Cardiff University Ladies 4’s vs Cardiff University Ladies Medics 2’s. With two home teams, a crowd of 100 and promotion on the line, this was a VERY big game! We came out victorious and I reluctantly said goodbye to my hockey days. Or so I thought…
Since the hip replacement I have slowly been training harder, getter better, faster and stronger as Kanye West would say. So 2 months ago I tentatively emailed my surgeon and asked if I was allowed to go back to training. After all, you never know unless you ask. I know I will never be able to play matches as I get far too competitive and injuring my hip is just not worth the risk, but surely training would be ok? To my surprise, he said yes! Seven weeks into the season and I am absolutely loving it! There is no better feeling than having a laugh with friends whilst playing sport. Endorphins eat your heart out.
But like everything with my hip, playing isn’t simple. In hockey your dominant leg is your left, the same side as my THR! Every player is heavily dependent on their stabilising muscles (the muscles that stop you wobbling when you make a movement) when they make passes on the run or make a ‘slap pass’. Something I am certainly lacking!
Welcome to Lily’s THR hockey 101...
1)Retrain body to pass off the right foot
2)Learn how to slap hit with right foot forward
3)Build up quad strength
4)Get some stabilising muscles
With my wannabe medic hat on I took to the internet to research the reason why I am still struggling with some physical aspects. I came across research performed by Dr Edward Dickenson and his colleagues at the University of Warwick’s Warwick Medical School who have discovered that being good a golf might be aided by the morphology (shape and structure) of your hips. Their results were the, ‘first study to show a left to right difference in the prevalence of cam morphology’ (Dickenson et al., 2016). Ie. A difference between the movement of the left and right hip joints in the same individual. This got me thinking, golf and hockey aren’t too different… right?
Although golf is a static, when you make a hit in hockey there are a lot of similar movements to hitting a golf ball. Your weight transfers from right to left, requiring motion through your hips. The leading leg in the golfers (left in a hockey player), has more internal rotation and less external rotation.
So maybe this is the reason I am currently struggling as my lateral (sideways) range of motion and internal rotation is near non-existence. Rather annoyingly I don’t think these are issues I am going to fix quickly. After nearly a year and a half of stretching I am only marginally more flexible than I was, looks like I won’t be a good yogi any time soon. But for now I am one happy hockey player, loving being part of the team again.
Dickenson, E., O’Connor, P., Robinson, P., Campbell, R., Imran Ahmed, I., Fernandez, M., Hawkes, R., Charles, H. and Damian Griffin (2016). Hip morphology in elite golfers: asymmetry between lead and trail hips. BMJ. 50:1081–1086