How Mark Packwood Leverages Kinduct in Junior Hockey
Mark Packwood is the Head Trainer and Physiotherapist as well as the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. Mark now holds a diploma in sport physiotherapy and a second Masters of Clinical Science (Advanced Health Care) from Western University.
As a Trainer/Physiotherapist of a junior hockey team, how has your experience been using Kinduct’s EMR?
From an EMR standpoint, Kinduct is extremely user friendly. I can grant different access to different members of my medical staff to ensure they have access to the right information their roles require while keeping certain information private. It also allows remote access for when my staff needs to document treatments from either clinic, home, or the hospital.
Kinduct has also been helpful for adding my own individual treatments and descriptions that make my day-to-day treatment very easy to log, especially if something was performed for multiple athletes.
Lastly, while documenting injuries over time, it is quite easy to track practices or games lost to injury per region of the body, etc. to help build patterns moving forward for an individual, team, or time in season.
How have other aspects of the AMS been integrated into your workflow as a junior hockey team?
It’s made communication with my coaches and GM easy as I’m able to log on to the main page of our team account and see our player’s activity status (labelled in green, yellow, and red) to give a real-time update as to the status of the roster.
I’ve also been adding small notes on the player profiles for my coaching staff to view that give them a synopsis as to what the issue is or timeline for return. This way, they can log in and get an update even if I’m preoccupied. A feature like this is also great from a privacy standpoint as having private conversations can be challenging to schedule within a busy dressing room or on a bus.
Additionally, the general morning wellness surveys or any other wellness scores we collect are easily accessible on the main page. Having these insights allows me to tweak the workload in the gym and ensures that I can communicate with the player and coach about something that may be going on, even if it was a sleeping issue or motivational issue, etc. These surveys flag players so I can then dive into a more pertinent conversation about potentially bigger issues that may have been missed if not for Kinduct.
How did you get your coaching staff involved? What data/reports matters most to them?
Our coaching staff bought in right away and they continue to use it more and more. In addition to the wellness scores and activity status, our coaching staff input numerical performance scores after every game and compare them to the athletes’ self-reported performance scores. They also send out a monthly survey that has open-ended questions regarding performance and how to make in-season changes. And, when they have individual meetings, coaches will input any valuable information into the “notes” section that is only visible to them.
We also use the system as a messaging platform to prevent schedule conflicts such as team massage or if a player had a medical appointment.
How has buy-in from the players been?
Buy-in was quite exceptional during our first year, especially with a wide variety of maturity amongst the 16-20 age group that is junior hockey. In general, there is a bit of trial and error based on your sport, schedule, and obviously a reasonable expectation to place on your athletes. Giving too many wellness forms/general questionnaires can become redundant, especially if the player is not taking it seriously.
In Windsor, each player was educated as to why this was important to track and how it could help me manage their workload during the season by educating our staff as to when the players needed a rest or extra day off. Instead of a non-educated hypothesis of team status, the players gave me concrete objective data to help make rational decisions. Once the players knew this, they were more engaged.
Before our Christmas break, a three-month summary of the season with all of their wellness scores, HR data, weight, etc. was created and shared amongst the coaching staff. Some one-on-one conversations that stemmed from this report were short as there was little to discuss, and others had some concerning points that allowed further dialogue or suggested areas to improve upon such as sleep hygiene.
When the season ends in junior hockey, how do you leverage Kinduct for exit medicals?
On top of formulated the same report as I did at Christmas, I also created injury logs. For each player, time missed based on practice or games was summarized to show each player how robust they were during the season and also gave them a brief summary of any injuries they experienced or anything that seems repetitive over the year.
Pattern recognition is essentially the main goal from all the data collected and how this can be used to focus on strength and conditioning, life changes, or a general outlook toward how the players treat their bodies on their own time.
When it came to exit meetings with my staff, Kinduct enabled me to summarize when our team was “tired,” if this coincided with winning/losing streaks, and how we can better manage this in the future. This could be from a team perspective or from an individual player, and also in a both physical and cognitive manner.
In general it helps push against the norm of how hockey seasons and practice schedules have typically been formulated and suggest that maybe there is a better approach.
Do you also use Kinduct for offseason training programs and ongoing support during summer?
The plan for this offseason due to COVID-19 is that, while players are unable to get back into the gym and or train with their individual strength coaches, I will be using Kinduct’s training program to build a week to week program based on available equipment.
What made this easy to implement is a simple questionnaire that asks what each athlete’s home exercise equipment list looks like, which I then formulate a training program based on.
COVID-19 has obviously impacted your day-to-day workflow. How has your use of Kinduct changed? What specifically have you been using the platform for during the last few weeks?
Since virtual care has increased lately, having a secure manner to gather information is vital. Instead of insecure pathways to “check-in” on players, being able to send a quick bi-weekly or monthly wellness survey is quick and much more time efficient. These summary reports are also easy to forward to my GM.
Overall, I feel because the Kinduct team worked hard to build a platform that was tailored to my individual needs, nothing has changed. I have been able to monitor and collect or give information as I normally would. While people have been trying to sort out how they will do this, I was prepared because of Kinduct.