A week in the life of Brad Crabb
Playing for South Adelaide football Club isn’t just showing up on game day and having a kick. A player must work hard all week to prepare physically and mentally for the match.
Aside from team training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a Panther also has forty five minutes of weight training to balance out the cardio and skills training. Weight training is vital in building the strength to lay and break tackles, stand up in a pack and endure the demands a football match puts the players’ bodies. As a full back, Brad works on many different skills at training, especially working with the full forwards on one on one contests and contested marks.
But it’s not just the physical aspect of the game that a player works on during the week. The strategy of the game is also vital to a player’s game preparation. Every Monday the team has a video match review where they evaluate their individual and team performance and indentify areas to work on at training. Strategy is very important to Brad and the team. On the Friday before the game the players receive a team list and the coaching staff work out which players will do best on which player and, in conjunction with the players, the best way to neutralise their opponent, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. A big part of Brad’s match preparation is familiarising himself with his opponents’ style and working out how best to play on him.
Obviously, all this training and strategising is for naught if it is not paired with a balanced diet. Throughout the week Brad eats a healthy diet and on Thursday and Friday loads up on carbohydrates, like pasta, to give himself the fuel to run out the game. Of course diet and exercise is not the only thing a player must contend with when making sure he is fit for the game. Any injuries and general soreness from a game must be seen to by the team physio throughout the week. Without the combination of these things a player will be unable to perform at his best come game day. Simple things like having a heavy cream sauce with pasta can negatively affect a player’s performance.
As important as it is for players to be fit and healthy, it is also important that they have enough downtime to relax and recharge their minds and bodies. Luckily part of Brad’s relaxation time can also be considered match preparation. A player must always strive to improve his own performance and skills, and one of the best ways is to watch football and emulate aspects of players’ games. Brad, for example, likens his game to Adelaide Crows’ Ben Rutten (although with a faster take off) and Port Power’s Alipate Carlile.
Football is always Brad’s first priority but he also has to make a living and career outside of football. He works trainings, meeting and club commitments in around working as a plumber and taking courses to improve his qualifications. For Brad, the less he does during the week the better. He enjoys spending time with friends at Marion or at home, and being a bit of a homebody, enjoys playing his play station.
Being a South Adelaide Football Club player isn’t all training and match preparation. Players also have the opportunity to volunteer for club programs. Every fortnight, Brad, and other senior players, participate in the Southern Man Made Programme, which gives local boys without father figures great opportunities within the club. It is a chance for Brad and other senior players to not only have fun teaching football skills and having a game with the boys, but also allows him to give back to the community which has supported South Adelaide Football Club.
So while a week in Brad’s life may be busy, there are always opportunities to have fun and enjoy an infinitely rewarding life at the club, on and off the field.
Flinders Uni student