Welcome to Industry Insider by Behind Sport! We’re speaking to Danny Fishwick, First Team Sports Rehabilitator at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m Danny Fishwick, I’m currently working with the First Team at Wolves as Sport Rehabilitator and just reaching 3 years in the position this month. Previous to this I was with Fleetwood Town’s first team and academy for 18 months and Chorley. I have also worked with Huddersfield Town and Perth Glory in Western Australia as well as other non league teams in the north west.
What do you do in your current role?
My current role is varied. As a Medical team we plan and then all prepare the players for training sessions daily and assess and treat new / existing injuries. We rehabilitate the injuries in the gym and the pool until they are ready to start on the pitch then the players complete rehab sessions on the pitch until they are ready to join in with the team.
It is similar on a match-day where I help prepare the players for the game and become part of the Emergency Action Plan in case of anything serious happening on the pitch. My current role on a matchday is to watch the game on a tablet to see zoomed in replays of injuries to relay what happened to the physios running on the pitch – this is also important in cases of concussion. With the added number of games this season there has been more emphasis on the need for recovery so this has also been required post matches this season in a number of different ways / modalities.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Our weekly schedule depends on how many games we have in that week. This season has consisted of a lot of Thursday Sunday game weeks with travel included so lots of matches with recovery in between – training at least 3 days before a game (if possible). So we spend a lot of time together as a team which creates a great bond between the staff and players alike – great to be a part of.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I’ve always tried to progress in every role I have been in, started by working voluntarily whilst in uni for 3 years and carrying on from there. Never passing up an opportunity to gain experience in different sports and with different clinicians and environments. I have always tried to take the best bits from everyone and put them into my own catalogue to work from.
I have known all along that I wanted to work in sport but specifically football – I was never good enough to play it but always had a keen interest in the human body and anatomy so it was a great match. I have always been obsessed with the sport and to work in it has been a long, hard journey with lots of highs and lows with rejections and amazing moments. The hard work and progression never ends – always trying to learn off the people around me as they are an amazing medical / sports science team with amazing knowledge and ideas and the staff in general are top class.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
I’m excited to see the development of new equipment and techniques with regards to tissue healing and recovery – there are so many different modalities that we use on a daily basis but it’s exciting to see what the future holds as technology is developing all the time and the ability to develop our methods in treating a variety of musculoskeletal disorders can only be a positive thing for the clubs, the players, the staff and ultimately the fans.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
I see lots of people coming out of university expecting a well paid job the day they graduate, having done no voluntary work – shown no eagerness / motivation to gain experience for themselves and do this on a voluntary basis.
My advice would be to start in the lower leagues on a voluntary basis, help out the current medic there and learn how it is in the real world. Working hard in this environment will open up opportunities and also allow networking with other people. Good things come to those that work hard and are motivated to do a good job wherever they are and however much they are getting paid. Take every opportunity possible to gain experience in lots of different sports, environments as possible – get out of your comfort zone.
You can follow Danny Fishwick and the Wolves Sports Medicine team on social media…
Twitter: @danny_fishwick and @WolvesSportMed
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with First Team at Wolves as Sport Rehabilitator, Danny Fishwick!