Philosophy (2007). Special Issue on Collective Responsibility, Vol. 38, Issue 3.

List, Christian and Philip Pettit, (2011). Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

May, Larry (1987). The Morality of Groups: Collective Responsibility, Group-Based Harm, and Corporate Rights. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

May, Larry (1992). Sharing Responsibility. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

May, Larry and Stacey Hoffman, editors (1991). Collective Responsibility: Five Decades of Debate in Theoretical and Applied Ethics. Savage, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

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What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

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This story title always reminded me of individuals who work tirelessly and quietly in the background, without the need for admiration from their fellow humans. Their work is being done but there is no sound. World champions and the efficacious among us display this lineament. They tend to be reticent and apprehensive when receiving admiration……why? Can they identify the distractions associated with that admiration, and fear them or perhaps the admiration not provide enough stimulation?

At The Athlete Clinic we have looked at this process. We use it in the building of our development programs and characterise it as a component of our  development and athlete culture. The internal & external culture of the athlete/team is one of the main driving elements on our platforms that yield achievements. In building the culture, the athlete/team need to have a holistic, organic and honest attachment to the process.

The 1 to 10 list below is by no means extensive but rather our starting block on the endless road to learning and culture development.

  1. COMMITMENT
  2. RESPONSIBILITY
  3. ACCOUNTABILITY
  4. INTEGRITY
  5. RESPECT
  6. TRUST
  7. LEADERSHIP
  8. COURAGE/COMPASSION
  9. SERVICE
  10. HUMILITY

Lets start with Commitment. Before you read on…..  think about it!

  • What does it mean?
  • Do I understand it?
  • How do I apply it?

From the very beginning Commitment must be to oneself.  Only then can one progress into, Responsibility, Accountability, Integrity, Respect………Humility and more. To succeed commitment is not for a few moments every day but rather uninterrupted. The Champions among us don’t stop for the admiration but stay committed throughout. Their culture is Commitment.

Another substantial facet of the culture is Responsibility. Responsibility links right back into Commitment. Being responsible for that commitment. Not doing something because someone else may have let you down or inviting inappropriate people or equipment into your culture demonstrates a lack of Responsibility and an abuse of ones own culture. When Champions commit to being at an event, they then accept the Responsibility to make that commitment happen. They lead their own culture.

Moving down through the list, we can see that one needs to be Accountable for that Responsibility, along with having Integrity during its execution. Leading and Respecting themselves and others whilst being Humble………

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Lets Pause here for a moment.

We can see how the cross talk between the 10 personal skills listed above is endless. This is what Champions manage very well and not for a moment, but all day every day. For those of you who think “sure you can’t do that all the time” well there is your first mistake!  You can, and it starts with commitment, to figuring it out or maybe asking yourself why you don’t think you can do it!

We have only started to discuss how the cross pollination of skills and duties in the culture makes the culture of Champions. The ability for one to be critical and honest enough to self evaluate and correct poor decisions is the corner stone of developing the culture. This breeds success and the Culture of a Champions.

Over the next 10 weeks I will be writing about one point above each week and its application for culture development in sports. The idea of the series is to develop an understanding for the core qualities and their application in creating the Culture of a Champion.

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Your Metabolism & Weight Loss

You’ve probably heard people blame their weight on a slow metabolism, but what does that mean? Is metabolism really the culprit? And if so, is it possible to rev up your metabolism to burn more calories?

It’s true that metabolism is linked to weight. But contrary to common belief, a slow metabolism is rarely the cause of excess weight gain. Although your metabolism influences your body’s basic energy needs, it’s your food and beverage intake and your physical activity that ultimately determine how much you weigh.

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Metabolism: Converting food into energy

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.

Even when you’re at rest, your body needs energy for all its “hidden” functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells.

The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate — what you might call metabolism. Several factors determine your individual basal metabolic rate, including:

  • Your body size and composition. The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
  • Your sex. Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight, burning more calories.
  • Your age. As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.

Energy needs for your body’s basic functions stay fairly consistent and aren’t easily changed. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 70 percent of the calories you burn every day.

In addition to your basal metabolic rate, two other factors determine how many calories your body burns each day:

  • Food processing (thermogenesis). Digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you consume also takes calories. This accounts for 100 to 800 of the calories used each day. For the most part, your body’s energy requirement to process food stays relatively steady and isn’t easily changed.
  • Physical activity. Physical activity and exercise — such as playing tennis, walking to the shop, chasing after the dog and any other movement — account for the rest of the calories your body burns up each day. Physical activity is by far the most variable of the factors that determine how many calories you burn each day.

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Metabolism and weight

It may be tempting to blame your metabolism for weight gain. But because metabolism is a natural process, your body has many mechanisms that regulate it to meet your individual needs. Only in rare cases do you get excessive weight gain from a medical problem that slows metabolism, such as Cushing’s syndrome or having an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

Unfortunately, weight gain is complicated. It is likely a combination of genetic makeup, hormonal controls, diet composition, and the impact of environment on your lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity and stress. All of these factors result in an imbalance in the energy equation. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn — or burn fewer calories than you eat.

While it is true that some people seem to be able to lose weight more quickly and more easily than others, everyone will lose weight when they burn up more calories than they eat. Therefore, to lose weight, you need to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories or increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity or both.

A closer look at physical activity and metabolism

While you don’t have much control over the speed of your basal metabolism, you can control how many calories you burn through your level of physical activity. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. In fact, some people who are said to have a fast metabolism are probably just more active — and maybe more fidgety — than are others.

You can burn more calories with:

  • Regular aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories and includes activities such as walking, cycling and swimming. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to increase the time you spend on physical activity even more. If you can’t set aside time for a longer workout, try 10-minute chunks of activity throughout the day. Remember, the more active you are, the greater the benefits.
  • Strength training. Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, are important because they help counteract muscle loss associated with aging. And since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, muscle mass is a key factor in weight loss.
  • Lifestyle activities. Any extra movement helps burn calories. Look for ways to walk and move around a few minutes more each day than the day before. Taking the stairs more often and parking farther away at the store are simple ways to burn more calories. Even activities such as gardening, washing your car and housework burn calories and contribute to weight loss.

No magic bullet

Don’t look to dietary supplements for help in burning calories or weight loss. Products that claim to speed up your metabolism are often more hype than help, and some may cause undesirable or even dangerous side effects. Dietary supplement manufacturers aren’t requlated, so view these products with caution and skepticism, and always let your doctors know about any supplements you take.

There’s no easy way to lose weight. The foundation for weight loss continues to be based on physical activity and diet. Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you lose weight.

Our knowledge is increasing about all of the mechanisms that impact appetite, food selection, and how your body processes and burns food. Your health care provider can help you explore interventions that can help you lose weight.

Why not contact us at our clinic in Galway for a free consultation using theathleteclinic@gmail.com, directly on 087 2453114 or through our social media platform. Stop looking for that magic bullet and start out 2017 on the correct track.

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Massage Therapy Attenuates Inflammatory Signaling After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage.

Massage therapy works in many ways to relieve stress, alleviate muscle pain, and otherwise promote good health and well-being. A recent study, revealed new information about why massage after training helps relieve muscle soreness and inflammation. The culprit is not lactic acid, but cytokines, which are part of the inflammatory response that occurs when muscle tissue is damaged during a workout. The experiment involved several muscle biopsies taken from different volunteers rather than anecdotal evidence. The abstract is below.

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Abstract

Massage therapy is commonly used during physical rehabilitation of skeletal muscle to ameliorate pain and promote recovery from injury. Although there is evidence that massage may relieve pain in injured muscle, how massage affects cellular function remains unknown. To assess the effects of massage, we administered either massage therapy or no treatment to separate quadriceps of 11 young male participants after exercise-induced muscle damage. Muscle biopsies were acquired from the quadriceps (vastus lateralis) at baseline, immediately after 10 min of massage treatment, and after a 2.5-hour period of recovery. We found that massage activated the mechanotransduction signaling pathways focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal–regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), potentiated mitochondrial biogenesis signaling [nuclear peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α)], and mitigated the rise in nuclear factor κB (NFκB) (p65) nuclear accumulation caused by exercise-induced muscle trauma. Moreover, despite having no effect on muscle metabolites (glycogen, lactate), massage attenuated the production of the inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor–α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and reduced heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) phosphorylation, thereby mitigating cellular stress resulting from myofiber injury. In summary, when administered to skeletal muscle that has been acutely damaged through exercise, massage therapy appears to be clinically beneficial by reducing inflammation and promoting mitochondrial biogenesis.

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At the Athlete Clinic we have been involved in coaching & athlete services since 1985. Our knowledge base allows us to evaluate each and every client on an individual basis and combine case history with current and traditional prehab and rehab techniques to develop the athlete/client for the goal they have set. That goal might be to walk again post trauma or surgery or may be a world championship podium. The fundaments of human movement don’t change between the 2 but the demands on that movement do therefore creating that platform for success is individual and need to be designed. This is what we do and through our orthopaedic sports massage, injury management & strength & conditioning program your platform will allow you to succeed. Below is a list of some of the techniques we use in conjunction with conditioning and proprioceptive work to get your physical well being to where it needs to be.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE 
ORTHOPAEDIC SPORTS MASSAGE 
NEUROMUSCULAR MASSAGE
ROLFING 
HELLERWORK 
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY 
ASTON-PATTERNING 
FELDENKRAIS 
TRAGER
For an evaluation drop us a mail theathleteclinic@gmail.com or call/text for an appointment at +353 87 2453114.
The Athlete Clinic
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Fat ‘v’ Carbohydrate percentages burned during training

Here is a handy little chart for you guys. As our intensity increases during training the ratio between Fats and Carbohydrates (F/C) burned changes. So from 100:0 F/C is easy to 0:100 F/C is 100% Threshold.

RQ Carb % Fat %
0.71 0.0 100.0
0.71 1.1 98.9
0.72 4.8 95.2
0.73 8.4 91.6
0.74 12.0 88.0
0.75 15.6 84.4
0.76 19.2 80.8
0.77 22.8 77.2
0.78 26.3 73.7
0.79 29.9 70.1
0.80 33.4 66.6
0.81 36.9 63.1
0.82 40.3 59.7
0.83 43.8 56.2
0.84 47.2 52.8
0.85 50.7 49.3
0.86 54.1 45.9
0.87 57.5 42.5
0.88 60.8 39.2
0.89 64.2 35.8
0.90 67.5 32.5
0.91 70.8 29.2
0.92 74.1 25.9
0.93 77.4 22.6
0.94 80.7 19.3
0.95 84.0 16.0
0.96 87.2 12.8
0.97 90.4 9.6
0.98 93.6 6.4
0.99 96.8 3.2
1.00 100.0 0.0
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Whats happens when you train?

Training is used to equip the body for one’s goal. If one’s goal is track sprinting then the training and conditioning required for this will be vastly different to that of lets say Chris Froome who’s goal is a Tour de France victory. Feeding this training with nutrition is also a different art. The bulk of a kilo rider will require a total different nutrition set that the frail and sometime anorexic look of the Tour de France winner. One thing we can say for sure though is that the recovery and injury management for both must be equal to the demands of the training.. To throw another curve ball into this is the cyclocross rider who unlike the other two riders discussed needs to be able to jump over and through hoops along with throwing the bike over the shoulder and climbing a hill. One size can’t fit all and that is why careful consideration should be taken into your choice of training regimes in order to best prepare for that chosen goal. A goal is only a wish until you have a plan.

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Image 1

The image above shows training zones that are numbered from 1 – 7 with 1 being Recovery and 7 being Neuromuscular. One can see from the list the effects that various zones have on the body’s systems. It’s always good to analyse your goals and identify what systems are going to be most in demand. Also test your self and see what your limiters are. This will show you where you need to train. Identify time in these zones along with recovery both during the workout and following is where the real professional coaches earn their wages. This can be tricky and the only way that this can be done correctly is with one 2 one coaching unless you are being under trained and not getting the most from your prescriptions. The other side of the story is overtraining from not getting enough recovery. Good coaching management practices and regular coach/athlete contact always gets this balance right.

For those of you without a coach here is the on:off suggested ratios 4 those of u self prescribing..Z7-1:6, Z6-1:4, Z5-1:1, Z4- 4:1, Z3-7:1, Z2 and Z1 not applicable.

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Image 2

Image 2 show the “sweet spot” which many hail as one of the best area to train for gains. compare it to Image 1 and see what gains one can expect from this zonal area.

 

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Image 3

Image 3 below shows values for generating training zones and suggested training time along with the zones perceived exertion.

If you are unsure of any of this or interested in getting coached by us here at The Athlete Clinic just give us a shout or a follow on Facebook to stay up to date with whats going on.

Our Irish National Elite Criterium Champion Winners from 2015.

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Happy Miles,

The Athlete Clinic

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Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery.

Source: Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery.

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Tour de France Live Rider Data Tracking

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Tour de France Live Data Here

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Dealing with Overtraining (OTS)

Considerations for coaches and physicians

OTS: Overtraining syndrome, OR: Overreaching

Until a definitive diagnostic tool for the OTS is present, coaches and physicians need to rely on performance decrements as verification that an OTS exists. However, if sophisticated laboratory techniques are not available, the following considerations may be useful:

  • Maintain accurate records of performance during training and competition. Be willing to adjust daily training intensity/volume or allow a day of complete rest, when performance declines, or the athlete complains of excessive fatigue.
  • Avoid excessive monotony of training.
  • Always individualize the intensity of training.
  • Encourage and regularly reinforce optimal nutrition, hydration status, and sleep.
  • Be aware that multiple stressors such as sleep loss or sleep disturbance (e.g., jet lag), exposure to environmental stressors, occupational pressures, change of residence, and interpersonal or family difficulties may add to the stress of physical training.
  • Treat OTS with rest. Reduced training may be sufficient for recovery in some cases of OR.
  • Resumption of training should be individualized on the basis of the signs and symptoms because there is no definitive indicator of recovery.
  • Communication with the athletes (maybe through an online training diary) about their physical, mental, and emotional concerns is important.
  • Include regular psychological questionnaires to evaluate the emotional and psychological state of the athlete.
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding each athlete’s condition (physical, clinical and mental).
  • Importance of regular health checks performed by a multidisciplinary team (physician, nutritionist, psychologist, etc.).
  • Allow the athlete time to recover after illness/injury.
  • Note the occurrence of URTI and other infectious episodes; the athlete should be encouraged to suspend training or reduce the training intensity when experiencing an infection.
  • Always rule out an organic disease in cases of performance decrement.
  • Unresolved viral infections are not routinely assessed in elite athletes, but it may be worth investigating this in individuals experiencing fatigue and underperformance in training and competition. Moreover, when OTS is suspected, it is also of utmost importance to standardise the criteria used for diagnosis and/or, at least, as tools for the diagnosis of OTS are lacking, to standardise the criteria of exclusion of OTS
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Daire Feeley one of our coached our riders improving year on year with coaching based on the values of this article. A recent test shows Daire 15w stronger and 4kg lighter than last year.

A primary indicator of OR or OTS is a decrease in sport-specific performance, and it is very important to emphasise the need to distinguish OTS from OR and other potential causes of temporary underperformance such as anemia, acute infection, muscle damage, and insufficient carbohydrate intake.

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David Brody another one of our coached riders looking forward to 2017 after under performing in 2016 due to a combination of factors all of which have been identified by principles in this article. A recent test shows him 30w stronger and 4 kg lighter than this time last year.

The physical demands of intensified training are not the only elements in the development of OTS. It seems that a complex set of psychological factors are important in the development of OTS, including excessive expectations from a coach or family members, competitive stress, personality structure, social environment, relationships with family and friends, monotony in training, personal or emotional problems, and school- or work- related demands. Although no single marker can be taken as an indicator of impending OTS, the regular monitoring of a combination of performance, physiological, biochemical, immunological, and psychological variables would seem to be the best strategy to identify athletes who are failing to cope with the stress of training. We therefore propose a “check list” that might help the physicians to decide on the diagnosis of OTS and to exclude other possible causes of underperformance.

 

The fundamentals and suggestions above form part of The Athlete Clinics basic tool kit in developing the athlete. We have coached and developed athletes to World and European medals and standards in various sports. Our coaching programs are tailored to the individual athlete whether one is a full-time athlete or returning to sport or fitness. We offer free consultations at our clinic in Galway or on appointment throughout the country. We can be contacted through our contact page above. Remember your an individual why not get treated like one.

 

 

The Athlete Clinic supporting Team iTap

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The iTap Program supports Juniors & U23 riders. The program is always open to applications and should you be interested in a confidential discussion please contact Team iTap through the form below or through there social media on Facebook or Twitter

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