FC Edmonton Physiotherapist Scott Gilroy: Sports Science is a CPL Priority

Scott Gilroy FC Edmonton
Photo courtesy of FC Edmonton.

INTERVIEW – Last Word on Soccer spoke to FC Edmonton Physiotherapist Scott Gilroy on September 10, 2019.

FC Edmonton Physiotherapist Scott Gilroy: Sports Science is a CPL Priority

1. How did this job opportunity come to fruition and specially in the sport that you love?

“It all kind of started with treating a few of the current players, I was doing some treatment on some previous injuries on a couple of the old guys that had kicked around from the last team. Couple of the younger guys that we’ve worked with through the University.

We got to talk about the new program as they started signing contracts. We were able to set up a meeting with Jeff [Paulus] and from there it was nice to put it all together and show him what we could offer in conditioning and put the whole sports science program together that way.”

2. The CPL struck a partnership with a company called Kinduct. The study determined that with a packed and congested schedule this was really needed.

“The partnership that we have with kinduct is: there’s a bunch of research going on about how injuries are happening throughout the league, are there any patterns that are starting to be developed. We’re gonna look back on it – I think that study as far as I know is through the UFC.

All I know in our end all we have is the software to track all the injuries and how they’re occurring etc. In terms of the support that the league has given us, we should be getting more information. Hopefully with that information we can make better decisions for next year. I do think that in a challenging summer schedule, we’ve got a lot of games close together for parts of the season.

These are times where we have to be very careful with the athletes, thinking about rotating players. Thinking about what we can do injury’s prevention-wise to help them get through those timelines. There’s not that many leagues around the world where you’ll see lots and lots of games — some parts of our schedule we were playing 3 games in 10 days.

There’s not that’s many places in the world where you’ll see that. So we’ve had to be creative with some of our sports science and some of our techniques so that our athletes aren’t getting hurt.”

3. So its all about getting the effectiveness of the player through the full 90 minutes?

“Yeah for sure, the number one thing that we’re concerned about is they’re performance. So anything we can do to help they’re performance is crucial. We’re trying to make sure there’s no rock left un-turned in terms of what we’re trying to do both help them perform but also to have a lot of players to chose from come selection day. If guys are injured and they’re not available that’s gonna Impact they’re performance too.”

4. Canada is a country with a lot of resources. Is sports science a priority for the league?

“I think so, in year one of the league you’ll never know what you’ll be walking into but the health of the players is near the top of the list. I think we’re really fortunate that we have the support of the league and FC Edmonton.

That there is funding available, resources and just education for the athlete too. What we should be doing, what we shouldn’t be going. How we can keep them healthy and performing well for as many days of the year as possible.”

5. When you’re assessing players and treating them, what are some of the things that you would tell them to take care of when they do go in they’re alone time?

“A big piece is how they try to recover after games. Typically when you’re on the road, we try to make sure that the players know on his fast it takes them to recover. Whether that’s an ice-bath, or they’re nutrition. Rolling out hamstrings, quads, classic muscle groups that get usually get injured.

Teaching them how they can recover quickly so they can perform again. We’ve developed a long term plan that we did in the preseason focuses more around on strain training. Some of their mobility work, longer term fixes.

We started that in March. That stuff will take fruition closer to the end of the season. In the short term day to day physiological recovery – can we make sure our muscles are ready to perform in a couple days time.”

6. Do you travel with the team?

“So I’ll travel half the time with the team and the athletic therapist will do the other half. We split the travel, realistically the program doesn’t change. We keep things very consistent between the two of us. The program is set in advance and doesn’t matter who’s gonna implement it. Obviously there’s different challenges in different road trips, each one looks a little bit different but we try and keep as consistent as possible.”

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