Allan Besselink has a unique voice in the world of sport and health care, one that has been defined by his experiences as physiotherapist, McKenzie practitioner, coach, author, educator, patient, and athlete. Allan is the author of the "Smart Physio" and "Rhubarb Diaries" blogs, along with the book "RunSmart: A Comprehensive Approach To Injury-Free Running".
You can contact Allan here or connect with him on Twitter.
If you’re looking for a speaker, check out his Speaking information page. Allan speaks on topics such as the Competent Self Care, coaching and performance (focus on endurance sports such as running), physiotherapy, McKenzie Methods, and much more.
If you’re wondering why you’re bothering to read anything Allan writes, here are a few bullet points of things that he’s done in his past that might be relevant:
You can read more about Allan's professional portfolio, including credentials, speaking engagements, and courses taught here.
Allan Besselink is the CRO (Chief Revolutionary Officer) of the Smart Life Project. Allan is a physiotherapist (physical therapist) with 25 years of clinical experience. He is a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. In his final year at Queen’s after working with the men’s varsity basketball program, he was awarded the Hal Dunlop Shield – one of the seven highest athletic awards at Queen’s - for significant contribution to athletic therapy at Queen’s University. While residing in Canada, he developed an athletic injury prevention and rehabilitation program intended for recreational and high school athletes and coaches. He has been in Austin since 1990.
Allan is a specialist in sport- and fitness-related injuries and injury prevention for both the recreational and elite level athlete. He has extensive experience with athletes in track and field, cycling, duathlon and triathlon. In his 25 years of clinical and on-site experience, he has served as a physical therapist at several international sporting events including the medical team for track and field at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the 1996 USA Track and Field Olympic Trials, the 1995 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, and the 1988 World Junior Track and Field Championships in Sudbury, Canada. He worked with the United States National Track and Field team at the 1994 World Cup of Athletics in London, the 1997 World Cup Racewalk in Prague, and the 2001 World Half Marathon Championships in Bristol. Allan has been a rehabilitation and performance consultant to a number of world-class athletes.
Through Smart Sport International, Allan maintains a consistent clinical caseload as a PT. He also subcontracts his services to other healthcare and wellness facilities.
Allan is one of approximately 350 practitioners internationally that have attained the Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy from the McKenzie Institute International in New Zealand, the highest level of achievement and training in the McKenzie method. The McKenzie method emphasizes a mechanical assessment process for spine and extremity disorders, and active patient involvement and education in the management of their treatment. It develops the patient’s self treatment skills in a cost- and time-effective manner while promoting the body’s potential to heal itself without medication, heat, cold, ultrasound, needles, surgery, or a physical dependency on the practitioner. In 1998, he became the 151st clinician worldwide to complete the Diploma training. He has been a Certified McKenzie practitioner since 1996. Allan provides clinician mentorship for those wishing to integrate the McKenzie Method into their clinical practice, especially in the sports medicine community. He served as the Chief Editor of the McKenzie Institute USA Journal from 1998 - 2005, and was the Chief Editor for the inaugural International Journal of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in 2006.
Allan has been involved in coaching and performance optimization since 1985. Be it working with high school track and field athletes, elementary school aged basketball, recreational runners, pro triathletes or those new to exercise, Allan’s strong coaching skills and understanding of the sports sciences shine through.
He has been actively involved in furthering his coaching expertise via his self-guided research and writing and through the certification processes of numerous groups such as USA Triathlon (Level One), USA Track and Field (Level One), and the National Coaching Certification Program in Canada. In 1992, he also completed an Elite Coaching Development Program under the instruction and mentoring of the Elite Training Group in Austin, Texas.
Allan has coached a wide variety of athletes of all experience skill levels, including first time runners to experienced age group and pro Ironman distance triathletes. He is currently coaching endurance athletes in Canada and the US. He has coached five athletes that have qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii over the past 5 years, with a top 20 finisher in 2003. In 2011, Allan coached a double World Masters Athletics gold medalist in the 800m and 1500m - just one month after one of his age group athletes completed the Western States 100 mile endurance run in 23 hours!
Allan's approach to both physiotherapy and coaching involves a significant foundation in client education. As the saying goes, "knowledge is power" - and Allan truly integrates this belief into his approach. Not only does he implement a high level of teaching into his clinical and coaching practice, he is also involved in the educational process in other venues. He has been an adjunct assistant professor in the PT Assistant program at Austin Community College for over 10 years and has been a guest lecturer for more than 18 years at Texas State University in San Marcos. Allan is also involved in the continuing education of his peers, having developed the program "Sports Science Solutions for Rehabilitation and Training”, a continuing education program for physical therapists, physicians, chiropractors, and massage therapists.
Allan is the author of "RunSmart: A Comprehensive Approach to Injury-Free Running". This book provides the running community with an innovative perspective on injury prevention and performance optimization.
Though his passion for his profession shines through, Allan is a multi-faceted guy. It all started riding half pipes on a skateboard - but from these extreme beginnings, Allan has crossed the line as an Ironman triathlon finisher. Along the way, he's played soccer, tennis and has been on a bicycle since he was a wee tot. His sports experiences have definitely given him an understanding of the athlete’s perspective as well as that gained from his experiences as a physiotherapist and coach.
Of course, Allan will be the first to say that everything involves balance. Life wouldn't be complete without a well-rounded and healthy dose of music and literature in his world. Allan has played guitar for over 24 years and has performed his own songs in a live venue or two along the way. Don't let that fool you though - Allan has been the webmaster and developer of this website as well! Add to that a love of photography, reading, and F1 racing, and somewhere in there you'll find the balance that makes Allan a special addition to the health and wellness field.
Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT has a unique voice in the world of sport and health care, one that has been defined by his experiences as physiotherapist, mentor, McKenzie practitioner, coach, innovator, author, educator, patient, and athlete. Read more about Allan, contact him, get updates via email, or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.