Our expert staff have experience and knowledge in all aspects of physiotherapy and sports injury management.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Working in High Performace Sport

By Chris Beckmans

With the AFL football season having come to an end, I reflect back on my year with the GWS Giants. I got involved with the club across the 2017 season as I was fortunate enough to be the successful applicant of the FastTrack Programme for the Physiotherapy department. 
There were many ups and downs across the year: from the last-minute wins, to consecutive weekly draws, to just falling short of making the grand-final; to say it was a roller coaster is an understatement. However the wealth of knowledge I gained from this year is something that will be hard to come by again, and it is the insight into the elite sporting environment that I want to share. 
Injury prevention is the key:
Ever heard the saying: “Prevention is better than cure”? Well, It’s true! Injury prevention is one of the most important aspects of rehabilitation and is often overlooked. In a team sport, having every athlete injury free and available for selection is key to a successful season. “Prehab” is the term given to prescribed exercises, movements or activities designed to address issues that an athlete possesses. These issues may include: imbalances in strength, coordination, tightness of muscle groups or activation of muscles. A sports physiotherapist has the ability to assess these weaknesses and prescribe prehab exercises. Ideally these exercises are performed before the commencement of training and are aimed at preventing injuries before they happen. 

Importance of end-stage rehabilitation:
Rehabilitation after injury is important to restore optimal form and function designed to minimize the loss associated with the acute injury and maximize functional capacity, fitness and performance. Too often players return to play too quickly risking themselves to the possibility of re-injury. End-stage rehab is where the tissue adapts, and it is essential that the rehabilitation and training be sufficiently vigorous to prepare the tissue for the rigours of the game. 

Importance of training load:
Sport science has come a long way over the last decade, with the relationship between training load, injury and performance becoming critical for sport science practitioners. Training load, put simply, is the measurement of how much work an athlete does. This can be total distance running, total sprinting distance, weight lifting and a number of sprints or jumps (just to name a few). The reason monitoring training load is so important is because excessive and rapid increases in training loads, can increase the athletes risk of non-contact, soft tissue injuries (ie. strains).

Importance of recovery:
Rest and recovery are important aspects of any training program that are at times overlooked. The stress that the body goes through when sports training, requires adequate time to recuperate. The body requires time to adapt to the stress that has been placed upon it, replenish energy stores and repair tissue.  Many athletes look at the recovery period as time wasted, however, if the body is not allowed to rest adequately then it becomes susceptible to both over-training and injury. Elements of a successful recovery include but not limited to: adequate sleep, hydration, nutrition, flexibility, massage and ice baths.  

October 11, 2017 0 Comments

Reader Comments

There are no comments on this post. Be the first!

Add Your Comments

(not published)


SquareOne Physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems.

Read more


SquareOne Remedial Massage Therapists are experienced in a wide range of soft tissue therapy techniques.

Read more

Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates involves the conscious recruitment and control of muscular movements in the body.

Read more
  • What do Womens Health Physio's do postnatally?
  • Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a womans life. It is also one of most physically strenuous, with numerous potential short and long term consequences for both body and mind. 

  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Pessaries
  • What are they? And who are they for?
    Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is a very common condition in women, and can result in leaking from the bladder or bowel, a feeling of heaviness or bulging in the vagina, or even lower back pain. POP can vary significantly in its severity, the organ involved and the cause. Mild POP may be completely symptom free, however to stop the POP progressing and worsening women should be seen by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist for lifestyle advice, strengthening exercises where appropriate and possibly the use of a pessary to support the POP. 
    Pessaries are a silicone or plastic device that can be inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic organs. If there is a lack of support for your pelvic organs – usually due to muscle weakness, fascial (ligament) damage, or a recent vaginal birth, there is a risk of developing or worsening a Pelvic Organ Prolapse – POP. 
    In the past, pessaries have almost exclusivly been used in the older female population – mainly post menopausally to manage a current POP if surgery was not wanted or appropriate. However, recently pessaries are being used more and more in the younger female population, and in particular early post natal women. We often use pessaries to support a mild POP while the body heals and recovers post pregnancy and birth, or prophylactically for women who want to return to high impact exercise or running before their pelvic floor and fascia are ready. The positive effects from exercise on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are vast and very well known, however many women who have a POP are told that they can’t do a particular exercise anymore. The use of a pessary can give many women the required support to allow a safe return to high impact exercise, or even just symptomatic relief so that they don’t notice the POP.
  • The key to nailing your New Year goals.
  • As our New Year ticks over, it’s always a time to reflect on the year that’s been and of course set new goals for the year to come.
    Often these goals involve health and fitness and with this sudden increase in exercise, we often see an increase in certain types of injuries within the clinic.

  • Text Neck, Thumb Stress and Other New Diagnoses of 2017
  • Tech injuries: the world’s next health scare
    Our laptops, tablets and mobile phones have become extensions of our limbs, and new, previously-unseen health problems are on the rise.
    Holiday time often means more screen time for kids and also checking emails on phone etc. We are seeing more and more people as a result of the technologically driven world we live in today. Whilst this world is all about instantaneous gratification where everything is done in a click of a button, it’s time we thought about the effects that will be felt further down the line.



  • We recommend women have a pelvic floor assessment prior to giving birth. Find out why below....
  • For many women it is not until the child bearing years that they have even heard of the pelvic floor, let alone given it much attention. 
    Historically the focus for the pelvic floor has always been based around strengthening, however  just like any other muscle in the body the pelvic floor has the potential to a to also become excessively tight (hypertonic) and this can be incredibly problematic for some women. Clinically, we are now seeing an increase in the number of women presenting with hypertonic pelvic floors and the reasons for this seem to be multifactorial in nature mainly based around lifestyle and behavior choices. Factors such as high level participation in exercise can encourage over activation of the pelvic floor, and constipation from poor dietary choices can lead to chronic straining and a pelvic floor that is always in spasm. The impact of today’s fast paced lifestyle has also lead to a pelvic floor that is constantly ‘switched on’ as a result of a lack of relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing and high anxiety and stress levels.
    To understand why it is so important to have it checked prior to birth, first we need to understand what it is and what it actually does…..