Meet Austin Smith, the Poster boy of South Africa’s Men’s Hockey Team and also one of the hottest looking male professional Hockey Players in the world. He is a 2x Olympian, having competed in 2008 and 2012 for his country, Smith has also been a part of the the FIH World Cup 2010, the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, besides helping his team win a bronze medal in the FIH Champions Challenge 1, 2011.
As part of Dragflickworld’s exciting new series of interviews, titled Ctrl+Alt+Hockey, Nimisha Jagasia caught up with Smith to discuss about his fitness regime, his indulgence in technology to track fitness, his choice of fitness apps and gadgets, his life purpose, sporting interests and much more.
Do you use any wearable tech and fitness gadgets to help you reach your health and wellness goals.
At the moment,No! I’m a bit old school like that. I’m not a huge believer in heart rate monitors, because from my observations, there are so many variables that it seems to serve very little purpose.
Do you use any Fitness apps on your mobile phone, what are they?
The only fitness app which I use and really enjoy is the Tabata timing app. You can select almost any amount of series, reps, time and even add your favourite playlist to make the session a tad more fun.
What do you think of fitness gadgets and apps? Does it impact/help athlete performance or can one do without it?
Apps that explain the exercises with the use of small video can be really useful. I train alone for the majority of my gym sessions, so it’s handy to see how to perform the exercises and what to look out for when I’m doing them for the first time. It serves as a guide.
What all can one find inside your gym bag? A Bottle, towel, headphones and some protein powder.
Beyond the Hockey Training aspects of your game, do you workout physically? Do you spend a lot of time in the gym?
Usually, I train as a team 5 times a week and do 3 gym sessions apart from my field hockey sessions. I believe in following a healthy balance of strength and cardio training to maintain a sound level of fitness.
Planned recovery and down time are just as important as building muscle and getting stronger. Video Credits @AustinSmith
How do you recover physically for your next game during a tournament?
A Hockey game can take a lot out of you. When the final whistle blows, you’re tired and sore. But there are things, you can do to bounce back quickly from games. I use a Simple, foam roller! Ever since I’ve been using my trusty foam roller I’ve felt much better, I take it wherever I go!
Give us one piece of fitness training advice you would give any aspiring hockey player?
Core stability. I know it’s a bit of a trend at the moment but many hockey players focus more on becoming big which is great for the summer,but not very practical for playing hockey at an elite level. You need a strong core, the ability to explode multiple times in a short space of time. One also needs to be resilient to knocks and bumps.
What does your Diet look like?
Well, I’m not huge on dieting. My Motto like most athletes is to eat everything in Moderation. So yes, I do indulge in sugary foods and eat out occasionally too. I don’t like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so I stick to preparing simple things. I also stick to eating unprocessed food, stuff that I know my body enjoys.
As someone who has to be very careful about his regime and diet, is there anything you miss eating or doing?
Well, not really. I don’t miss eating as such, but I do miss going out late with my friends on the weekend and having a few drinks.
Your Mantra for being Fit..
You have to take care of your 640 muscles.If I expect my body to perform all year long I need to treat it well, by eating right and exercising right!
What are you passionate about, apart from Hockey? I have always believed in living with a Purpose. I aspire to work towards something I believe in 100%. I am passionate about working with people and positively influence peoples lives, especially little kids.