Think About It
Mental conditioning coach Trevor Moawad counts among his clients the national champion University of Alabama football team. Here, Moawad, the director of IMG Academies’ Performance Institute, explains how mental conditioning relates to different aspects of physical (and even professional) performance.
Motivation: “At Alabama football, the morning of this year’s national championship game, I gave many of the players mirrors and told them that the person they see in that mirror is the person who’s responsible for their success. I told them not to let someone else carry that weight. “
Nutrition: “Eating right is a character decision. Most people understand the difference between an apple and a bag of Doritos. When we make a bad choice, it’s not from a lack of information.”
Self-talk: “We all talk to ourselves on a subconscious level between 800 and 1,300 words a minute. You might be thinking, ‘I don’t like this coach, I’m tired, my legs are sore, today’s not my day, I can’t seem to find my backhand, I hope the ball doesn’t come to me.’ That affects our emotional state, and that’s the gateway to how we perform.”
Goal-setting: “If you walk into a grocery store, and you don’t have a list, you might wind up with a bunch of things you don’t need, and forget a bunch of things that you came there for. A lot of people approach their career that way—no list.”
Sustaining success: “First you form a habit, and then that habit forms you. Success is built around habits. No matter how successful you’ve been, if you get away from the right habits, you’re going to struggle. You have to earn it every day.”
Do It Yourself
A new book by Sarasota physician Dr. Matthew Edlund, author of The Power of Rest, presents a doctor’s perspective on the American healthcare system—and the importance of regenerating our own bodies. Healthy Without Health Insurance—Protect Yourself emphasizes wellness and prevention in the face of the economic and political issues surrounding the healthcare industry. “American healthcare has far less impact on your life than lifestyle,” Edlund writes. Available for Kindle at amazon.com ($2.99).
Mission Cataract This spring, the Sarasota-based Center For Sight performed 71 free cataract surgeries for people without adequate funds or insurance, as part of the nationwide “Mission Cataract” project. The outpatient surgeries, which take only minutes to remove a clouded lens from the eye, were performed at Center For Sight’s surgical facility in Sarasota by Drs. David Shoemaker, William Lahners, Joshua Kim and William Soscia. “People literally went into surgery not being able to see and came out being able to see,” says one staffer. “It got emotional just being there.”
Hard to Swallow?
Every year, 10 million Americans are diagnosed with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. “A lot of people don’t realize they have swallowing problems,” says Holly Evenson, a speech pathologist for Bradenton’s Amedisys Home Health. When swallowing trouble threatens a person’s nourishment as well as his lifestyle, speech pathologists can identify the nature of the disorder and use special therapies to coordinate and strengthen the necessary muscles.
Dysphagia symptoms include the feeling that food gets stuck in the throat, coughing during or after eating, gurgled speech, weight loss and heartburn-like symptoms that result from retaining food in the esophagus.
Evenson describes how patients often claim they don’t have a swallowing problem, even when asked directly. She follows up by asking if there’s anything they can’t eat. “They say, ‘Oh, yes, I can’t eat steak; I can’t swallow it,’” Evenson says. “Elderly patients think, ‘I’m getting older; I just won’t eat that.’ In reality there are exercises they can do. It’s all about quality of life.” Here are some potential dysphagia therapies (depending on the underlying cause):
Masako Maneuver: Gently hold your tongue between your upper and lower front teeth, then swallow. This causes the larynx to move more.
Blowing Kisses: To make the negative pressure necessary to create the suction sound associated with an air kiss, you need tight lip closure.
Tongue Isolation: Stick your tongue straight out, so that it’s not touching teeth or lips, and hold it there. This strengthens muscles in the back of the tongue, which must touch the palate to begin the swallowing motion.