From hockey player to therapist: my journey and the importance of sports massage therapy

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Harry Sherlock is part of our team based at The Quadrant in Coventry. In this blog he explains how a serious hockey injury landed him in the treatment room and out of the England trials. A massive setback, especially at age 15, but one which saw him change his focus and career path…

Hockey is life...

“It would be fair to say I’m a hockey fanatic through and through. The game has provided me with the most excitement, challenges, the most direction, life lessons and the biggest ups and downs in my life so far. It is a sport which demands your full commitment and, at the age of 15, this is where two worlds collided - hockey and sports massage therapy.

I was successful enough to be called up for my first England hockey trial. Having already performed at the other representative levels, this was finally the big one. However, in my last club game before the trial I received what can only be described as a horrific injury. I was just 15, felt confident and invincible and despite the injury I still attended the trial week. Unfortunately, the injury did what most do injuries do when treatment hasn’t had the time to become effective, and it set off a chain of other compensation injuries which left the England doctors with no other choice but to stop me training. I was dropped from the trials and told I wasn’t robust enough. This was by far my lowest point.

That one defining moment changed me forever. My focus changed. My career aspirations changed. But I became stronger in more ways than one.

Recovery and refocus

After the hockey injury I worked with many amazing sports coaches, physios and therapists. They all played a part in getting me back to full fitness and back onto the field. They taught me the power of strength as a means of prevention. They also showed me the undoubtable importance of sports massage as a means of maintenance and as a way of preventing recurring injuries.

This time in the treatment room inspired my passion for sports massage therapy and strength building, so much so I studied it at degree level and I’ve just started my Masters. I’ve worked hard using corrective exercises and maintenance massages and, so far, that has helped me remain injury-free.

The importance of injury prevention

The involvement of sports massage therapists at both elite and sub-elite levels within sport is increasing, and with it the increase in athlete performance and the decrease in injuries.

For me, sports massage therapy has changed the way I think about the importance of maintenance and how I use it. It is important to me that although I have no current injuries I still make sure that I receive maintenance massages and continue with corrective exercises to keep me on track - whether in or out of season. Maintenance treatments are always a feature of my training plan.

The power of injury prevention is massive!  I really can’t stress that enough. It makes total sense to prevent the preventable, rather than to ‘allow’ it to happen. It is the most pro-active and sensible way to achieve and maintain an injury-free life. Unfortunately, for many reasons most people wait until they have an injury to fix which then takes more time, effort and frustration for them.

Sports massage and exercise rehabilitation have many benefits (which are well documented), as well as being an integral part of injury prevention. With the use of regular sports maintenance massages, we develop our bodies so they can perform harder tasks, run longer distances and be more active in general. They give you the strength and muscular ability to be a better you.

I’m really excited to be part of the Fire & Earth team and to be putting my knowledge and expertise into practice. I enjoy seeing the difference we can make to our clients and the impact our treatments have.”

Maintenance treatments

Make maintenance massages part of your training routine and come in and see us! They really could make a difference, improving performance, but more importantly, preventing injury.

Contact us to book your appointment with Harry at The Quadrant Coventry, or use our online booking system. Any questions? Email harry@fireandearthuk.com

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