Elite athletes know that succeeding in their sport requires more than just physical prowess; it requires a balance between their sporting commitments and their personal lives. At the heart of this balance lies the Athlete Performance Lifestyle Advisor. This role, while different from sports psychology, plays an integral part in the holistic development of athletes.
Table of Contents
What is an Athlete Performance Lifestyle Advisor?
An Athlete Performance Lifestyle Advisor is a dedicated professional trained to assist athletes in achieving equilibrium between their sporting and personal lives. Throughout the competitive season, they work closely with athletes, offering one-on-one coaching to help them make informed decisions, optimize their lifestyles, and navigate various transitions in their sporting careers.
This role emerged out of the recognition that an athlete’s personal, emotional, and career development outside of their sport is crucial for sustained success within it. Drawing from UK Sports Institute, the primary aim of this advisor is to empower athletes to make informed decisions, achieve a balanced lifestyle, and handle transitions in their sporting careers.
The relationship between the advisor and the athlete typically spans the competitive season, with one-to-one sessions aimed at coaching athletes to identify choices, make effective decisions, and work towards desired outcomes.
The Four Pillars of Being n Athlete Performance Lifestyle Advisor
1. Transition Support:
One of the key areas an athlete performance lifestyle advisor supports with is transition support. By provide tools and strategies for athletes transitioning between different phases in their sporting journey, be it moving ranks, changing teams, or even contemplating retirement. Transitioning in and out of high-performance environments can be challenging for athletes. Whether it’s moving from junior to senior ranks, changing teams, or even retiring from the sport, these shifts can be both mentally and emotionally taxing. An Athlete Performance Lifestyle Advisor provides athletes with the tools and support needed to navigate these transitions smoothly, ensuring they are well-prepared for the next phase of their journey.
2. Wellbeing Support:
Focusing on the athlete’s overall wellbeing, the advisor ensures they are equipped with coping mechanisms and strategies to handle the unique stresses of their profession. Athlete wellbeing is paramount. The rigours of competition, the expectations, and the highs and lows of performance can impact an athlete’s mental health. A Performance Lifestyle Advisor focuses on the holistic wellbeing of the athlete, ensuring they have coping mechanisms, support structures, and strategies to manage stress, anxiety, and other challenges that come with being in the limelight.
3. Career Support:
Advisors assist athletes in planning for life post-sport, ensuring they have viable career paths awaiting them after their athletic careers conclude. Sporting careers, even for the most successful athletes, have a shelf life. It’s essential for athletes to think about life after sport. Performance Lifestyle Advisors guide athletes in exploring and planning for alternative careers, ensuring they have a path to tread once their playing days are over.
Additionally many athletes in the performance pathways (particularly in olympic sport) tend to have dual careers, that is they are often amateur and need to pursue a second career or they are students in the collegiate / university system. Performance lifestyle advisors are often employed by the sport national governing body or by an educational institution at a delivery site. The performance lifestyle advisor will spend time helping the athlete to plan for the future, identify the options available for them, sometimes navigating any adjustment in priorities that can shift throughout the competitive / academic or working calendar.
4. Personal Development:
Beyond sport, athletes are encouraged to evolve and grow in various areas, ranging from communication skills to educational pursuits. While the athlete might be a star on the field, it’s essential they continue to grow and evolve off of it. Personal development can range from improving communication skills to pursuing educational opportunities or even exploring hobbies outside of sport. Advisors aid athletes in identifying areas of growth and charting a course to achieve personal goals.
You can find performance lifestyle services on offer from our verified practitioners here.
Getting More With Workshops and Further Learning
In addition to one-on-one sessions, Performance Lifestyle Advisors also facilitate workshops. These are often hosted at institutions like the UKSI, TASS, or other performance programs.
These workshops can be tailored to address specific issues related to a particular sport or more general topics that athletes across disciplines might face. For instance, a workshop might address how to prepare for travel and manage jet lag – crucial for international athletes. Another might delve into recovery strategies after intense competition or how to balance the demands of sport with a fulfilling personal life.
Differentiating Performance Lifestyle from Psychology
While there are overlaps, it’s vital to distinguish between Athlete Performance Lifestyle Advisor and a Sports Psychologist. Sports psychology delves deep into an athlete’s mindset, focusing on cognitive functions, emotional regulation, and behavioural patterns affecting performance. On the other hand, Performance Lifestyle concentrates on the broader life aspects surrounding an athlete and make some of the broader less specific skills needed more accessible.
However, they work in tandem. Performance Lifestyle Advisors often collaborate with or refer athletes to other specialised services, such as psychology, mental health support, and nutrition. This collaborative approach ensures the athlete gets comprehensive support. Advisors may also facilitate communication between athletes, multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs), parents, or partners, bridging any gaps or misunderstandings.
The Benefits of Engaging a Performance Lifestyle Advisor
Athletes who partner with a Performance Lifestyle Advisor often find enhanced clarity and focus, both in their sporting disciplines and personal lives. This partnership:
- Fosters a balanced lifestyle conducive to peak performance.
- Provides support during crucial career transitions.
- Empowers athletes to make informed decisions off the field.
- Helps in personal growth and broadens horizons beyond sport.
The Athlete Performance Lifestyle Advisor’s role, while distinct from psychology, is vital in the comprehensive support system for modern elite athletes. With their guidance, athletes can excel in their chosen sport while maintaining a well-rounded, fulfilling personal life.
Check out our verified performance lifestyle advisors here