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Sams's Blog - Groin Pain

Hayden | 12:00am, Thursday 17 June 2021

Over the course of the season we will be posting a number of blogs by Sam Donaldson a footballer, father and Physiotherapist at the clubs great sponsor RHP Physiotherapy


Groin pain in football

The dreaded “Osteitis Pubis.” Often a cause for non-professional footballers to stop playing all together. This is one injury you would rather not have to deal with.

We now refer to this type of groin pain in a number of different ways, because we know a little more about it than we used to. This groin pain can be Pubic bone related, Adductor tendon related, Hip joint related or related to muscles of this hip or ligaments at the front of the pelvis. Each option needs to be addressed in different ways.

Fortunately, there are some wonderful options for preventing this groin pain!

If you haven’t already, check out some previous blog posts on Clairvaux FC to see what we recommend for other football related injuries, particularly Nordics for Hamstrings and FIFA11+ for general injury prevention.

And, if you haven’t got the gist of things already, you need to be stronger to prevent more injuries! Strength and movement quality are key.

In a sport like football, the primary skill is kicking a ball with brilliant accuracy. This requires a planting leg to be stable and a kicking leg to swing through. At the hip, the groin (adductor) muscles and hip flexor muscles are active throughout the swing and require very high levels of power.

Check out these exercises below to help bullet proof this part of your body and keep you on the park! Keeping on the park means you continue learning your craft. Continue to learn and you will only get better!


Sams's Blog - The Dreaded Hamstring Injury

Hayden | 12:00am, Sunday 4 April 2021

Over the course of the season we will be posting a number of blogs by Sam Donaldson a footballer, father and Physiotherapist at the clubs great sponsor RHP Physiotherapy



Is this still the call when you see someone at top speed simply fall in a heap?

Often, we see an athlete speeding up, or at their maximum, clutch at the back of their thigh. Sometimes they will take some awkward steps but inevitably they end up on the deck.

More often than not, this is a hallmark sign for an acute hamstring muscle injury.

Football is a game requiring the majority of the body to be in its peak condition. Muscle injuries are common, but the most common is the Hamstring.

Typically rendering the athlete unavailable to play for a minimum of three weeks, but up to eight weeks in some cases (or longer if it involves more than just that muscle).

During the competitive season (according to UEFA data), hamstring injury occurrence increases x3 fold compared to other muscle injuries. A typical squad might only suffer 2-3 injuries per season, but this is in the elite, highly trained athlete with all of the medical and sport science support available to them.

In reality, semi-professional squads an amateur team suffers these injuries at a rate of approximately 1 every 8-10 games. But with potentially up to 6 games missed, that is a massive impact on the squad for the season.

In positive news, you can cut this injury rate down by 51% simply by including one exercise into your week, for 3 sets of 5-8 reps, on two occasions per week (think, after training).

Problem is, once injured, we can’t reduce the severity of that injury by being better prepared with this increased strength. But cutting down the rate of injury by half is appealing, particularly when we only need to spend 2-3 minutes, twice a week on it!

So, what is this magical exercise? Well… check the image below. But, it is often considered that this is so effective simply because it’s so darn hard! If you’ve already got it in your off-field routine, then it might be worth considering more options (cue plug to physio…)

Sams's Blog - Proven Way To Improve Your Game

Hayden | 12:00am, Tuesday 16 March 2021

Over the course of the season we will be posting a number of blogs by Sam Donaldson a footballer, father and Physiotherapist at the clubs great sponsor RHP Physiotherapy


Want to improve your game? Play it.

The best way to improve your skills is to practice.

Practice often and with positive intent.

The time spent in training, learning your craft is truly the only way to keep improving.

But have you ever heard about ‘that young prodigy footballer whose career was ruined by injuries’?

The reason they never reached those dizzying heights in the game was because of a number of injuries. Those injuries kept the player away from training for weeks at a time. Add 2 or 3 of these injuries to a season and you can easily miss 3 months of training!

So to get better at your game, don’t miss training!

Consider a case you may know, such as Tom Rogic or Daniel Arzani. Both are players that had been predicted for a massive future in the game. Both, regrettably, have failed to reach the expectations. Don’t misunderstand me, they are both phenomenal players and far better than I could have ever dreamt of myself. But, one wonders how impressive their careers might have progressed had they been able to consistently train.

Injury prevention is like a long-term financial investment strategy. You consistently put some time (or money) into it, and although you can’t predict what the future holds, you can be sure that you’ll be in a far better place in the future for having done it rather than not.

So, what should you do?

There can be a lot of eye catching, ‘sexy’ or interesting programs you can follow, and frankly I’m sure they all have some merit.

In football, the FIFA11+ program is designed to be a warm-up before training sessions or games, that helps prevent injury, and support your footballing development!

At various levels of the game we now know that by performing the FIFA11+ exercises at least 1.5 times per week (or 3 times per fortnight), results in a reduction in injury rate of approximately 35%. This can even be enhanced by doing some added strengthening exercises after training sessions, reducing possibly up to 45% of the number of injuries suffered in a season.

So, if you want to ensure you can stay training and playing, it is well worth your while putting some time aside for strength, balance and movement control exercises designed for your game.

Not only will you personally be able to develop your skills, increasing your chance to play and develop, but you will also be ensuring your team has a better chance of success!

Win, win!


Sam's Blog - The Secret of a Successful Team

Hayden | 12:00am, Monday 1 March 2021

Over the course of the season we will be posting a number of blogs by Sam Donaldson a footballer, father and Physiotherapist at the clubs great sponsor RHP Physiotherapy


That’s right, there are a number of secrets. This one is clear as day, backed by science, but poorly utilised.

For a team to perform well and perform regularly, it really is quite simple; put your best team on the park, every time.

That seems very logical, yes? But, is it really that simple in reality?

Ask your coach. The best type of headache is a selection headache. Which players to choose for what positions? “Oh, but I have a full squad available… so who to choose?”

In reality, this is often not the case. Case in point; Liverpool FC. Compare their 2019-20 campaign with their current 2020-21 campaign and you’ll be acutely aware that there has been a significant drop in form. What you might also recall is the significant injury drama within their defensively minded squad members! Combine that with minor injuries to key first-team players and you realise that this team has not trained together properly since the start of their campaign. It’s no wonder they are struggling!

Here comes the scientific proof.

UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) collects data on as many squads within their competitions as they can. 24 football teams from nine countries across 11 seasons gave 155 ‘team-seasons’ worth of injury data to collect. This landmark study found that when the burden to the squad due to injury was lower (which means a higher player availability), these teams were afforded higher points per match on average. This also resulted in teams performing better in the Champions League or Europa League. Teams averaging greater than 85% availability performed better!

The same is true in Cricket, Rugby Union, Track and Field athletes and indeed any sport, where by having more than 80-85% attendance and availability for training or games resulted in success.  

Practically speaking; by devoting time and energy to maintaining your availability you gain:

  • More time in training your skills,
  • More time developing tactically,
  • More time developing your physical condition,
  • More availability for match-play
    • And therefore, more time on the park!

Want to help your team win? Stay injury free and keep on training!

Socceroos in “pre-hab” prior to playing Germany in 2015.

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