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Sophie Devine drew on her strength of will and mindset to keep her performing at a top level as a dual international in hockey and cricket, in spite of a diabetes diagnosis.

To me as an athlete, your mindset is a crucial tool in how you operate both on and off the field and can shape the athlete you are.

A bit of background about me – firstly and I think most importantly, I am a Type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed when I was 15 and I thought that my sporting career was over before it had even begun. I had little knowledge of the condition and thought it was karma for the lollies I had eaten as a kid growing up! But I had a fantastic support team around me in the form of my family and the diabetic team at Wellington Hospital – within 3 weeks I was playing at a National Under 21 hockey tournament, albeit giving my doctor a call every morning and night to help me adjust my insulin doses.

That was the first real test I had of my mindset as an athlete – I will never forget the conversation I had with my mum in our car sitting outside the doctors after being given the diagnosis. After crying for a solid 5 minutes we made a pact that we wouldn’t whinge and moan about it and that we would get on with it and make the best of what we’ve got. From that point on I have never used my diabetes as an excuse or let it stop me from chasing my dreams. You can’t always control the challenges that you come up against but you always have a say in the way you deal with them.

Being an athlete you are always faced with setbacks in the form of injuries, and I seem to have had my fair share the last couple of years. I’m someone who likes to have a plan and more importantly knowing when I’m going to get back on the park. Injuries can sometimes be unpredictable regardless of the training and preparation you’ve done – Your attitude and mindset towards your injury can play a massive part in the speed of your recovery and the commitment to your rehabilitation back to full health. Working with Vijay and the physio team at Proactive helps me build an awareness of all aspects of recovery rather than focussing solely on the physical side. We always work to a plan and with constant communication (more me pestering Vijay!) am pushing my boundaries to get back on the park as soon as I can.

My final tip would be to listen to your body…carefully – at the end of the day you are the only one that knows exactly how your body is feeling. Tell your physio about any aches and pains and let them guide you to the best way to support yourself and your recovery.


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