Start Preparing Now for a Successful 2016

by David Francis, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Physioworks Health Group.

Every year I hear a very similar, familiar story as footballers and netballers present to me at a Physioworks clinic over the summer training period….

"Last year I missed a few games with general soreness around the groin/hamstring/back/hip.

There was a gradually on-set of stiffness and pain as the season progressed. I really noticed that I had trouble in my ability to change direction. I felt I lacked length in my kicking and my speed was well down. It was also taking me longer to ‘warm up’ pre-game and by half time each week I was pretty sore.

Sometimes I could not train, I was too sore. And when I did train I didn’t go as hard, I learnt not to run at 100%, which I’m sure impacted my fitness. I’d wake up sore after training and especially after a game – I never used to be that sore.

Common sense about my ‘persistent niggles’ was that ‘rest during the post season will fix this’. So I rested… then I went for run a few months after the last game. I felt pretty good.

But…once I got back into training with ball work, increased running & changes in direction I had a re-occurrence of my symptoms.

It is now late summer and our first game is only weeks away and I’m in a worse plight then at the end of last season… and we have not even played any games yet….What can you do to help?"

My professional experience in football over 20+ years, consulting at both AFL and community level, is that if you do not have an effective pre-season your entire footy season will be compromised, with an increased likely-hood of injury and with the athlete unlikely to reach optimal performance.

The reason I repeatedly see this scenario outlined above is that time may be needed, and must be taken, to get a correct diagnosis; it may need further investigation; it may then need referral, with the aim of building a tailored action plan to enable you a full pre-season designed to ensure:

  • Your condition is eliminated.
  • Physical conditioning is obtained.
  • Optimal performance and enjoyment in your chosen sport is achieved.

Currently, in the immediate post season at the Collingwood Football Club, all listed players are going through this process.

Does this sound like you?

I ask if this scenario outlined fits your criteria, no matter what part of your body is presenting with symptoms, no matter the sport you are playing or what level of competition you participate in, get it addressed now….not in the New Year.

The experienced team of health care professionals at Physioworks Health Group, prides itself on evaluating, developing and monitoring tailored action plans to ensure best treatment and outcomes for athletes of all ages and competition levels.

So while the end of the season enables time for reflection and rest …the time for improved health, fitness, performance and a successful 2016 starts now!

About the Author –

David Francis is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Head Physiotherapist for the Collingwood Football Club (AFL) and Director at Physioworks Health Group. With 20+ years’ experience, David specialises in sports injury management, particularly injuries and rehabilitation associated with AFL.

About Physioworks Health Group ( – Physioworks has a team of dedicated physiotherapists and health care professionals providing a range of specialist health services at clinics in Cranbourne, Pakenham, Mulgrave and Camberwell. Physioworks is the Medical and Allied Health Care partner of the SEFNL

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