Rewire Welcomes the Pacers Esports Team, 2022 NBA 2KL Champions

Rewire is absolutely thrilled to welcome Pacers Gaming to the Rewire Family.

The Pacers are the latest athletes to level up their efforts through the use of the Rewire Fitness App.

Rewire has been implemented within the professional Esports team to help develop mental fitness, prime the athletes for performance and aid in the management of cognitive fatigue.

The athletes have been taking advantage of the numerous features Rewire offers athletes to ensure they are performing at the highest level in a sport where fractions of a second are an eternity and the smallest slip can be the difference. 

A game of inches? More like millimeters. 

The pressure Esports athletes face is enormous, and the mental fatigue endured is real. With a jam packed schedule, playing multiple series a day, being able to be mentally sharp and recover between rounds is crucial for these athletes. 

The Pacers, like all Rewire users, track their daily readiness, perform neuro-training and use mindset recovery sessions when needed. 

Congratulations also to the Pacers Gaming for winning the Champions of the 2022 NBA 2KL Coinbase Switch Open!
The grueling schedule of the tournament consisted of 32 teams, split into 8 groups for remote group play in the first round. Following this, there was a round of 16 (best of 5 format), with a tournament format ultimately yielding 2 teams in the final (best of 7 format). It was here the Pacers put on a dominant performance over the Pistons, winning 4-1 with point guard Zach “Vandi” Vandivier winning finals MVP. Overall the Pacers finished with a 30-9 game record and a 9-1 series record in the tournament.  

It speaks volumes to the professionalism and commitment to excellence that the Pacers have, that they have decided to use Rewire to help keep them sharp and on top of the competition. 

The best in the world are already looking for the next thing to help them stay ahead of the game and the Pacers have shown this is their approach.  

Rewire looks forward to continuing to support the Pacers in their training and competition. 

Want to level your training up and train your mind like the pros? Download Rewire today!

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Naomi Osaka: Mental Health Journey

Since withdrawing from the French Open in 2021 due to mental health reasons, professional tennis player Naomi Osaka has become an icon in the fight for raising awareness of mental health issues in the professional sports world.

In the 2018 US Open, Osaka defeated Serena Williams, a top American professional tennis player, and won her first slam title. Osaka has stated that she suffered bouts of depression since the win and talking to the media triggered her social anxiety. Because she skipped the press conference after her first-round victory, the tennis star was fined $15.000 and was threatened with tournament suspension. In response, Osaka tweeted that “anger is a lack of understanding [and] change makes people uncomfortable.”

However, athletes have continuously shown their support for Osaka and her mental health journey. Back in 2021, Czech and American former professional tennis player and coach, Martina Navratilova, tweeted in response to Osaka’s withdrawal, stating that athletes are taught to take care of their bodies and “the mental and emotional aspect gets short shrift”.

In May 2022, Osaka decided to speak up about her mental health journey and shared with FOX Business that “after speaking up, [her] view on expressing the need for a break or space or help really changed”. She described the feeling as freeing, that it provided a “sense of relief”, and “the outpouring from others about their own struggles made [her] feel less alone”.

A new partnership with Modern Health, a global mental health benefit solution, has given Osaka the platform and reach to assist in the battle of removing the stigma surrounding mental health and increase the availability and accessibility of mental health services.

“Together, we seek to support people on their journeys through a world in constant flux.” – Modern Health Community

Osaka has expressed that, anyone struggling with mental health, should find resources and ask for help; “you won’t ever regret it“.

The Vice President of Mental Health and Wellness for the Women’s Tennis Association, Becky Ahlgren Bedics, said, “Anytime an athlete shares their vulnerability and their authenticity, it’s going to affect other athletes in that sport. There’s a relatability.” She stated that she wasn’t sure if it could be attributed to one particular person or event, but it certainly “makes other folks sit up and notice”.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m gonna celebrate myself and my accomplishment more. I think we all should.” – Naomi Osaka

Mental Health: Is the Narrative Changing?

Committed athletes dedicate years to their sport, overcoming challenges and unexpected obstacles with a delicate finesse and perseverance that can easily take a toll on their mental health, pushing them beyond their mental fitness. Michael Phelps, an American former competitive Swimmer, has publicly stated several times that mental health absolutely needs to be prioritised in the world of sports.

Phelps has openly discussed his struggles with mental health: “I can’t expect to have every answer today, but I also have to give myself forgiveness because I’m still learning and at times that is hard.”

Having goals is important because it gives us direction, a purpose to fight for, but it is just as (if not more) important to remind ourselves that growth takes time, that mistakes happen, and that we need to take the time to rest and recover amidst the intense training.

“I’m constantly learning. I’m constantly growing.” – Michael Phelps

Simone Biles, an American artistic gymnast, withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics team finals because she was concerned about her mental health. Biles highlighted the importance of mental health and openly stated that “we’re human too” and that “we also have to focus on ourselves”.

When Phelps heard Bile’s announcement of withdrawal from the event, he said that it “broke [his] heart” and he hopes that it will be an “eye-opening” experience and an opportunity to “blow this mental health thing even more wide open” because “it’s bigger than we can ever imagine”.

This bravery to speak out sparked a global discussion on mental health among athletes and has led to some significant movement in the area. It is slowly becoming more accepted that, while athletes focus largely on their physical capabilities, they must also be mentally and emotionally fit. It is this balance that leads to peak performance.

“Before I would only focus on the gym. But me being happy outside the gym is just as important as me being happy and doing well in the gym. Now it’s like everything’s coming together.” – Simone Biles

Without a doubt, social media plays a significant role in the mental health struggles of athletes due to its great reach and fast-paced nature. However, it also provides athletes like Phelps and Biles a platform to spread awareness and share their stories.

Mental health awareness in sports is gradually increasing thanks to athletes like Michael Phelps and Simone Biles. In fact, just recently, Phelps and Biles organised a meet-up to discuss mental health. It is this confident, completely vulnerable, honest and open communication we need to take the next intimidating steps in normalising mental health struggles and providing athletes the time and space they need to rest, heal, and recover.

“Don’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.” – Michael Phelps

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Athletes like Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Simone Biles and others taking time off due to mental and physical stress & burnout

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, 6-time cycling world champion, has ended her 2021 season early.

Less than a month after retaining her European title in cross-country mountain biking, the Frenchwoman shared an emotive post on social media as she announced the end to her racing for the year.

“I feel deeply tired, mentally and physically. I don’t have energy and my body is clearly not recovering from training. I decided to stop my season before I make too much damage to my body.

“I’m happy with my decision because I know it’s the best one. I will come back stronger next year.”

After leaving top-tier road squad Canyon-SRAM at the end of 2020, the 29-year-old had produced some strong results in the year to date.

Starting the season with mountain bike team Absolute Absalon-BMC, Ferrand-Prévot secured bronze in a sprint finish at the inaugural Short Track Cross-country World Championships, and sits third in the World Cup standings for cross-country even after her withdrawal from racing at the fifth round in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

The versatile cyclist, who has previously won world titles in three different disciplines, joins a host of athletes recently in opening up about struggles surrounding their performance at the top level, with mental and physical fatigue often leading to further issues.

Such was the case at the Tokyo Olympics, when strongly-favoured American Simone Biles felt unable to compete in the team final of the gymnastics, with mental health her primary concern. A quadruple gold medallist the Olympics prior, the Texas-based athlete only returned for the final of the balance beam, winning bronze to equal the record for medals won by a US gymnast.

With an extended five year Olympic cycle in the lead-up to the Games, Biles was the poster child of the event for many at home. Expected by many to equal or improve on her medal haul from the Rio Games, the Ohio-born gymnast was philosophical after her withdrawal.

“We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do… We’re not just athletes. We’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.”

Despite the mental effects of sport being at the forefront of debate for the first time in recent years, such topics have been present for a significant period of time.

6-time snooker World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, whose experience of burnout and stress has been well-documented, has abandoned matches and skipped tournaments due to the demands sport has placed on him.

More recently, four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka withdrew from the 2021 French Open after winning her first round match, refusing to participate in press conferences throughout due to the strain on her mental health.

Despite taking a break from competition and skipping the Wimbledon Championships, the 23-year-old announced a hiatus from tennis after an early loss at the US Open, stating that, “[W]hen I win, I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad.”

No matter the level of competition, participating in sport creates fatigue, both mental and physical, with training placing significant demands on the body, and stressors from all areas adding to the cognitive demands involved.

We created Rewire to help athletes that are looking to combat mental and physical fatigue in and out of competition.

Whether it is assessing readiness for competition or training, or training the brain to cope better with mental fatigue, the Rewire app has you covered.

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INEOS 1:59 – A week on…

2019, so far, has been an incredible year of sport. The heroics of Ben Stokes in both the World Cup and Headingley Test. Huge comebacks in the Champions League knockout stages. Japan’s unexpected dominance in the pool stages of their home World Cup. And most recently, a weekend to remember in the marathon…Brigid Kosgei breaking the women’s record, taking a staggering 81 seconds off a 16 year record, and Eliud Kipchoge breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier.

I distinctly remember two years ago watching the Breaking2 attempt and being both amazed and upset about how close Kipchoge was to breaking 2 hours. It was incredible how much he actually knocked off the previous record, yet was only 1 second off the pace-per-mile to breaking 2 hours. However, this made the most recent attempt even more incredible. Kipchoge is relentless and with a goal in his sight he will never gave up. Almost uniquely, he is an athlete that is impossible not to like. A quiet man with a humble lifestyle and background, coupled with almost everything he says being a motivational quote makes him the ideal candidate for such a feat.

In life, the idea is to be happy. So, I believe in calm, simple, low-profile life. You live simple, you train hard and live an honest life. Then you are free.

Eliud Kipchoge

Following the record last weekend, a few things were thrown into controversy. The use of pacemakers, drafting and most notably: the shoes. Both Kipchoge and Kosgei were wearing models of Nike’s latest developments. Whilst Kosgei seemed to be wearing the commercially available Next% shoes (in accordance with IAAF rules), Kipchoge was wearing what Nike has called ‘A future version of Nike’s Next% marathon shoe’. The initial Vaporfly 4% were named due to the 4% improvement in running economy that they created on average. The Next% goes even further than this and Kipchoges mystery shoe, rumoured to be called alphaFLY, goes even further still. Some called the shoes a form of ‘Technical Doping’ giving athletes an unfair advantage due to the three individual carbon fibre plates and four individual cushioning pods to name just a few innovations each providing propulsion and economy to the runner’s stride.

Eliud Kipchoge (white vest) and his pacemaking team run through Vienna. The INEOS 1:59 Challenge, Vienna, Austria. 12 October 2019. Photo: Joe Toth for The INEOS 1:59 Challenge

For me, I have no problem with the development. In fact, I welcome it. Firstly as an unofficial record, the attempt is there to show that a sub-2-hour marathon is possible allowing other athletes to push to achieve and exceed this. Kipchoge said this himself: ‘I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.’. Secondly, innovation in technology is a huge part of sport. Huge teams are behind every elite athlete. In 2018, the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team had around 950 employees working on the same goal of achieving the best car. Something they have just achieved for the sixth time on the trot, by winning their 6th Constructor’s title in a row after last weekend in Japan. Innovation allows this to be possible. Each of those employees is able to innovate and push technology further than ever – building on the idea of marginal gains. It allows creativity and competition between teams each pushing each other’s limits. This makes the races and season more interesting with teams like Mercedes being faster in the corners and teams like Ferrari being faster on the straights. Hopefully, companies like Adidas are able to catch up with Nike and start to compete with them. It would be great to see a ‘space race’ between companies like these to achieve new records. The technology used at an elite level also trickles down to the commercial consumer level improving lives for everyone.

The magnitude of this most recent record is huge. It sits alongside Roger Bannister’s 4 minute mile and the first sub-10 second 100m time recorded by Jim Hines with a time of 9.95 seconds. The interesting thing about both these records is that people once thought these barriers were unbreakable, and since then we’ve had Hicham El Guerrouj set a mile time of 3:43.13 and Bolt set a time of 9.58 seconds in the 100m – the barriers have been broken even further. Kipchoge’s record will be pushed further and hopefully in an official sense. I also hope Kipchoge takes the official record; he deserves it more than anyone right now, especially with his commitment and devotion to these unofficial records.

A lot has been said about the mindset of athletes like Kipchoge. Relentlessly devoted and focussed towards a goal. The mental aspect of performance is almost universally accepted as being a very important part, yet few people devote time to training their brain. Hopefully, as cognitive training comes more to the forefront of training, athletes will be able to reach higher heights than ever – pushing these records further than ever before. Evidence of the need for cognitive training in sports can be seen by the improvements in performance seen in studies where Brain Endurance Training is combined with regular training. Staiano et al., 2015 showed that those undergoing brain training at the same time as regular training had 3x the increase in performance in a time-to-exhaustion test over a 12-week period compared to a control group doing the same physical training without brain training. This shows that devotion to cognitive training is necessary if we want to push human performance to new levels and make the ‘impossible’ possible. 

Thank you, Eliud, for showing us that #NoHumanIsLimited

Eliud Kipchoge is lifted by his pacemaking team after becoming the first person to break the two hour barrier for the marathon distance. The INEOS 1:59 Challenge, Vienna, Austria. 12 October 2019. Photo: Bob Martin for The INEOS 1:59 Challenge

I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours and I can tell people that no human is limited.

Eliud Kipchoge

Study Covered in Article for Further Reading

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Brain Endurance Training (BET) to Reduce Fatigue During Endurance Exercise” 
by Walter Staiano, Michele Merlini, Samuele M Marcora
Conference: ACSM Annual Meeting, 2015

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