“Right down the question that you want to answer, there are all types of different technologies – you can easily get lost.”

Shireen Mansoori

What You will learn

  • How to become an effective rehab scientist.
  • The importance of asking good questions when implementing tech.
  • Lessons learned on managing health & performance in the NFL.

Sports science and integrating technology has become a mainstay in modern physical therapy and performance training. Many of us struggle deciding what is meaningful and best practices for incorporating the information. In this episode I am joined by former NFL Director of Rehab and current owner of Seattle Sports Institute & Physical Therapy, Shireen Mansoori, who helps us navigate this exact dilemma.

Shireen has a forward-thinking mindset when it comes to physical therapy and rehab sciences. By formal education and training, Shireen is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who has completed both an orthopedic residency at University of Southern California and a Sports Physical Therapy Fellowship at Duke.

During her time at Duke she worked closely with men’s basketball and was able to learn from the legendary Coach K during her time there.

Professionally, Shireen is the current founder and owner of the Seattle Sports Institute and Physical Therapy in Seattle, Washington. She has experience working in the NFL as a Director of Rehab and has continued to serve as a consultant to various NFL and NBA teams. What I enjoyed most about this conversation is Shireen’s perspective on sports scientists, or as she refers to it, rehab scientists. She has a great understanding of data collection and data hygiene and finding ways to make the data meaningful and applicable to what coaches and therapists need to do.

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

016 | Shireen Mansoori: Sport Science and Rehab – Integrating Technology for Better Health and Performance

Notable Quotes

“Every step in rehab needs to make sense…Always compare an athlete to their historical data.”

Shireen Mansoori

“The first two years, I am only collecting data and doing nothing with it; data collection takes time.”

Shireen Mansoori

Key Takeaways:

[2:15] Shireen shares how she started working with professional athletes.

[3:26] Shireen shares the best advice she received while working for the NFL.

[4:17]  What is a fellowship? What value did it bring to Shireen’s career?

[6:53] Shireen talks about the role she used to have at the NFL.

[8:15] What are the differences between Shireen’s time working in basketball versus the time she worked in football?

[9:43] How does Shireen balance her expectation of 100% recovery of an athlete and the reality of them playing even if they are not?

[10:32]  How can a physical therapist help athletes who don’t know what is best for their bodies?

[11:12] Was there any situation when Shireen needed to manage her and her team’s expectations with the available resources?

[12:44] What are some of the main foundations that helped Shireen work with football players during rehab?

[15:30] How does Shireen integrate the different means of physical therapy?

[17:40] How does Shireen illustrate the rehab journey for all to make sense?

[19:43] There is so much more that Physical Therapists do than just physical therapy.

[21:44] Shireen defines sports science.

[22:54] What are the first steps to incorporate sports science into PT practice?

[24:30] Shireen explains how she makes sure she has accurate information.

[26:29] Once Shireen has the information she needs, How does she make it actionable?

[29:14] The key is always to compare the athlete to themselves, not to another player in the same position.

[29:55] What is the value of load management? What are its downfalls?

[31:30] How to approach load management in the season?

[32:17] What are the most valuable resources or tools to help mitigate risk or enhance recovery strategies?

[33:48] Which are the most valuable technologies for data collection, sports science, and load management?

[35:44] How does Shireen address asymmetry?

[37:21] How did Shireen transition from what she was doing in the NFL to what she’s been able to implement in the private sector? How does she shape rehab differently?

[39:50] How did Shireen create a training room outside of the training room?

[40:48] Adam and Shireen discuss privacy.

[42:17] How does Shireen help her clients find the small wins so they can continue to progress forward?

[44:46] Shireen advises empowering the athletes to do what they can to recover their bodies and care for their health.

[46:36] If someone is looking to change their lifestyle or training positively, Shireen suggests that consistency is the most crucial aspect under consideration.

[48:11] Shireen answers a series of fun questions regarding her career experience.

Adam Loiacono

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