A week away at Netball Nationals

Last week I had the privilege to be one of the four physios to travel with the Victorian Men’s & Mixed Netball teams for their National Championships in Brisbane. There were 6 Victorian teams competing across multiple divisions. U17s, U20s, U23s, Men’s Reserve, Open Mixed and Open Mens.

Traveling with a team is both a challenging and rewarding experience. You have a big influence on the team as the only medical professionals. You also provide emotional support during a challenging week for the players. It is an opportunity to connect with a large group of people, from the tour manager and head coaches to players. 

Room Set-Up

We had our hotel room set up as a physio clinic with plinths set up on our alfresco overlooking the Brisbane River.

The first netball games started at 9am so our hotel room was open from 6:45am each morning to prepare the players before they headed off to the courts. 

What do Sports physios do when travelling with teams?

At the start of the week, we rotated through the six teams. There are three main stages for each game. The first stage is taping, blister management and any treatment required pre-game. During the game, we sit court-side next to the coaches and assess and manage any injuries that occur during the game.

Following the game, we would take the players through a cool down. Then we return to the hotel to take them through a pool recovery and ice bath session. We would repeat this process for another 1-2 games depending on the schedule. At the end of the day our hotel room would be open for any players requiring treatment. At times we were up until 10:30pm treating players.

The physiotherapy room tends to fill up with netball players not only needing treatment but those wanting some space away from their team. It’s also an opportunity to bond with players from other Victorian teams. I love these small moments that you get with the athletes.


Tournament conclusion

As we got closer to the end of the netball tournament, we worked with set teams. This helped ensure smooth transition for management of current injuries as well as familiarity for the players. I was assigned to the U17 and U23 teams, who were both sitting in the top 2 of their division leading up to finals. All six Victorian teams made it to their corresponding grand finals. Four teams including the U17s and U23s were successful and crowned National Champions, with the U17s winning by a goal in extra time.

It is a special experience to travel away with a sporting team. Although I wasn’t involved in the lead up to Nationals, you see everything during the week of competition. The blood, sweat and tears from playing in 2 x 60 min matches/per day as well as the emotional investment you have in the teams that you have treated, supported, encouraged and laughed with during the week. There is also a huge amount that occurs off the court, not just with the players but the support staff as well. The car rides to the games and all the other small moments that occur during the week make the long days rewarding.

– Natasha

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