[6 of 6] Building Resilience For The New Age Sports & Private Practice Healthcare Professional

Welcome to the final instalment In Preparation For The Launch Of My New Free Mini Course ‘The New Age Sports & Private Practice Healthcare Professional ‘which is out early January, 2017…

Part 6 of The 5 Pillars of the New age Sports and private practice healthcare professional series

In this blog, you will discover how to make sure your athletes or private practice patients pain does not reoccur.

If you haven’t read the other posts in this series yet you can catch up here: Blog 1 on The 5 Pillars Overview, click here, Blog 2, The Subjective Assessment, click here, Blog 3, The Objective Assessment, click here, Blog 4, The Interventions, click here or Blog 5, The Return To Play, click here.

So let's get started...

Building Resilience In Athletes

The New Age Sports & Healthcare Professional Resilience system is a two (ish) layer approach that involves ensuring the athlete not only continues to move away from pain once they are discharged but also move towards optimal health and movement efficiency (whatever that may be).

Too often, athletes and private practice patients have the best intentions in keeping up with rehab exercises as 'maintenance'. However, the harsh reality is that life gets in the way and before you know it, life's stressors has reared their heads again.

For the New Age Sports Pro, it is always about working smarter and not harder. With that said, upon discharge, ideally the two main elephants in the room need to be addressed from a therapist point of view:

  1. Moving well under external loads
  2. Maintaining the ability to access 'rest and digest'.

Thats it...

If we can ensure the athlete lifts well in the gym, moves well on the field and recovers well, then I think most sports professionals would be pretty happy with that.

If most private practice patients moved well when lifting their grandkids, shopping etc, squatted and lunged with good movement efficiency and slept well, then I think most private practice clinicians would be happy that they've made a real difference to this persons life...

The third layer I think is important but slightly outside our scope of practice is nutrition and hydration, although I think we can certainly encourage good habits with this.


So now the tissues are adapting well and are tolerating external loads well, it is important that we ensure the patient or athlete understands how to transfer this to meaningful situations.

Admittedly, a lot of movements will be done under subconscious control in the sporting environment or in real world situations, the athlete will be lifting weights frequently in the gym and the private practice patient will be lifting grandkids, shopping etc on a daily basis.

Therefore the athlete or patient needs to be given the right information to allow them to thrive.

So how can an athlete or private practice patient be successful when lifting external loads?

One of the best ways is to teach them to overcome muscle slack more efficiently so they can transmit forces well through the body.

One of the worst cues I hear on a daily basis is 'drive through the heels' on the way up.

Driving through the heels will direct forces through the body in an inefficient manner if hip extension is needed. Research on foot pressures in gait and in olympic lifting should be good enough models to encourage us to look at the need of the mid-foot and fore-foot for optimal energy transfer.

Teaching the athlete to overcome muscle slack through intent with the grip and through the foot are extremely easy ways to help an athlete overcome muscle slack and aid in directing the forces adequately throughout the body.

(Pick up my free Ebook, 7 steps to clinical excellence below for more information on moving well under external loads)...


It is very important that we empower our athletes to restore the ability to access the parasympathetic nervous system regularly throughout the day but especially at night when asleep.

Notice my ability to use and replenish resources below throughout my week below using a FirstBeat heart rate variability monitor. Also notice the impact of sleep in helping my body to recover and replenish...

Now notice on the marathon runner below, the inability to fully recover between runs. The Monday and Tuesday 'recovery' runs are inappropriate but also notice the inability to access 'rest and digest' quickly enough after exercise...

Also here is a persistent pain patient's profile over a week. Notice that despite the patient partaking in plenty of exercise, the exercise is not giving the required responses.

So the key message here is that our bodies loves variability across all the various systems of the body...

Ensuring that the patient has the ability to access 'rest and digest', especially before going to bed is a very important strategy to help ensure that the system does not lose variability in the above systems.

Breathing drills and mindfulness are great ways to influence the limbic system and help the patient achieve a state of rest and digest.

Wrap Up

The reality of the situation is that we have to change of way of thinking when we see the amount of research emerging in the different fields and begin to bring these together to look at the person and not the injury.

Regardless of a pro athlete, amateur athlete or private practice persistent pain patient, the process is the exact same for identifying the stressors bespoke to that patient, decreasing the perceived threats and building them towards living life with 'thoughtless, fearless, movement'.

Once the person achieves this, then we need to empower them to continue to move away from pain and towards health, resilience and robustness.

So now you know the why, how do we do it?

The ProSport Academy 12 Month Therapist Mentorship is a 12 month pathway that helps you build your confidence in dealing with any athlete or private practice patient that comes through your door.

It prides itself on keeping a simplistic no bullsh$t approach yet doing the basics extra-ordinary. It integrates research from neuroscience, pain science, respiratory and musculoskeletal points of view to allow you to apply the research to the person in front of you.

This will help you build confidence and trust, knowing that you truly are delivering an effective treatment and return to play programs that gets long lasting successful but also meaningful outcomes for every patient.

Click here to learn more about the ProSport Academy 12 Month Therapist Mentorship program to see if you are a good fit.

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to leave me a comment below.

Dave O'Sullivan

P.S If you haven't picked up your free copy of my free ebook The Successful Discharge Blueprint below, click on the button and I’ll get it straight to you so you can start learning more about this way of looking at the body, which I’ve used in professional sport and private practice consistently over the last nine years…