Team Physio at National Hockey Championships

2015 Under 18 National Hockey Championships

Earlier this year I was privileged to be a part of the 2015 mens under 18 hockey championships as the travelling physiotherapist for the South Australian team. We travelled to Melbourne for 11 days and competed against 7 other states in a very competitive and highly skilled tournament. Traditionally SA finishes around the middle of the pack at this age group, but we were very confident in our preparation leading up to the tournament and were hoping for a top 4 finish.


My role in the tournament as a travelling physiotherapist was a very different role to being in the clinic. Being a physiotherapist for a young group of men incorporates more than just sitting on the sideline and waiting for an injury to occur so it can then be treated appropriately. My roles and responsibilities included everything from the usual match preparation such as pre game warm up, immediate post match recovery, match time supervision and intervention as required. This was the exciting part as it was often that players would come to me after getting a split chin from a swinging hockey stick, or being a target for a hockey ball travelling at high speed.

Along with this, I was in charge of running early morning and evening pool sessions for recovery (which a group of 16-18 year old was thrilled with) in a freezing cold pool, a morning team walk and group stretching session. Early morning, pre and post match weigh ins were a necessity to ensure adequate hydration, whilst management and overseeing appropriate meal


plans and supplement use to make sure that players were refuelling their bodies correctly to be able to play back to back games for 11 days. Aside from all of these above mentioned tasks, I got to do some more traditional physiotherapy treatment back at the hotel, which involved 15 minute sessions either in the morning or night for players who were struggling with any injuries or tight spots that needed attention.


We ended up placed 8th out of 10, which for SA Hockey is a slightly disappointing finish. We faced up against well polished, highly skilled, bigger and stronger teams such as Queensland and NSW, which made times tough, but showed very competitive and impressive game play for large parts of the tournament. There was many learning curbs and we look forward to doing it all again next year.


Sam has a great range of experience and skills around the sporting field. If you, or your sports club would like Sam to be involved in your injury management, please email us at