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  • Practicing Empathy

    Well-being Journey - We all have our good and bad days where sometimes just listening is beyond us. While we may try to hide our true feelings, remember others may also be having a hard time and need someone to be there for them. Here are a few tips to be that person for others: Listen Actively Empathic Listening is a dynamic and compassionate process that calls for more than taking in someone else's words. You're communicating with that person as well. You're showing that you care about them, their thoughts and feelings, and are willing to take the time to hear them out. To use empathic listening, listen patiently to what the other person has to say, even if you do not agree with it. It is important to show acceptance, though not necessarily agreement. Withhold Judgement Try to approach the situation with curiosity for the other person's point of view. When one is judging another before fully listening, they tend to interrupt. This should be avoided, as it will only frustrate the speaker and limit your ability to understand. Don't interrupt – hold any questions or attempts to relate until they've finished talking. Give feedback – nod, make noises that encourage them to continue, and avoid fidgeting. Paraphrase and reflect – summarise what the other person has said to ensure you are understanding and show that you're listening. Be Understanding Show that you are sympathetic to their story and get where they are coming from by thinking first, speaking second; say less and mean more; use appropriate non verbal communication. Show empathic body language Be aware of your facial expressions, eye contact is a powerful non verbal cue showing your attention and empathy. Eye contact shows connection and conveys trust and respect. Eyebrows express empathy really well when shifted upwards slightly to signal concern. Use your voice appropriately as it is not just what you say but how you say it that evokes empathy. Have an open body posture that is inviting with uncrossed arms and unclenched fidgety hands. Practice Mindfulness Put away distractions such as digital devices. Be honest and in the moment, make another time if you cannot focus. Be there for the person now and later. Set an intention to listen mindfully. Think ‘kindness’ and feel it before speaking. Ask open ended questions ‘How is this situation affecting you?’; ‘How is this preventing you from your goals/succeeding/training?’; ‘What do you think would be the ideal outcome?’; ‘What have you learnt in the past that may be appropriate here?’; ‘How can I work with you to support you?

  • Burnout – To leave or stay

    Well-being Journey - Burnout is a very real and unfortunately all too common topic these days. We all push ourselves beyond the limits of reason at times without questioning what this action may be doing to our bodies, minds and futures. Demanding schedules that can be unrelenting with little consideration for wellbeing can cause over training and ultimately burnout. It is so important as an athlete to have a positive, healthy and open relationship with coaches, parents and mentors to avoid a culture of fear, isolation and/or avoidance that may cultivate reduced motivation, anxiety and depression. A starting point may be to discuss where your chosen sport fits into your life, what your goals are and where your involvement in the sport may lead. Are you at risk of burnout? Do you have a burning passion? So, what can I do to prevent burnout? As stated above, have the conversations about how this fits into your life, who you are and what this part of your life means to you now and for the future. Take steps to provide balance: set boundaries, manage your time, prioritise wellbeing, seek support, talk, focus on meaningful and authentic engagement, take breaks and vary up the exercise.

  • Fixed vs Growth Mindset

    Well-Being Journey - Most people have heard these terms but do you really know what it means? Do you have a clear understanding of how much a growth mindset can change the direction you may be heading, enhance your motivation or provide stability to emotions in the face of perceived failure. A mindset is a series of self-perceptions or beliefs people hold about themselves. These determine behaviour, outlook and mental attitude. Mindset influences how you think, feel and behave in any given situation. It means that what you believe about yourself impacts your success or failure. A growth mindset allows you to embrace failure and learn from it. A growth mindset is critical to adopting learning-oriented behaviour. People who believe that effort matters respond with more positive, sophisticated strategies to tasks and increase their learning as time goes on. Learning from failure causes substantial changes in the brain throughout life and is vital for resilience. Fixed Mindset – What we might think or say They are just too stuck in their ways, this is just who I am. I just don’t know if they are capable. I’d never be able to do that. I expect xxx will respond just like xxx They always do it that way. This always happens to me. They never do it the way they should. I never get to xxx. Growth Mindset – How can I help? Imagine if… I wonder if… How could I influence that? What am I not doing or saying that could help? What ‘glasses’ am I wearing right now? Take the time to think about your mindset and how it may assist you to set goals, move past obstacles preventing learning, increase motivation and get your mojo back if needed.

  • Body Image and Success with Cameron Leslie

    Diving into the Depths Episode One Go outside the lanes with Cameron Leslie for a deep dive into his body image challenges, performance journey and the international success that has defined his career. "You still get your kit off behind the blocks and can't help yourself from feeling a little bit self-conscious.

  • Women's Health

    Well-being Journey While being active provides many health benefits, gender differences and biological factors must be considered when it comes to women’s health in sport. Studies have shown that female athletes face unique challenges related to their reproductive health, such as menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause, which can affect their performance and overall health. Differences in anatomy and hormone levels can also place females at a higher risk of developing certain injuries. Sometimes it is a seemingly tiny adjustment of clothing that may provide more support or comfort, prevent long term damage, or increase the enjoyment of training or competing. We don’t shy away from topics in this hub so feel free to click on the following link for further information on breast support: Are you comfortable and supported in your sporting apparel? Do you regularly think about what it means to be a sporting female role model? Have you spoken to other active women about women and girls health and wellbeing? It is essential to prioritise the health of female athletes to ensure they can continue to enjoy the benefits of sport without compromising their wellbeing. This can be achieved through education on proper nutrition, training and rest. Promoting safe and healthy participation can empower women and girls to pursue their athletic goals while prioritising their physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Introduction to Mental Health

    Well-being Journey Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in. Mental health is a basic human right – World Health Organisation (2022). Mental Health covers our psychological, social and emotional wellbeing. It is more than just the absence of mental disorders which affect everyone at different levels. How we look after ourselves mentally and what equips us to function optimally is unique to each and everyone of you. Building resilience and protecting our mental health can include: positive social interactions, quality education, decent work, safe environments, community cohesion, active lives among others. The most important factor here is that we can ALL talk about it. Speaking up about mental health is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself, but for others that may be struggling. Make it part of your daily check in.

  • Low Energy Availability

    Well-being Journey Low Energy Availability (LEA) is a very real condition that affects both males and females. It is a condition that occurs when an athlete neglects or fails to consume enough food to fuel their body’s demands. This can lead to a calorie deficit, which over time, can lead to depleted energy stores, fatigue, decreased performance and a higher risk of injury. LEA can result from restrictive diets, over-exercising, weight loss efforts or a combination of these factors. Female athletes may be at a higher risk for LEA, which can result in menstrual irregularities, decreased bone density and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Prevention and treatment involve ensuring that active individuals are consuming enough calories to meet their energy demands, prioritising nutrient dense foods and developing a healthy relationship with food. Ultimately, by prioritising sports nutrition and education on healthy eating habits we can help prevent LEA, enhance athletic performance and promote long term health and well-being Find out more from the HPSNZ resource page on LEA:

  • Nutrition Basics

    Well-being Journey Appropriate nutrition is essential for both performance and long term health. Inadequate nutrition can lead to fatigue, weakness, and injury. For those of you with teenagers in the house, we know that no one wants to deal with a tired hangry student, let alone one that is active and sporty. Adolescence is a crucial period for growth and development, making it an essential time to prioritise healthy eating habits. Proper nutrition during this stage can ensure that young athletes meet their nutritional needs and support healthy physical and cognitive development, Additionally, promoting a healthy relationship with food can help prevent the development of disordered eating habits and reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions later in life. Do you think about what you put into your body and how it may affect your wellbeing/performance? Are you organized with a snack before/after training before/after a long day at school? Have you noticed the effects different foods have on your mood? Dive a little deeper into a fact sheet on ‘Nutrition for the Adolescent Athlete’ -

  • Why Connection Matters

    Well-being Journey The right connection can equal feeling comfortable to collaborate, communicate, contribute and feel like a part of the conversation. Connecting is hard work and sometimes it takes several setbacks to find that right person but they are worth their weight in gold. Having someone to bounce ideas off, share challenging times, open up to, be creative with and plan ahead with makes life easier. Who is your go to person? What qualities are you looking for in that person? How might you be a better ‘go to’ for someone else? Connecting requires work – time, patience, respect, boundaries, authenticity. Connecting brings gratitude, fun, sharing, belonging and purpose. Be bold with those you may be struggling to connect with and find commonalities, initiate the conversation, try various approaches and ways of communicating, be open and available, smile and be honest. Sometimes all it takes is eye contact and a smile to break the ice.

  • Well-being Journey

    What does well-being mean? What does well-being mean? Firstly, we need to acknowledge that it means different things to different people in different settings. Well-being arises from our thoughts, emotions, actions and experiences. This is a space for all of our aquatic whanau to not only discover what wellbeing is for them but how to action a sustainable approach to wellbeing. You will become familiar with the fact that well-being does not always equal happiness but does include belonging, connection, continuous growth, inclusion, support, transparency and identity among others. What makes you feel comfortable? What would you change about your current environment to enable growth or support? What do you need right now? The Wellbeing Hub is designed to be a space for thought, a recharge, occasionally a link to deeper dives on certain topics. Most importantly, it is here for you to ponder or take bites out of as you need it. Like everything, this is a journey and it takes effort and understanding but it is YOUR journey. Make wellbeing a priority.

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