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Pearls of Performance
26 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Patrick Owen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within Deakin University’s Musculoskeletal Pain Research Group and Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition. His research focuses on musculoskeletal health, particularly in back pain and biostatistics. Next, he is also a Statistical Consultant at Brigham Young University (USA) and Associate Editor at BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine. In that latter capacity, I have had the honours to work with Patrick and pick his brain on occasions; lucky me. In our talk, we went into the value of having a mentor. Further, Patrick talks about his view on rejections in academic science, and he shares with us his thought on how to develop yourself. But first, to break the ice and get to know Patrick better, I asked him what would be his first song on the mixtape of his life. A favourite for many, a hated song by equally many … Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Talking with Patrick is always a joy. I have occasional meet-ups with him, and we talk about anything our minds get to at that moment. He always seems to ask the questions I need at that time, and I hope this episode did so for you as well. I might say - sticking to the mentorship topic - Patrick is a mentor for me. I don’t think mentors always have to be more experienced than you are. Then again, Patrick may be so in areas I am not, which makes our relationship valuable to me. In the next episode, I will introduce you to Blair Hamilton. She is the lead investigator of the Tavistock Transgender Athlete Study at the University of Brighton and is an established soccer goalie.
25 minutes | Jan 9, 2022
Michael Giakoumis is a consultant on hip and groin and lower limb muscle injuries, working at the Centre for Health and Human Performance in, London, and is also a lecturer and tutor on muscle injuries. He has recently transitioned to the role of head of medical services and lead physiotherapist to the British Athletics futures program. Michael’s previous experiences have involved working within football, Australian rules football and basketball. A rich bag of experiences across different contexts I’d say. Straight off the bat, we reflect on the lessons that are hidden in the obstacles we face. We talk about the importance of staying open to new lessons throughout one’s career. And, we reflect on the abilities needed to root in different contexts, as well as how true leaders have exactly this adaptability as a key skill. To break the ice and to get to know Michael better, I asked him what would be his first song on the mixtape of his life. An all-time favourite … Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrel. I enjoyed this interview a lot. Michael is a very balanced and thoughtful person. At least, that is how he appeared to me during our conversation. That made me question: "Am I in general empathic, considerate and able to adapt?" I must confess that I don’t think I am. I mean I wish to be, and out of that I believe to be, but honestly?! I think this falls back to a question I asked Michael on how to balance your true self against what is needed from you in that context at that time. Adaptability was key in his answer, and I have not mastered that yet. For that is one of the many mountains I have to climb. In the next episode, you will get to know Patrick Owen. He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within Deakin University’s Musculoskeletal Pain Research Group. Every time I talk with Patrick, his words keep me thinking for a few days more .. so prepare yourself.
36 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
Stephanie Weyrauch is a physical therapist working at Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers in Orange, Connecticut. She has served on multiple national task forces for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She actively lobbies for healthcare policy issues at the local, state, and national levels of government. Currently, she serves as Vice President of the American Physical Therapy Association Connecticut Chapter and is a member of the American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine. Stephanie is also the co-host for The Healthcare Education Transformation Podcast, which focuses on healthcare education and delivery innovations. So strap yourself in for a thought heavy talk on leadership and personal development. We dive into the reasons why to stay true to yourself, she explains the concept of strength finders, I asked her about the differences between leading a patient through rehabilitation and leading a team, and we ended up digging into the risks of being in a position that does not energise you. To break the ice and get to know Stephanie better, I asked her what would be her first song on the mixtape of his life. One of my personal favourites … Shake it Off by Taylor Swift. Stephanie has a strong personality. I feel determination when I talk with her, in a good way, that is. She has a personal mission and vision of who she wants to be and how, and she sticks to that - as much as possible. That made me think I inherently have a personal vision, but I never reflected properly in all honesty. What do I want, why and how? Surely the answers to these questions are not set in stone and will reflect your development, which is affected by the friends, fiends, and mentors you meet along your personal path. And in that path, as very well worded by Stephanie, you have to be humble and be a model. Others look up at you as you look up to others. Be open and stay curious, and you can pick up a thing or two from everyone around you.
28 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
Adam Mattiusi is a strength and conditioning coach working with The Royal Ballet in London. Adam followed a Bachelor in Strength and Conditioning Science, followed by a Master in Sports Rehabilitation. Currently, he is completing his PhD, investigating injury, strength, and jumping in professional ballet dancers. Adam has gained accreditation with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. He has a - what some might consider - an unusual background and mix of skills for his position at the Royal Ballet, and he shared with me his challenges in dealing with this at the job. We talked about the value to reflect on your less obvious behaviours, and how he does so from a positive mindset. To top it up, Adam shares a little of his Strength and Conditioning magic. To break the ice and to get to know him better, I asked him what would be his first song on the mixtape of his life. Intro by the XX. For me, Adam, is like the type of professional I look up to. The model of a balanced, calm, thoughtful, powerful even, the person I would like to be. I would almost say that I am jealous of the dancers that get to work with him. I know now, however, that he also has doubts, limitations and hesitations, and how he needs to work hard on a daily basis to be his best as an individual and professional. For me, this is a clear recognition that no one is perfect even though they might appear near so. And, as an important take-home message lying grumpy on the couch after a day of work serves a very important purpose.
29 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
Jose Marques is a Sports and Exercise Medicine physician based in Lisbon, Portugal. He is working at the Portuguese Football Federation as the team physician of the youth male teams. He is the Portuguese College of Sports Medicine president and the first registered specialist in this field in Portugal. With Jose, I talked about his challenges in building a profession from the ground up, we talked about his drive, and the need to have a passion for pushing forward. To break the ice and get to know Jose better, I asked him what would be his first song on the mixtape of his life. Redemption Song, the version by Johnny Cash. I have great respect for the risk Jose took to follow his dream. He may not have known what he was getting into. Still, he is definitely building a strong foundation that helps future sports and exercise medicine specialists follow their passion and dream. With his broad interest in sports and his will not be a single specialist, this will surely succeed. I especially liked his analogy of driving a car, which - for me - signifies the freedom and responsibility we all have to build our profession.
23 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
Linda Truong is a Canadian physiotherapist with over ten years of experience in sports rehabilitation and a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. She has a strong desire to discover innovative ways to deliver clinical care leading her to develop an evidence-based group rehabilitation program for persons with traumatic knee injuries. With Linda, I talk about the balance between a clinical and an academic career, the weight of academics and specifically pursuing a PhD, and how self-confidence helps you break through this academic culture. To break the ice and get to know Linda better, I asked her what would be the first song on the mixtape of her life. Somebody to Love by Queen.This interview with Linda turned out to be all about balance. The balance between a clinical and academic viewpoint and career. The balance between being humble, but also embrace your self-confidence. A balance between hard work, passion and perseverance. Thinking about balance, out of my talk with Linda, I find myself often focusing on only one side of the scale and then I forget the complementary other side. Here lies a good exercise for myself, and I am sure I am not the only one who gets entangled like this at times.
28 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
In this episode, I get to introduce you to Matt Whalan. Matt is a physiotherapist, applied researcher, and sports scientist from Wollongong, Australia. He has been a partner at Figtree Physiotherapy for 16 years and has been involved in sports physiotherapy in many sports - including football, rugby league, triathlon, and dance medicine. A jack of many trades. With Matt, I talk about gratitude for the unique career chances we get in the Sports & Performance field, that is not completely necessary to have a mentor to succeed but rather to have the right people around you and the positivity he gets out of daily engagements. To break the ice and get to know Matt better, I asked him what would be the first song on the mixtape of his life. What a Wonderful World - not by Louis Armstrong, but a live cover by the band Elbow.If you do not walk away from this chat with a smile and a warm, happy feeling, I don’t know what does. Matt's view on life makes me realize that there is something positive in each day or engagement. Look at that half of the glass that is full. Yet, that is easier said than done at times. But a good lesson by Matt ... if you complain, you disrespect those that make sacrifices in their support for you.
29 minutes | Aug 19, 2021
In the original Pearls of Performance podcast, I hosted leaders in sports, health & performance. Now, to give a voice to a newer generation, I asked my previous guests to nominate future leaders. I am keen to learn about their choices, rocky paths and lessons learned. In this first episode, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Manuela Besomi. Manuela is a physiotherapist from Chili, experienced in the management and prevention of running-related injuries. She recently completed her PhD in Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland in Australia, where she still works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. With Manuela, I talked about the power of passion, perseverance, and turning bad experiences around. To break the ice and get to know Manuela better, I asked her what would be the first song on the mixtape of her life. Follow The Sun by Xavier Rudd. That was a wonderful start to this new series. I asked Manuela about her choices to pursue a PhD far away from her home country, and what followed was a compelling story on curiosity and following your dreams. She really breathes a positive vibe that she definitely transferred to me when we were talking. The lesson I walk with is that with the right mindset and motivation you can conquer most challenges that cross our paths.
30 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
This is the last episode of the first series of Pearls of Performance, and for this one, we turned the tables. I was interviewed by Caroline Bolling on my views on leadership in Sports, Health and Performance. It became a very personal story. Who am I? I am a human movement scientist and epidemiologist, and a full professor at the Department of Public and Occupational Health of the Amsterdam UMC and the Amsterdam Movement Science Research Institute. My research revolves around the prevention of sports and physical activity related injuries; including monitoring, cost-effectiveness and implementation issues.
22 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
In this near final episode I have the pleasure to introduce Craig Ranson. Craig is the Director of Athlete Health for the English Institute of Sport. He joined the Institute in 2017 from his posts of Director of the MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Physiotherapist with the Wales National Rugby Team. His previous posts include UK Athletics Chief Physiotherapist and National Lead Physiotherapist to the England and Wales Cricket Board. So a bag of leadership under his belt. With Craig we talk about the necessity to step away from being a specialist on the field, on how to prepare yourself - early on - to be good at any job, and the value of seeking conflict. As usual we start with an icebreaker quote, and Craig’s came from his grandfather: "It’s not a dress rehearsal".
31 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
In this episode, I had the pleasure to interview João Brito. João is an Exercise Physiologist working in the Portuguese Football Federation and a Portugal Football School researcher. He leads the Health and Performance Unit and works with the Portuguese National Team. In the next half hour, you will hear about his views on trust within a team, how you can build that trust and what feeling that creates. We also explore one of his core values, 'humbleness', which leads me to the ice-breaker quote, “Let’s keep things simple”.
28 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Get ready for my interview with Maria Constantinou. Maria is a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Australian Catholic University. She is a past Executive Board Member of the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy. Maria is an academic and a researcher with extensive teaching and clinical experience, having worked at several major games, including Summer and Winter Olympics. She has a passion for the international advancement of sports physiotherapy and has supported its growth in several developing countries. In our talk, we go into grasping opportunities, the value of persons you meet along the way, and the strength of having an internal drive. Before we knew, we talked about her passion for bringing evidence-based physiotherapy and clinical care to developing countries. We almost forgot about her defining quote, “You get more from giving than receiving”.
35 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
In this episode, my guest is Rita Tomás. She is a Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation physician based in Lisbon, Portugal, currently working at the Portuguese Football Federation as their Women’s National Team and Elite Referees doctor. Rita has an interest in female athletes in general and women’s football injuries in particular. You get a sense of her being a hard worker just by glancing at her incredible CV, and it is not for nothing that she believes any skill can be learned. As a team doctor, she has been challenged by COVID-19 and dealt with its challenges successfully by being a team doctor. Her leadership skills helped her manoeuvre, as well. She is a leader by example, and she explains how this works for her and. She has some good career advice to top it up, which leads me to the traditional ice breakers, an inspiring quote. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” by Tim Notke, a High School basketball coach.
24 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Grant Downey (part 2)
I am glad to note you returned for this second part of my talk with Grant Downey. If you missed the first episode, I suggest you also listen that one back later. There we discussed the significance of having (and living) your dreams, how pushing boundaries will make you and others grow, and the value and pitfalls of empathy for strong leadership. In this follow-up episode we continue where we left with the value and pitfalls of communication, on having overall objectives, and how to empower individuals.
26 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Grant Downey (part 1)
We are back with a fresh episode Pearls of Performance. A double episode that is as my guest, Grant Downey, has so many interesting stories to share. Grant has been a performance leader in elite sports for over 20 years particularly in football. He is a problem solver, critical friend & mentor to many sporting organisations, practitioners & leaders. He consults for the City Football Group, The Premier League, The Scottish Football Association and has held leadership positions for Manchester City FC, Middlesbrough FC & Rangers FC in both men & women’s football. A recognised national and international speaker on setting up high performance teams, and getting them to thrive .. not just survive the vicious world of elite sport! In this first episode with Grant we go into this significance of having (and living) your dreams, how pushing boundaries will make you and others grow, and the value and pitfalls of empathy for strong leadership. To break the ice, I asked Grant a defining quote, and he came with Martin Luther King “I have a dream” .
21 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
Starting the new year with Phathokuhle Zondi and her leadership experiences. Pathokuhle is a Sports and Exercise Medicine Physician experienced in clinical sports medicine and executive management. Her life mission is to use sport and physical activity as a tool for socio-economic development and as a platform to drive transformation. She holds numerous leadership, advisory, and governance positions. In 2017 she was awarded a ministerial recognition award from the South African government in acknowledgement of her meaningful contribution to sport in South Africa. In this episode she explains her drive through a higher purpose, goes into the power of one small question (why?), and explains how she includes her caring nature in her leadership. To break the ice, I asked Phathokuhle a defining quote. She provided a Latin quote .. Incepto ne desistam (May I not shrink from my purpose).
29 minutes | Dec 13, 2020
In this episode Kristian Thorborg is my guest. Kristian is a Professor at Copenhagen University in Denmark, and a Visiting Professor at Lund University in Sweden. He is currently the Research Lead at the Sports Orthopedic Research Center in Copenhagen, which is part of the Copenhagen IOC Research Centre in Injury and Illness Prevention. Besides all that he is also an amazing physiotherapist, but he is too modest to say that. We talk about the differences between leading and being a leader, that you should not only focus on your strengths, the value of values, and the power of self-education. To break the ice, I asked Kristian a defining quote. He provided a quote from Albert Einstein which - I think - tells us exactly who Kristian is.. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”.
21 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Phil Glasgow (part 2)
In the previous episode Phil left us with a statement on leadership requiring you to grow as individual. This is the perfect hook for the second half of my talk with Phil where we - near the end - will still discuss his quote “Between my finger and thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it.” By Saemus Heaney. But first I ask Phil whether he sees a difference - when you are in a leadership position - to grow as an individual or as a professional, or whether he considers these to be intertwined.
26 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Phil Glasgow (part 1)
A fresh episode of the Pearls of Performance podcast. In the next two episodes I talk with Phil Glasgow. Phil has worked with some of the best athletes, coaches, teams and performers in the world. He is recognised as a leader in the field of sports medicine and performance and has extensive experience as an expert practitioner, coach and mentor. Phil has held a number of leadership positions; he is currently Head of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation for the Irish Rugby Football Union and was the Chief Physiotherapy Officer for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where he led the physiotherapy team of the most successful British Olympic Team in history. With such a background Phil is a goldmine of leadership pearls. In this first episode we discuss what leadership actually is about, that leadership has changed over time, and that leadership requires intuition and feeling. Normally I break the ice with a quote, but Phil digged right into it when I told him our chat is about his story and how it may inspire others.
33 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
A brand new Pearls of Performance Podcast in which I talk with Liliana Araújo. Liliana is an academic researcher and consultant specialised in performance psychology and performance science applied to dance and music. Liliana’s work focuses on supporting individuals and organisations in developing healthier and more sustainable careers in the performing arts. Together with Liliana I explore the importance of being part of a team and she has her own reasons of why being a team player works for her. She explains how important for her is communication, which of course is a two way process .. and in that communication it is important to listen without judgment. To break the ice, I asked Liliana a defining quote .. “Be yourself and not your mirror” by Leonardo Silva.
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