A day in the life of an AFL sports physiotherapist

Sports Medicine Australia has released an article outlining what happens on game day for West Coast Eagles sports physiotherapist Kane Spagnolo….. and it’s planned to the minute!

Before the game

The week before the game, the head sports trainer ensures everyone has the necessary supplies so that game day can be as efficient and effective as possible.

Based in Melbourne, Kane’s game day starts about 3 hours before the game when he meets the staff and team at the hotel. Some of the players prefer treatment and taping done before arriving at the ground.

After arriving at the ground, pre-game treatment and taping is continued until bounce down. Although the change room may look chaotic, everyone has a specific role to play.

During the game

It’s all about communication between the head physio Paul Tucker, and Kane, as they sit on the bench watching for signs that a player is struggling. Paul or one of the team doctors will act as the primary responder on the field while Kane watches the replay screen to see if he can assist in making a primary diagnosis to gain information about the mode of the injury.

One of the physios and a doctor will take an injured player into the change room it need be, while the other doctor and physio continues to follow play. The need to call for a substitute player will be relayed to the coach if required.

Kane describes the crucial part of the job as being able to perform his job effectively when there are multiple injuries. Being able to focus on the immediate task at hand while maintaining a sense of alertness about what is happening is paramount.

After the game

When the game finished, the physio catches up with each player to see if any further treatment is required, and so that rehab measures can be put in place for the recovery session the following day.

Click here for the full article from Sports Medicine Australia.

Other recent physiotherapy articles on My Health Career:

Image:        Michael_Spencer – flickr


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