Eliza Graham, our Cooma and Jindabyne Physiotherapist has been having a fantastic (and busy time) over in the US working as a physiotherapist with Australian winter moguls athletes. This is a huge professional achievement and we are very proud of Eliza.
Here is an update from Eliza:
Time has flown by! It’s hard to believe I’ve already been here for a month. We’ve been incredibly lucky with the early session snow falls so far which has provided us with great on-snow training
facilities from day 1.
At the moment all three Australian mogul teams are here training in Winter Park, Colorado including the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) team, the NSW Institute of Sport Development team (NSWIS) and the Australian Mogul Skiing Academy (AUSMSA).
Life in the AUSMSA house is very different to living alone in Jindabyne. There are 20 of us living in the same house which makes meal time and getting out the door in the morning a little more time consuming than I’m used to. Finding privacy for treatment is also a challenge. Luckily most of the
athletes don’t care much for modesty and treatment time usually involves being serenaded by at least one acoustic guitar.
Training is based on a four day block with three consecutive days of training followed by a day off.
My typical daily schedule consists of:
- Supervising the group warm-up which is based on a FIFA ACL injury prevention program and consists of a series of exercises including running and direction change drills; single and
double leg leaping and bounding; a series of core exercises ranging from basic to gymnastic and acrobatic based skills; and mogul specific agility and landing drills. Warm-up usually
takes 30-45 minutes depending on the number of people performing the warm-up.
- On-snow rehab and coaching from 9am until ~1pm.
- Returning home for lunch before supervising and assisting gym sessions, including
monitoring and progression of rehab specific individualised programs.
- Treatment block
- Treatment block
- And finally well-deserved bed. Except for when athletes have night terrors and jump from their top bunk into the closed bedroom door and dislocate a finger resulting in a flexor tendon avulsion fracture.
As you can see, the day to day schedule is very intense and busy so it can be difficult at times to manage the workload, particularly now that I am trying to coordinate physio for three separate
teams. In addition to this, I am also communicating with the medical team back in Australia as there are a number of athletes returning to snow following ACL reconstructions. I have also been treating my younger brother Matt after he crashed at the World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland but still finished in 8th place.
It’s very interesting being part of the sport specific rehab process and useful in identifying areas to focus on off-snow.
I became a regular at the medical centre for a period of time after an unlucky string of accidents. I am now on a first name basis with Dan the radiographer. Luckily all but one came back clear.
Unfortunately a number of athletes have come over with ongoing niggling injuries which have been aggravated with the repetitive load and volume of training. We are currently looking into one athlete going home as his injury is unlikely to resolve enough to allow him to train effectively.
In this kind of environment, I’m learning you have to take on many different roles. Some of the younger athletes have nicknamed me Mum, probably because I’m a buzz kill and enforce bed time
every night. I’m also the go to person when people are home sick or not feeling well, particularly early on in the camp when it’s important to identify symptoms of altitude sickness from something
more sinister. I now consider myself a taxi driver (we have an eight seater suburban and a 15 seater mini shuttle bus) and a bit of a master chef after helping to cook a gourmet Christmas lunch for 25
people. Luckily I’ve avoided the plumbing issues, I don’t know what some of those boys do their toilets.
January will see a lot more travel with the Rocky Mountain Tour commencing which will see us travel to Steamboat Springs, Vail and Aspen for competition, as well as one here in Winter Park. Hopefully I can help keep the team fighting fit over this period. The AUSMSA facebook page is updated regularly with photos and video edits if you’re interested in seeing what the team is capable of.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, and Happy New Year!! I’ll be in touch again soon.