Sports Therapy Community Streamed

Ep5 How every Sports Therapist can know more about mental health - Chris Redmond

July 06, 2020 Kristian Weaver Season 1 Episode 5
Sports Therapy Community Streamed
Ep5 How every Sports Therapist can know more about mental health - Chris Redmond
Sports Therapy Community Streamed
Ep5 How every Sports Therapist can know more about mental health - Chris Redmond
Jul 06, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
Kristian Weaver

In this episode I speak with Chris Redmond, a running strength and conditioning coach and director of the mental health charity, Running Head First.

If you want to Become An Unstoppable Sports Therapist then visit

To find out more about Chris Redmond:
Websites: and

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode I speak with Chris Redmond, a running strength and conditioning coach and director of the mental health charity, Running Head First.

If you want to Become An Unstoppable Sports Therapist then visit

To find out more about Chris Redmond:
Websites: and

Kristian Weaver:   0:00
Welcome to the sports therapy community streamed the place where sports therapy practitioners can get useful on actionable advice from industry leading experts. From sports medicine to psychology to business. Here is your host sports therapist, exercise physiologist and creator of the sports therapy community K ristian Weaver. Hello and welcome to this episode with Chris Redmond. Today we're gonna be talking about mental health, particularly in runners. So, Chris, if we're on the gym floor with you for 60 seconds, tell us who you are and what you do.

Chris Redmond:   0:34
Well I'm Chris Redmond from Chris Redmond,  running strength and endurance coaching and from running head first.  I'm predominantly a father of one, a fiancé., Tranmere Rovers fan, runner, strength and conditioning coach and director of a mental health charity.

Kristian Weaver:   0:53
So a Tranmere Rovers fan for your sins?

Chris Redmond:   0:56
Yeah, if it wasn't predictable for the last few years it definitely is now.

Kristian Weaver:   1:02
So in terms of therapists, we need to know about mental health in the patients that we treat and that's a big part of what you do isn't it, Chris?

Chris Redmond:   1:12
Yeah, in terms of the provisions for keeping people fit for their sport's all about as I say running. We see a lot of it through runners who use their sport to improve, or treat their mental health and a lot of the background behind what I do with them is mostly keeping them able to run. Obviously a lot of them want to see the performance improvements, and do want to see the benefits of not being injured purely for the fact that they can race ultimately they are using it as a tool to aid their well being. A lot of what we do in that respect is  keeping them being able to run.

Kristian Weaver:   1:56
I think off often with athletes we consider this kind of physical nature of the doing sport. But then also, we've got to consider the mental nature of doing sport as well. So when you're working with people on the gym floor, do you take that into consideration?

Chris Redmond:   2:12
Definitely, that's all got come from them, the level that we are mostly operating on. from my personal point of view, it is with Joe public. It's with a kind of busy professionals, there are a few people who are performing on that top end where performance is really being important. Ultimately, that comes from them, comes from their own motivations and it is up to them to decide what they wanna do really. And I would never put anything in one of my runners heads what they should be doing or where their performance should be at.   I'd always let that come from them.

Kristian Weaver:   2:49
Good stuff and not only are you a strength and conditioning coach. But you also set up a charity running head first and recently, you raised over £5,000. Do you want to tell us a little bit more about that?

Chris Redmond:   3:02
Yeah, well we are in the heart of the COVID 19 pandemic as we speak. The charity came about because I had a nervous breakdown 2015 and throughout that time I used the running to aid my mental health. I was running before that anyway, for about a year and 1/2 entered a few big races I owned a different business at the time. And, I was I was kind of burning the candle at both ends,  ran myself into the ground, no pun intended. Had a nervous breakdown, which was pretty catastrophic. So, from there, I just kind of used running to supplement my mental health massively. And as time went on, I realised how much of a  benefit I had, I do put that recovery, where I'm at now, down to physical activity. We tried to find a charity that  offered physical activity or running or any any shape of excise to aid peoples mental health. I couldn't find one. So I want to support them, I couldn't find one, and after a few different conversations with family and girl friend, we thought that we would set one up ourselves. We set one up and that was early 2019, we finally got the ball rolling on that. We got CIC in August and then our funding come in early January. So we start to go through the whole process of setting up the actual interventions. Once the interventions were about to be set up the whole COVID 19 pandemic started and everything got shut down. So our natural response was to think, how can we help people as we intended to do but we now can't, we were sat there idol. So we set up what's called the 5 NHS campaign, we did get slightly overshadowed by another 5k campaign that raised about £10 million, but set up the 5 for NHS campaign which aimed to raise money for the physical and mental well being of the NHS staff at the Wirral University Teaching Hospital and their associated trust. In the end we raised £6000 or just under, that's going directly into helping the staff who, essentially teated our loved ones etc  to recover from COVID because of the physical and mental stress that they're gonna go through is absolutely phenomenal. We thought that we would give them something back for helping us.

Kristian Weaver:   5:40
Fantastic! And obviously  you did a few events yourself and I think another director jumped in and did an event so do you just want to tell us what you were doing?

Chris Redmond:   5:50
Mine was quite tame compared to his. I did a 50km on the treadmill, so that took about 5 hours and  15 minutes, a few cans of coke, a few energy gels and flapjack got me through that one and a cider at midday. So I did that and then one of our directors Ash Cox he he climbed Mount Everest on a plyometrics box in his living room. I think the plyometrics box is a pile of wood clippings in the garden now.  It took him 24 hours and he has got a  history in the military. So his knees and his hips are shot anyway. He ended up doing the majority of it on one leg, which is absolutely phenomenal.

Kristian Weaver:   6:40
Fantastic. And obviously for worthy causes as well, so in terms of the mental health charity that you've set up, what are your plans going forward with that what provisions you putting in place for people who want to come and do some exercise or running to aid their mental health?

Chris Redmond:   6:59
So we're gonna adapt at the moments, obviously, with the current climate, we can't deliver any physical sessions. It's clear things on aren't getting anywhere soon, so we have taken a lot of our services online. We just got affiliation with the England Athletics, so we'll be doing a little bit through that as well. That's the running club. And we are starting some nutritional interventions with physical activity interventions, hopefully looking to link up with some councils to provide that full holistic package of counselling,  physical activity side of things  and the nutritional intervention side of things. We will start delivering online services. We are in the process once we are out of lockdown. To set up some run clubs from the gym that I'm currently working in, LP strength academy. The guy that runs that gym is the third the director of the the charity and we will have partnerships with mental health organisations and counselling services, and we want to get our own facility, so that we can go in full time provide around the clock mental health services, counselling services, holistic mindfulness etc. We are actually looking at premises for that.

Kristian Weaver:   8:25
Great stuff. And then you mentioned how people get in contact with you, should just want to tell us more about your contact details, how people can find out more about you and about your charity?

Chris Redmond:   8:38
Yeah, sure. For the charity it is www.running and for me personally, it's but you'll find all the charity stuff focussed on the running head first website. 

Kristian Weaver:   8:55
Great, and we'll stick all of the the links to that on the show notes as well, so people can find those if they're part of the sports therapy community. And just last question for you, Chris, really is what are your three take way messages for sports therapists who might be working with people like yourself, or with people who may have mental health concerns?

Chris Redmond:   9:17
It's a running capacity, and the person's utilising that sport to aid their mental health. There is a couple of things to consider. If you are treating a specific injury, then the persons potentially not going to be telling you the truth about the injury because a) they don't want to stop the sport or b) they want to go back to the sport as soon as possible. So if you got someone on the bed and they're not, you know, you think the injuries more than what that telling you it is - which I know is it is always hard to tell, or you don't think they're ready to go back then, it is a consideration that they do want to get faster than anything else. Also, nearly every sports therapist will know people lose their identity when injured. As soon as you lose your identity when you're injured, it's a slippery slope. People fall out of love with the sport particularly  with long term injuries. I think one key thing to remember is  involvement of the patient in with the team sport as much as possible, I listen to a lot of podcast about sportsmen and  the common theme about long term injuries is that they felt didn't part of the squad anymore. So if you could incorporate their rehabilitation into that team training as much as possible and it helps them retain their identity and it'll certainly make them feel better about the recovery. Finally, I probably say that patients potentially gonna lie about what they are doing, because I know when I done rehabilitative  stuff with runners and I have asked him if they are running,  they have insisted that they are not running. I know that they are because it's what they do, it's all they know, they absolutely love the sport. So it's just another consideration and trying to stop, that's going to pretty much impossible. So just incorporate that into the rehabilitation process more than anything else.

Kristian Weaver:   11:20
Yeah, I think you sort of reached out some really important points there, just in terms of trying to incorporate that athlete back into their sporting environment and ensuring that they do feel part of a team and you are aware of their mental health status. And I think that is important as a therapist, especially is often people open up to us when they're when they're sitting on the plinth, and they might tell us a little bit more about something that's going on in their life, which may not necessarily be in around the injury itself, but it might be associated with it. So there's some important things to consider. Thank you, Chris. That's been really insightful. I think it's important that we continue to develop our knowledge and skills around mental health. Therefore, I think what you do with your charity is great, and hopefully it'll help more people in the future.  

Kristian Weaver:   12:11
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