Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Retirement

As you might be aware, I have decided to retire from all forms of cricket. In order for me to close this chapter I feel that I have to write this in order to find closure...

In 1990 I played my first provincial cricket game... I played against the Griqualand West u/11 team for Free State u/11 in Kimberley. I think they made us play the match in Kimberley on purpose to see who could stand the extreme heat and still continue to play cricket afterwards!! And so my cricket journey started...

It has to be said that it has been an unbelievable journey – one full of heartache and joy, a journey full of hardship and gratitude, a journey full of tears and laughter... a journey made possible by my Maker and the people he has put in my story. It has been a journey which I will forever remember, cherish and keep!!

To every single administrator that has crossed my path in the past 25 years of school, regional, provincial, professional and national cricket, I thank you for the countless hours you have put in behind the scenes in order for us as players to compete in the sport that some of us had the opportunity to call a career. I have great appreciation for you all!!
To every coach I have had the honour to work with, I had the opportunity to take something from every single one of you which has made me a better cricket player. Your input in my career has not only been of utmost importance, but also much appreciated. However, to all the conditioning coaches – I might miss you as a person, but I will definitely not miss your input!!! (only joking...)

To the medical staff that was involved in my career – if it wasn’t for you, I most probably would have written this a long time ago. You have kept me together – in fact, I think it might only have been your strapping, medication, treatments and constant care that kept me playing at certain stages of my career.

To my sponsors, I would like to thank you for your support throughout my whole career. You do make life a lot easier especially when one tends to go through bowling boots and bats quicker than some of my coaches in the latter part of my career lost hair!!

To all the different unions and franchises and especially to the CEO’s, words cannot express the gratitude that I have for you all.

In 2007, after leaving Bloemfontein, Free State University, Free State Cricket and the Eagles (now called the Chevrolet Knights), North West Cricket gave me a second chance and a second home. I have grew to love the place as if it was my own . Something I thought would never happen after living in Bloemfontein for a decade.

In the time that I have been involved as a player, I have had the privilege to see all the unions and franchises go from strength to strength. I have seen character being built through tough times and I have seen unlikely partnerships become the biggest of friendships. I have seen changes (good and bad) in the facilities and unions. But, throughout the changes I was able to come to one conclusion - I have the utmost confidence in the current leadership in all aspects to take these respective unions and ultimately the game of cricket, to the greatest of heights. My wish for you is one of prosperity, one of great success and one of strength through unity!!!

To my fellow teammates and opposition players... I have had a professional career of 15 years. In this time I have had the opportunity to play alongside and against the best in the country and even in rare occasions the best the world has to offer. I have learned something from each and everyone of you. You have had an influence in both my professional, as well as my business career. From some, I have had positive input, from others not-so-positive... To all of you – thank you, because from some I have learned how to do certain things, from others how not to do things. The fact of the matter is, I have learned something from each and every one of you.

I have had the opportunity to lead players, but also the opportunity to see leaders thrive. I have seen boys become men. I have seen every single player use their personality and character to positively add to an environment where we could all thrive. I have seen individuals grasp opportunities with both hands and propel their careers to oxygen-deprived heights. I have seen a group of men care for each other in ways only found between true, honest friends.

To each and every one of you, I only wish you well. May your careers on and off the cricket field be successful and may your aspirations become reality. I will forever be thankful for what input you have had in my life. You will always have an extra follower and supporter now and I look forward to cheering you on – either from my couch, or next to the field!!

To my parents... your dedication, your parenthood, your support and love is the foundation on which my character was built. The life-lessons you taught me and the freedom through your leadership guided me to not only learn from my own mistakes, but gave me the opportunity to learn how to make educated decisions. All of this has made me what I am today.
As for my sporting career, the sacrifices you made with regards to time, energy and finances will never be forgotten. No words will ever be able to express my gratitude – I only wish what I have achieved as a cricket player and man will be testimony of my gratitude.

To my brother – I know we weren’t the best of friends as boys due to our age difference. But, us we both aged I now regard you as an honest, dynamic, God-fearing man. Someone who I can always talk to without fearing judgement. Someone who has taught me many a time how situations should be handled. Your input in my life is irreplaceable!!

To my wife, ever since I fell in love with you, you have been the most important person in my life. As I look back on my cricket career, I can say that you becoming my wife was the best thing that could have happened to me in my career. I met you through cricket, next to a cricket field. And ever since then, not only were you next to the field in my career, but also alongside me – supporting me no matter what situation was thrown at us. Everyone knows me as someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, but only you know my deepest secrets and emotions.

I want to thank you for your support, guidance and love. I cannot wait for us to start writing the next chapter in our combined book of life...

Now the big question: what now?

I have been fortunate enough to have established a young company of my own – I will thus be concentrating on my career as a physiotherapist. I will always have a special interest in sport, especially cricket. But, my true passion as a therapist has always been to help people get better, to help them heal and to see the joy when they have regained full functionality after an injury.

Ever since I started my career as a physiotherapist, it has fascinated me how the physical progress has been able to automatically enhance the mental and emotional state of the person and vice versa!! I look forward to being involved in as many of these success stories as possible until the day my hands cannot do the work anymore... 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Start of the 2013/2014 Domestic Season

Hey everyone...

Yes, cricket season is here and what a wonderful time for all of us!! The domestic season has started and we've already seen the bizhub Highveld Lions compete in the CLT20. To my teammates that represented South Africa alongside the Unlimited Titans on the world stage: bad luck boys - let's get back to winning ways in the Momentum Cup!!!

So, I get to Potchefstroom on Wednesday morning and start our training session - ready and excited to get onto the field and start the season. Surprise, surprise!!! My season will not yet start after all... I tore the same meniscus which kept me out of action for five months last year. Now, despite the fact that it is a crap feeling and as frustrating as it might be, I must really commend the medical staff at Mooimed Clinic and Discovery Medical Aid for their swift, efficient and just great service.

I got to the clinic at 11:30 in the morning, had everything organised by 12:30 and was out of surgery by 20:00.

So, this blog is not about the cricket at all, but about a very positive experience I had with modern day medical technology, efficient staff and a great surgical team. Also, I have just yet again realised how important it is in modern day sport to have all of these things in order. Like I said, it is the second time that I have had surgery on this knee and both times the time span between me getting injured and getting out of the hospital/clinic was less than 24 hours!! Added onto this, is that not once have I had to pay anything myself - I was fully covered by the medical aid. This is a great assurance in a time where the only thing you want to be thinking about is what impact this injury will have on your season, or career.

I also watched the DVD of my surgery - wow!!! Tell you what, we have moved forward in medicine when it comes to the technology... As I'm sitting watching Nadal and Djokovic beat each other up on the tennis court (Nadal himself having suffered from serious knee problems as of late...), I can only wonder how long my dad's recovery was after his knee surgery. I look at the scar on his knee and then look at the two small incisions I have and think: what the hell did they cut through in the past?!? Don't get me wrong, it's not like I am saying that surgery in the past was less efficient, or bad!! What I am saying, is that it is wonderful how people dedicate their lives to the continuous improvement and enhancement of techniques etc so that anyone can have an increased  quality of life!!

I take my hat of to these people!!!

Lastly, if there was anything I learnt from this week again, it is this...

Make sure that you have your health covered. Whether you are a professional sportsman or woman, working in high risk jobs, or whether you are an ordinary guy - life does throw funny things your way whenever it wants - normally when you least expect it, or can afford it. Make sure that you have the right insurance and cover that you will need - it leaves you with a lot of  re-assurance when you have the right insurance...

Health definitely is Wealth...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stability Training

Stage 1: Stable 1
This stage is to get to know the difference between stability and mobility – any and all questions the client has, must be answered here.
Make sure the client has a full understanding of what he/she is about to start doing.
Both feet and/or hands on a stable surface.
This should be seen as the phase of correct recruitment, correct activation and implementing of the correct firing patterns.
Also – differentiation and dissociation should be mastered in this stage as to move on to the next stage.

Stage 2: Stable 2
Both feet and/or hands on a stable surface.

Stage 3: Unstable 1
Both feet and/or hands on an unstable surface.

Stage 4: External Forces & Perturbations
These should be applied firstly to Stage 1 and then progressed through Stage 2 and Stage 3.
Therapist/Trainer starts applying pressure on various areas and in different directions as to upset the stability of the client.
Also, elastics may be used to gently pull in different directions at various points to upset the stability of the client.

Stage 5: Activities
Catching, Throwing, Hitting and Kicking Activities
Start in Stage 2 and progress through to Stage 3 and Stage 4

Stage 6: Stable 3
One foot and/or hand on a stable surface

Stage 7: Unstable 2
One foot and/or hand on an unstable surface

Stage 8: External Forces & Perturbations
These should be applied firstly to Stage 6 and then progressed through Stage 7.
Therapist/Trainer starts applying pressure on various areas and in different directions as to upset the stability of the client.
Also, elastics may be used to gently pull in different directions at various points to upset the stability of the client.

Stage 9
Catching, Throwing, Hitting and Kicking Activities
Start in Stage 6 and progress through to Stage 7 and Stage 8

In Supine:
TA Activation
Pelvic Mobility – Posterior & Anterior Tilt
Glut-Hamstring-Lower Back Firing Pattern
Segmental Bridging
Dead Bug and its Progressions
Double Leg Bridges
Double Leg Bridges with Sideways Walk
Single Leg Bridges
Single Leg Bridges with Straight Leg Movement
Single Leg Bridges with Hip Rotation
Single Leg Bridges with Straight Leg Fly
Double Leg Supine Plank
Single Leg Supine Plank
Reformer Work

In Side-Lying:
Thoracic Rotations
GlutMed Activation
Burn-Outs at 45 degrees
Side Plank
Side Plank with Clam
Single Leg Side Plank
Single Leg Side Plank with Burn-Out
Single Leg Side Plank with Burn-Out at 45 degrees

In Prone:
Rhomboids, Lats, Trapezius Activation
Serratus Push-Ups
Multifidi Activation
Glut Activation
Glut-Hamstring-Lower Back Firing Pattern
Dissociation between Lumbar Extension bmo Lumbar Mobilisers and Hip Extension bmo Gluts and some Adductors
Plank – Elbow
Plank - Hands
One arm or One Leg Plank
Superman Plank

In Four Point Kneeling:
Thoracic Mobs
Hip Extensions
Clam/Hip Extension Combo
GlutMed Swivels
Single Leg GlutMed Swivels
Same-Side Superman

In Sitting:
All the Different Activations
Scapula Setting
Pelvis Mobility – Posterior and Anterior Tilt
Weight Shifting
Lifting One Leg and Weight Shifting
Stand Up/Sit Down
Stand Up/Sit Down – Single Leg

In Standing:
Single Leg Balance
Wall Squats
Single Leg Wall Squats
Single Leg Squats
Step Ups/Step Downs
Golfer’s PickUp
March/Golfer’s PickUp Combo
747 with Thoracic Twists
747 with YTWL

Friday, May 17, 2013

Re-inventing the Wheel...

Good morning everyone....

So, for a while now I have been wondering about how functional we are training as sportsmen and what could be done about it.

Let me just make it abundantly clear that I am not doubting any trainer and/or therapist that I have worked with past or present. What I have been thinking of, however, derived from the fact that during my time as a therapist - I have seen to many lower limb injuries happening while nobody was near the guy injuring himself... I have been a massive supporter of the mentality of prehabilitation, instead of rehabilitation and because of this combination I have been searching for something supported by outcome based research - something tried and tested...

Yesterday I joined an institution and someone I regard as one of the better trainers currently in the country and it all started coming together. It turns out that what I have been thinking about, has been implemented into their training for some time now and has actually been around for a while now... You could imagine my relief realising that I haven't been too far off with my thinking.

As a sportsman, we seldom remain on our heels for more than a couple of seconds - in fact I sometimes wonder if you ever end up on your heels at all!!! We are always on our toes, or at least on the front part of our feet... Have you ever tried running on your heels?!?!? And how often do we do something in only one plane or one dimension - no sport I know of is one dimensional....

I've therefor been in search of a multi-dimensional, actively stabilising, explosive way of training for a while now and I think I am in the process of finding this. If you read through this, you will easily see that nothing I have said so far, has the potential of re-inventing the wheel. But, it has confirmed that what I have been searching for has been tried and tested and that it has been backed by some serious mind power for some time now!!

So, this has given me the confidence of incorporating this more and more into rehab, prehab and everyday training - so, lets hope all my questions get the answers I would like...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Introduction to my blog...

Hello everyone...

I have decided to add this blog to my site, because I felt there was a need to also give you a look into the more personal part of what I do, what I plan and not just some articles on physiotherapy. So, alongside the articles that will be available on a monthly basis (I hope...!!),  I'm hoping to also give you a look at the life of a professional sportsman and physiotherapist. Thus, if you see any miss-spellings and bad grammar... Blame the auto correct on my computer and not me...

So, tomorrow will be my first month as a Private Practice Owner - a month of Liberty!!!!

When you read my story on my website, you will see that I mentioned that no book or lecture room could prepare you for the organised chaos of the real world out there. Tell you what, I think I have just realised that I have taken the next step in adulthood by becoming my own boss - what a feeling...

Yes, a great feeling it is, but one must always remember that once you become your own boss - you take on the responsibility and duty of not just a therapist.... No, you instantaneously become a manager, a financial advisor, a strategic planner and a businessman...

This month has taught me a lot - from how much work goes into getting your rooms ready for treatments, getting all your stock organised, making sure you plan right as to when you will need what in your rooms, who will be your target market, how to market... All the way through to how much patience you actually should have to keep calm when working with other people you rely on and which you have no control over... Something I have found I need to practice a little more!!!!!

All in all, through all of what has happened in the last month I must say the most forthcoming feeling
has been the one of knowing that you are busy building something for yourself and for the ones that you love most and care for the most. It is very true when they say that once you have the opportunity to follow your passion by applying it in real life as your career of choice, you have won most of the battles and a big part of the war... I must also acknowledge that I wouldn't have been able to do this without the help and support of the people close to me who stood by me through all the planning,
decision making and preparation...

So, I'm looking forward to sharing some of the more interesting things in my life with you through this blog - one of which is the start of our winter training program. I saw an outline of it last week... I'm going to tell you all about it next time!!!