Only a couple of months back we posted a blog regards Fitness Coach & Training (click HERE) Then the RFU spend 3 years & thousands on studies to declare, Players should complete a routine – which includes balance, strength and movement exercises – before matches and during training.
Lets have a ramble.
Way back in the mists of time to see a physiotherapist standing on the touchline while the “muddied oafs” slugged out and hacked lumps of each other was a rare sight indeed. The individual usually responsible for tending to the injured was accorded the honorary title of “the sponge man.” Their duties included dashing on with water, plasters, bandages, spare shorts etc., and after the game, in some instances, supplying the players with a much needed shot of nicotine. This was of course pre isotonic or hypotonic drinks days; although there were tales of a nip port being preferred to an orange at half time by some players. After the battle was over a steaming communal bath and a bar of carbolic soap would go a long way to help the healing process.
The first aid training of these volunteers was pretty basic, occasional on field medical back up being provided by a member of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade and these characters came in all shapes and sizes with their own particular bedside manner. Some senior clubs had a doctor in attendance (rarely) while it was not uncommon to find those from the medical profession (allegedly) also playing. However, it was something of an ad-hoc system further down the rugby pyramid and still is for many teams at second, third and fourth team level where little has changed, and many still rely on a “sponge person”, be it one of the replacements or a spectator.
But things have moved on, times have changed as player’s safety and welfare have become more relevant during game time. It is something of a rarity at first team level not to come across a physiotherapist, the majority being female, who are not only very professional but well qualified, tending to the needs of the players during the course of the game. In addition they also work with the players during training nights and helping with their rehabilitation. They are quite rightly treated as valuable members of the team and given prominence in the club’s hierarchy.
An insight to match days, changing rooms are checked that all essential items were accounted for, liaise with DoR and fitness coach and then begin preparing the players for the upcoming challenge. In between handing out advice in a packed changing room, and in a scene resembling something from ancient Egypt, metres of tape were wrapped around a multitude of appendages. There’s a brief respite while the players went off for their warm up session and before kick-off there is just time for a few more muscles to be tweaked and embrocation applied.
At the final whistle there is still plenty to do, checking the players for injuries, packing away the various items of equipment and ensuring everything is shipshape and tidy before grabbing a drink such dedication has been much appreciated by players and officials.
As Director of Rugby Martin Poste recently quoted Delighted that we are in front of RFU directives re injuries due to the excellent work of Mike Donnan and our physio Lara
By Annies Twitching