SUMMARY: Just as important as the skills and conditioning program you are putting your players is the ability to allow your players the chance to recover effectively. In this article, you’ll discover how to aid the recovery process through the use of Ice Baths — and why players will love them.

Background

The new ICE ME portable baths

The new ICE ME portable baths

Muscle damage occurs in the majority of competitive sports or any activity requiring high levels of muscle exertion. When muscle fibres are damaged they become tender, sore and stiff. This damage is commonly referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). In an attempt to reduce DOMS, sporting teams complete post-match active recovery sessions accompanied with cold-water therapy, or contrast therapy (hot/cold).

Research suggests that these methods improve recovery after matches and practice by reducing the initial stages of injury/micro injury, stimulate blood flow and also reduce swelling. These treatments assist in removing metabolites and reducing the inflammation and swelling that are common after such activities. Other effects such as slowing metabolism and speeding the repair of damaged fibres may also be involved.

Use at Local Clubs

Over the past 10 years, community football clubs have joined the cause and have introduced contrast bath regimes in order to keep their players on the park for longer. Whilst lacking the resources of professional football clubs, community clubs have introduced various forms of ice baths to assist their players. These include blow up pools, garden bins (Sulo bins) and even tiled in versions in the corner of club wet areas.

For me as a community coach, the biggest issues faced around recovery is the lack of access to ice baths after playing at opposition venues or training away from our home base. Sulo bins have been a staple for me, but they lack portability and therefore I find my players will only use them after training and after home games. I also find I must be diligent in finding a safe method for the players to get in and out of the bins as steps are not provided.

A New Solution

ICE ME baths portability

The ICE ME baths are extremely portable and come with a handy carry case

I have had the pleasure of watching Marcus Marigliani strut his stuff in the VFL many times during my visits to Melbourne and in particular, Port Melbourne and Essendon. There aren’t too many harder, more in-and-under players than Marcus. And that only means one thing; vigorous body contact. Marcus has joined forces with former VFL and SANFL player Daniel Sands and experienced fitness and conditioning coach Glenn Thompson to deliver into the market a very viable option for those community football clubs looking for an edge over their opponents. The ICE ME Portable Recovery Baths.

Whilst playing VFL/AFL football at the elite level for the past 12 years, Marcus has experienced all the vigorous physical demands associated with the sport. He has developed an understanding of how important aiding recovery and rehabilitation is to keep up with the game. Being involved heavily in the sporting industry over the past 10-15 years, it has become increasingly apparent that recovery is playing a far greater role in today’s sporting environments, and this is very true for Marcus.

Giving not only professional athletes, but all sports competitors, the advantage to train harder and longer is the goal to getting the edge over your competition. Ice bathing has been a compulsory program that Marcus has endured year after year during his time in football. Whether it’s been standing in Port Phillip Bay, climbing into garbage bins, or hoping into blow up kiddie pools, this has been a protocol that has been compulsory in all AFL/ VFL clubs after almost all events on a training calendar – Skills, Running, Weights, and Competition.

The ICE ME Portable Ice Baths offer a safe, convenient and comfortable solution that is totally portable. ICE ME recovery baths have been designed for the modern day athlete and the demands of competitive sport.

Their product was born because of a need for a convenient and effective way to recover. After participating in intense and vigorous competition resulting in high levels of muscular and mental fatigue, soreness, stiffness and even injury, expecting athletes to climb in and out of bins and tubs on a wet surface is an accident waiting to happen. This option reduces the chances of your most important commodity, the players, of hurting themselves.

ICE ME Recovery Baths have been designed to be a transportable and professional means of ice bathing, allowing athletes to recover wherever and whenever they need. Taking only seconds to setup, with a rapid filling time, and a range of athlete comfort features – ICE ME recovery baths are today’s solution to long standing gap in athlete recovery. Some of the other features of these ice baths include a high quality aluminum frame, sturdy steps with added grip, industrial strength inner bag and a black carry case with wheels and carry straps to assist your medical team to transport these to wherever you are playing or training.

Why Ice Baths Work

ICE ME

Say goodbye to the old Sulo bins and say hello to ICE ME

After a hard training session, your players need to allow their bodies to “repair” to prepare for the next training session or upcoming game. The body does this with the help of blood vessels that bring oxygen to the muscle tissue while removing waste products of exercise, the most common being lactic acid. Too much lactic acid build-up can cause your player’s muscles to function poorly and will often lead to fatigue. An ice bath will immediately reduce swelling while flushing lactic acid out of the body. When a player sits in an ice bath, the cold causes the blood vessels to tighten. This helps drain the lactic acid out of tired muscles. When a player gets out of the bath, his muscle tissue warms back up, causing a return of oxygenated blood to help the muscles recover quickly.

It’s fantastic to see those involved in our sport use their experience to develop and promote tools that will help us succeed, and at a price most clubs can afford. CoachAFL.com is always willing to promote products that will benefit the football community, whether here in Australia, or in those countries around the world that are now playing our great game. You can even get your ICE ME branded with your club logo!

The team at ICE ME can be contacted via email at info@iceme.com.au

Posted by David Johnson

David “Johnno” Johnson is our chief football researcher and writer. With over 20 years of coaching experience in all grades of football David was also a prominent footballer himself, having played at Teal Cup level and was even recruited by the Essendon Football Club. The pinnacle of David's coaching experience saw him as the assistant coach of the East Fremantle Shark Football Club in the WAFL for a number of years.

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