6 Steps To Deliberate Practice In Rehab

A term I hear therapists use a lot in both the mentorship and return to play programmes is deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice can be an incredibly powerful tool in your rehabilitation but if you don’t understand the fundamentals then it can be just as harmful.

Today I’ll run through the basics of what deliberate practice should be…

Why Does Your Explanation Fail?

A lot of therapists in the mentorship program and various other groups I coach get frustrated because they see we need to get these pain neuroscience messages out but the reality is that if we give patients these explanations they don’t really process or understand them.

Please don’t take this as ‘pain neuroscience is a waste of time’… It is a very important part of the treatment process but what we can do as clinicians is understand why this process isn’t as effective as it could be.

The Fundamentals of Deliberate Practice

It is designed to improve performance (improving your objective marker you’re usually using)

It is repeated – This is generally about coordination rather than strength and so it isn’t a case of 3 sets of 6, it is repeated little and often for full effect.

Feedback on results is available – Using some simple awareness drills to ensure the exercise is doing what it should be.

It is highly demanding mentally.

It is hard for the patient.

It requires solid goals to help toward the ultimate outcome.

Final Thoughts

Deliberate practice is a powerful rehab tool but contrary to what most people think it isn’t purely about building strength. It really is a neurological tool, allowing the body to increase efficiency.

It should be hard and mentally demanding for the patient but it’s use in helping people achieve their goals should not be underestimated.

Click here for more information on deliberate practice and how to implement it in your work.

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