Are there any challenges you have set yourself during this “downtime” while the country is on lockdown and no group training for the Isuzu Southern Kings?
BOBBY: I have told myself that I want to come out of this time as a fitter, faster, stronger and, ultimately, a better player. So, I’ve really been pushing myself quite a bit with regards to those aspects.
I also took the time to reconnect myself to my “why” and find the love I have for the game as I felt that I had started to lose that a bit.
How has the Isuzu Southern Kings coaching team assisted in ensuring that you continue working hard to remain fit during this period?
BOBBY: We have been very fortunate that Nadus Nieuwoudt, our strength and conditioning coach, as well as coach Robbi Kempson have been very hands on from Day One. They have constantly reiterated the fact that this is not to be considered a holiday and have given us certain programmes relating to fitness and gym work. It does, however, get a bit difficult with all gyms being closed now during the lockdown, but I must commend Nadus – he again took the initiative and gave us some creative, “cool” alternatives to mainstream gym work.
Do you not miss spending time with your teammates on the field and in the changeroom?
BOBBY: Quite a lot actually! Even though a lot of us do speak on a regular basis in our WhatsApp groups and via video call, nothing quite compares to the changeroom banter. Even the inside jokes we share on the field or just working hard and spending day to day with your mates. Nothing quite beats it!
How do you keep yourself busy during this period?
BOBBY: I’ve been very tough on myself with regards to coming out of this a better player, so I do spend a large portion of the day either doing some form of work – either conditioning , strength or speed work, and when I’m not doing that I’m either recovering, getting ready for the next session or I break away to spend some time with my friends and family, whom I hadn’t seen in a very long time.
You must be spending some good time in the kitchen at the moment. How are you enjoying your own cooking during this period?
BOBBY: I wouldn’t consider myself a great cook but cometh the day, I can cook to impress. Once again with me being at home right now, I’m blessed enough to be spoiled with food from my mother as she doesn’t always get to cook for me while I am in season.
Having been on a long-term injury layoff may have somewhat prepared you for a time like this. Is that the case?
BOBBY: Unfortunately, whenever I have had a layoff of this length it has been due to injury, and then the core focus was more prehab or rehab – and there was always a gym available. But, with the severity of the case we faced with, gyms have had to close so I’ve had to make alternative arrangements such as buying weights and equipment which I can use at home.
The team must be making every effort to ensure that all players remain fit and in good shape for a time when rugby will resume again?
BOBBY: Everyone has been making a conscious effort to stay as close to their peak condition as possible, but we will all lose that “contact fitness” a bit. However, I must say if “Hell Week” (as the players called one of our recent Bye Weeks) was anything to go by, Mr Robbi Kempson will have us match fit in a matter of days when we do resume.
How have you been entertaining yourself during this “down time”?
BOBBY: I have always been a sucker for a good horror/psychological thriller, so I have gotten into watching “Scream” the series on Netflix which brings forth a lot of excitement. I have also always been a sucker for a conspiracy theory so exploring different topics and the theories different people have around them has been captivating me, to say the least.