Lead Physio/Head of Science & Medicine of Essex County Cricket Club Chris Clarke-Irons gives us an insight into what his job entails at the club with his first fortnightly blog proudly sponsored by Lloyd Green Solicitors.
Cucumber Sandwiches? No longer on the menu!
Cricket is evolving quickly, and most cricketers have the same stature as other professional sport stars these days. The old times of a cucumber sandwich and a pint of the finest local ale at the lunch interval are far behind us, with the backroom staff now filling the player’s lunch time hunger for performance and success.
The players have access to a full professional science & medicine team (S&M Team). This comprises of a Lead Physio/Head of Science & Medicine (me!), Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach (Ian Fisher), Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach, 2nd XI Physiotherapist, Sport Scientist and Therapist Intern, Masseuse, Sport Physician (Dr Tom Crisp), Nutritionist (Amber Heath) and Psychologist (James Beale). It does sound a lot of staff on paper, however if you have ever seen the size of the physio room on the side of the pavilion and the Guinness world record for fitting as many people as possible into a phone box, you would understand that in terms of day-to-day running, Ian and I are the only full-time staff that can actually fit in there – with the other guys coming in on an as-needed basis.
The basic aim of the S&M team is to keep players fit, or to minimise the time an injured player may be unable to compete for. We use the cutting edge of the sports science world to achieve this aim. This may vary from simple actions of trying to keep the guys hydrated and monitoring this through urine samples, or to hi-tech monitoring tools for measuring leg power and speed. From looking at successful teams, you will find the teams that have done well will have had a higher percentage of fit players which the head coach/captain can pick from, and it is essential that the captain and coach are kept aware of the fitness levels of the squad at all times.
It is very rare for a day to go by without a meeting being called, which I am always blamed for calling even if I’m not there! I think the other coaches are jealous of my superb organisational skills, however there is a minor chink in my armour after I forgot to take Matt Walker’s ‘man bag’ from the hotel in Leeds to Headingly Carnegie Ground after he decided to run to the ground on the new fitness regime all the coaching staff have signed up to. However, this fitness kick has come to an abrupt stop for Matt after his leg took a pounding last week when he landed on a cricket ball in his pocket attempting to take a catch to his side. Ouch! I can assure you we didn’t laugh for too long. At least he was in the right place for top quality treatment, and I look forward to the return of Matt to the ‘fittest’ coaching/S&M team in the country!
Look out for my next blog in a fortnight for another view from the physio room. In the meantime you can follow me on Twitter at @cci_physio, and if you are at the any of the upcoming games why not tweet a picture of me carrying my newly-sponsored kit provided by Essex personal injury law specialists Lloyd Green Solicitors for a mention in my next blog!
Essex Cricket’s head physio Chris Clarke-Irons is sponsored by Lloyd Green Solicitors, a firm of ‘legal Eagles’ offering specialist no win no fee injury claims advice with a highly personal approach dedicated to the people of Essex – www.forthepeople.co.uk