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Coaching and Sport Science

It can be hard to navigate the menstrual cycle, either yourself or for your coach/sport science team. There are many factors that are interlinked, and everyone has their own unique experience. Therefore, it is important to consider the menstrual cycle as part of training and competition, integrate this into training plans and discuss openly if there is a need to.

Conversations

Talking about the menstrual cycle in relation to training and sport performance is important, both for coaches and athletes. Prevention and management strategies should be included within a training plan to optimise adaption and performance. 

Coaches try and initiate the conversation, especially with younger athletes, to understand their symptoms and any negative impact on training and competition. Help support the athlete to use different strategies to manage menstrual related symptoms.

It is important for coaches to be supportive, open up the conversation and create a supportive environment. This includes listening to everyone individually as everyone has their own unique experience of the menstrual cycle. 

Follow 3 simple steps:

  • Be clear of the question you are asking, avoid euphemisms and displaying feelings of awkwardness
  • Use evidence as part of your questions e.g. ‘I am aware the menstrual cycle can cause symptoms that can have a negative impact on training, do you experience any symptoms related to your menstrual cycle?’
  • Listen – everyone is unique, listen to individual experiences and be proactive in providing support.

Sport Wales institute has created a helpful flow diagram to navigate conversations:

As the athlete, track your menstrual cycle and share any observations in patterns of symptoms experienced in relation to training and sport performance to help your coach and/or support team best support you.

Seek Medical advice

If menstrual related symptoms are severe or periods have become irregular or stopped completely, seek medical advice from your GP. It may be helpful to track your symptoms and take this information with you.

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At Optimal Period we believe everyone has their own unique experience of the menstrual cycle and related symptoms. Therefore, we support you to map your own menstrual cycle, identifying what symptoms you experience and at what time of your menstrual cycle. Download our menstrual phase graph, watch our video to get started mapping your own cycle and make some immediate changes today!

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