While watching the Winter Olympics, it’s natural to wonder what it takes to compete at that level but, believe it or not, even elite athletes struggle with challenges like the rest of us when it comes to training and rehab! Chances are your Physical Therapist is using some of the same strategies as Team USA to help you get back in action.
Goal Setting: No matter your level, all athletes set goals. Most often, high-level athletes establish long-term objectives that are supported by short-term goals, stepping-stones that ultimately lead to greater future success. After your initial evaluation, your Physical Therapist sets long- and short-term goals to help you fulfill your rehabilitation potential. At each visit, your progress and treatment plan are reviewed. Adjusting your goals may be considered to help you reach maximum success.
Overtraining and Burnout: High-level athletes take steps to avoid overtraining and burnout. It’s important for your Physical Therapist to not only base your treatment plans on the injury, but also on who you are as an individual. Your routines should be kept challenging, but not overtaxing or to the point of frustration. Maintain an optimal pace based on your specific short- and long-term needs.
Time Management: Most Olympians must balance training and recovery time for their bodies along with working, spending time with family and friends, and more. Time management is extremely important to mastering their daily routines and achieving success. When you undergo Physical Therapy, it’s crucial for you to also balance your commitments while staying with your treatment plan. Communicating with your Physical Therapist about your daily routine, exercise habits, work schedule, and other obligations can help ensure you accomplish as much as possible during your Physical Therapy sessions — and your Home Exercise Program!
Whether you’re a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or recovering from a recent fall or sprain, you can benefit from these same strategies that help Olympians achieve gold!