Elevate’s physiotherapist Matt McCutcheon lives his AFL dream
My involvement in AFL provides me with extra motivation to learn more and become a better physio.
My dream since I was eight years old was to be the physiotherapist for my beloved Melbourne Demons.
I never dreamed of playing for them, oddly, but imagined myself tending to them on the sidelines or in the change rooms much like the physiotherapist who tended to me when I experienced injuries as a sports-loving kid.
I completed by degree in 2003, began working in sports Physiotherapy in 2006 and signed on to work with Sydney University’s AFL club which boasts over 200 players, including an under-18, senior, men’s and women’s team in 2011.
My role involves attending training sessions; treating players in the clinic throughout the week; preparing players for their games; injury management during the game; and performance optimisation and rehabilitation between games. It is often challenging managing so many different individuals and injuries but we have a lot of fun along the way.
Most of my time this year was spent with the club’s first grade team. In 2012 they competed for the first time in the North Eastern AFL competition. As part of this I enjoyed travelling with the team interstate on many occasions to Queensland and the ACT.
Locally, in Sydney, the team played against the Swans reserves at the Sydney Cricket Grounds and against the Greater Western Sydney Giants reserve side at Skoda stadium. In a small way, that brought me closer to realising my childhood dream.
There are always injuries during the footy season and 2012 was no different. I can honestly say that during AFL season I rub more hamstrings than I have hot dinners! We have had season-ending knee injuries, broken hands, noses, legs, arms and skulls.
It is always hard telling a player that he or she won’t be playing this week, or for the next four weeks, or for the rest of the season. On the flip-side, I also experience enormous highs when a team player kicks a goal or produces a match-saving tackle.
My involvement in AFL provides me with extra motivation to learn more and become a better physio. I have such a great job and feel privileged to be involved with such a fantastic group of people who work so hard to get so much out of their bodies.