Whether they’re playing the Pumas in Buenos Aires or the All Blacks on home ground, the Wallabies have to deal with their fair share of pressure, on and off the field. They are expected to be at their best every Saturday night, while also maintaining an intense training schedule during the week. And not only that, they have to deal with the added pressure of being in the spotlight every day. To find out how they cope, we asked Head Strength and Conditioning coach Hayden Masters what it takes to be one of the Wallabies.
Put simply, every Wallabies player is at the top of their field and, quite possibly, at the top of their fitness level. But being in the public eye every time you play and training every week can be draining. Hayden believes that “personal drive” is essential for any Wallabies player to be able to train, play and improve under pressure.
Being able to be at your best for the whole season is both challenging and crucial to being a professional athlete. And the only way to do that, explains Hayden, is to focus on consistency. Apart from a consistent training schedule, players need to be consistent themselves in their nutrition, their sleeping habits and their gym sessions.
It’s no secret that physical fitness is critical for any Wallabies player. Not only are players expected to shine on the field every Saturday, but their week is also filled with training and recovery sessions. According to Hayden, one way to keep peak fitness is to focus on recovery; he says it’s a “critical element of our performance”.