Confidence Versus Competence: Skills to Last A Lifetime
Confidence is key! At least that’s what I was told when I was a kid playing soccer and it’s what is continuously preached in the sporting world today. While confidence does make a significant impact on sports performance, competence is something that is greatly overlooked and has a direct impact on an athlete's confidence both on and off the field. Similarly, when an athlete becomes competent in a sport, they can also gain confidence on the field. So if the two go hand in hand, how can we help our athletes be better at both?
To be competent in a sport means the athlete acquires the skills, knowledge, strength, and judgment required to be successful at that particular sport. For example, a competent soccer player has a deeper understanding of the sport and can demonstrate adequate skills that are essential to being a successful athlete such as: dribbling, passing, shooting, and spatial awareness. Likewise, different drills such as: wall drills, box drops, ladders, hurdles, and cone drills will help develop sprinting mechanics, spatial awareness, speed, footwork, and change of direction. All the necessary skills in order to be successful at any given sport, not just exclusively soccer. In addition, when an athlete acquires adequate competency in their respective sport, it will also have a direct impact on their confidence on the field.
Confidence is something that requires time and effort for a lot of athletes. When it comes to sport psychology, confidence is a very misunderstood aspect of sports. As a coach, I hear parents say all of the time, “she/he played well, but they lacked confidence on the field and didn’t play to their full potential.” When I ask my athletes, especially the younger ones, why they aren’t confident in themselves they tell me that they are afraid to make mistakes, thus they hold back. Mistakes are essential in the development of athletes as they are the foundation for growth, however, mistakes also come at the cost of confidence. It’s a system of constant checks and balances that require effort both on and off the field. In addition, parents play a vital role in helping their children find their confidence by gracefully welcoming mistakes and using them as teaching moments. Mistakes should be seen as an opportunity to improve competence. For example, when mistakes are made and situations become familiar, athletes will start to make better and quicker decisions comfortably.
Furthermore, coaches have a very important role to play when it comes to developing an athlete's competence and confidence. It is our job to bridge the gap between the two. When a child learns how to do new and challenging things, it causes a shift in their mindset, and reminds them that they can do hard things and can do them well with a little practice and patience. Acquiring new skills in the gym has a direct impact on the mindset for an athlete in sports. For example, when introducing a box jump for the first time to a younger athlete, they look at me with fear. After we talk about the importance and execution (competency) of the box jump, I remind them that fear in new things is okay and even good, but we have to push beyond our comfort zones in order to move forward. It is for this reason that getting a child into a gym is pivotal to their growth and development both on and off the field.
Competency and confidence go hand in hand. Therefore, training both is important in bridging the gap between the two to help develop better and more well rounded athletes. Not only do these skills impact an athlete's respective sports, they are vital qualities to have as a child grows and goes through life. In addition, both parents and coaches play important roles in helping children navigate through different circumstances by welcoming mistakes, pushing comfort zones, trying new things, and training current skills and abilities. These things will help develop both competency and confidence that will last a child through their sporting days and their lifetime.
Dr. Jessica Robinson, PT, DPT
Yay, you’re having a baby! While this time will come with many changes, your exercise routine doesn’t have to be one of them. The days of doctors telling you to sit back, relax, and avoid exercise during pregnancy are a thing of the past (unless under certain conditions, i.e. being placed on bed rest). These days exercise is encouraged for women who are going through an uncomplicated pregnancy as it has been shown to have many benefits. These include helping to reduce common pregnancy complaints such as back pain, boosting energy level/reducing fatigue, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related high blood pressure, and it may even help reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Regular exercise can also help prepare you for the labor and birthing process by increasing muscle strength and stamina.
It is always important to listen to your body while exercising. Things you may have been able to do prior to pregnancy and in the first trimester may be very different from what you are able to do and feel comfortable doing in the second and third trimesters. Safety and comfort are always key, and you should err on the side of caution if ever questioning whether to keep doing an exercise or activity. You should also avoid activities that may result in a fall or traumatic injury. Asking yourself the question “should I?” rather than “can I?” can set you on the right path when choosing exercise activities or considering modifications to ensure a safe and efficient pregnancy and postpartum recovery. Every person and every pregnancy is different, and you should always consult your healthcare provider regarding your exercise routine during pregnancy.
As you progress through your pregnancy, you may find certain moves or exercises become more challenging or just don’t feel good. For the rest of this blog, we will talk about ways to modify general exercises and common CrossFit moves. It is important to maintain good communication with your coaches to let them know how you’re feeling on a day to day basis. They are also great advocates and can help with appropriate modifications as needed.
When making modifications to a CrossFit or general exercise routine, keep in mid these suggestions. Change the reps and/or weight: avoid overdoing it and creating excessive fatigue as well as lowering reps/weight with more of a focus on form and safety. Change the intensity: again, avoid creating excessive fatigue and go for quality over quantity to ensure proper breathing and muscle control. Change the exercise: substitute for a different exercise that is safe and more comfortable. Below are some examples of common exercises and modifications that can be made.
With barbell movements, you may need to modify the bar path starting in the second trimester. However, if this starts to compromise for or safety, opt for making it a two-handed movement instead by using kettlebells or dumbbells. Other modifications for barbell movements can include starting in the hang position and ending in the power position if you experience pain, pressure, or discomfort with full squatting. The Valsalva maneuver (holding your breath during heavy lifting) should also be avoided to prevent excessive pressure on the abdomen and pelvic floor as well as the risk of elevating blood pressure. Instead, use the “blow as you go” technique: inhale during the descent of a lift, and exhale as you rise.
Exercising and CrossFit during pregnancy can be completely safe with the appropriate pacing, progressions, and modifications. Remember to stay hydrated and replace fluids lost during exercise. Modifications are not something to be looked down on or discouraged, and not every workout will feel great or perfect. That’s okay! Always remember to give yourself lots of grace during this time. You’ve got this, momma!
Prioritizing our health now
Performance Coach Amy Nguyen, CF- L2, USAW L1
B.S. Foods & Nutrition, M.S. Exercise Physiology & Nutritional Sciences
Regular physical activity has been shown to help prevent and manage diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. Also aiding in prevention of hypertension, maintenance of healthy body weight and improving mental health, quality of life and well-being.
The American College of Sports Medicine and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for physical activity state that adults aged 18–65 yr should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 min on five days per week, or vigorous intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 min on three days per week and every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of two days per week. According to data from the CDC the percentage of adults (18+) that met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity was only 23.2% (2018 National Health Survey). People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active. Furthermore, over 80% of the world's adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.
Benefits of physical activity include; improvement of muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, bone and functional health; reduced risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer); depression; reduce the risk of falls as well as hip or vertebral fractures; and helps with maintaining a healthy body weight. In children and adolescents physical activity has been shown to improve physical fitness (cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness); cardiometabolic health (blood pressure, dyslipidemia, glucose, and insulin resistance); bone health; cognitive outcomes (academic performance, executive function); mental health (reduced symptoms of depression); and reduced adiposity.
You may be wondering what is considered physical activity? The World Health Organization defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity refers to all movement. This can include activities we do for leisure like walking your dog, walking to class, taking the stairs, mowing the lawn, and even cleaning your house. Because of our modern day lives with technology and obligations like work or school, we are much more sedentary than we should be. Not having enough opportunities to move and be active throughout the day, many rely on exercise to get physically active. Exercise is a type of physical activity, but not every physical activity is exercise. Exercise is a planned, structured, and repetitive activity for the purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness.
Starting an exercise routine can be challenging and we can face many obstacles in getting started and building consistency. Some of the barriers many face are lack of time, lack of motivation, lack of energy, lack of support, fear of injury or lack of skill. And these can all seem daunting when first starting!
Here are a few tips when trying to get that journey started.
Lack of time, lack of energy
Rearrange your current routine. Take an honest assessment of your day and see how you can play with your schedule and time. Focus on one small step first and see if you can fit step number one in, whether that’s going to the gym during lunch three times a week instead of going out to lunch, waking up twenty minutes earlier each day to go for that walk with your dog, or winding down an hour earlier at night for better rest and your overall well-being. Try to put all the excuses to the side and be open to redesigning the day and really give it a chance. Let it settle in for a few weeks before judging it and do not judge yourself. Find a way to fit in the enhancements for a better routine, for you, your happiness and health.
Lack of motivation, lack of support, fear of injury or lack of skill
Joining a gym or fitness facility with qualified instructors is a great start! We at Olympus have a community of athletes and members who support, motivate, and keep one another accountable. Our qualified instructors ensure proper movement, progression and growth for each individual.
Find your step one, work on building consistency a step at a time. Give yourself grace and remember that physical activity and exercise are empowering. Our bodies are amazing beautiful things. It's amazing what we can accomplish with them, at the same point it is important to prioritize taking care of it!
Annemarie Alf, PT, DPT, CSCS
Owner/ Founder/ Doctor of Physical Therapy Olympus Movement Performance
I wrote/ shared a blog on this topic about 4 years ago.
The question has come up time and time again recently – why don’t you accept my ‘health’ insurance?
This is WHY?
Have you ever been to ‘traditional’ Physical Therapy and felt like you’re just a number, and NOT a person OR like it didn't really work, this post is for you.
There IS a better way!
I would say that the majority of new clients that we’ve seen, tried the typical PT office and have not gotten any or minimal results.
We want to educate you as much as possible on why you should consider paying out of pocket next time you need Physical Therapy.
Like most Physical Therapists, I began my career working in a traditional clinic and quickly realized that healthcare in this country is very broken. Therapists are tied down by the rigid rules of insurance companies, poor reimbursements, and unable to use their knowledge and skills they have to truly help every patient that comes through the door the way they want to.
WHAT IS CASH BASED PT?
This means that your physical therapists do not accept insurance (in- network) and they work solely on a private pay basis.
And guess what-- it's not as expensive as you think, and it's important that you know why it's worth every penny!
Yes, you are paying out of pocket, but you are getting a high quality, personalized one- one experience in return.
In many cases cash-based PT can and does cost even less that using your insurance.
Most of us usually don't think twice about going out to buy nice workout clothes, healthy food, or other self- care treatments, BUT when it comes to paying out of pocket for better healthcare, we suddenly question it.
Remember-- your health is worth it and is the best investment you can make.
It's time to change the conversation around cash-based PT, because the reality is that it is a very affordable and effective way to get you back to doing all the things
So here are my top 10 reasons why cash based Physical Therapy might be for you:
1. More one-on-one time with your therapist.
This is 100%, without a doubt, the most important piece to me (and most of my patients as well)! When you are not worried about billing insurance companies and being reimbursed for your time, you suddenly have much more of it to give to your patients. There are typically no aides or trainers involved in your session, it is all time spent with your Doctor of Physical Therapy. Most DPT's went into this business because they love working with and helping people. This therapy approach really allows us to get back to the reason we became DPT's in the first place- and you reap the benefits!
2. More personalized attention.
When you are working one-on-one with your Doctor of Physical Therapy, I can assure you the care you are getting is far more personalized than it would be otherwise. Your therapist won't be running back and forth between patients, the focus is 100% on you. This allows us to really assess each of your movements and adjust based on what is happening during each exercise. The result is a completely individualized treatment plan to correct your specific muscle imbalances and help you get better faster!
3. Builds a strong patient-provider relationship.
Now, I know this one may sound a bit redundant but it sure is important. When you are being treated in a cash-based PT setting you build a strong relationship with your therapist. You are probably going to be spending a lot of quality time together and end up feeling more like friends in the end. Trusting your therapist has a huge impact on your healing and having the opportunity to get to know each other one-on-one really allows for a deeper sense of trust to develop. All of our patients have my cell phone number and know I am always "on call" and they reach out whenever they need me. Most cash-based PT's I know do exactly the same for their clients/ athletes too .
4. Yes, It may actually save you money in the long run.
Quality over quantity is an important concept here. More one-on-one time with your DPT means we don't need to see you as often. On average, we only see our patients 1x/wk but it is for a full hour. Sometimes we need 4 visits, sometimes its more. Either way, it gives you plenty of time between sessions to work on your home/ gym program and start to see some results. More importantly, it empowers you to put in the work which = getting better, FASTER. With a less frequent PT schedule, this often works out to be much less than using your insurance.
Take this scenario for instance: a patient with a high copay of $60 per visit who needs to go to PT 2-3x/wk for 8 weeks will spend close to $1000 over the course of their care. During their visits, they are likely only spending ~20 minutes of actual one-on-one time with their DPT. That's a lot of money and time for little reward.
If that patient instead chooses a cash-based PT practice that charges $150/visit and needs only 6 visits, you are looking at $900. The math is a no-brainer!!
5. More freedom to address multiple issues at the same time.
While it is extremely unfair, insurance companies strongly dictate if you get better or not based on what they will approve. Did you know that under insurance DPT's can only bill for treating one body part at a time? That means that you would need 2 separate evals and visits each week to be able to bill your insurance for your knee and your shoulder problem. In some cases, your DPT may be able to justify it. They just better be prepared for a lot of extra paperwork, which really means less time for personalized patient care. Crazy right!? In the case of cash-based PT-- not an issue! We can treat whatever issues you are having without you needing to worry about it being denied by your insurance. Again, the outcome is you getting better faster because you are getting the care your DPT knows you need.
6. More freedom to explore the root cause of the problem.
With longer one-on-one appointments and not worrying about insurance approvals, your DPT can perform a thorough assessment of strengths, weaknesses, imbalances and how you move. This means we have a full picture of what is going on. It may be your hip that is pinching, but WHY!? Maybe you don't have a strong core or your upper back mobility is limited. So we work on all of these areas and make sure to address the reason it happened in the first place. This results in you living pain free and preventing issues from returning in the future. No trying to explain this to an insurance company just to get denied.
7. Many insurance companies reimburse for out-of-network PT.
Depending on your out-of-network benefits, your insurance company may actually reimburse you for your visits! Just make sure you get a superbill from your DPT that you can submit to your insurance company.
At Olympus Movement, we always provide my patients with a superbill on request.
In addition, you also always have the option of using your HSA/ FSA cards as well.
8. More flexible scheduling means getting more of your time back.
It is no secret that time is our most precious commodity, and we can’t get it back. Only needing to see your DPT once a week gives you more time back to do whatever you love!
At Olympus Movement, we try to give you back even more of your time by getting you back to the field, gym, or activities that you love.
The last 2 are my favorite...
9. Empowering you to help heal yourself.
A good Doctor of Physical Therapy will not "heal you" they will teach you to help heal yourself. Physical Therapists do not want you to use us as a crutch, we want you to take your health and wellness into your own hands. You have the power to help heal yourself, we just give you the guidance you need to get there. By choosing cash based PT, you have already taken a huge step towards empowering yourself, because you have made the commitment to invest in your health. The truth is, patients who pay out of pocket are far more committed to their treatment plan because they have paid their hard earned money for it.
10. Your health is worth any amount and is the BEST investment you could ever make.
It is simple, you only get one body and one chance-- take care of it!!
All of this really comes back to one main point.
Cash based Physical Therapy has the ability to provide you with the highest quality of care. Aren't we all looking for a better experience with health care these days? I can promise you that high quality, affordable care still exists and your insurance company does not have to be the barrier.
For me, 10 years later, I could not be happier with the choice that I made to leave traditional clinic life behind. As with most DPT's who switch to a cash based model, my intentions have always been to put our patients first and give them the care they deserve. I can now say with certainty that we are able to provide them with a better patient experience than they would get anywhere else.
If you are considering cash based Physical Therapy for yourself, start with a simple Google search for DPT's who may provide this in your area. I highly suggest taking advantage of a phone or in-person consultation so you can get a better feel for if this is the right way to go. In the end, its all about fulfilling your individual needs. Stay informed, do your homework and know that there are still so many health care providers out there who truly care about helping you live your best life!
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Author: Annemarie Alf
"We Specialize In Optimizing Teen And Active Adult Lives In North County San Diego By Addressing The WHOLE Person. We offer A Holistic, Integrative Approach To Performance And Wellness That Will Assess And Address The Root Causes That Lead To Pain, Hormonal Imbalances, Fatigue, Weight Gain And/ Or Decreased Performance."