Business man Damien Cook finds tools to success with new venture

The secret is in the salts.

NSW Origin hooker Damien Cook has revealed how floating for 45-minutes inside a magnesium salt tank has helped him become the most devastating hooker in the game.

Replacing the old ice bath and cold beer as the typical form of recovery for footballers, float tanks, cryotherapy and compression boots have become critical to the preparation of almost every player in the NRL.

Damien Cook has invested in Health and Wellness centre, La Cure, in Caringbah. Picture: Dylan Robinson

And such is Cook’s belief in the cutting-edge technology, the Blues no.9 has invested his own money in opening one of only two centre’s in Sydney with the revolutionary tools available to not just athletes - but the wider-public.

Cook has recently become a part-owner in La Cure - a wellness centre in Caringbah - and is his first leap into the business sector.

The centre boasts a cryotherapy machine, float tank, infra-red sauna, intravenous therapy and compression boots - which act as a massage.

“I’ve been doing this style of recovery for three years, Paul Devlin (former head of high performance) introduced it to me at Souths and so I wouldn’t put my name to something if I didn’t believe in it,’’ Cook said.

Cook credits the treatment for his edge over rivals.

“I can honestly say it’s a big reason why I’ve been able to get my body right and be as ready as possible for each week, I’ve got no doubt about that.

“Especially over the last couple of years, my playing and training load has increased.

“The thing is, everyone defends pretty much the same way, every one has the same attacking plays, so it’s just about getting that little edge and making sure your body is in good condition week-in, week-out, because it’s such a long season

“I honestly don’t think I would be the player I am without these tools.’’

The advantages of Cryotherapy recovery - which consists of stepping into a chamber with a temperature of -85 degrees - among footballers and athletes is well documented, most notably with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo purchasing his own chamber for his home.

The NSW hooker is a big believer in the treatment. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

But the float tank, is what Cook - a deep-thinker - describes as his solace - so much so, he’ll seek out a similar tank in Brisbane when he arrives for Origin I on Wednesday night.

“There’s a lot of benefits, not just for athletes, but the elderly with arthritis and sore joints,’’ Cook said.

“For me, after a hard day at training, I jump in the compression boots, or the cryo-machine, but the big one for me is the float tank.

“With the magnesium salts, you float in there with the benefits of the salts getting back into the muscles, but the big one for me is being able to shut-off for an hour away from technology.

“Away from the outside world, in complete silence and really refresh the mind - which I believe is very important for all of us these days.

“Reasearch has shown that an hour in the tank is equivalent to four hours sleep.

“And a lot of players are suffering from sleep deprivation, but this is a complete mental switch-off.

“I’ve found 45 minutes is perfect for me because my brain is always ticking over.

“After a float, that night I have my best sleep of the week and end up feeling great for the game.’’

Source: David Riccio, Daily Telegraph

Kristy Paltridge