Why some people can’t stop running, according to sport psychology

Dr Andrew Wood and Dr Martin Turner, lecturers at Staffordshire University, write for The Conversation

Alex has a problem with running; he has become addicted to it. “I have to get out and run, whether my family like it or not,” he says. “It’s just who I am.”

Running three times a week has become ten times a week, and when life gets in the way of his running, Alex becomes irritable and racked with guilt. He has gone from what was a healthy pursuit, to an unhealthy overindulgence. His body is shot to pieces and is mentally and physically exhausted. But still, he keeps running.

The physical and mental benefits of running are indisputable. But runners can have too much of a good thing. This is especially true for long-distance runners as they tend to increase their training loads and become increasingly competitive. They’re at risk of making a shift from healthy perseverance (“I want to run”) to unhealthy and pressured overindulgence (“I have to run”).

Continue reading

Port Vale F.C. Foundation Trust – Coach Development Event

BSc Football Coaching & Performance students joined Port Vale F.C. Foundation Trust for their recent Coach Development Event

The first-year cohort of the BSc Football Coaching and Performance course were invited by Tom Sheratt, Head of Port Vale Foundation Trust, to visit Vale Park and participate in their in-house Coach Development Event for sports coaches.

The day started early for the students with an 8.30am meet at the Roy Sproson statue (popular player from the 1950’s and 60’s) directly outside Vale Park in Burslem. The first action of the day was to shake off the effects of the -2 degrees Celsius temperature with warm refreshments. After a short while meeting and greeting the club coaches and coach educator, the in-house training event started in earnest. The students were purposefully mixed with the club and community coaches to ensure that there was a variety of backgrounds and experiences to draw upon in the subsequent activities.

The activities on the day all revolved around effective coaching and how coaches can add their own ‘flavour’ when coaching. Coaching is a social activity, conducted in teams, and it always benefits to have the coach put their own stamp on what they do, making it unique and personal to themselves, whilst also focusing on the needs and development of the participants. The students enjoyed the coach development session, which was delivered by Tom Peever, F.A. Coach Educator, particularly because of the insight that it provided to students surrounding the type of CPD training they may have to undertake when they graduate from the course and gain employment in a football club. This was invaluable for the students and only provides them with more knowledge of the inner workings of a football club. Continue reading

Why Manchester United should make Ole Gunnar Solskjaer manager next season

Anthony Miller, PhD Candidate and Lecturer at Staffordshire University, writes for the Conversation

With speculation rife over who will be taking over as manager of Manchester United FC in the coming season, any talk of appointing current caretaker and former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is strictly under wraps.

With limited experience in top-flight football, the Norwegian currently in charge of the biggest club in the world has renewed players’ confidence and attacking flair. The turnaround from ex-manager Jose Mourinho’s dismal performance this season can be explained by what social psychologists call the social identity approach – the study of interpersonal relationships and emotional connections within a group.

 

Solskjaer scored 126 goals for Manchester United between 1996 and 2007 under manager Alex Ferguson, but he is best remembered for coming off the bench to score in the 93rd minute of the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Barcelona. His winning goal in the dying seconds of this legendary match gained him the respect and adulation of fans and a place in the club’s history. When he was appointed interim manager the day after Mourinho was sacked, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him back. We are confident he will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.

Read the full article on The Conversation

Student Blog – Nippon Sports Science University Exchange

On 20th May, 2018, 23 students from various sport and exercise courses and years set off from Manchester Airport to Haneda Airport, Tokyo. After arriving at the University guesthouse, we got some much-needed sleep and then got straight into classes and activities the next day. We were split into small groups of 3 or 4 and given a class timetable filled with various classes to attend. Continue reading

Introducing Jonathan Disley our new Academic Practice Learning Manager

Hello all! I am really excited to have joined the team in the School of Life Sciences and Education.

As Academic Practice Learning Manager my role is all about our graduates’ employability skills. I am working with local, regional and national employers to support the development of work-experience placements for our students.We know from feedback and academic performance that our students value work placements and what they offer in terms of employability skills and opening up opportunities. Many have said their work placement has set them up on successful and previously undiscovered career pathways. Continue reading

15th Staffordshire Conference on Clinical Biomechanics (SCCB 2017)

From the 4th– 6th May we saw the 15th consecutive version of this international  conference take place at Staffordshire University, hosted by Professor Nachiappan Chockalingam.

Over the 3 days of Conference, talks and workshops were delivered by internationally recognised speakers, researchers, postgraduate and undergraduate students including Professor Joe Hamill (Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, USA) Dr Jos Vanrenterghem (KU Leuven, Belgium), Professor Tom Shannon (Oxford Metrics, Oxford, UK) and Dr Scott Selbie (CMotion Inc., USA). Continue reading

Sport Therapy Students Soft Tissue Masterclass From Dan Buchannon

Level 6 Sports Therapy students were given a soft tissue masterclass in myofascial “Rolfing” by Soft Tissue Therapist Dan Buchannon.  Dan, who has been a practising soft tissue therapist for 10 years having worked with an array of elite sports teams including Bracknell Bee’s Ice hockey, Reading FC, Ipswich Town FC, and most recently Derby County FC.

Dan provided students his experience and insight into the challenges facing new 20160314_140505graduates trying to break into professional sport, before passing on his knowledge of an emerging soft tissue technique known as “Rolfing”.  The technique was completely new to the students and helped enhance the skill set for these soon to be graduates.  The session included some unique methods of exposing the students to the realities of the myofascial matrix through the manual dissection and manipulation of raw meat tissue, before focusing on the application of techniques applicable to restoring ankle and hamstring function as well addressing postural faults in the torso and back.

The students excelled in their willingness to learn the skills and gain an appreciation of the treatment modality.  The students reported “Its been great to have someone like Dan who is currently working in elite sport come in to show us new areas in which the industry is working.  Seeing some the immediate effects and responses of the rolfing has been great too, and is something I definitely want to learn more about after today.”20160314_145119

Having just set up his own private practice (Go-Perform) in addition to his work with Derby County FC Dan finished the session with a Q&A about the important employability qualities within new graduates and discussed the importance for grauates to find their own niche area of expertise within the industry.  The students further commented “hearing from Dan about the importance of networking, and the ways he has gone about building a reputation both in sport and private practice has been priceless, and has been a real eye opener for myself with just 2 months to go before we graduate”.

Dan commented himself “It’s been a privilege coming in and sharing what I can to the students both in terms of new techniques and helping them understand what takes for them to make their own ambitions a reality. They’ve all taken on board everything I asked of them, and if they can show that same working ethos as graduates they every chance of succeeding in this industry.”

You can find out more about more about our Sport Therapy Course via our website or following us on twitter @SUSTclinic.

Entrepreneurial skills benefitting Sports Therapist

After graduating in June 2015,  Sports Therapy graduates Natalie Jones, Sophie Minor and Kate Highy are now all reaping the benefit of the entrepreneurial, business and transferable skills at the heart of its programme design.  On completing their studies all three of these graduates took the first brave steps into the world of work by setting up their own sports therapy businesses.  In a competitive market, all three have successful developed their business drawing upon the skills and knowledge gained throughout their studies to ensure they have been able to survive the initial challenges that all new businesses face in its first year and have now begun to establish a strong reputation for their practice.

Reflecting back on their studies Sophie stated “The business proposal assessment we had to complete has helped me massively in setting up my “Sophie Minor Sports Injury and Rehabilitation Clinic” based in Blythe Bridge.  I’ve been able to use the materials acquired in the module and my 3-year plan in almost identical to that which I submitted for my assessment, allowing me to put my knowledge into practice”.

Adding further to this Natalie stated that “Having to complete the work placement module really helped to confirm to me which path of sports therapy I wanted to follow, and gave me a really insight into how to effectively use my time during appointment,Natalie Jones clinic logo and being able to develop communication skills with patients.  From this module it became an easy decision to base my “Natalie’s Sports Therapy and Massage”  business out of LS Health Club in Stafford.  I know love being in a working environment that I feel comfortable in and having a positive impact on people’s lives”.

All three of these graduates have utilised the increasing importance of online and social media marketing of their businesses and describe the importance the role of this in generating the initial client base.  Natalie said “A lot of behind the scenes work is needed to simply get clients through the door such as advertising, of which word of mouth is highly underrated. It’s also become abundantly clear to never stop studying or stop learning about lesser known conditions.” While Sophie added “The hardest thing was drawing people’s attention to my business to allow my reputation to build; therefore i put on a new offer each month to gain this attention. This has worked really well and I now notice that Sophie Minor Clinic Room Sophie Minor private practiceword of mouth is the best form of advertisement which has brought many people into my clinic.”

To illustrate the impact that Staffs students are now having further afield than Staffordshire, Kate Highy has successfully overseen the growth of her own Sports Therapy business in Windsor.  Similar to Natalie and Sophie, Kate has shown how the development of her understanding of the role that social media can play in driving new businesses by using her Kate Highy Sports TherapistKate Highy in practice Facebook page to promote her practice and drive new custom.  Kate said “It’s been great being able to set up my business and make an income to fit around my life.  The hardest part was having belief in myself and being brave enough to make the first steps, but the confidence I gained from being out on placement during my course, and gaining that understanding of the financial aspects of running a business helped give me that confidence.  Now each time my client leaves feeling improved from before their treatment just boosts my confidence further”.Kate Highy Logo

  To find out more about our Sports Therapy course click here.

Sports Therapy Graduates land roles in the NHS

Staffordshire University BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy Graduates Eve Littler, Ryan Baddeley, Chiku Chilufya and Lauren Dicken have all recently landed roles working within the NHS. These four graduates offer further examples of the success stories coming from the Sports Therapy programme , with us having previously reported on our graduates breaking into football and running successful private practices, and illustrates the growing reputation and scope for employment of Sports Therapists within the UK.

Lauren, who graduated in 2014 is working as a Rehabilitation Assistant at the Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust; Eve, a 2015 graduate is working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, while Ryan and Chiku, 2016 graduates, have landed roles as Physiotherapy Technical Instructor at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (Birmingham) and Band 3 Senior Therapist Assistant at the Wolverhampton New Cross Hospital respectively within 3-months of graduating in July.

Chiku stated “I’m really pleased to have got this job so soon after graduating and excited to be putting my sports therapy skills into practice. I’m hoping the role will give me the chance to apply my skills across a range of different client background to give me experience across different clinical settings and use this as a platform to gain a MSc Physiotherapy”.

chiku-chilufya-nhs (Chiku Chilufya, 2016 graduate)

With the increased recognition of the importance of exercise and rehabilitative therapy to improving public health, it is highly encouraging to see the number of Sports Therapy graduates being employed to apply their skills and knowledge in this sector of the health industry, while further illustrating the value being a Staffordshire Graduate   can have in enhancing our graduates employability.

The Sports Therapy programme at Staffordshire University is one of the most highly ranked accredited Sports Therapy programmes in the UK scoring a National Student Survey score of 97% for Overall Satisfaction, within a Sport and Exercise department ranked 13th in the 2017 Guardian League Table. To find out more about our programme click here or follow us on Twitter @SUSTclinic.