What do you do directly after the rugby season has finished - go out, go on holiday, or keep training?
The off-season is probably the hardest time of the year. After a month break, which comes straight at the end of the season, when some of the guys do go on holiday and have a bit of a blow out, we’re straight into gruelling sessions. Fitness and conditioning are key to build on during the off-season and not only do they make you incredibly fit for the following season, but they also condition your body for it too. Some very high intensity contact sessions are usually in there, however unlike in a game during the season, it’s a lot more controlled and aimed at working on technique as well as conditioning yourself to the hits. I love the off-season, you get to really focus on becoming better and better ready for the next season.
How do you ensure you keep a certain level of fitness during the off-season? What kind of training do you do and how does this compare to the main rugby season?
So, the off-season is a lot more intense. The sessions are harder and the conditioning is brutal - during the season you spend a lot of the week recovering from the previous game and then prepping for the next so the time for fitness and conditioning just isn’t there. This is why the off-season is so brutal to not only prep you, but also to make your body feel better during the season. Off-season is for beasting the team and during the season it is just about focusing on winning.
Do you use the off-season to help recovery from injuries?
It’s a bit of a mix, yes you don’t have games in the off-season so I guess you’re not feeling the effects of that, however the coaches are still very good at replicating them during training. And the intensity is very high, so the risk for injury is definitely still there however as it’s training it’s a lot more controlled, unlike in a game where more injuries occur more often.
Where does NuroKor play a role in your training - both during the season and in the off-season?
NuroKor is hugely important all year round, from the second I get off the training field or on a weekend off, it’s vital that I don’t get lazy with it. Rugby as everyone knows is very intense, however you just can’t take a step back from it, whether it’s sprinting, the contacts or the skill work, you need to be able to operate at a very high standard all the time. It’s definitely more about managing niggles and soreness with the NuroKor fitness recovery device, as I don’t think anybody in the sport feels 100% all the time. So these extra things you can be doing like using Nurokor are so important to keep you injury free and get you prepped for the next session.
Is the off-season good for you mentally?
To be honest I enjoy the stress of the season, it’s a really good time to test yourself and put yourself under pressure. However in terms of enjoyment away from playing, you do get time to actually sit back and think about things other than rugby. A lot of guys deal with it in different ways however the way I work, I’m always putting pressure on myself to get better. Everyone loves playing though, and that’s why we train so hard, so at times the off-season can add a bit of stress as you are not getting that same result at the end of the week and getting to go on the field and do what you love week-in-week-out. It’s all about managing your stress and that comes with experience.
Do you use the off-season to concentrate on your weaknesses? Physical or skills wise?
Definitely, the off-season is there for that. You have the time to work on those weaknesses as there just isn’t the time in the season. Whether that is weaknesses in your fitness or skill wise, after every session you will do individual skills or ‘extras’ as we call them. That might be extra sprints for fitness or it could be specific skill work that you or the coaches feel you need. In my position catching is a huge part of the game and you can never do enough of it. So working on that and replicating different scenarios is key.
To learn more about how NuroKor can help recovery: https://nurokor.co.uk/pages/recovery