EIS weekly roundup: Featuring PA forum, psychology conference, Paralympic sport & Female Athletes

By Lucy Lomax | 05/10/2018

In the first of a new series, we look into what our practitioners have been up to throughout another busy week at the English Institute of Sport.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the EIS Performance Analysis (PA) forum took place in Manchester with collaboration a key theme throughout. The PA team were joined by colleagues from other home country sport institutes and partners at UK Sport.

Day one was focused around the profiling of the PA team themselves which was led by Dr Kate Hays, EIS Head of Psychology.

With some analysts new to the organisation, it was an ideal opportunity for the team to improve their understanding of themselves, learn how to get the best out of each other, and crucially learn more about working under pressure.

A crucial element of an analyst’s role in elite sport is down to how they communicate in high pressure situations and getting their message across clearly and quickly as possible.On Wednesday the third Performance Psychology conference took place at Staffordshire University. EIS Head of Psychology Dr Kate Hayes gave a keynote speech alongside Performance Psychologist Tim Pitt who ran an interactive workshop giving insight into different mindset models.

This week Kate Hays also won the British Psychological Society Applied Practice Award for significant contribution to applied practice within the field of Sport and Exercise Psychology, with EIS practitioners Phoebe Sanders and Charlotte Murphy passing their Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP) Stage 2 viva with flying colours, meaning they are now eligible for chartered status with the British Psychological Society and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as Sport Psychologists.

Also, on Wednesday the first of the EIS female athlete roadshows kicked off in Manchester to a very positive reception. The day involved presentations from EIS Co-Head of Physiology Emma Ross, EIS Senior Sports Physician Anita Biswas and EIS Physiology Technical Lead Richard Burden.

EIS Co-Head of Physiology Emma Ross said: “The understanding of the fundamentals of female physiology, menstrual cycle and influences of hormones is vital if we are to optimise our support of female athletes and recognise the opportunities that exist in improving health, wellbeing and performance, by understanding these concepts.  There was great discussion amongst the attendees about where we are already doing some great work, where we could improve and what we’ll need to get there.”

On Thursday, a Paralympic sport study day involved bringing practitioners and clinicians with multiple cycles of Olympic and Paralympic experience into one room to discuss and problem solve around athletes with Upper Motor Neurone impairments and disabilities.

The day included EIS knowledge sharing and critical thinking on Paralympic injury and illness surveillance practice and processes, interdisciplinary collaboration, putting into practice one of the EIS core values of collaboration.

There were various presentations from EIS disciplines including S&C, Performance Lifestyle, Physiotherapy and Nutrition. Individual case studies were then discussed with practitioners able to hear different perspectives and learn how to apply their learnings to athletes they work closely with.