The Ultimate Sports Lover I absolutely loved playing all sports growing up. From cricket to soccer, to tennis, to golf, to rugby league then rugby union in high school, just to name a few. From since I can remember, I was always outside playing with the sporting equipment that my mum and dad would buy me for my birthday and also from what Santa would bring me at Christmas. This photo below was what Santa brought me as a 10 year old!! Thanks Santa!!!
I look back now and know that in a very unintrusive way, my mum and dad loved sport themselves so this just naturally filtered on through to me too. So yes, I was just totally obsessed with all sports, like all the time.
Thank you Ipswich!!!! During the summer, cricket was always my number one love. I would be outside every single day playing backyard cricket and then as I grew up, I would go to the Ipswich Schools Cricket Coaching Clinic every Saturday morning, then play club cricket on Saturday afternoon and then play representative cricket for Ipswich on the Sunday. This was just the dream weekend for me. In winter my main love was rugby league, which I played in primary school and then it moved to rugby union in high school. My winter weekends weren’t as filled with representative games like my summers’ where, but no matter what, I was always incredibly active.
Those Dreaded Car Trips!!!! As I got into my early to mid teens, I continued to grow my love of cricket in particular, and my mum and dad were such amazing parents that either one of them would drive me everywhere I needed to go to play my numerous games every weekend. I can remember so vividly, so many times, if not every time, especially if it was a hot day out in the field, I would cramp up badly in the car on the way home. At times, mum or dad would have to pull the car over so I could stretch out my hamstring or calf, or thigh to stop the muscle from cramping. I just thought that this was just part and parcel of playing cricket during a hot and humid summer. I always made sure that I drank a lot of water but no matter how much water I would drink, this just wouldn’t stop happening.
Cramping - The Performance Un-Enhancer So then moving on a few more years, when I really started to live out my dream of playing cricket for Australia, being a top order batting all-rounder, it was just part and parcel, that during a hot and especially humid day, I would always cramp. And this just wasn’t after the game, it was during the game and this would sometimes have a big impact on my ability to execute my skills to the best of my ability. Whether it was trying to play a sweep shot and cramping in my hamstring, to then cramping while I was running between the wickets, or cramping in both calves as I was running into bowl, my cramping was really becoming a performance un-enhancer to the skills that I actually possessed.
Chasing Perfection - The Upsides and Downsides I will very much admit, that my training habits definitely didn’t help my cause either. As I was so obsessed with executing my skills perfectly in the lead up to a game, I would over-train massively, because, as I well know now, perfection is absolutely impossible, but my word, I chased it. The upside to this was my skills continued to evolve at a great rate but it had a huge downside as well.
So due to these training habits leading up to a game, my hydration and energy in my muscles were already depleted on game day, in a one day international, it wasn’t uncommon for me to start to cramp up in my calves in my 4th or 5th over when we were bowling first.
One of the first things that I did to reduce my chances of cramping was, thanks to the advice from the guru physiotherapist, Victor Popov, to start training much smarter especially the day before a game. This meant that I was as fresh as I could be and definitely not going into a game fatigued, for injury prevention reasons as well as trying to reduce the chance of me cramping - commonsense finally prevails!!!
What did cramping look like for me? This is how my stock standard cramping process went. Once I started to cramp, for me, it just got worse and worse until one or a couple of my muscles were in complete spasm. The only way that I could stop the muscle or muscles from cramping was to rest for at least half an hour, rehydrate, and then gently get back into it again and hope for the best.
Yes, I used to drink Gatorade/Powerade at times due to the much publicised Electrolytes benefits. But I didn’t like the sweetness that these sugar filled hydration drinks had in them. And I used Hydralyte too, which I found to be decent and they helped a bit, but I was still cramping.
All of a sudden….. A Miracle!!! Then, during a game that I remember for a lot of reasons, it was the MCG in 2011, our first ODI vs England after losing the Ashes at home and the floods had just devastated my home town of Ipswich. It was also a warm day, we bowled first and I bowled 8 overs, so this was a perfect storm for me to definitely cramp while I was batting and as always, I would just have to manage my running between the wickets.
So I started batting, got to about 70 or 80 and started to cramp in my hamstring and glutes as I was playing a pull shot and sweep shot. Also my calves started to cramp while I was running between the wickets.
Then our Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Coach gave me a drink with this fizzy tablet in it which I drank and then after a couple of less intense overs after we had lost a wicket, all of a sudden I stopped cramping!!!! What???? This absolutely doesn’t happen!!! In my experience, you definitely don’t stop cramping once you start and especially while I am still playing!!!! What was this fizzy tablet that Stuart Karpinnen, our S&C coach, put in my drink bottle.
My Saviour - Koda Electrolyte Tablets My cramping saviour had arrived, the Shotz as it was called then, which has now been renamed the Koda Electrolyte Tablets. Since that very day, my hydration preparation is all based around these Electrolyte tablets and from then on, I have never cramped on the field, so no performance un-enhancing cramping ever again!!!
Koda Shotz have 3 different flavours, my go-to is the Berry with my fall back being the Smooth Orange to change it up.
I will put one tablet in 500mls of water a few times in the day leading up to the day of the game and then game day, replicate this throughout the entire day and game.
I truly am so grateful to Darryl Griffiths who personally developed this life-changing product and you all can reap the benefits of this incredible product too by buying them now. Thanks so much mate!!!
Click on this link below to get a 10% discount and to experience this performance-enhancement for yourself.* https://www.kodanutrition.com/discount/T20STARS
*Note - I just want you to know that I am affiliated with these amazing Koda Products. Please understand that my recommendations are based on a deep experience of using this product to be the best cricketer I can be. I recommend these to people like you as I know they work, because I have used them throughout my career with amazing effect.