While there are 10 athletes named on the team list each week, the ‘Vixens family’ doesn’t stop there.
Under the watchful eye of Vixens’ medical and strength & conditioning staff, we have three athletes working just as hard to get back out on court after injuries sustained since August.
Our medical team has given an update on Mwai, Tayla and Rahni.
Mwai Kumwenda (ACL)
MJ is now nine months post-op and progressing very nicely. Her strength is continuing to improve, and she is working hard on improving cardio-vascular conditioning to be better than ever before. We are also working hard to re-build the explosive power and lightning fast skills for which she is known. Rehab has provided some interesting challenges as the whole medical/ physical prep team has had to put on their thinking caps to find new and inventive ways of overcoming language and cultural hurdles, while harnessing Mwai’s amazing competitive spirit so that we are always getting best bang for our buck in rehab sessions. She is a superstar.
Tayla Honey (Achilles tendon)
Tayla is flying with her Achilles repair rehab. This is a very unusual injury for us to see in such a young athlete - and one for which we almost never receive any warning signs. But her dedication and attention to detail has seen her continue to be well ahead of the curve so far. This included asking me what exercises she could be doing for her un-injured leg while she was lying in the hospital a few hours after her surgery! Her current focus is on building strength in both of her legs to levels that she has never had previously. Tayla was always an impressive athlete pre-injury - we expect her to be even better on her return to the netball court.
Rahni Samason (ACL)
Rahns is the silent assassin of the rehab group. She quietly goes about her business with an inner ruthless determination to always be doing her absolute best. If she is asked to jump, her immediate response will be “How high?” And then she will go and exceed that anyway. She is currently working on running volume and has started some direction change and landing control work on court. Rahni will continue to build strength and power as we gradually re-introduce her to less predictable movement patterns and sustained high intensity output work.
Rehab is a lonely game. Training beside the rest of the team, but not really feeling a part of it. Relatively repetitive and often trapped in your own thoughts, doubts and challenges. The medical and physical prep staff work hard to set achievable goals that are meaningful for each athlete. The coaches and rest of the team remain supportive, positive and encouraging at all times.
But ultimately it is the injured athlete who has to make it work. And this is why elite netballers do make it work. They are intelligent and intuitive. They are driven and competitive. They know that the power of the team magnifies the power of each individual. And they are tough. Bloody tough.
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