'One physio enough on tour'

  • Nikhilesh Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2011 00:22 IST
The former Indian team physio is credited with making a big attempt at introducing a refreshing fitness culture among the players until he stepped down in 2005. Here's what Andrew Leipus has to say now.
Do Indian physios have the right credentials?
India is improving in the field of sports medicine. I do, however, feel that one key issue with undergraduate physio training in India is the area of hands-on clinical training. Undergraduates need to be seeing a lot more patients on their own throughout their courses with experienced supervision.
Is India equipped to have made the shift from hiring foreigners?
As long as all players are happy with the support staff I think it is a great. It is often difficult to make a judgment over the efficacy of professionals purely on the outcomes. Sports medicine is also about the relationship between the player and the support staff. As long as they can act with professional autonomy and with the respect/support of the players then the foundation for a good environment is there. 
As India physio, why did you insist on NCA acting as a rehab centre and to monitor the overall fitness of players?
In simple terms, it is easier to look after a herd of sheep if they are in the same paddock! Too often players would be sent home from a tour with an injury and it would be very difficult to monitor them. This has changed now. Injured players now need to report to the NCA regularly, if not stay there for treatment.
Is it possible for one physio and one physical trainer to look after all the players?
One physio on any tour is enough. There are only 15-16 players and all are fit if they are on tour. The second physio can be based back at home. On tour, there should be a massage therapist and strength and conditioning person. It'd be nice to have a sports doctor travelling, but a nutritionist, chef, chiropractor, Pilates instructor etc could be better used at home during camps or at academies.

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