During the last weekend, I was fortunate enough to have been selected to be involved with the Rocktape athlete recovery team for the duration of the 2018 Crossfit Pacific Regionals held in Sydney.
I had travelled with the Crossfit Dunedin regionals team in 2012, where it was held in Wollongong, Sydney, but this is the first time being involved with the “main organization”.
Here are some of my reflections and experiences during the event.
Day minus 1
Registration and briefing day
The Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic park is a lot bigger than what they had at the WIN centre in Wollongong. Coming in for my orientation and to get my accreditation for the event, I had a chance to see behind the scenes of the set up of the stadium. It was really impressive to see the size of the stadium, and also to see all the gear and equipment needed while they were setting up for the event. There was an equipment holding area where all the barbells, plyo boxes etc were held. There was a dedicated warm up area for the athletes with most of the athletes having a go at the new ramp made for the handstand walk event.
After registering, we were shown where we would be based for the next 3 days, in the athletes lounge. It was a big “showroom” with bean bags, hammocks, recovery mats set up by Reekbok Australia for the athletes. Where I was based was at the athlete recovery area, where we had an “endless” supply of strapping tape, soft tissue tools, massage cream etc. There was also a protein shake and electrolyte stand for athletes to come and make their own recovery drinks post workout if they wanted to.
Day 1 (Friday)
I was rostered on an early shift (8am-1pm) on the first day.
There were a few athletes who came in wanting rubs before the start of their first event, but more started coming in after the first event to get ready for the second. Some were already carrying niggles, some wanted a “tune up”, some just wanted advice.
It started to get busy late morning as by then, the teams had/were finishing their events, and the athltes taking part in the individual competition started coming in.
It was nice to have an “endless” supply of tape to use, as well as using the different tools rocktape has such as the rockblades and mohawk.
There were ebbs and flows during the day with it being quieter when then athltes were competing, and busier after their events.
At my breaks, I had the chance to take some photos of the competitioin for our facebook photo album and Instagram stories for our clients back home. I also got to visit the vendor village, where the different vendors were selling their products ranging from apparel, muscle stimulation kits to protein shakes and protein bars.
I had a one on one running coaching clinic with Tim Bransdon of the Running lab on the Assault air runner. It was a very good session with precise cueing with regards to landing and posture.
We had lunch provided for us, and I was mildly amused that the lunch provided was a very paleo Lemongrass Chicken breast with Cauliflower rice
Day 2 (Saturday)
I was once again rostered on for an early shift.
Unlike the first day however, we started getting busy as soon as the teams had finished their morning briefing.
Some had niggles from the previous day’s exertion, but also to prepare for the upcoming event which had heavy deadlifts. Following the event, more athletes came in with “tight” backs and hamstrings.
There was a bit more atmosphere in the athltes lounge with more athetes staying in the lounge to recover and just chill out away from the hype of what was going on at the stadium.
It was a more steady day in terms of working with the athletes, with more of them seeking treatment and regular body work done on them.
Lunch once again was a very paleo Salmon with eggplant and tomatoes and kumara.
Another round of Instagram stories and pictures for our Facebook album was done to keep our clients back home with the happenings during the event.
Day 3 (Sunday)
I was only rostered for the afternoon shift 1-6pm. However, I had got to know some athletes both in the team and individual events who had requested for some work done for them, one of them being an old friend of ours, Michael Mikaere.
I only got to the stadium late morning and was able to find a spare bed to work on, or just did them on the floor.
It was getting exciting in the stadium with it being finals day, and so I made the opportunity to continue adding to our Instagram stories and Facebook albums.
The stalls in the vendor village were trying to clear the stock, so it was a lot of beef jerky bars, protein bars and protein and electrolyte drinks for my lunch.
The apparel stalls were having big discounts etc to also clear as much stock as possible, and having “regional only” prices for their clothing.
Late morning, more athletes were working more on their recovery with ice baths, compression boots and muscle stimulation kits to the forefront.
Towards the late afternoon, most athletes were happy to have completed the weekend and a few came in for some recovery work done on them e.g massage, mobility advice etc.
We were able to head up to the stadium to watch the final heats of the mens and womens events after working on the remaining athltes.
Packing up was rather quick with the collapsing of massage plinths and tidying up of the weekend’s equipment before calling it a weekend!
All in all, it was a really good experience working with high level athletes, or rather humans constantly demanding their bodies to perform at high levels through multiple events in a day. It was great to meet other clinicians from various backgrounds and watching different yet effective styles being used to still achieve the desired effect.
It was also a huge bonus to be able to try out and experience some of the various equipment used for recovery.
With the relationship our clinic has with a lot of crossfit and strength and conditioning gyms, this was a good opportunity to share our experience with them, and also for our clients to live vicariously through our Instagram stories and sharing 😊
A big thank you to Rocktape Australia for the opportunity to work with them, the opportunity to network with other practitioners, and for their hospitality!
As always, thanks for reading!