A Day at the Red Bull Athlete Performance Centre

In the world of sports sponsorship, Red Bull is one of the biggest brands, sponsoring over 250 different sports including Formula 1, Cliff Diving, Football (soccer), Snowboarding, Kitesurfing, and many more. But have you ever wondered who looks after all those athletes?

Located outside Salzburg, Austria, old farm barns have been converted into the state-of-the-art Red Bull Athlete Performance Centre (APC). Established in 2005 to help more of the company’s sponsored athletes reach the podium, the APC stands today as a high-performance rehabilitation and testing centre for all sponsored athletes, with a focus on evidence-based interdisciplinary care.
The APC is staffed by an array of professionals, including experts in sports medicine, physiotherapy, sports psychology, biomechanics, sports science, nutrition, and sports management. These professionals have worked with athletes pushing the limits of human performance, often risking serious injury and at times death.

I had the privilege of visiting the APC in January of this year, where I observed the professionals and athletes at work. The centre is by no means a relaxing retreat but a 8-5 day, visiting each discipline at least once, completing rehabilitation, testing, and both mental and physical performance coaching.
The day starts with an interdisciplinary meeting outlining the athletes present for the day. Each daily program is built for the individual athlete, with the needs of their sport and competition in mind. This may sound easy, but the sports that Red Bull sponsors tend to be unconventional, and the demands of the sport can be poorly defined.
The next segment of the day is a tour of the facility and then into physiotherapy sessions. I was alongside the lead physiotherapist. The consultation was performed in a ‘normal’ physiotherapy room, made up of a plinth, therapist chair and equipment (pictured). The state-of-the-art technology in this room was the physiotherapist herself with evidence-based knowledge and a wealth of experience. Our first athlete was a young teenager that was already a world champion in his chosen sport. The sessions were varied in approach, focused on symptom management, education, and collaborative problem-solving.

These sessions were then complemented with rehabilitation in the afternoon through exercise. Making two physiotherapy sessions per day a regular occurrence in the facility and seen as the gold standard.

Then it’s off to the gym with the strength and conditioning staff to keep the rest of the body ticking over. This is part of any high-performance approach where rest is not an option, and improvement can be made throughout uninjured areas. The athletes’ program is split into strength, power, and fitness, with coaches working on deficits that are observed in testing. Programming for the athletes is done with overarching strategies but always with a focus on the demands of the sport. These are built with collaboration with the physiotherapy and medical staff to ensuring tissue healing is able to be fostered throughout the process.

Up next is testing. Testing is a large aspect of the centre. You don’t have to look too hard to find videos of Max Verstappen in the APC strapped into a machine for the annual testing day. The APC has millions of dollars of testing equipment that is highly accurate (pictured below) allows for screening of athletes and, where possible, comparing normative values that relate to the demands of their sport. This gives data on force production, strength deficits and asymmetries that can all be targeted through training. This testing can be performed at any time, although it is likely that athletes are tested in preseason and then throughout their respective season.

The experience gained from working alongside these leaders in the field has been invaluable. The collaborative approach with athletes, patients and other clinician will facilitate greatest outcomes and has been a great reminder that the collaborative goal setting is vital to successful rehabilitation. The inclusion of physiotherapist throughout the entire process was an integral part of the model of rehabilitation model used at the APC.

If you are interested in having a deeper look at the APC, follow the link below:

Lachie Stewart – BeFit Training Physio Double Bay

Lachie Stewart – BeFit Training Physio Double Bay

Lachie Stewart is a physiotherapist based in Double Bay in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Lachie has successfully treated musculoskeletal problems on the basis of a thorough assessment and diagnosis coupled with evidence-based rehabilitation programs tailored to the needs and goals of each individual. Lachie specialises in Sports injuries, headaches and ACL rehabilitation. To book a consultation, click the link below.

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks to stay injury free

Success! We'll keep you updated

Sign up to our blog to get all our articles delivered straight to your inbox

Success! We'll notify you when the next blog post goes live!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This