Many professional athletes are supported by a "team" of professionals to help with athletic performance. Some are seen regularly and others are available as needed.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could expect a massage every time you finished a race or have a doctor or physical therapist on speed dial to squeeze you in anytime you experience a niggle?
While it may sound too good to be true, I do believe that every individual who is training for an athletic event, whether it be a long or short, should have a team of professionals to assist in the training journey. Although you may question the money that you would need to spend on these professionals and then claim that your sport is only your hobby, consider it an investment to your overall enjoyment in your sport as you also take care of your health. It's far too common that athletes will experience an issue, whether it's gear, health or training related and then frantically search for an expert to be of help or struggle to know who to reach out to for guidance. Without a trusted go-to professional, you may find yourself asking around and looking for a quick or cheap fix (which may cause more harm than good). Additionally, you may need to try out different professionals, like the right bike mechanic or massage therapist, to find someone who meets your expectations and needs. While it isn't necessary that you see your squad members every day, it is important to have trusted, qualified and experienced resources to assist in your athletic journey.
A professional is there to help you solve a problem or to prevent a problem from occurring. Instead of hoping that you can figure out what's going on or searching on the internet or online forums for answers, there's someone out there who has knowledge and experience in a specialty area and wants to help you solve or prevent your issue.
In your athletic journey, there will be problems, obstacles and setbacks - some preventable and some unavoidable. It's ok that you don't have all the answers as to why, what and how something happened so it's recommended to know someone who can help you with your questions.
For athletes, here are my top picks for your squad of professionals:
- Sport dietitian
- Sport doctor
- Physical therapist
- Massage therapist
- Sport psychologist
And a few go-to resources (depending on your sport):
- Swim/bike/run skills expert
- Bike fitter
- Bike mechanic
- Gait analysis expert
- Tri/bike/run store
- Trusted website/blog
- Personal trainer/sport and conditioning coach
- Travel agent