1. Pushing harder doesn’t always get results
Last year was challenging for me because I had to adjust my mindset and approach to training. I had always prided myself in doing extra work and my confidence was built on the back of knowing that I'd done more work than my opponent.
This year as I approached 30, it was clear my body was reaching the stage where more wasn't necessarily going to be a good thing anymore, and I battled with some niggling injuries every time I tried to push myself harder. Acknowledging that I had to back off a bit and get creative about how I did more (ie, watching vision and doing more game knowledge training/lighter skills based work), so that I wasn't pushing myself over my limit but still feeling confident was a real challenge.
2. Listen to your body really needs
A big breakfast including complex carbohydrates like wholegrain cereals, fresh fruit and nuts plus some yoghurt or eggs for protein set me up with the energy I need for a big day.
Lunch is similar: wholegrain bread or wraps with heaps of vegetables plus some protein in the form of poached chicken or roast turkey breast, and my go-to dinner is baked salmon, broccolini, sweet potato and boy choy.
If it's a night before a game or post a big day of training I might add some rice to dinner for an extra carbohydrate hit. I enjoy a treat as a let-down after our games. It's pretty satisfying smashing a chocolate bar after a big win. I don't have to be too strict though because generally speaking I already default to healthy food and enjoy eating well.
Occasionally, if I'm stressed or run down I'll find myself reaching for chocolate or cake and I just try to be mindful of that and work out why I'm doing that and fix it (ie, not enough sleep, stressed, unorganised and haven't prepared or planned meals) instead of the quick fix.
3. You do you (first thing in the morning)
[The best advice I’ve been given] is to get up and do your training in the morning, because other people or conflicting priorities will always try to take your afternoons or nights away, but they don't usually take your mornings and the longer the day goes on, the more opportunities you have to find an excuse not to do it. I love training in the morning now and have made it a habit. It's a great way to start the day and usually leaves me feeling energised and high on self-esteem which also helps with my diet because I want to be sure I fuel my body with healthy food and not undo all my good work.
4. Just give it a go
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Don't sweat on what you think you aren't or what you can't do or what you didn't do yesterday, go after whatever it is you want to achieve now.