Another week, another Vixens win.
I hope I’m saying that a lot this year.
This week it was against the highly-anticipated West Coast Fever.
The Fever have recruited well and they’re always hard to beat at home. They smashed the Canterbury Tactix in round one.
We were travelling to Perth after just arriving back from Brisbane.
In the end, we were happy to be flying home with our second win from two rounds of the ANZ Championship.
For me, it was an important game. I was coming back from a minor injury after missing the opening round.
It was a hamstring niggle. And although the injury might be deemed “nothing serious”, I take anything that keeps me off the netball court seriously.
So I was happy to get a short burst of court time and compete at the high level of full competition and finish the game without the hamstring playing up.
You can train all you like and as hard as you can but nothing is ever the same as when the whistle is blown in a game for ANZ Championship points.
Sunday’s game reminded me that just about every week there are athletes coming back from serious injuries. I’ve had two knee reconstructions so I have learnt first hand about managing my body, patience and perspective.
I went along to watch Hawthorn and Geelong play out a great contest on Monday and saw Jarryd Roughead play his first game back from an Achilles injury. That’s a tough injury. The Vixens’ very own Sharelle McMahon, now away from netball while pregnant, snapped her Achilles last year and made a successful return to the court in our off-season practice matches.
Although two different sports, there are similarities in injury management and treatment.
Our Melbourne Vixens team doctor Michael Makdissi is also the Hawthorn Football Club doctor. So a crossover between codes is a valuable addition when diagnosing and setting appropriate recovery plans.
I suspect some sports watchers think that athletes don’t train as hard when they’re injured, that Roughead and I got to have a little break from the tough pre-season of teammates. It is quite the opposite. It is almost double the time spent at the club. I also have a strong belief that when it comes to injury management, you only recover as well as you plan and monitor your body. Here are some quick tips that I have learnt over the years:
- Listen to the experts and get the correct diagnosis.
- Be in tune with your body when it is telling you to rest.
- Ice injuries even after returning to sport to prevent and manage swelling.
- Compression is the key. I wear my favorite 2XU long socks after training and when travelling.
- Value sleep. I average eight hours per night. Consistency is the key.
- Feed your body healthy food for fuel, with a focus on protein intake.
- Swimming is a great low impact way to achieve cardio gain — you can also continue to do your skill sessions while sitting on a Swiss ball or chair to take impact off legs.
- Injuries are no excuses to stop training.
So moving on to this week. We don’t get any opportunity to ease up and enjoy our first two wins. We’re playing the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Adelaide on Sunday. The Thunderbirds are on top of the ladder and also with two wins.
Hopefully I’ll again be saying: “Another week, another Vixens win”.