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Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Hello from Perth, Australia. A squad of 22 of us are here for just under 3 weeks for training and a 6 match test series against Australia.

The theme, preparation which started well in advance of leaving London.

First up, prepping for the change in temperature. It was a hot and sticky affair sitting in saunas and completing training sessions in our onsite heat chamber at Bisham Abbey. In less than 30 minutes, I’d often loose over 1kg of body weight highlighting the importance of hydrating. I didn’t tell our Strength and Conditioning coach at the time but I’m relieved he planned exposure to some kind of heat whilst back at our base. To give you an idea of how hot it is here, I’ve picked up this quote from a local paper that sums things up quite suitably.

“At 11.30am the temperature reached 40.3 degrees, making it a record-equalling four days in a row of 40-plus in Perth. Forget frying an egg on the footpath – Perth was so hot this week that one resident baked a batch of cupcakes on her dashboard.”

A 4-hour travel time impacts the body physically let alone a 24-hour journey to Australia! Preparing for the journey was vital in order to minimise the impact on performance as much as possible. Compression leggings, my essential snacks and a pillow are 3 things I don’t travel without. I don’t rely on plane food so always carry snacks. Nakd bars, Marks and Spencer Oriental Snack Mix or an avocado salad wrap from Pret a Manger are my preferred choices. My body and I are happy when I have something to eat, something to help me sleep and something to help maintain blood circulation.

Other preparation essentials for this trip were factor 50 sun cream to protect my delicate English skin, enough sweat bands for training and games (I always wear one on my right wrist) and a decent sized mug for my daily cup of tea (I always find hotel ones too small). Another small but important thing I always bring is my STX lacrosse ball. Every day I use this to loosen my calves and feet. It helps prevent things stiffening up as I’ve struggled a lot ankle issues in recent years.

I really believe the small things make the big difference. Plan ahead, be prepared and you'll thank yourself later on.

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