Today was the first day of working as a Sports rehabilitator for the Royal Navy field gun Team. There were four teams, with allotted times on the track of 45 mins and therefore the athletes were on and off the track all day. The training area is an old airplane hangar and the temperature was cold throughout the day. There was a wide range of ability and fitness of the crew although all in the Navy, because of the above factors the likeness of injury can increase. Being a ex Royal Marine, who has helped run and also competed in the field gun competition in the past. I felt more comfortable in the force’s environment than my peers. I knew that I had to set firm boundaries from the start with some of the athletes being old work friends. To be respected as a professional I believe that you must uphold qualities such as professionalism. Banter, swearing and pranks are massive in the forces; however, it was important for myself to keep my professionalism and values as a Rehabilitator throughout. I believe that I achieved this today.
We set up a workstation in the hangar next to the track where the athletes could get one to one treatment when required, without appointments. It was the first day of training, so the teams were running through drills, which is not to physical. The gun teams spent the day watching and was not that much involved. Because of this there was not too much demand for treatments, however a few of the athletes required taping, with the majority requiring tapping of wrists, fingers, and ankles. Prior to today I had not used tapping outside of the University and therefore I was keen to get hands on experience in a sporting environment. I completed the tapping using my past knowledge, however a few times I asked my supervisor for different methods, to what I was used to expand my skills. I made sure that I communicated with the players throughout and asked for direction and feedback, after all they had to wear it and some players like things a certain way. Therefore, as a Rehabilitator you must be willing to adapt when treating different players/teams.
I am keen in going self-employed, so I used some of my time down the track to build a rapport with the players and coaches. I have talked with the head coach of the Navy and I have been given his contact details for the future.
I am accommodated in the same block as the team and I was able to give sports massages to 3 of the players after training. All three players wanted quad massages to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness the next day. Because of the clients being more muscular than those that I have previously treated in the clinic, I found that I had to apply more pressure and my time management was tested because of a team meeting.
I know what to expect for the rest of the week and I believe that today was greatly beneficial. I have made contacts within the Military, leant new methods of taping and feel accepted by the team.