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Madi Robinson on the 2018 Commonwealth Games
We caught up with Navy Health ambassador and member Madi Robinson to reflect on a fantastic Commonwealth Games 2018.
Congratulations from everyone at Navy Health on a fantastic games. What does it mean to you to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games?
It is always a huge privileged to represent your country, but to have the opportunity to do it on home soil and in a multi-sport event like the Commonwealth Games is an incredible experience I will always cherish.
Being part of Team Australia was AMAZING! All the different sports, inspiring athletes you get to meet, the support staff and volunteers who were willing to help make every experience and memorable one was so special.
What do you love most about playing netball?
I love being part of a team, I love competing, I love being pushed by my team mates, I love to train hard and stay healthy, I love the friendships I’ve made and I love meeting new inspiring people along my journey and hopefully bringing some happiness and love to them through the game as it has given so much happiness and love to me.
How do you prepare the night before a game?
It’s really no different to any other night of the week. I think we can place so much emphasis on having the perfect preparation, but a game is never perfect so you need to be adaptable. This wasn’t always the case for me, but being more easy going and treating it no different helps me stayed relaxed and enjoy the game more.
How do you see the relationship between food and fitness?
Having played at the elite level for 13years now, I have a really good understanding of my body. What it needs and when it needs it. Fuelling with the right food plays an important part in my performance, but it is all about moderation and balance.
Same with fitness, you have to be able to listen to what your body is craving. It might be rest or it might be movement (even when its sore). And you aren’t going to get it right all the time, but our body’s are amazing things and the more you learn and know about your UNIQUE one, the more confident, accepting and happy we can be in them and the relationship between food and fitness can be a positive one.
What are some of your favourite foods to fuel you up for such high-level competition?
I don’t eat red meat, so I have a lot of veggies, fish, tofu, tempeh, salads, stir-fry’s and rice dishes. I keep it simple with moderation and balance as mentioned earlier. I also have a sweet tooth, which I have to be mindful, but a treat is completely normal and required to keep me sane sometimes…haha!
When you aren’t playing for the Australian Diamonds what are your daily rituals for health and wellbeing? How does this change during competition?
We don’t really have an off-season in Netball, so whether I am in Diamonds or Magpies mode there is always training to be done. I have always been a very active person, so I do enjoy getting outside and training hard. The types of training may change and the amount of what i am doing will be different depending on what time of the year and what netball is coming up, but even on our days off I like to go for an easy run, long walk or do a Pilates session.
I know keeping my body moving and feeling free (stretched and activated) helps me not only perform but live a healthy lifestyle. The other thing that has more education and focus around (not only in an elite environment) is mental health. Taking just 20mins out of your day to disconnect, rest and relax your mind or even do some breathing exercises is just as important to your overall well-being as your physical healthy and preparation is.
What are the best ways to keep motivated to exercise?
Yes I do love what I do, but I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t say I had a day (sometimes many days) that I just don’t want to get out of bed and go to training. The thing that gets me there are my team mates. They are relying on me to be there, so knowing I don’t want to let them down gets me up. When you get there and see either someone else is feeling the same (you get each other
through) or that one person who says good morning in a chirpy voice, it makes me smile and know I can get through it.
When its not scheduled training, having my training gear out the night before helps also. Sometimes the biggest struggle is just getting dressed (I know that might sound ridiculous) but once I am changed and ready, my competitive nature kicks in and I am ready for the challenge ahead.
What do you and the team do to recover and celebrate after a game?
It’s so important to celebrate the wins. And not only the big ones but also the small wins you get on court (intercepts, clutch shots, chasing a loose ball, needle threading feeds). Those moments in a game can be the difference between winning and losing so its important you let your teammates know when they are living you team values and killing it on court. Who doesn’t love praise? No one ever!!
After the game (after a win) we sing our team song and usual carry on like lunatics most of the time (lots of laughing)!! Then straight into the ice baths for recover, getting the fuel and fluids into the body to replenish what you’ve lost. It’s always hard to sleep after a game. The adrenaline and emotion takes time to settle, so its more about getting some rest, whether that’s sleep or just resting watching TV or reading a book.
We try to not emotionalise sleep after a match, just get what your can and you can put some extra ‘Zzz’s’ back in the sleep bank during the week.
How do you balance the demands of your training schedule and the rest of your life?
My team mates will tell you I am extremely organised. Probably bordering OCD organised, but never the less without it I wouldn’t be able to have achieved what I have on and off the court.
Alongside being an elite athlete I have a Teaching Degree, Cert IV in Health Coaching, sell my own personal merchandise online, do guest speaking gigs, plenty of community and school visits, netball clinics, currently trying to complete my Cert IV in Pilates and looking at a Business Degree. I’m a bit of an energiser bunny (i can thank and blame my mum for that…love you mum) but as well as doing all of the above, the one thing I wont compromise on (for any of it) is family time.
My family are super important to me and without them, the journey so far wouldn’t have been so enjoyable (amongst all the highs and lows) and my future so bright regardless of what I am doing.
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