We have recently welcomed a new team member to our QSMC family, Dr. Kevin Sims, who is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2007).
Over the past 20 years, Kevin has been working as the physiotherapist for Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket, providing physiotherapy services and workload guidance to all levels of the men’s and women’s national and state teams.
Kev was initially introduced into the world of cricket while working for another business that looked after Queensland Cricket. From there, he began to do more work for Cricket Australia once the Academy was relocated from Henley Beach in Adelaide, to Allan Border Field in 2004. He officially became a full-time employee in 2008 and would go on to travel extensively to service the national and state teams.
With the amount of travel required, across both the national and state teams, managing fatigue in the athletes was a critical part in getting the best performances from the players. While the best coaches could always sense when it was best to back off training, they would also seek feedback from their physiotherapist and support staff as to when and how they could keep things as fresh as possible.
Kev noted that one of the great things about Cricket Australia and the State associations is the network of hard-working coaches, medical and physical performance staff.
“It is never about one person, but more about being part of a team that pulls together a plan and carries it out to get the players back to their full fitness and deliver their best performance on field. Being a part of that team, makes it an incredibly rewarding experience.”
In addition to his experience and expertise in the field, Kev’s understanding of what separates cricket from other sporting professions is what kept him in the field for so long.
“Cricket is primarily a skill based sport, but as the game has become more professional and the schedule has become more crowded, there has been a greater physical demand on the players, which has made it a very difficult sport in which to remain injury-free”, Kev said.
“There has been a huge scope, professional speaking, to modify training, injury prevention and preparation methods. All with the focus of keeping the players on the park and operating at an elite level.”.
Over the years, Kev has been involved in other sports such as rugby union, football, cycling and touch football to name a few. He’s enjoyed his time in all of them, though knows the traditional contact and playing time differentiates them from cricket due to the high intensity output during a shorter period. Cricket on the other hand, the intensity output is prolonged but still retains the need to be ready to go at any point.
When speaking of his highlights, he struggles to pick a favourite moment from the last 20 years, though special mention was made to touring with the Australian team in India.
“It’s an amazing experience and you are treated so well. Apart from the games where the Indian team is at home and are an extremely difficult team to beat!”
With an extensive practical career stretching 30 years, not only has Kev been successful on the field, but off the field too through his academic career. For the past 25 years, he has held a teaching role at the University of Queensland working with the post graduate physiotherapists. Kev has found the role rewarding as it is challenging, stimulating and allows him to see first-hand how the next generation is working to forge the physiotherapy profession into an exciting world of evidence-based practice.
Furthermore, Kev has co-authored and published several academic papers throughout his tenure. With multiple topics to cover, one that has caught Kev’s attention is the change to the injury profile of elite male cricketers due to an increased workload from the T20 era.
With the introduction and success of the BBL since 2011, there has been a need to accommodate the competition into the scheduled season which has resulted in a compression of other tournaments such as the Sheffield Shield.
“The main point of concern is that this has led to less recovery time between matches which we think is an important factor in injury. In addition, the demands of Twenty20 cricket are quite different as players are expected to perform at a level of high intensity for prolonged periods.”
“We have found this to contribute to increased soft tissue injuries as players are sprinting at maximum effort in the field and while batting. Bowlers are more at risk as they are having to bowl many variation balls – fast, slow, bouncers – which makes it difficult to get into a good rhythm and maintain an efficient bowling action.”
Kev has also spent time looking into the injury profile of the elite female cricketers and when compared to the injury profile of the men’s, it is more likely to see shoulder injuries from throwing and diving. The overall incidence of injury in the female group is substantially lower than the male group due to fewer contests of long-form cricket. This means the female bowlers are not having to bowl the same large volumes as their male counterparts.
Kev highly commended Cricket Australia on their efforts in promoting the female game. The benefits of that promotion are starting to show with the quality of the competitions increasing and the growing interest from the Australian public – reinforced earlier this year with an enormous crowd attending the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup held at the MCG.
With a wealth of knowledge added to our QSMC team, Kev is looking forward to treating anyone who needs help. From his experience, he has spent time assessing and managing bone stress injuries such as lumbar and other lower limb stress fractures, as well as low back pain. He has cultivated specific skills in managing shoulder and elbow injuries related to throwing, soft tissue injuries related to sprinting or prolonged use and tendon issues due to overuse. To top it off, he has been involved in many research projects relating to treatment of issues around the hip and groin.
We are excited to have Kevin and his years of experience on board with us. Now treating from our Bowen Hills clinic, if you would like to make an appointment with Kev, head to our website to book online, or call our Reception team on (07) 3891 2000.