Your support team is a group of people that help you actualize your goals. They may be paid providers (medical providers, coaches, instructors and trainers) or non-paid people in your life (friends, family and teammates, schoolmates). As an athlete or person working toward a fitness makeover, only you can truly pick your best support team. As a team player, you have to learn to be unselfish and work with other players of the team. However, you also have to be very selfish about your own skills, performance, lifestyle/energy management and fitness if you are going to develop optimal human performance for your sport.
Each medical, health care and fitness provider category is listed below with specific information for the category provided to help you get the most out of your relationship with the specific provider. It is very important that you develop a good working relationship with your provider. Your main providers in your support team are usually coaches, general medicine or internal medicine practitioners, orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, athletic trainers and personal trainers. Keep in mind that while each professional has your best interest in mind, there are political and logistical considerations (e.g., availability, insurance, ethics considerations, rushing and overbooking appointments, and more) in each profession that can limit that professional’s attention to your optimal performance goals. Each profession has special interests to keep the profession viable and highly respected in a professional and economic sense. General medicine and Internal Medicine specialists, for example, are primarily concerned with detecting illness that you would not recognize, preventing illness, treating the multi-system human body, and also may be more concerned with social issues (such as gun control, drug abuse, world hunger, third world health care, banning boxing, etc.). Orthopedic specialists, for example, are more concerned with detecting orthopedic conditions that might lead to injury in a specific sport. They are also highly concerned with the decision of whether surgery is necessary after an injury; and if surgery is necessary, providing the best possible procedure and outcome. They understandably want to focus all energy on the procedure and immediate outcome, and often delegate rehabilitation and return-to-play responsibilities to physical therapists, athletic trainers and personal trainers.
Sports Medicine: Medical, Health Care, Fitness Provider List
General Practice: General Practioner, Family Doctor or Practitioner, Pediatrician, Internist
Coach: Head Coach, Specialty Coach, Position Coach, Specialty Instructor
Non-Medical Support — Family & Friends
Family members and friends are a big part of your life. Overhauling an out-of-shape body or striving to excel as an elite athlete can involve some of the most difficult times and challenges in relationships. But the door is also open for fantastic relationships and experiences that will enhance the lives of all involved.
People who help you are likely to send news clippings or emails about your sport or training. The may inform you about safety or performance products, or techniques for your sport. They are always positive and clear that they believe in you and your abilities. If they criticize you, it is for instructional purposes and motivation to make you work harder, not to make you fail or cause you to lose faith in your own talent and abilities. Helpful members of your support team help you direct your energy toward achieving your goals.
There are really four types of people that have an impact on your sports life: (1) People that want to help you who understand and meet your needs; (2) people that want to help you, but don’t understand your requirements or have their own issues that interfere; and (3) people that do not have any interest in your success and (4) people who wish or intend to cause your failure by obstruction or by withholding useful information or by giving misinformation. There are people close to you who will interfere with your attempts to achieve your goals. Some individuals may act intentionally and maliciously or they just might act out carelessly, unaware they are interfering with you. These are often people close to you that you think you should be able to trust. Sometimes circumstances are temporary that cause conflicts and temporarily hurt relationships. But some people are hostile to the extent that you need to close them out of your support team. You need to be aware of the following roles people can play in your life and fix the negative aspects of these roles that people play. Be aware that these roles can cause outright harm to you or your material possessions. They can cause you injury or can cause you to waste valuable energy that takes away energy that should be directed toward achieving your goals.
Here is a list of interference categories of behavior:
Blockers — are very selfish people who basically believe if you are getting something, they are not getting something. Blocking your success or access to things or information comes from their own insecurity or their belief that success is a limited resource in life. They won’t tell you things that you need to know. They often need to be in between you and another friend, teammate or family member so they can attempt to control communication between you and that other person.
Haters — cringe at another person’s success. They have no pride about expressing negative thoughts about you and are obvious that they don’t like your success. They are likely to tell others about their dislike of you or find reasons why it was so easy for you to succeed or explain how you cheated or to some shortcut to achieve your success. They are likely to say things like “you don’t have a life” to make you feel like you are missing out on finer things in life with all of your practice and energy spent on your sport.
Users — may act like they are your best friend, but they want something from you and they don’t care how they get it. They may lie to you, compliment you or just want to be seen with you.
Contrarians — are people who think being the opposite of the general thinking population somehow defines them as being creative geniuses. Anything an authority figure (such as a coach or physician) says will cause them to come up with an alternative method or choice. Often their contrary opinions are in response to your own methods for success that you discuss with them. You can identify these people because their advice will be contrary 7 to 10 times out of 10. You will also a notice a few instances that recommendation
s are just outright ridiculous or hypocritical.
Fakers — misrepresent what they know or who they are. A coach could tell you that your participation in his baseball league will get you a scholarship, even though he has no proof that is true. Fellow teammates may lie about their abilities and personal records. It is very important to understand the difference between lying … and striving to be something that you want to become.
Fear Mongers — are the voice that says you CAN’T do things. You need to be positive, but the fear monger feels better when more people are afraid with them or afraid of the information that they disperse. It gives the fear monger power — or so they think — when they can instill fear in others. ‘Worry’ is the same as praying that bad things will happen.
Need Attention —
Drama Role Players (Drama Queens and Drama Kings) — turn no problem situations into problems and small problems into big problems. The drama role player makes a big deal out of nothing, often to draw attention to their ‘predicament’. Drama is often a form of manipulation and often involves emotional blackmail, gossip, betrayal and conflict. If you don’t help with their conflict, you are accused of not caring and are the object of anger and complaints. Those that play out the drama role don’t have the capacity to find win-win situations and often lack empathy for your own struggles in life. They lack communication skills or are too insecure to actually work with you to work on a solution together. The adrenaline rush and the passion of the conflict becomes more important than resolution of the problem — sometimes to the point of addiction. Often there are three role players in drama situations: a persecutor, a victim and a ‘rescuer.’ Often drama role players can only entrust themselves to the concept of one friend (‘rescuer’) at a time. In the eyes of the drama role player, you can be the best one day, while another mutual friend is ostracized. The next day, the outcome might be reversed. Interaction with a drama role player causes huge losses of energy directed toward your goals, because much of your energy is spent trying to understand and resolve the drama created by the drama role player. That time and energy is better spent working on the goals for your training, conditioning and competition.
Codependency — is a set of maladaptive, compulsive behaviors learned by family members or friends in order to survive in a family, group or gang which is involved in emotional pain and stress caused by addictions and external strife, such as alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual or emotional abuse, physical trauma, chronic illness, poverty, crime or severe job stress. Codependent people have a greater tendency to enter into relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable or needy. A codependent person goes through the motions to control a relationship without directly identifying and addressing his or her own needs and desires — and without identifying the methods of achieving resolution to problems faced. The person in the helpful role of a codependent relationship is known as an enabler. There is a fine line between helping someone overcome a problem or addiction, and helping someone just to be involved in an abnormal relationship for the sake of keeping the relationship ‘secure.’
Remember: Don’t get any on you.