The Team behind the Team
The Team behind The Team! European Championships 2016, 9 England Squads, 144 players, countless games! Preparation for a tournament of this size takes hours of planning, preparation and training, not only for the players and coaches but also for the support staff. 10 Physiotherapists, 5 Massage Therapists and 4 Sport Scientists make a large contribution to this preparation in order to ensure that the players are able to compete at the top of their game.
After a day of preparations and the safe arrival of the medical and sports science team the day of opening ceremony arrived. The sun shone and ETA Medical and Sport Science Team walked proudly with England to signify the start of the European championships 2016!
The medical team take time for a quick selfie at the opening ceremony.
Looking after such a large squad is mentally and physically challenging. “Whilst on tour we have to be mentally sharp to deal with emergencies, manage injury as well as the logistics of moving equipment between hotel and competition sites etc” Cari Thorpe, Head of Medical Services. To assist with this, the team also underwent a fitness session by our resident S&C coach Sam Griffiths. “it is important to stay fit as well as have fun as a team, we run around after players and carry with us quite a bit of equipment.” Tom Sowter, ETA physiotherapist commented.
The first day of the tournament arrived and this meant an early start for the team. Supporting athletes means being at the ground prior to the teams arrival in order to ensure that the athletes routine is not compromised and that we are able to support them through the use of injury management techniques, prophylactic treatments and massage, leaving them plenty of time for warm ups and last minute preparations. Some of the team physiotherapists were up with the seagulls in order to meet their squads for breakfast to help with last minute medical preparations.
The Sport Science Team were ready every day at 8am to ensure all elite squads wellness and function were measured in order to support the players were mentally and physically prepared for the day ahead. One of the issues that the wellness data highlighted was the disturbed sleep that the players were reporting due to the noise of the seagulls! This was quickly resolved by the purchase of ear plugs!
The days were long for the team, with early starts and late finishes; however the camaraderie with the medical team made it much more bearable!
Start as we mean to go on!
The tournament got off to a flying start for England with an impressive 9 wins on day 1, success! Starting as we meant to go England found themselves in the final of every division. This meant a lot of hard work behind the scenes for the medical team as the consequence of playing so many games in quick succession over the 4 days means that some players require support to help manage any niggles or aches and pains that they are experiencing!European Champions!
England finished the tournament as returning reigning European Champions 2016 with 6 gold medals and 3 silver.
It certainly takes teamwork to be successful! Common goals, communication and understanding of each other’s roles. This is certainly true for such a large qualified team. Whilst the entire team had not met as a whole this campaign, it is certainly evident this team works!