As a football coach and team doctor at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois, Dr. Tom Nelson spent 4 years learning how to integrate therapist Douglas Heel’s Be Activated techniques into a team sports environment. The result was a greater focus on self activation.   What makes activation so powerful is the instantaneous effect it has on the human body – with a breath and a touch, tension decreases and concentration and balance improve. The result is better focus, body awareness, and fewer instances of injury. And because each individual athlete can self activate, it scales easily for use by teams. A few of Dr. Nelson’s methods for applying Be Activated philosophies in a team sports environment:


  1. Athletes activate themselves – or one another. Each member of a team becomes accountable for their own core activation during practices, workouts, and games.
  2. The Stick makes it simple. Dr. Nelson developed The Self Activation Stick; this simple tool makes it easier to stimulate pressure points correctly. He found it provides advanced leverage even when there are limiting compensations within an athlete’s body.
  3. Doctors, Strength Coaches and Athletic Trainers reinforce. Leadership from ATs and coaches trained in Be Activated ensures activations are being done correctly and consistently by the whole team, and helps to identify causes of weakness or muscle strain in individuals before they result in injury.
  4. Breathing is key. Dr. Nelson also builds diaphragmatic breathing habits into team routines, ensuring teams stay in sync and movement always starts from the core. For example, during team practices, every play or drill should start with a belly-breath before the athletes explode into action.

For more insights into introducing Be Activated to team sports programs, join Dr. Nelson’s e-mail list. Where activation comes from

I walked into Dr. Nelson’s office unsure of what to expect – and left completely amazed. The ankle pain I had been dealing with for nearly a year and a half had completely disappeared. I was in my first ballet class since my appointment with Dr. Nelson when suddenly, something in my mind just clicked. I was able to find those muscles my teachers were always talking about.
Yaman Kelemet