Diabetes Coach!

;Guest Post, David Mapletoft, Diabetes Educator

Okay Guys, this is the big one, you are playing the game of your life! Make no mistake gentlemen, this is one tough opposition you are facing, won’t give up.  Don’t be fooled by the fact that the opposition appears to be taking it easy! It’s a strategy. It is simply looking for any sign you are taking your mind off the ball.

You want to win?! You want to be in control out there on the field?! Then listen up.

Training is the most important thing. If you are not fit you can’t play. That’s it. I want you there every day for at least 30 minutes of extra exercise. Some of you hold down jobs. This is most often not close to the best type of training or enough at any one time. If you want to play out your full career you need to be fit and well. Not training enough will induce injuries and decrease your quality of play.

So how much – a minimum of 10 minutes at a time three times per day (total 30 minutes per day).

How intense: your heart rate needs to be slightly up; you need to be breathing just a little faster than usual – but NOT out of breath; this will lift your ‘metabolic rate’ and have you body functioning better. For you this will allow you to play for as long as you want, and for the team (and your fans) it will ensure you are a valuable member with much to contribute.

Always keep your eye on the scoreboard! – we need to constantly measure if we are winning or not, not just by how we feel our game is going, but also by how many points we have scored. You can score points for your glucose (sugar) level; your blood pressure; your cholesterol level; your kidney function. We need to stay ahead of the other team if we are to win this game.

If you need to use performance-enhancing drugs then use them! We need you to be able to play to the best of your ability, not only now but in the coming seasons. You can consult with the team doctor and he will ensure what you are using is within the rules of the game and is going to help you stay fit and well, and win the premiership.

Halfback- feed the scrum at the right time, in the right pace, and with just the right type of ‘feeding’ for you and the team to win the ball. You feed the scrum badly and you will lose control of the ball. In general, I want you to put in three good meals a day and snacks in between.

Feeding the scrum correctly ensures that we build pressure on the opposition. We don’t want a game full of scrums, slows down play, but we want a regular chance to get to the ball Cinders. We have coaches to show you how to feed the ball properly! I want you to get some information from the dietitian for some fine-tuning on what she thinks is the best way to feed the scrum for you and the team.

Fullback – see the ball clearly and you ill have it in your hands safely. See your eye specialist every season and make sure your eyes are healthy. You won’t notice early changes, so don’t measure the health of your eyes by how you can see today. It is like one of those Wallabies – sneak up on you and before you know it they have snuck past and scored – losing the game for us. We don’t want a blind fullback here in this team thanks.

Winger – run the line; be careful where you put you feet – we don’t want to lose possession by you running over the line and not being aware that you did. With peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage to your feet) you might not feel your feet going into touch. In fact, if some of the opposition have thrown broken bottles or even thumb tacks on to the track you might not feel them if they get stuck in your foot.

So check your feet at halftime every game and make sure nothing is stuck in them that could cause an infection. Talk to the team Podiatrist, they will check your boots are fit to run in and will check for any injuries.  Infection – out of the game, the opposition can take your legs out from right underneath you. Remember you can’t run without legs! Wont happen to you Smyth –you have an occasional smoke, don’t you? Your chances of amputation significantly increase with that type of behaviour.  Stop – if you want to stay part of the team.

Sounds hard work. Well it is. No team ever won anything without putting in the hard yards. Both physically and mentally. Filter out the negative crap from the opposition by seeing the team psychologist – they will help you prepare for the game and deal with it when the opposition starts to get on top.

Use all of the team facilities and personnel to make us the winners. Trying to be mentally strong is no sign of weakness. Last season we won simply because we thought we could. We can win again this year but we cannot afford to get complacent, we won’t always win if we don’t put any effort in. Any thoughts that we can’t win this – go see the psychologist!

The ref will help you to follow the rules. If you get offside then he will penalise you, and you will lose control of the ball. Ask the ref in a polite but firm way if he will assess how well you are doing at following the rules and being able to play to your best ability.

You can’t play if you feel like crap, must keep the system running sweet. Your kidneys are your body’s filter for toxins – not working, no play! In fact significant time taken to use an ‘artificial pump’ to filter your body (dialysis) or you may need a kidney transplant – more drugs, more time visiting doctors. Kidney failure is preventable.

Remember to win this game gentleman you have to take it seriously from the time the ref first tosses the coin to the final hooter. You have a fan club that will be always there to support you, but they need you to try. The team management has employed a number of people to help you win but you are the most important member of the team. Make use of the resources at your disposal, you will win more easily if you study the opposition and learn the tactics necessary to beat it.

Ask for those measures of success: glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels – on a regular basis, not just when you find time. Make time.

Remember the team motto:  Don’t give the opposition any help.

Watch the game closely and you will see when the opposition is making a break.  If the opposition is making a break then move quickly to stop it getting through our defence’s.

The game is important but it is meant to be fun. Keeping fit and healthy will help you enjoy the game and avoid injuries so you can keep playing season after season!

David Mapletoft

David is a Diabetes Educator, Midwife, Photographer and Health Coach

(with thanks to friend and colleague Mr George Barker, Diabetes Educator & contributor to this article)