Today is gameday, as you read this we are probably in an arm wrestle with the Lions, a battle of the felines in a Thursday night blockbuster. 266 games in and I still get nervous before a game of footy. It would feel unnatural not to. I wake early on gameday and start the day with a big breakfast. Porridge, fruit, toast, eggs and avocado all piled high in my bowl or on my plate. I don’t eat much after this meal as the nerves build throughout the day. When I was younger I would eat as a way to comfort the butterflies but now I just accept their presence and use them to motivate the mind.
The rest of the morning is a mixture of walks, stretching and study. Not thinking about the game too much before bouncedown is something you learn along the journey. A small sandwich of tuna and salad forms my ‘last supper’ before game time.
An afternoon sleep is a favourite of mine when we play at night. Allowing the mind and body to ‘meditate’ for a while helps strengthen the armour for the battle ahead. As the time to bouncedown ticks closer a calmness starts to come over the group. The mood shifts and you can feel the focus narrow.
A lot of players listen to music as we board the bus for the short drive to the SCG. I just sit and take in the surroundings, letting my mind rest before the busyness to come. We arrive at the SCG around one and a half hours before the game, with that time all yours to prepare the way you need to play your best. Primed and prepared your focus is now on nothing but the first contest of the game.
The past and the future move to other parts of your conscience, only the present matters. It’s always on honour to put on the Geelong hoops regardless of where and when the opportunity comes. 1088 players have had the chance to wear our famous jumper in 162 years of competition. We aim to always wear it with pride, passion and honour, the privilege should never be forgotten nor taken for granted, no matter what the situation is. Sure, the circumstances in which we wear the hoops are different at the moment but that honour remains the same.