The Engine Room: Insurance Against Injury – Brad Beer, Super League’s In-House Physio

“Super League Triathlon is inclusive. I think the athletes appreciate the warmth. It’s like a family almost. It allows them to express themselves a bit more freely, and we get to see more of who they really are on the racetrack, rather than the stringent rules of the other events out there.”

What’s it like being part of an elite athlete support team, recognised as one of the top minds in professional sport, and being drafted into the most demanding series the world has ever seen? Brad Beer’s got the answers.

Super League Triathlon (SLT) is at the cutting edge of performance, but also at the forefront of athlete welfare, support, and wellbeing. Brad is part of the SLT family and our head physiotherapist over the Championship Weekends. He provides care to the athletes as they push themselves to the very edge of their physical boundaries, while also managing their mindsets and A-type personalities when it comes to injury prevention.

A physio since graduating in 2005, Brad has seen it all in the world of multi-sport but has been blown away by the backroom support given by SLT.

“I am so impressed with the fact you value athlete welfare enough to invest in having someone like myself at the races alongside the rest of the team. Everything is taken care of, but it is an investment that is made, and it speaks volumes about how much you care about the athlete wellbeing.”

What does he think drives that investment, that care about the athletes as performers?

“I get really excited to hear Macca talk about the athletes becoming stars, they are hardworking and dedicated, and they deserve to be out under the lights, you put your money where your heart is in that sense. It is something I take very seriously, I want to give everything I can to add value to that, to honour that commitment, responsibility, and the trust that SLT has got in me as a physio.”

We are unique in the demands we place on our athletes, Brad has an insight into what it takes to perform at the pointy end of the competition, and what kind of stresses the formats put on the body.

“From a physiotherapy perspective, which is all about injury minimisation primarily, the best performers are the ones who don’t neglect their gym work. They do heavy, slow resistance work in the gym, and they are also the ones who typically don’t get injured. There are a few that seem to get what the evidence talks about – that’s twice a week in the gym using decent loads.”

Is there an element of the professional field that has not signed up to the modern school of thought regarding injury prevention, strength and conditioning, and weights work?

“There are so many that just neglect any form of heavy resistance work in the gym, they’ll still be doing the 1990s or early 2000s version of core exercises just at home with their body weight. This is typically not enough to hold off overuse injuries through a season. There is a big area of neglect below the knee; the calves, for example, these are the powerhouses running 50% of propulsion.”

“I don’t want to seem critical, but strength and conditioning is basically the 4th discipline of a triathlon.”

So who does Brad look at and see getting it right, following the science, and really getting the best out of their bodies?

“I was so impressed with Jonny Brownlee – I mean he’s going to have the best access to everything, but what he’s doing is spot on with the evidence, it’s cutting edge, it’s fantastic, phenomenal.”

What are Brad’s thoughts on Super League as we go into the Grand Final in Singapore?

“I’m so excited, growing up as a child in the 90s here in Australia I remember watching the televised F1 series in 92/93, and that was it, that was what I wanted to be. So to see something like that come back with credible people like Macca behind it making it bigger and better really is exciting. Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come for other events, where organisers think much more about the athlete welfare and background support.”

If you’ve missed the news, Super League Singapore is happening on the 23rd and 24th of Feb! Check out what’s going on at the event here.