As normal everyday life slowly makes a return, GHN recently caught up with some of of our sporting athletes from Team GHN.
We wanted them to share their stories and tales of lockdown with you and how they have managed to keep physically & mentally focused during the uncertain times.
Here are their "Tales Of Lockdown"
Training through lockdown was actually quite refreshing, eye opening and extremely positive. Due to that fact I wasn't going into football training, I was able to be at home and was able to concentrate on my own body and physique. Im lucky enough to have access to a full gym which I have built, which means I had every single piece of equipment I needed to stay in shape. The only thing missing is a sauna! My main areas of concern was to lose weight whilst maintaining lean muscle which proves difficult through the football season as you are always in a state of recovery and have to eat 'big' for fuel. I was doing a lot of tabata runs whilst focusing on body weight lifts and core work, I found a routine that worked best for me and two weeks into the lockdown period I was flying. Another factor I really started to enjoy was road running. Something I'd Never actually done before, but I can honestly say I've now got the bug. It really gives me a sense of achievement when completing my 5k runs and trying to combat the completion times each run. I'm not sure it's the best for the old joints and back but it does wonders for my mental state and really believe running is an important and should be part of everyone's life!
Motivation in regards to returning to football training was tricky. As there were no concrete dates for us to take down we literally had to take it day by day and even some days hour by hour as the given information was constantly changing. For me my own fitness motivation though lockdown was simple. I had just returned from a serious knee injury and after 6 months of intense rehab I wasn't prepared to just throw all that work away. I knew that a date would be sprung on us at any given time and due to our involvement in the Play Offs I wanted to be in the best shape possible in order to achieve the best possible performances. I do feel that when I returned I was a 'different' athlete and I was happy with my discipline and dedication throughout.
Dawid Malan - Professional Cricketer [Yorkshire CCC & England]
Training has been very mixed if i'm honest. The first part of lockdown was tough as i had no access to any gym equipment, so i focused on body weight and cardio. I was completing a decent run every day. It then all changed as i tore my calf and it became more rehab focused training. Once back to being able to train at the ground the gym was then made available so it was great to get back to normal, although the training was focused on calf rehab and leg strengthening.
My training has always kept me motivated. The harder i worked in the lockdown the better. The preparation period for the season that is eventually getting underway really motivated me to start well at my new County. This break has also allowed me to work on my weaknesses and top up on areas i needed so that motivates and encourages me as i know I am hopefully making significant improvements to my game.
Ellie Wilson - Professional Footballer [London Bees FC]
Training has definitely been very different. Going from team training to now needing to train pretty much on your own all the time has also been strange. Especially with limited equipment. I think with some elements of gym/strength training it was just a case of getting creative with things and keeping as much variety as possible but it definitely wasn't as easy as just turning up to the gym and lifting some weights.
As for football based training that has been more of a challenge. I have definitely completed more running/speed/cardio type sessions than football in order to maintain a good level of fitness for when we return. I have then just completed technical work during those sessions when I can but I can't wait to be able to be back in team training and playing football, rather running individually.
In terms of motivation, there's always motivation to get through it because you know football and sports in general will return at some point, its just a case of when! You also want to be in the best shape possible, and ready to go when ever that might be so that's mainly what keeps me ticking over. But I've also seen this time as a way of finding other interests, other ways to keeps fit and focusing in things other than football, which has been nice. But everyone is in the same boat so in terms of training and uncertainty, I think that helps as well.
Will Hooley - Professional Rugby Player [Saracens RFC & USA Eagles]
Training in lockdown was tough both physically and mentally. I definitely went through peaks and troughs.
I was lucky enough to borrow some gym equipment to use in my back garden. My partner and I would try and do some circuit training that was both cardio and strength work. My aim was to not necessarily to get fitter or stronger (I think as athletes it was important to be realistic and not get stressed about losing some muscle mass or fitness) instead I focused to try and maintain myself as best as possible with what I had, using the gym equipment and the park down the road where I lived.
It was refreshing to focus on myself and not have to be concerned about the daily demands of rugby life. I used the lockdown wisely to get on top of a shoulder niggle I had which was really beneficial. It’s not often as a player you get that length of time to focus on yourself.
I tried to maintain my skill work by kicking and passing at the park. In the back of my mind I was always thinking that I didn’t want myself to slip into bad form as the season could be reorganised and start at any time.
As the lockdown went on the motivation to get outside, use the same weights and do the same sessions did get boring. My emphasis was on little and often. Just keep ticking over!
Fortunately for me. I’ve now been back at my new club Saracens for the last month and a bit. We’ve gone through the return to play stages. Starting with fitness running and gym work to now fully rugby training and back to normal life.
When my motivation was at a low point I had a chat with one of the S+C coaches at Saracens. He was very honest and open to the idea of giving myself a full ‘deload’ week. It enabled me to switch off from training and relax. When I came back to train the following week I felt a better hunger to want to improve and do the sessions. Motivation when training on your own can be very hard. You have to set yourself small goals but also give yourself time to rest and switch off. You’ll find when you come back after that rest you’ll be in a better head space to go and attack your training rather than just ‘getting through it’.
I knew that rugby will eventually return again. The protocols are in place and the environment is very safe. I think all players now feel they are in good condition to get stuck into the games. After all, we are not professional trainers, we want to be out there playing!
Nathan Buck - Professional Cricketer [Northamptonshire CCC]
Staying motivated has been tough. Not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. I thought at the start of lockdown it was going to be amazing, I could Train in my garage, in my own time, as much as i like. And that’s what it was like for the first 6 weeks or so. But as lockdown dragged on and the season appeared to be a non starter, my levels of motivation soon diminished as my goal of playing cricket again slowly drifted away. It was hard for me personally to train alone as I come from a team environment. Everything is team based, and when we train in the gym or on the running track it’s done in groups. I missed the banter and energies from the boys, and I’ve become to realise I use them as a motivation to do well and compete with. This is how I get the best out of myself.
As soon as we were given a return to cricket date, I was back on the horse that day. I needed an end goal to be in sight, in order to religiously get my training programmes completed. And that was the case. It’s weird what that clear clarity of an end goal did. I was again able to train by myself for that block as I wanted to be in the best physical condition I could for first back at cricket. My focus was clear and I absolutely smashed it. We were lucky enough to receive gym equipment from the cricket club. We were then given training schedules to complete, both weights and cv running sessions throughout the week. As mentioned previously, it was great to be able to train in my garage at any time I could. I loved it.