Sports Therapy Community Streamed

Ep6 The top 5 challenges of returning a player from injury - Jack Clover

July 20, 2020 Kristian Weaver Season 1 Episode 6
Sports Therapy Community Streamed
Ep6 The top 5 challenges of returning a player from injury - Jack Clover
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Sports Therapy Community Streamed
Ep6 The top 5 challenges of returning a player from injury - Jack Clover
Jul 20, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
Kristian Weaver

In this episode I speak with Jack Clover about the challenges faced by Sports Scientists and Strength and Conditioning coaches when returning a player from injury.

If you want to Become An Unstoppable Sports Therapist then visit: 

www.sportstherapycommunity.co.uk
 
 To find out more about Jack Clover:
Instagram:
strength_coachjack
Twitter:
jack_clover1

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode I speak with Jack Clover about the challenges faced by Sports Scientists and Strength and Conditioning coaches when returning a player from injury.

If you want to Become An Unstoppable Sports Therapist then visit: 

www.sportstherapycommunity.co.uk
 
 To find out more about Jack Clover:
Instagram:
strength_coachjack
Twitter:
jack_clover1

Kristian Weaver:

Welcome to the sports therapy community streamed the place where sports therapy practitioners can get useful and actionable advice from industry leading experts from sports medicine to psychology to business. Here is your host sports therapist, exercise physiologist, and creator of the sports therapy community. Kristian Weaver. What are the top five challenges facing sports scientists when returning a player from injury? Hello, I'm Kristian Weaver and welcome to this episode with Jack Clover. Today we're going to be talking about different topics around returning a player from injury when they've been under the care of a sports therapist. So Jack , kick us off by telling us who you are and what you do.

Jack Clover:

Yeah, no problem. So , I'm currently the head of sports science for the women's team at everton football club. Um, so I've been an everton for about four years now. Um, previous to that I worked at Liverpool John Moores University, so I worked with different sports , um, female and male sports, mainly younger athletes. Um, and previous to that I intend a little bit in professional cricket as well. Um, so I've kinda most sporting background quite a variety, but currently working in women's football , um, primarily with the first team or also overseeing some of the Academy teams , um, sports science and strength and conditioning provision as well.

Kristian Weaver:

Excellent. So I imagine that there are a variety of different challenges which sort of go in between different sports and working between male and female athletes. So can you just tell us about the different challenges of working within women's football?

Jack Clover:

Yeah, so I think there's some unique challenges working with both female and male athletes, as I said, I've got a bit of experience in both. Mostly football has been pretty much just with female athletes. I think one thing I always noticed about working with females, they ask a lot of questions. They want to know a lot about the programs that you're giving them. Um, they're quite keen to kind of know the reasons why you're doing what you're doing, which certainly is a challenge. Um, I think as well with the female game compared to the male game, talking about football specifically, I think there's a lot of similarities. Obviously the structural set up of the game is identical. Um, in terms of the physiological demands running distances covered over a match , it's very similar, but I think in the men's game does have a lot more explosive movement that hit a lot higher speeds. Um, I think in the female game that's probably unique challenges as well. It's probably slightly more technical , um, maybe a little bit less time with the ball in the air, a little bit less aerial duals etc. So maybe , um, maybe slightly less physical in that way. Although I think certainly in the time I've worked in professional women's football , um , the physicality of the games really growing over the last few years, which certainly poses a unique challenge. Um , I think specifically as well from a from a sports therapy point of view, the injury profiles are quite different, maybe slightly less muscular injuries, more structural, more ligament tendon injuries, obviously a greater risk of ACL and female sport as well.

Kristian Weaver:

Yeah. Great. And then also obviously working in women's sport , it's changed over probably the last five years. Um , and definitely over the last 10 years. And we see in the men's game obviously changes within how people play the sports and the number of high speed repetition sprints they have to do. Have you seen similar changes in how the games adapted over that time?

Jack Clover:

Yeah, without a doubt. I , as I said , I started everton about four years ago. At the time it was a semiprofessional club and it was a second tier club. Um, the players were, a lot of them were working or studying during the day, training in the evening, two or three times a week. Um, whereas now the whole top division of the female game is full time professional. Obviously we collect data around GPS , um, physical data or in the gym as well. And when you see those numbers going up and up and up at the moment , um, since certainly certainly a massive increases in the physical demands of the game over the last three or four years.

Kristian Weaver:

And do you still have female players working on some professional contracts and some on professional contract?

Jack Clover:

Yeah , so we've kind of gone through the transition of it. Um , which I suppose is a unique challenge in itself, kind of transitioning players from part time footballers to full time footballers I think the entire top division now is full time professional . So all our players are full time contracts. And so to give you an idea of like a typical schedule, we'll , we'll train five or six days a week , out on the pitch in the morning and in the gym in the afternoon and obviously play a weekend. So yeah, I think, I think there's still probably that unique challenge in t he women's game where you've got players on semiprofessional c ontract and p layers on professional contract, which certainly was a change when we w ere w orking like that. I think probably the greatest challenge for us has been making that jump, t o that, that full time schedule. And it's been incredible r eally to see the progression of some of the players and their physical o utput as a result of that professionalism.

Kristian Weaver:

Yeah. Great. And obviously you work with the performance side of things, but also sometimes you have responsibility to return that player back from injury. So what are your top challenges for returning a player from injury?

Jack Clover:

So for me with my process of obviously coming at it from a sports science strength and conditioning point of view, so initially you might not have a massive input in the kind of acute management of an injury. But as part of my process I always try and understand the injury and understand maybe some of the reasons behind it. Um, and that's not always an easy task. There's usually a lot of factors that go into the cause of an injury, but I think like should always be looking at learning from the injury and what might cause that. Um, and obviously finding out as much as you can about the injury itself . I think as well it is really important to build relationships and build trust with the player themselves as well. Um, so manage their expectations. Have a , have a good plan in place and known the stages of that, of that rehabilitation process. Even if the actual sports scientific input comes in a little bit later down that process, you need to understand the whole process and the stages of that. I think these days as well, now there's a massive influence of data within professional sport and that's another thing that's changed over the last two or three years. We've, we've really had a lot more input from data and we have a lot more data available. So , for me as part of my philosophy, I really liked to set some objective measures , benchmarks for players returning from injury so they can, they can see each of those stages and they can pick off each of those benchmarks as they , um, as they get to them. Um, and then the greatest challenge for me as a sports scientist is that end stage rehab working with the sports therapists, working with the physio therapist , um , and actually integrating a player backing team training. And I think that's a real unique challenge as well. Um, around managing coaches expectations. Having the relationships with the coach to put players in certain drills and find ways of manipulating drills to suit a player coming back from injury. And also definitely managing that player once they are back in full training. Um, I think at times you can, you can have an issue with , um , a coach thinking of players back from an injury or that the training is for that sort of fit. So , um, so managing that load once they're back in training, making sure they're building the appropriate strength qualities off the pitch as well to ensure that once they're back from injury, they're not making that same mistake again that maybe let them to the injury in the first place.

Kristian Weaver:

Yeah. Great. So there's some really important points to pick out there. So understanding the injury and the mechanism or the cause of injury, sort of adapting what the player's expectations are and how they return back to their sport. Planning out those rehab stages, probably with the athlete involved in some capacity to make decisions about that. Also looking at the data which you're getting from the player and how to actually interpret that data. We just had a podcast with Liam Hayes and he was talking about the data which they gained from train my athlete and how they can use that to influence them, that decision-making essentially, but also it depends upon what you see in front of you as a practitioner and you need to sort of take both components of that and then how we then add them to integrate back into their team training. So there's some really good points there. Jack, thanks for that . Um , in terms of, you spoke a little bit of the integration between the team, what advice would you have for any sports therapists who are work as part of a multidisciplinary team with sports scientists and strength and conditioning coaches?

Jack Clover:

I think my first kind of piece of advice would be to build those relationships within the MDT. I think that's key regardless of what sport, what context you're working in. Um , build relationships. I think the relationship between the sports therapist and sport scientist is really key in end-stage, return to play rehabilitation. And it's probably the most important relationship. I think if you've got that trust between you, it's well planned, well structured and you delivering consistent messages to the player, I think that someone's like half the battle. Um, I think as well there needs to be that understanding of the sport scientist's role and what they're trying to do because obviously that support science and conditioning is a massive part of sports therapy. The two kind of go hand in hand, so I need to have an understanding of what's going on in the acute phase in that early stage rehab so I can then implement the correct messages and rehab and that works the other way around as well. Its certainly not a case in my opinion. Um , one supplier ticks a certain amount of boxes. They're out on the pitch with the sports scientist and thats the last the sports therapist see of them, I think its a much more gradual approach. Um , and that also I would say is the same once the player is back out on the pitch. Even once they are playing and the sports therapist needs to have an involvement in managing that reinjury risk as well.

Kristian Weaver:

Excellent. I think that you give it quite a unique perspective on how you sort of incorporate sports therapists and physiotherapists into the work that you do in order to make the best environment for the players as well. If listeners were going to try and find out more about you, then where could they go?

Jack Clover:

So I'm not the biggest poster on social media. I tend to use Twitter more for kind of reading other things and following other people. I do occasionally retweet the odd posts that I find interesting. Um, and I also use Instagram, some I'm more than happy to be messaged on either those platforms , um, or LinkedIn. And um, of course I'm more than happy for people to contact me by email. Um, I'm always happy to speak to young coaches, therapists, S&C coaches , um, and more than happy to answer questions.

Kristian Weaver:

Great. So on Instagram it's strength _coachjack. And then on Twitter it's Jack_Clover1. So if anyone does want to reach out to you there and then they obviously can get in touch with you. So Jack, thanks for coming on the podcast. I'll make sure that all your contact details are in the show notes and I'm sure that I will get you into the sports therapy community in the future to try and field some questions from members as well. So thank you very much for your time. I know you're a busy man, so I'll let you get back to what you were doing.

Jack Clover:

Thanks very much. Great to talk.

Kristian Weaver:

Join the most powerful and professional network specifically for sports therapists. Visit sportstherapycommunity.co.uk.

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