Seeking outside help – and why you should do so

As physiotherapists, we see many sport and training injuries. Sometimes they are simple, such as a sprained ankle. Sometimes they are more complicated, such as a recurring shoulder issue with a swimmer.

Now, depending on the sport, many individuals will have a coach. Kids playing soccer – coach is there. Tennis? Coach is there. This is great, as hopefully these coaches are experienced and have an eye for technical faults, and how to improve them, as well as a reasonable knowledge of how to properly prepare their athletes for the rigours of their sport.

Often, however, we get individuals presenting to the clinic who have no coach or who have sought no technical guidance. Some examples might be a runner who trains alone, or a retired golfer who has being playing most of their adult life. This has always been a little bit of a mystery to me.

When I do my taxes, I seek professional help. Why? Because they are complex enough that I would do them wrong, and get a hefty smack from the ATO. So for a once a year occurrence, I will happily pay someone who knows what they are doing to help me avoid a penalty (and hopefully get a few dollars back!).

So I wonder, why do people not elect to seek out professional guidance for an activity they do multiple times per week? Many people take their training / sport of choice very seriously, and dedicate a significant number of hours to their ‘craft’. A session with a running coach once a month would make an astronomical difference to your training, and your injury risk. Ditto for a golf swing coach, or a strength coach, or a swimming coach.

I’m not saying this will prevent any and all injuries – that would be absurd. However, it will help you identify many issues before they have a chance to injure you and take valuable time away from what you want to be doing – being active!