The Y Balance Test

Over the next few weeks we want to touch on returning to sports, specifically in the lower extremities. There are a lot of different tools that we use during treatment at WPT, but for athletes that need to return to sports, one of the many tests we utilize for return to sport testing is the Y balance test. This test is part of a functional movement screen that is used to determine balance and functional symmetry which in turn can help a physical therapist assess if the athlete is ready to return to their specific sport.

At WPT, we do not believe in band-aid solutions and we always want to make sure we are thorough, that’s why this test is so important. We want to look past just doing basic movement tests and look at the nuances of what it means to return to the particular sport in question. This test is a good measure of the asymmetry between an athlete’s injured side and non-injured side and making sure that their range of motion is safe and appropriate before returning to sports. That’s why this, and several other return to sport tests, are so important.

This is a simple, yet reliable test to measure dynamic stability. It requires the athlete to balance on one leg while simultaneously reaching as far as possible with the other leg in three separate directions: anterior, posterolateral, and posteromedial. This test measures the athlete’s strength, stability, and balance in various directions and can be predictive for risk of injury.

We know that it is important to feel ready to return to sports, but it is equally as important for an athlete to prove they are ready. We plan to continue this topic next week so stay tuned!

Internal Vs External Locus of Control

In our last blog we talked about fixed mindset vs growth mindset and provided insight on how to transition from a more fixed oriented mindset to a growth oriented mindset. We want to continue on this topic because, like we’ve said 1000 times, the way in which we think will impact the way we physically feel. At WPT, we know this to be true, and strive to impart this truth to all of our patients. The most effective treatment addresses MIND, body, and spirit.

Today’s focus on this topic is comparing internal vs external locus of control. These are psychological terms that describe two different mindset realities. The first is what’s called an external locus of control. People who have an external locus of control believe that successes or failures are a direct result of external factors beyond their control. These factors can include luck, fate, circumstance, injustice, and bias. In contrast, people who have an external locus of control believe that their successes and failures are a result of their own abilities.

On a daily basis, it seems that almost 90% of things that happen are outside of our control; something that we have no influence over. Some people focus on that 90%. They focus on things that they cannot change and it dictates their thoughts, emotions, and feelings which can ultimately dictate how they feel physically. On the flipside, there are people that focus on the 10%. These are the 10% of things that are within your control. It seems like these are the people that have things figured out. They have an understanding of what objectives they want to accomplish and how to go about getting there because they have a clear sense of how this 10% will influence other things.

The challenge for you is figuring out where you have a blind spot. What areas of your life are you giving too much energy and import to things that are outside of your control? Where can reign that in, flip the script, and focus on the things that you do have control over?

Here’s to a stronger, more resilient you!

Fixed Mindset VS Growth Mindset

Growth mindset vs fixed mindset. We covered this topic last week and we would like to keep talking about it today. If you recall from our last post, we talked about author and PHD Carol Dweck who coined the term “Growth Mindset”. Framing your mindset has a huge impact on your ability to achieve your goals.

Today we would like to compare a fixed mindset to a growth mindset and give some examples of different scenarios where having a growth mindset can be beneficial. We also want to show you that you can shift your mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

1. Challenges. If you have a fixed mindset, when you come across a challenge, you are going to shy away from it. This is just going to be your natural way of dealing with these problems. If you have a growth mindset, you are going to face challenges head on and welcome them.

2. Obstacles. If you come across an obstacle and you have a fixed mindset, you are going to give up easily. If you have a growth mindset, you’re going to persist in the face of those obstacles and overcome them.

3. Effort. If you have a fixed mindset, you are going to view effort as fruitless, too much work, or even detrimental. However, if you have a growth mindset you’ll see effort as the path to mastery and something that is necessary to take you where you want to go.

4. Criticism. If you have a fixed mindset you are going to resist useful negative feedback. However, if you have a growth mindset you will actually be open to hearing critiques because this feedback will help you to grow and improve.

5. Success. If you have a fixed mindset, you will feel threatened by the success of other people. This is natural but it is important to realize that with a growth mindset, you can actually look for the lessons and find inspiration in the success of other people.

So our challenge to you is to analyze and be very critical about where you fall in those five different categories and see if you have more of a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. The reality is, this is a spectrum — in some situations we may have more of a growth or fixed mindset. An important lesson to learn is that we can put effort into moving ourselves from fixed to growth in more situations without our lives. The more we do this, the more opportunities will present themselves and the better that we’ll be able to deal with things that come our way.

How you think will impact your physical wellbeing. We know this to be true at WPT and we want to continue to talk about this topic so stay tuned!

Mindset Coaching Introduction

Every Friday morning at WPT, the therapists come in a bit early and have an hour long meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss different ways we are going to improve our treatment, and continue to evolve as clinicians – which in turn helps our patients regain the freedom to move. During these meetings the therapists take turns leading the meeting around a research topic they’ve been studying. This week was Macy’s turn.

Macy’s recent research has focused on mindset coaching. At WPT, we believe that if you are going to make a transformational jump from where you are to where you want to be, you cannot just address your physical state. You need to be addressing your mental game as well. We want to help you frame things differently in your mind and see yourself overcoming your situation. If you can tell yourself a different, positive story, you can change your mindset and evolve your thinking.

What was covered today was research done in the 1970s by psychologist and educator, Carol Dwect. Carol is the person that coined the phrase “growth mindset”. There are two juxtapositions ideologies here; fixed mindset and growth mindset. Fixed mindset insinuates that intelligence is static. Your thinking doesn’t really change, and your ability to evolve is limited. A growth mindset is the notion that you can improve your resilience and tell yourself a different story. Your thinking can change your situation for the better. At WPT, we strongly believe that a growth mindset is not only possible, but the best way to operate, helping you overcome the obstacles that stand in your way.

In the coming weeks we will go more in depth about this topic and really compare fixed vs growth mindset as well as talk about ways that you can shift your thinking.