Sports Performance Nutrition TipsCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 109 – Rebekah Alcock

Maximizing Athletic Performance Through Nutrition

In the realm of sports, nutrition plays a pivotal role in enhancing performance. Athletes, whether professional or aspiring, understand the significance of a well-balanced diet tailored to their unique needs. This article will delve into expert tips for optimizing nutrition for Sports Performance Nutrition Tips, providing valuable insights on how to fuel your body for success. Sports Performance Nutrition Tips are essential for achieving peak physical condition and pushing your limits on the field or court.

In this episode, Rebekah discusses how nutrition can help in rehab and return to performance. Rebekah has worked at the Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne Storm, and the ACT Brumbies. She has completed her Ph.D. on the topic of nutrition support for connective tissues in athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport, currently consults with Western United Football Club, and is also consulting with the emerging athletes program at Latrobe University (LEAP).

Highlights from the episode:

  • Tips for early-stage rehab from a nutrition perspective
  • Advice to athletes low in motivation
  • Ingredients and foods for healing during rehab
  • Vegan athlete’s nutrition during rehab
  • Common nutrition mistakes during rehab

The Phases of Nutrition Intervention

As with any journey to recovery, nutrition intervention in sports rehabilitation follows distinct phases. These phases are contingent upon factors such as the type and severity of the injury, as well as the individual athlete’s characteristics. In the initial phase, the focus lies on supporting tissue regeneration and attenuating the effects of immobilization. This necessitates constant communication with the medical team and physiotherapy to monitor progress effectively.

Tailoring Nutrition for Tissue-Specific Healing

Different tissues in the body require specific nutrients for optimal healing. For instance, muscle tissue, collagen tissue, and bone each have unique dietary needs. A registered dietitian can provide tailored advice on how to meet these requirements. For athletes recovering from fractures, incorporating high-protein dairy or fortified foods can aid in preventing muscle tissue loss and supporting bone repair.

Meeting the Dietary Needs of Vegetarian Athletes

For vegetarian or vegan athletes recovering from injuries like bone fractures, meeting their nutritional needs can be a nuanced endeavor. In such cases, prioritizing high-calcium foods or exploring calcium-fortified alternatives becomes crucial. If dietary sources fall short, supplementation may be considered under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Common Mistakes in Rehabilitation Nutrition

Navigating nutrition during rehabilitation can be challenging, and athletes often make common missteps. One prevalent mistake is overly restricting energy intake due to concerns about body composition. However, it’s vital to provide the body with the necessary nutrients for effective healing. Additionally, being overly aggressive with anti-inflammatory supplements can hinder the natural healing process.

Conclusion: A Holistic Approach to Sports Nutrition

In the realm of sports performance, nutrition serves as a cornerstone for success. By understanding the phases of nutrition intervention, tailoring diets to specific tissue needs, and avoiding common pitfalls, athletes can optimize their recovery and overall performance. Remember, consulting with a registered dietitian is paramount in crafting a nutrition plan that aligns with individual goals and circumstances.



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Game Day Nutrition TipsCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 107 – Jess Spendlove


As athletes, we understand the importance of peak performance on game day. The right nutrition plays a pivotal role in ensuring we bring our A-game to the field. In this guide, we’ll delve into expert tips for optimizing your Game Day Nutrition Tips game-day nutrition strategy. From understanding the significance of carbohydrates and electrolytes to finding the perfect hydration balance, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your athletic journey, these insights will help you take your performance to the next level. Let’s kick things off by exploring the fundamental principles of game-day nutrition that every athlete should know.

Jess Spendlove is the Dietitian Consultant of the GWS Giants FC. In this bite-size episode, she talks about nutrition for game day.

Highlights from the episode:

  • What an athlete should consume during a game
  • Advice for athletes who are overhydrated 
  • Recovery meal and snack post-game
  • Caffeine for game day performance
  • Her nutrition eBook with recipes and coupon discount for PLP members

Fueling the Fire: Carbohydrates and Electrolytes

When it comes to game-day nutrition, carbohydrates and electrolytes are your best friends. They provide the essential energy and hydration needed to sustain peak performance throughout the game. While some athletes prefer sports drinks, others may opt for water supplemented with gels or salt tablets. It’s all about finding what works best for you. Understanding your body’s unique needs is key. Whether you’re sprinting down the field or executing precise maneuvers, a well-balanced intake of carbohydrates and electrolytes ensures you’re operating at your best.

Hydration: Finding the Sweet Spot

Proper hydration is a fine line between being well-prepared and facing constant disruptions. Athletes often grapple with finding the perfect balance. Weighing yourself before and after the game is a useful metric. Aim for a two percent weight loss, enough to maintain energy levels without compromising power output. For those seeking precision, tracking sweat rate during training sessions can offer valuable insights. Remember, hydration is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s a personalized journey that requires careful attention to your body’s signals and needs.

Post-Game Recovery: The 24-Hour Window

The game doesn’t end when the final whistle blows. Proper recovery is vital for sustained performance. While a hearty meal after the game kick-starts the process, the real magic happens in the 24-hour window that follows. Consider options like Mexican dishes, quality burgers, or wood-fired pizzas for a satisfying refuel. Our comprehensive guide includes a game day nutrition timeline, outlining when to transition from high-fiber, slow-release carbs to more fast-acting options. This strategic approach ensures you’re replenishing your energy stores efficiently, setting the stage for a successful week ahead.

Caffeine and Game Day Performance

Caffeine can be a game changer for athletes, provided it’s used strategically. Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to dosing. Ingesting caffeine 30 to 60 minutes before game time can enhance alertness and focus. However, individual thresholds vary, particularly in high-stakes, competitive environments. It’s crucial to experiment during practice matches to understand how your body responds. Remember, caffeine is suitable for athletes aged 18 and over. As with any nutritional strategy, preparation and practice are key. Don’t forget to consult with a sports nutritionist or healthcare professional for personalized advice on integrating caffeine into your game day routine.

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Achieving Optimal Muscle MassCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 105 – Ben Parker

When it comes to achieving optimal muscle mass, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. As sports nutritionist Ben Parker emphasizes, it’s a complex journey that requires a tailored strategy. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the expert insights shared by Ben Parker on maximizing muscle gains.

Ben Parker is a Gold Coast Sports Nutritionist. He started as a chef & nutritionist with the AIS and Australian swim team.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Muscle mass and body composition for AFL athletes
  • How to educate athletes to gain muscle mass gradually
  • His take on clubs that have not done skin folds as a performance metric
  • Mistakes he noticed in athletes about body composition

Understanding the Complexity of Muscle Growth

Ben Parker, a renowned sports nutritionist, sheds light on the multifaceted nature of building muscle in AFL athletes. He points out that unlike some other sports, where specific physiques dominate, AFL demands a versatile approach. Tall and lean, or compact and muscular, the ideal physique varies, making it a unique challenge.

Gradual Progress: The Key to Functional Muscle Gains

One crucial takeaway from Parker’s expertise is the importance of gradual progress. Rapid muscle gain, while tempting, can lead to functionality issues and an increased risk of injuries. Each athlete’s body responds differently, necessitating a personalized approach. Setting realistic goals based on individual progress is paramount.

Body Composition: More Than Meets the Eye

Parker highlights the significance of tracking body composition, using methods like skin folds and DEXA scans. However, he cautions against viewing these measurements as standalone performance indicators. Instead, they serve as tools to monitor changes over time, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of interventions.

Shifting Perspectives on Skinfold Measurements

In recent times, there’s been a shift in how skinfold measurements are used. Ben Parker explains that they are no longer employed as isolated metrics. Rather, they’re integrated into a broader context, considering factors like individual variation and long-term progress. This nuanced approach ensures a more accurate assessment of an athlete’s development.

Educating Athletes: A Vital Role in Achieving Optimal Muscle Mass

A critical aspect of Ben Parker’s approach is educating athletes about the nuances of muscle gain. He acknowledges that the process can be intimidating and uncomfortable for many. By emphasizing that measurements aren’t a competition, but rather a tool for improvement, athletes are empowered to focus on their individual progress.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls: The Role of Nutrition

Parker addresses a prevalent mistake made by athletes – extreme calorie restriction in an attempt to reduce skinfold measurements. He advocates for a balanced, nutrient-rich diet that supports muscle growth without compromising training intensity. This approach not only aids in achieving optimal muscle mass but also fosters overall athletic performance.

Conclusion: Unlocking Your Potential for Muscle Growth

In the pursuit of achieving optimal muscle mass, the wisdom shared by Ben Parker serves as a guiding light. Understanding the complexity of muscle growth, prioritizing gradual progress, and utilizing body composition measurements as tools are all essential components. By adopting these insights, athletes can unlock their true potential and maximize their gains. Remember, it’s not a race, but a journey towards becoming the best version of yourself.

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Sports Performance StrategiesCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 103 – Simone Austin

Introduction: Achieving Peak Performance in Sports

Every athlete aspires to reach their highest potential on the field, track, or court. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a dedicated amateur, unlocking optimal Sports Performance Strategies is a universal goal. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key strategies and techniques that can propel you towards achieving your personal best. From tailored nutrition plans to targeted training regimens, we’ll cover it all.

Simone Austin is one of the most recognized AFL sport dietitians in Australia. During this podcast, she discusses the Food Tracker app by Healthy Life.

Highlights from the episode:

  • What is the Healthy Life Food Tracker app?
  • Simone’s role in the app development and where the app sources its data
  • How to use the app
  • Where to get the app
  • Simone’s Eat Like an Athlete book and how to reach her on social media

I. The Power of Mindset in Sports

In the realm of sports, the power of mindset cannot be underestimated. A positive and focused mental attitude can be the driving force behind exceptional performance. We’ll explore visualization techniques, goal-setting strategies, and mental conditioning exercises that can give you the edge on game day.

II. Nutrition: Fueling Your Athletic Journey

Optimal nutrition is the cornerstone of peak sports performance. This section will break down the essential nutrients, meal timing, and hydration practices crucial for athletes. We’ll also introduce you to innovative tools like the Healthy Life Food Tracker, designed to align your shopping habits with the Australian dietary guidelines.

III. Training Protocols for Maximum Gains

Crafting a personalized training regimen is essential for any athlete looking to excel. From strength and conditioning exercises to sport-specific drills, we’ll provide insights into creating a holistic training program. Additionally, we’ll explore the importance of periodization and recovery techniques to prevent burnout and injuries.

IV. Fine-Tuning Technique and Form

Executing precise movements with impeccable form is a hallmark of elite athletes. This section will delve into the nuances of technique refinement, offering tips and drills to enhance your skills. Whether it’s perfecting a golf swing or honing a sprinter’s stride, we’ve got you covered.

V. Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Performance

Recovery is where progress solidifies, yet it’s often overlooked. We’ll explore the science behind effective recovery strategies, including sleep optimization, targeted stretching, and recovery modalities like cryotherapy. Discover how prioritizing recovery can make all the difference in your athletic journey.

VI. Mental Health and Well-being in Sports

Balancing mental health alongside physical performance is paramount. We’ll address the importance of stress management, mindfulness practices, and seeking professional support when needed. Nurturing mental well-being is a critical component of sustained success in sports.

Conclusion: Your Path to Athletic Excellence

Armed with the knowledge and strategies outlined in this guide, you’re poised to embark on a journey toward peak sports performance. Remember, it’s a holistic approach that combines mindset, nutrition, training, technique, recovery, and mental well-being. Embrace the process, stay dedicated, and watch as you unlock levels of achievement you never thought possible. Elevate your game and seize your moment of athletic glory!

Instagram: @simone_austin

Facebook: @SimoneAustinDietician

Food Tracker:

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Personal Growth Confidence TipsCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 102 – Will Hams


Personal Growth Confidence Tips Confidence is the cornerstone of personal growth. When we believe in ourselves, we unlock doors to opportunities we never thought possible. In this post, we’ll explore powerful strategies to boost your confidence and ignite personal development. With the right mindset and tools, you can overcome challenges and reach new heights. Let’s delve into the transformative journey of mastering confidence.

Will Hams is the Co-Founder of Liminal Wellbeing and a former AFL player at Essendon FC. Personal Growth Confidence Tips Confidence is the cornerstone of personal growth. When we believe in ourselves, we unlock doors to opportunities we never thought possible.

Highlights from the episode:

  • The importance of persistence and working towards what you want
  • Influencers who helped with his development
  • Practical tips for footballers going through a challenging time whether it from a slump or injuries
  • My fondest memories of his highlights
  • What Liminal Wellbeing is

1. Embrace Self-Acceptance

Embracing who you are is the first step towards building confidence. Acknowledge your strengths and accept your imperfections. Remember, everyone has their unique qualities that make them special. Celebrate yours, and you’ll radiate confidence from within.

2. Set Achievable Goals

Setting realistic goals provides a clear path for personal growth. Break down larger objectives into manageable tasks. When you accomplish these smaller milestones, you’ll build a sense of accomplishment and confidence in your abilities.

3. Cultivate Positive Self-Talk

Your inner dialogue shapes your perception of yourself. Replace self-doubt with affirmations and positive self-talk. Remind yourself of past achievements and reinforce your belief in your capabilities. Over time, this practice will strengthen your confidence.

4. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Growth happens outside of comfort zones. Challenge yourself by taking on new experiences or tasks that intimidate you. Each step you take beyond your comfort zone contributes to a stronger sense of self-assurance.

5. Learn and Adapt

Continuous learning fosters confidence. Acquiring new skills or knowledge not only expands your capabilities but also instills a sense of mastery. Embrace change and see every opportunity as a chance to grow.

6. Surround Yourself with Positivity

Your environment plays a significant role in shaping your confidence. Surround yourself with supportive, uplifting individuals who believe in your potential. Their encouragement will fuel your journey toward personal growth.

7. Practice Resilience

Setbacks are a natural part of any journey. Cultivate resilience by viewing challenges as learning experiences. Bouncing back from adversity builds unshakable confidence in your ability to overcome any obstacle.

8. Reflect on Your Achievements

Take time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements. Whether big or small, each success reinforces your belief in your capabilities. This reflection serves as a powerful reminder of how far you’ve come.


Mastering confidence is a transformative journey that leads to personal growth beyond measure. By embracing self-acceptance, setting achievable goals, and cultivating positive self-talk, you lay the foundation for unwavering self-belief. Stepping out of your comfort zone, surrounding yourself with positivity, and practicing resilience further strengthen your confidence. Through continuous learning and reflection on your achievements, you’ll unlock doors to boundless opportunities. Begin your journey towards confidence today, and watch as you soar to new heights in personal development.

Remember, building confidence is a continual process. With dedication and the right mindset, you have the power to shape a future filled with success and self-assuredness. Start your journey towards mastering confidence today!

People mentioned:

  • Michael Hurley
  • James Hird
  • Nick Stevens
  • James Burn
  • Ben Howlett



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Sports Psychology Career GuideCategoriesCoaches PLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 97 – Jacqui Louder

Introduction: Pursuing Excellence in Sports Psychology

This comprehensive Sports Psychology Career Guide invites individuals into the dynamic realm of sports psychology, showcasing it as a thrilling avenue to bolster athletes’ mental fortitude and enhance their performance. Whether you’re a fervent athlete seeking a transition or a psychology enthusiast with dreams of making a mark in the sports arena, this guide promises to be an invaluable resource. It lays out the essential steps to becoming a certified sports psychologist, encompassing the requisite educational journey and hands-on experience. Additionally, the guide sheds light on the competitive landscape of this field and offers expert counsel on how to distinguish oneself. Moreover, it underscores the vital soft skills needed to cultivate robust relationships with athletes and amplify one’s impact in this dynamic profession.

Jacqui Louder, the accomplished Sports Psychologist for the Collingwood Football Club’s men’s and women’s programs, as well as for the Melbourne Storm, brings a wealth of experience to the forefront. Her extensive background includes roles at the National Institute of Circus Arts and active involvement with Motorcycling Australia’s national circuits. With prior engagements at North Melbourne FC, Jacqui has honed her expertise in diverse sporting environments, establishing herself as a trusted and influential figure in the field of Sports Psychology Career Guide. Her varied experiences underscore her ability to navigate the complex mental landscapes of athletes across different sports disciplines.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Career path to become a sports psychologist
  • Tips for aspiring sports psychologists
  • How she built her rapport and soft skills with the athletes
  • Tips for an athlete who feels overwhelmed because of a mistake
  • How she resets a team that lost or won for the next game

The Educational Journey in Sports Psychology

The Sports Psychology Career Guide introduces the dynamic field, emphasizing its role in enhancing athletes’ mental resilience and performance. Whether you’re an athlete transitioning or a psychology enthusiast aspiring to excel in sports, this guide is invaluable. It outlines steps to become a certified sports psychologist, covering education and practical experience. It also offers insights into the competitive nature of the field and expert advice on standing out. Additionally, it highlights essential interpersonal skills for building strong connections with athletes and maximizing impact.

Jacqui Louder, a seasoned Sports Psychologist for Collingwood Football Club’s men’s and women’s programs, and the Melbourne Storm, brings a wealth of experience. With roles at the National Institute of Circus Arts and involvement with Motorcycling Australia’s national circuits, her background is diverse. Previous work at North Melbourne FC has honed her expertise in various sports environments, establishing her as a trusted and influential figure in sports psychology. Her experiences highlight proficiency in navigating athletes’ complex mental landscapes in different sports disciplines.

Specializing in Sports Psychology

Becoming a sports psychology specialist involves a crucial next step after achieving general psychologist status. This phase requires dedicated hands-on experience in the field. Aspiring professionals typically spend 18 months to two years working under the supervision of experienced sports psychologists.

Gaining this practical experience is a vital component of building a successful career in sports psychology. It offers the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios, honing the skills necessary to make a meaningful impact on athletes’ mental well-being and performance.

However, breaking into the competitive world of sports psychology can be a challenge. With limited courses available and a growing interest in the field, it’s crucial to stay proactive. Begin by immersing yourself in the extensive resources available, from books to podcasts, to learn from the best in the industry. Additionally, networking is a powerful tool. Seize every opportunity to connect with professionals, attend conferences, and gain hands-on experience with sports teams.

Building Rapport with Athletes

Establishing strong relationships with athletes is a cornerstone of effective sports psychology practice. It requires a combination of active listening, empathy, and a genuine interest in each athlete’s unique story. Regardless of an athlete’s level, from under-16 state players to Olympians, every individual brings valuable insights and experiences to the table.

A key principle is to prioritize the athlete’s input over relying solely on textbook knowledge. While academic understanding provides a solid foundation, it’s the athlete’s preferences, goals, and challenges that should guide the psychological approach. This collaborative approach fosters trust and enables a tailored approach to each athlete’s mental training.

Overcoming Challenges in Sports Psychology

Navigating the dynamic world of sports psychology is not without its challenges. Athletes often face moments of overwhelm, frustration, or self-doubt. As a sports psychologist, guiding athletes through these moments is a crucial aspect of the role.

Encouraging athletes to focus on what they can control is a powerful strategy. This involves identifying specific aspects of their performance that are within their influence and developing targeted strategies to improve them. For example, in a tennis match, an athlete might focus on footwork or maintaining a high percentage of successful shots.

Additionally, incorporating mindfulness techniques and breathing exercises can help athletes center themselves and regain focus. It’s essential to tailor these techniques to the individual preferences and needs of each athlete. Whether it’s taking a few moments to breathe deeply or engaging in a brief physical activity, these practices can be invaluable in moments of high pressure.

Conclusion: Embarking on Your Sports Psychology Journey

As you embark on your sports psychology journey, remember that each step, from education to experience, brings you closer to impacting athletes. Seize every opportunity to learn, connect, and immerse yourself. Building rapport and guiding through challenges will be key.

With determination, passion, and a commitment to learning, you can become a trusted sports psychology professional. Take the first step today and shape a future where athletes thrive mentally and physically under your guidance.


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Nutrition Tips for SuccessCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 94 – Pip Taylor

Nutrition Tips for Success are crucial in the world of sports. Every athlete aspires to be extraordinary, and achieving this requires more than just aesthetics; it demands a profound understanding of the crucial role nutrition plays in health and longevity. To excel in your sport, you must fuel your body effectively, ensuring optimal performance and swift recovery. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the fundamental pillars of sports nutrition, emphasizing the significance of a holistic approach to fueling your body with Nutrition Tips for Success.

Pip is a former professional athlete and is currently engaged in a leadership position for public service, as well as providing expertise through her consultancy business. She was the former performance sports dietitian at Brisbane Lions.

Topics we discussed:

  • Important things that athletes should focus on for their health and longevity in sport
  • Things young athletes need to learn in their nutrition journey
  • Influencers and mentors in her career
  • How she upskills herself
  • Pip’s fave inspirational quote
  • Her work-life pet peeves

The Performance-Driven Mindset

Aspiring athletes often grapple with the balance between aesthetics and performance. While a sculpted physique is admirable, prioritizing performance paves the way for sustained success. The question to ask yourself is, “What am I here for?” Every athlete dreams of pushing boundaries and becoming extraordinary. Achieving this requires a special commitment, especially in the realm of nutrition.

Fueling the Extraordinary

To turn up day after day and deliver your best on the field or in the gym, you need the right fuel. Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of maximizing output during training sessions. Equally important is the ability to recover effectively, allowing you to perform at your peak day after day. This demands a strategic approach to your dietary choices.

Mastering the Basics

For many young athletes, stepping into the kitchen and taking charge of their nutrition can be a daunting task. Learning to enjoy food and recognizing the impact it has on your performance is key. It’s easy to dismiss nutrition if you’re already content with your body composition. However, without experiencing the transformation that comes with targeted nutrition, you’re only scratching the surface of your potential.

Learning from the Greats

In the journey of a sports dietitian, inspiration and influence can come from unexpected sources. While fellow dietitians offer valuable insights, athletes themselves are powerful mentors. Their dedication, discipline, and unique nutritional needs provide invaluable lessons for those seeking to optimize performance through nutrition.

Continuous Growth and Communication

The pursuit of excellence in sports nutrition is an ongoing process. Athletes serve as barometers, providing clear feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Effective communication is paramount, cutting through ambiguity and addressing challenges head-on. Collaboration with fellow professionals, especially in diverse sporting environments, offers fresh perspectives and invaluable lessons for growth.

Why Not? A Motto for Success

In the realm of sports nutrition, a simple yet powerful motto guides us: “Why not?” This phrase encapsulates the attitude needed to break barriers and challenge the status quo. Whether in the professional sphere or personal endeavors, it reminds us to confront challenges head-on, pushing boundaries and unlocking new potential.

Pet Peeves: Clear Communication and Innovation

In the dynamic world of sports nutrition, two pet peeves stand out. The first is poor communication, a roadblock to progress. Directness and clarity are essential in navigating the complexities of nutrition planning. The second, “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” is a sentiment that stifles innovation and growth. Embracing change and seeking new approaches are fundamental to achieving peak performance.

In Conclusion: Elevate Your Performance

As an athlete, the pursuit of excellence is non-negotiable. Prioritizing performance over aesthetics sets the stage for extraordinary achievements. Nutrition, as a cornerstone of this journey, demands attention to detail, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By adopting a holistic approach to fueling your body, you unlock the potential to redefine your limits and achieve unparalleled success in your chosen sport. Embrace the “Why not?” attitude, and let it propel you to new heights.


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Peak Performance Sports PsychologyCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 93 – Matt McGregor

Introduction: Harnessing Sports Psychology for Peak Performance

In the world of competitive sports, achieving peak performance is the ultimate goal. Athletes strive for excellence, pushing boundaries and defying limitations. This journey requires more than just physical prowess; it demands a deep understanding of the mental game. This is where Peak Performance Sports Psychology steps in, offering invaluable insights and techniques to unlock one’s full potential.

At the forefront of this field is Matt, a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in Sports Psychology. He has a track record of success with renowned organizations including Hawthorn FC, Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, St.Kilda, Cricket Aus, and various Olympic individuals/teams. His extensive history of working with individuals, teams, and organizations has established him as a trusted figure in the sports industry.

Matt’s expertise encompasses not only Sports Psychology but also Mental Health and Wellbeing, Sports Management, Coaching, and Performance Psychology. With a Ph.D., Master’s degree and Certificate of Practice in Clinical Neuropsychotherapy focused in Neuropsychotherapy from Medicos, he stands as a pillar of knowledge and support in the pursuit of athletic excellence.

Highlights from the episode:

  • People who influenced him early in his career
  • Things footballers need to start practicing for their mental health
  • Biggest challenges in his career
  • Advice for dealing with trauma and self-care
  • Highlights of his career
  • What fave movie or TV series impacted him

The Foundation: Mentors and Academic Influences

One critical aspect of a successful sports psychologist’s journey lies in their mentors and academic foundations. In the case of Matt McGregor, an esteemed AFL Player Association psychologist, his early days were shaped by influential figures at Victoria University in Australia. Names like Mark Anderson, Daryl March, and Harriet Speed were pivotal in guiding his path toward becoming a sports psychology expert.

Mindset Matters: Nurturing Young Athletes

For aspiring athletes, understanding the importance of mindset and psychology is paramount. McGregor emphasizes two key areas: general mental health and well-being, and performance-focused strategies. While the latter may seem enticing, McGregor underscores the need for a solid foundation in mental health. This includes recognizing personal values, and strengths, and establishing a strong sense of identity, all of which form the bedrock of sustained peak performance.

Triumphs and Trials: Navigating Challenges

In any professional journey, challenges are inevitable. McGregor shares his experiences, highlighting a period marked by profound loss within the sports community. Dealing with the passing of three athletes, including John McCarthy and Phil Hughes, was an emotionally taxing ordeal. Such incidents shed light on the intense relationships forged in the world of sports, emphasizing the critical role of sports psychologists in helping individuals navigate trauma and grief.

Self-Care in the Face of Adversity

When confronted with trauma and challenging circumstances, self-care becomes a lifeline for sports psychologists. McGregor advocates for fundamental yet often overlooked practices: regular meals even when appetite wanes, prioritizing sleep, and incorporating meditation into daily routines. Disconnecting from external pressures and immersing oneself in nature through activities like running are essential strategies to replenish emotional reserves.

Pinnacles of Pride: Career Milestones

Reflecting on a distinguished career, McGregor highlights moments of immense pride and accomplishment. One standout memory is witnessing Olympic athlete Hannah Davis clinch a bronze medal in a heart-stopping race. This triumph encapsulates the culmination of relentless dedication, teamwork, and the unwavering pursuit of excellence that defines the world of competitive sports.

Cinematic Inspiration: Unveiling Personal Passions

Beyond the realm of sports, personal interests and inspirations shape the lives of sports psychologists. For McGregor, two iconic cultural phenomena have left an indelible mark: “Star Wars” and the TV series “Survivor.” The former, a childhood favorite, has transcended generations, while the latter’s strategic gameplay and psychological dynamics resonate deeply, akin to the complexities of sports.

Conclusion: Elevate Your Game with Sports Psychology

In the pursuit of peak performance, the role of sports psychology cannot be underestimated. From nurturing young athletes’ mindsets to navigating challenges and prioritizing self-care, these insights provide a roadmap for success in sports and beyond. With the guidance of experts like Matt McGregor, unlocking your full potential becomes an achievable reality.

People mentioned:

  • Phil Hughes
  • David Williams
  • Lisa Stevens
  • Travis Boak
  • John Mccarthy
  • Hannah Davis
  • Shaun Burgoyne
  • Mark Anderson

Connect with Matt McGregor on LinkedIn:

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Collagen Supplementation Athlete PerformanceCategoriesPLP Podcast Psych/Nutrition

Episode 82 – Rebekah Alcock

Enhancing Athlete Performance with Collagen Supplementation

As athletes, we’re constantly seeking ways to improve our performance and prevent injuries. One often overlooked but crucial aspect of athlete nutrition is collagen supplementation. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, plays a vital role in connective tissues, skin, bone, and more. Collagen supplementation athlete performance can be a game-changer in optimizing your physical capabilities.

In this article, we’ll delve into the science behind collagen and its potential to revolutionize your athletic journey.

Rebekah, a distinguished figure in the field of sports nutrition, brings a wealth of expertise to this discussion. With a background that includes stints at the Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne Storm, and the ACT Brumbies, her experience is unparalleled. Rebekah’s Ph.D. on nutrition support for connective tissues in athletes, earned at the prestigious Australian Institute of Sport, further solidifies her as a leading authority in this domain.

Currently, she consults for the Western United Football Club and spearheads the emerging athletes program at Latrobe University (LEAP). In the coming year, Rebekah is poised to take on a full-time role as a lecturer and researcher in sports nutrition at Latrobe University, where she will continue to shape the performance nutrition program for LEAP, propelling the next generation of athletes toward success. With Rebekah’s insights and our exploration of collagen supplementation athlete performance, you’re about to embark on a journey that could redefine your athletic potential.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Timing to prevent injury
  • Role of nutrition in injury prevention
  • Recommended collagen intake for athletes
  • Food choices to get collagen
  • Protein intake post-training
  • Resources on healthy eating and nutrition

Understanding the Timing: A Critical Factor

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to collagen supplementation for athletes. Research suggests that the optimal time to consume collagen is when blood flow is at its peak, typically around 30 to 40 minutes post-exercise. This ensures that the essential amino acids in collagen are delivered efficiently to the tissues that need them the most. The strategic timing of collagen intake can significantly contribute to strengthening connective tissues and preventing injuries.

Collagen: The Unsung Hero of Connective Tissues

Connective tissues are the unsung heroes of an athlete’s body. Ligaments and tendons, crucial for joint stability and movement, are often poorly supplied by blood. This is where collagen comes into play. By providing the necessary building blocks, collagen supplementation can enhance the integrity of connective tissues, reducing the risk of injuries that can sideline even the most dedicated athletes.

Dosage Dilemma: How Much Collagen is Enough?

Determining the ideal dosage of collagen for athletes is a topic of ongoing research. Current recommendations hover around 15 to 20 grams, but it’s essential to consider factors such as body mass, gender, and age. While more research is needed to fine-tune these guidelines, aiming for this range is a good starting point. Remember, consistency in intake is key to reaping the benefits of collagen supplementation.

Food vs. Supplements: Making the Right Choice

While supplements offer a convenient way to incorporate collagen into your diet, some athletes prefer obtaining nutrients from whole foods. Collagen-rich food sources like gelatin can be a valuable addition to your nutrition plan. However, it’s worth noting that achieving the recommended dosage solely through food can be more challenging. Opting for a combination of both supplements and collagen-rich foods can provide a comprehensive approach to optimizing performance.

The Protein Puzzle: Post-Workout Myths Unraveled

Protein intake post-workout has long been a subject of debate in the fitness industry. While there’s no magical “window” of opportunity, it’s essential to focus on the overall distribution of protein throughout the day. Ensuring a steady supply of protein, starting from breakfast and including regular snacks, supports muscle recovery and growth. With an array of high-protein food options available, athletes can easily meet their protein requirements.

Educating Yourself: Trusted Resources for Athlete Nutrition

For athletes looking to dive deeper into the realm of nutrition, reputable resources are invaluable. Sports Dietitians Australia provides informative fact sheets tailored to different sports, covering training diet, body composition, and more. For those seeking a more scientific approach, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute offers comprehensive research summaries. These resources empower athletes to make informed decisions about their nutrition, ultimately enhancing their performance on the field.

Unlock Your Athletic Potential with Collagen

Collagen supplementation is a promising frontier in athlete nutrition. By understanding the science behind collagen, optimizing timing and dosage, and considering both food and supplement sources, athletes can harness the power of this essential protein. Remember, consistency is key, and education is your greatest ally in this journey towards peak performance. Embrace the potential of collagen and take your athletic prowess to new heights!

People mentioned:

  • Max Gawn
  • Emily Meehan
  • Dominique Condo
  • Ben Serpell
  • Greg Shaw
  • Louis Burke
  • John Moors
  • Ricardo Costa

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Rebekah Alcock:

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Football Performance Nutrition GuideCategoriesPsych/Nutrition

Episode 77 – Dom Condo

Optimizing Performance: The Role of Periodization, Nutrition, and Recipes for Footballers

Aspiring footballers, both amateur and professional, know that achieving optimal performance on the field requires more than just physical training and practice. The role of periodization and nutrition in shaping eating habits throughout different phases of the offseason, preseason, and season is increasingly recognized as vital for fueling, recovery, and desired changes in body composition. In this blog post, we delve into the importance of the Football Performance Nutrition Guide and provide insights on recipes to support the performance goals of footballers.

Welcome back to the Prepare Like a Pro Live chats show, tonight we have Dr. Dominique (Dom) Condo. She is an Accredited Sports Dietitian and lecturer in Sports Nutrition at Deakin University. She consults Geelong Cats Football Club (AFL) and the Deakin Melbourne Boomers (WNBL), having extensive experience working with both junior and elite athletes offering nutritional support and advice. Dr. Condo is a leading expert in the field of Football Performance Nutrition Guide, and we’re excited to have her here to share her knowledge and insights with us.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Nutrition advice for developing footballers
  • Where we can find Dom’s recipes that people can follow
  • Benefits for periodization
  • Mentors and influencers who shaped Dom’s career
  • When and what an athlete should eat during a game
  • Eating window time before or after the game to not feel sick

People mentioned:

  • Anthony Mead
  • Brad Albert
  • Steve Hocking 


Book an online 1 on 1 with Dom:

1. Periodization and Nutrition for Footballers

Periodization refers to the systematic planning of training and nutritional strategies to maximize performance during specific periods of a training cycle. For footballers, periodization encompasses different phases, including the offseason, preseason, and competitive season. Each phase demands specific adjustments in nutrition to cater to the varying energy requirements, recovery needs, and body composition goals.

During the offseason, footballers often focus on building lean mass and improving overall strength. A key aspect of nutrition in this phase is ensuring a consistent intake of high-quality protein. Lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, legumes, and plant-based protein sources contribute to muscle repair, growth, and recovery. Combining protein with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and an array of fruits and vegetables forms the basis of a well-rounded diet that supports performance.

The preseason phase involves ramping up training intensity and focus, preparing the body for the demands of the upcoming season. Adequate energy intake and proper fueling become crucial during this phase. Footballers need to consume enough calories to support their training load while maintaining a balance between macronutrients. Incorporating a variety of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats provides the necessary nutrients for sustained energy and optimal performance.

Throughout the competitive season, maintaining energy levels and promoting rapid recovery are paramount. Strategic nutrition strategies, such as consuming carbohydrate-rich snacks or drinks during breaks in a game (quarter time, half time, three-quarter time), help replenish glycogen stores and maintain performance levels. Options like fruit, energy gels, dried fruit, fruit juice, or sports drinks like Gatorade provide easily digestible carbohydrates. Additionally, a small carbohydrate drink at halftime can help sustain energy levels during the second half of a game.

2. The Power of Food Planning and Preparation

A notable speaker in the field of sports nutrition, renowned for their expertise in fueling athletes, emphasizes the importance of food planning and preparation in making a difference in performance. Their website offers a range of delicious and nutritious recipes specifically tailored for footballers. From pre-training smoothies and post-match recovery meals to healthy snacks, these recipes provide footballers with practical options to support their nutritional goals.

By planning meals and snacks in advance, footballers can ensure they have access to suitable fuel at all times. Preparing meals ahead of time and storing them in easily accessible containers enables quick access to nourishing meals, minimizing the temptation to resort to unhealthy convenience foods. This approach not only supports proper nutrition but also saves time and promotes overall well-being.

3. Influential Mentor: Anthony Mead

The speaker acknowledges the profound influence of Anthony Mead, a respected dietitian in Adelaide, who served as their mentor. Mead introduced the speaker to the world of sports nutrition and opened up numerous opportunities for learning and growth. Mead’s expertise and guidance have been instrumental in shaping the speaker’s understanding of the role of nutrition in athletic performance.


In the world of football, optimal performance goes hand in hand with well-planned periodization and tailored nutrition

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