Training Your Inner Olympian

Training Your Inner Olympian

By: Dr. Esther Kim, PT, DPT

As we looked in amazement at the skill, endurance, power, and drive of the Olympic athletes, we -mere mortals- wonder what kind of training they undergo. And what it takes to become an Olympian.


In order to achieve the pinnacle of success, Olympians surround themselves with a team of highly skilled staff that maximize the performance of each individual. From dieticians and coaches to physical therapists and physicians, each of these team members has a critical role in ensuring that the Olympian is at their best by providing top quality care and collaborating with other team members. Several physical therapists treating Olympians were recently interviewed by the American Physical Therapy Association and had some great ideas that each of us can implement in our daily lives to find our inner Olympian.


Each physical therapist had a different idea of what they thought was the most important. Jeremy Crow, PT, DPT emphasized the importance of mental preparedness and perseverance. Additionally, he stated that learning a variety of skills better prepared him for the unexpected.1 When thinking of mental toughness, we think of athletes. They have the WILL to win! The mind is a very powerful tool and if not used properly it can handicap us by instilling doubt, anxiety, and loss of hope regardless of whether we are Olympic athletes running for gold or a new grad student looking for their first job! Therefore, to trump those negative thoughts, we can prepare for various situations to better prepare us for those unexpected events.


Terry Robinson, PT, ATC stated that working with Olympic athletes taught him not only to flexible in stressful environments, but also to think outside the box.1 Just like there is no cookie cutter treatment plan for a patient, there are no cookie cutter plans for life. We have to be versatile and quick on our feet to survive the madness we call life.


James Escaloni PT, DPT understands the sacrifices of his athletes to be able to perform at the top level but considers the overall health outlook.1 Regardless of the task that engulfs our time, it is important to step back and assess the overall health outlook. How is this “thing” affecting my overall health mind, body, and soul?


Although all therapists had some good thoughts on what mattered most, one theme recurs among all the therapists’ interviewed which was the importance of collaborating with all individuals and team members.1 Whether it be friends, family, neighbors, etc., having a team who knows YOU and your goals will help you achieve them.


Luckily, if your goal happens to be physical in nature, the friendly physical therapists at Body Gears Physical Therapy adopts these same concepts to each of our patients. We want to be a part of your team of experts to help you maximize your performance and achieve all of your goals. From increasing your range of motion and decreasing pain during movements, to treating headaches or getting you to that next fitness level. So come find your inner Olympian at Body Gears Physical Therapy.



1.       Simkins J. Treating Olympic Athletes: A Golden Opportunity. PTinMotion. Published August 2016. Accessed August 11, 2016.