U14s Girls and Boys Hockey National Championship

Day 1

We arrived at the airport with the two teams and flew up to Canberra and checked in to our accommodation at the Australian Institute of sport (the AIS). Then straight to the hockey fields it was for the final training session for both of the teams. It was a great start to the competition with only a handful of injuries along with a handful of players needing strapping. I strapped them up ready for training and then treated a couple of irritable backs to get them right to play. The two teams had their recovery session; including cool downs, stretches, and food and water intake. We were then lucky enough to be take on a tour of the AIS, giving us a great insight into the level of training required at elite level sport, as well as seeing the great facilities they have. That evening I treated a couple of the boy’s backs, hamstrings and calves, and a handful of the girls who have been suffering with knee pain and shin splints.

Day 2

A busy day for me as the girls and boys teams both had 2 games each. Early morning as the first game was a 9am start for the boys against NSW. We were at the pitch by 8, where I strapped a couple of knees and ankles and treated and strapped the backs. It was a tough game for the boys and the NSW boys were very strong competition. At half time as there were no injuries for the boys I popped out of the dug out to tape the girl’s knees and shins and gave some advice regarding muscle activation whilst they were warming up.  The boys ended up losing 5-2 to the NSW team however played well and were injury free throughout the game. Back to the dugout for me for the girls game against NSW. Again extremely strong opposition in fairly hot conditions too. Luckily injury free by half time so I went to provide the post-match injury assessment and management for the boys team , then straight into their recovery they went for cold- hot showers and then for a recovery stretch session ( the same session the Victoria Vikings use) before their next game not long after. The girls ended up being defeated 6-2 by NSW girls, injury free but some very tight calves. After treating the girls who needed it it was already time for the boys second game so we set the girls off with their recovery session and back to the dug out again for the boy game against ACT. This was a great game for the Vic boys winning 11-2. The boys came off the pitch very pleased with their win but also quite sore, especially the boys who ended up having very little time “off” the pitch. A quick injury assessment and management encouraging the recovery session and ICE where needed before the boys went back to the AIS to use their recovery rooms of ICE bath plunge pools, spa and some water running for their recovery. It was then time for the girls 2nd game against ACT, the Vic girls dominated and won injury free 9-2. The girls did their cool down and then straight to the AIS for their ICE bath plunge pools and spa. We headed back to the AIS in time for me to assist the coaches with the team’s recovery. The Vic teams showed a great understanding of the importance of their recovery and reactivation to improve their ability to get up and play just as hard the next day so I was very pleased that they took all the advice they have had during the run up to the tournament on board. That night I was very busy with some very sore legs both girls and boys, but they all deserved to be feeling like that as they worked very hard on the field. The next day the teams had and later games so used the AIS recovery rooms again with a recovery session of stretching and reactivation exercises. Then I strapped all the girls that needed it and then a couple of pre match massages before their game and then the same for the boys for their game. Both teams played well and struggled in the heat, coming away with 2 close defeats. That evening the teams were lucky enough again to use the recovery rooms at the AIS , followed by a busy evening for me treating the majority of both teams and encouraging their own stretching , foam rolling and the use of ice. The next day was the last day of games. I was very used to the routine now which I needed to be having to look after two teams at once, so I strapped and treated the boys, who had a great 10-2 win, coming off relatively injury free, and then the same for the girls who won 9-3. Both teams were very grateful for my support, and it was great to see them take on board the importance of making sure their bodies are prepared for best performance, not only through physio treatment but all the recovery and reactivation work that is also required. Words By Katie Flatters 1379245_555930037789141_1451513363_n 988714_555179681197510_1122068199_n    
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