Iatrogenics is a term most commonly used in medicine. As attested by the Hippocratic oath (and the premise ‘First Do No Harm’), the medical profession is familiar with the concept that an intervention may pose potential risks and unforeseen consequences. In contrast, the idea that we may either not be helping or through our involvement inadvertently making the athlete worse off does not necessarily occur to coaches and practitioners. In this post we explore how iatrogenics applies in the context of coaching and practice, and make the case for considering potential risks as well as benefits before we intervene.
High stakes and heightened emotions are characteristic of competitive sport, particularly at the highest level. For those who operate in elite and professional sport the presence of stress seems ubiquitous. Coaches and athletes alike regularly face high pressure scenarios where there is a great deal of expectation and much riding on the outcome. Anticipation of an important event, such as a big game, major competition, or selection trials naturally inspire a host of feelings, thoughts, and emotions, ranging from excitement to anxiety and even dread, sometimes simultaneously! In this post we explore how we can equip ourselves and help our athletes to meet the psychological and emotional challenges we will inevitably face on the journey.