New Head of Medical for Falcons

As the season approaches, we sat down with one of our new backroom team members.  Desi Gillespie is joining us as Head Of Medical, bringing a wealth of experience to our sideline as lead physiotherapist for Loughborough University Athletics, and work for Paralympics GB and Army Corps Rugby.

What can you bring to the team this season?
My aim for this season is to provide a holistic service that not only looks to treat and manage injuries but to find ways to increase performance by ensuring the players are robust. I like to be inventive so if something isn’t working having the challenge to find other ways to address problems and always making sure this is in line with the needs of American Football.

What does a Desi fitness regime look like for the players?
I like to individualise programmes as players in different positions with different roles will need different qualities that can be enhanced for the game. My foremost goal is to ensure athletes are robust with efficient movement patterns, i.e. working muscles appropriately for each movement. Mobility is another key for me and making sure athletes are strong through full range. 

I am a big believer in athletes training in elements of other sports to gain the benefits. I once had my footballer doing gymnastic elements as part of his ACL rehabilitation as we were able to aid balance,movement control and practise jumps and landing. The next day he then had to do strongman training to create raw power. 

You’ve inherited a squad with some pretty big rehab needs, notably Nat and his broken leg. How do you approach that?
I can’t approach a team without some challengesthat is what makes the job exciting!  From meeting Nat day one I have tried to create the long term goal and work backwards with exit criteria’s that he will have to meet before progressing onto more complex skills. I think this allows players to have focus and direction in the frustrating time that is rehabilitation.

How does your own fitness regime compare?
I approach training the same, I always ensure that I am technically sound with all lifts and training before increasing weight or technicality of a skill. Personally my sports include strongwoman, Crossfit and rugby but I believe the foundations are the most important part of any sport.