Travis Boak may not be the most talented or the best, but there’s one area he is determined to excel at.
He wants to be the hardest worker, and that was evident during his arduous off-season.
It all started in Santa Cruz at Austin Einhorn’s facility, Apiros, where Boak sought to better himself in numerous ways, seeking alternative measures to improve his body mechanics and strength, which included work with a former NFL player.
From there, Arizona was the next stop and the challenge was to train with some of the best Olympic sprint athletes in the world, including Olympic silver and bronze medalist, Andre De Grasse. The goal was to learn to run properly and more efficiently, so that the 29-year-old would use less energy but still remain just as fast on his feet.
Following on from that intense work, Boak went for a more local approach to get the edge, reaching out to fellow Red Bull athlete Mick Fanning and emotional and stress control specialist, Nam Baldwin on the Gold Coast.
“That was some of the hardest stuff I’ve ever done,” Boak told AFLPlayers.com.au.
“It was the first time I’ve ever been in an altitude chamber, and I was in there for two minutes and I was gassed. To get my heart rate to almost maximal, and then do different activities, whether it was trying to catch a tennis ball while I was fatigued, and he was trying to hit me over the head, or reading out different colours of different shapes while I’m fatigued.”
Nearing the wrong side of 30, the Australian Almonds Hard Nut hopes this alternate method of training will sustain his career, and also better prepare him for the rigours of Port Adelaide’s in-season schedule, which includes a trip to China this week.
In the video below, as part of the AFL Players’ Association’s partnership with Australian Almonds, Boak takes us through his unique off-season, and the excitement of another trip to China and the elite preparation required.
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