WinS Diaries: A Day in the Life of Maddison Rocci, National Basketballer - Women's Health

WinS Diaries: A Day in the Life of Maddison Rocci, National Basketballer

The Australian Opals squad player shares why she loves her sport so much, her proudest sporting achievement so far and what her training day really looks like.

Welcome to our new series, The Women in Sport Diaries, where we show what it really takes to be an athlete: the dedication, strict nutrition, intense training schedules and the mental and emotional intelligence. We also highlight how many female athletes are still not being properly compensated to compete at a high level and hope that the more we shine a light on this, the more opportunities we can create.

There are many reasons that athletes love their sport – the physical challenge of it, the speed, the mind games – for national basketballer Maddison Rocci, it’s the fact that basketball is a team sport. 

“I get to be around my teammates all the time and that allows me to form a special bond with them – on and off the court,” she explains. “There are many challenges that comes with basketball that range from injuries to not making certain teams you try out for. But not being successful in a team is super tough, so the way you deal and come out of it as a team is what makes you a better player.”

And Rocci should know. She’s been playing basketball for 11 years now, with five of those being as a professional player. That’s even more impressive when you realise she’s only 23 years old. 

“I started playing basketball when I was 12 years old. I grew up watching my older brother Kristian play basketball and it inspired me to give the sport a go,” she says. 

Not only did she give the sport “a go”, but she managed to train hard enough throughout high school that at age 18 she secured a salary as a professional athlete – though not earning as much, she says, as if she were a male player. 

“I have been paid ever since starting my professional career,” she says. “Without playing salaries being fully disclosed in the NBL and WNBL, it’s a little hard to compare but I think it’s fair to say that the guys well and truly have us covered in this department!”

On a day-today basis, Rocci is one busy basketballer. Not only does she play in two different basketball teams (one is an off-season team and the other is the professional WNBL season), but she was also named in the Australian Opals Squad, playing in the Asia Cup this year.  

“My biggest sporting achievement and my proudest moment was definitely being named in the Australian Opals Squad,” she says. “My next big goal would be making the Australian Opals World Cup team!”

Flyers. With that in mind, here she shares what her jam-packed training day looks like, from when she wakes up to when she dozes off at night! 

Maddison Rocci Training Diary

7:00am: “The sound of my alarm goes off for me to start my day, there is always the thought of me wanting to tap snooze and get more sleep, but I always think to myself ‘No, Maddison, get up!’”

7:20am: “After I get myself out of bed, I head into the shower and get myself ready for the day ahead of me. Put my basketball training clothes on then head out and take the dogs out for a walk to get my legs moving.”

7:40am: “After returning from my walk, I pack my bags making sure I have my Under Armour basketball shoes and socks for training. I then make myself some breakfast before heading on the road to Dandenong basketball stadium.”

8:00am: “I then head into the car for 50 minutes of travel to get myself to Dandenong for a shooting session before training begins. In addition to the music I’m singing along to, this is the perfect time for me to have my INC Sports protein shake.”

9:00-9:45am: “I start my individual training session with my coach and work on skills and shooting. In this time, it really helps me focus on my own game and the things I want to get better at.”

10:00am-12:00pm: “As a team we then start our team training for the week which we do Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays, this allows us to work on all the team aspects of basketball and getting to know how your teammates like to play.”

12:15-1:00pm: After team training is finished, we then head into the gym to work on our strength and conditioning. A lot of the time we are definitely tired heading into this, but I know deep down I need to push myself to get through it because it’s only going to make me better.” 

1:00-2:00pm: “It’s finally time to cool down have a stretch and have some lunch, I grab myself a wrap and head out of the door for my drive home.”

3:00pm: “I am someone who loves to have a nap so once I get home have a shower, I jumped into some comfy clothes lay in bed and rest.”

6:00pm: “Just before dinner I will go for another walk, have my dinner once I get back and then head into bed at 9:00pm and try to sleep by 10:00pm!” 


By Lucy E. Cousins

Lucy is a writer for Women's Health with more than 15 years experience under her belt. She's obsessed with everything from flotation tanks, meditation and activewear as well as all of the latest fitness classes. But she's all about balance... so in between fitness sessions, you'll find her with a coffee in one hand and a croissant in the other

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