Health + Fitness

Sammy Burgess On Training Routines, Family & The Power Of Positivity

by Rosie McKay

Rabbitohs' Sammy Burgess explains how a positive mindset is key to conquering injury and why he'd support his daughter's rugby dreams...

He may be referred to as 'Smashing Sam' on the football field, but away from it all, NRL Star and Canterbury Ambassador, Sam Burgess likes to live a simple life with his two daughters. Sam opens up to us about his life on and off the field, how a positive mindset is key to conquering injury and how he likes to spend his spare time outdoors.

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What does a typical day look like for you in the on-season?

Most days I’m up around 6am with my daughter, Poppy and then it is breakfast before heading off to my first training session. Around 12pm-1pm it’s time for lunch prepared by the team’s amazing nutritionist. Depending on the day there will be another one or two training sessions in the afternoon then it is home to wind down and spend time with my family.

What about your day on a plate? What do you eat in a day?

I think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I normally start off with three poached eggs, half an avocado and some toast. Lunch is generally supplied at training, so that will usually be wraps or chicken, veggies and rice. Dinner is typically one and half chicken breasts with sweet potatoes and plenty of greens. In between meals if I feel like I’m hungry and could eat a snack I normally go for some fruit, a healthy wrap, a fruit and nut bar or a shake.

Does your diet differ in the off season? How?

Yes, it does a little bit. I actually eat a lot less as I am not training as much but also allow myself to enjoy a lot more if I want to. We work so hard during the season and I have a sweet tooth so make sure I enjoy a few deserts in off season ha!

What’s your favourite treat?

I have a massive sweet tooth and I love dessert, so if it had to pick my favourite dessert it would be apple crumble with a double scoop of ice cream. I could even go for a double serve of apple crumble with the double serve ice cream.

What’s the best thing about making a life and having a footy career in Australia?

The best thing is I get to do what I love as a job and also hopefully get to inspire some other young players along the way. 

Rugby is really championing the women’s league – how would you feel about Poppy playing footy if she chooses?

If poppy wanted to play rugby league I would be over the moon although I would never push her into it if she didn’t want to. My mum played for 15 years in England and loved it. Team sport is fantastic for any kids growing up and even adults to create a sense of belonging, friendship and community.

What’s the best thing about playing with your twin brothers Thomas & George?

My brothers and I kicked a footy around in the backyard my whole junior life and we still do now. It’s definitely something special to play alongside them and I think that the intimate combinations that me and my brothers have got definitely helps our performance. You learn a lot about each other, you know the ins and outs and each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can sort of play around and play with them.

What tactics do you use to get your mind in the winning mindset?

Throughout my whole career, I’ve really enjoyed everything that I have done, so I think enjoyment is a huge part of it. I’m now 13 seasons in and that enjoyment is something that I’ve tried to carry through my whole career. I’m living my childhood dream, so it really doesn’t feel like work and whether it’s on the field or in training I just love what I do!

What strategy do you use to overcome doubt or hurdles like injury or a losing streak?

I guess while sitting out with injuries the main thing is to remain positive and it sounds quiet easy for me to say that but I’ve had my fair share of injuries and surgeries and I’ve always found that I heal a bit quicker when I’m in a positive frame of mind. No matter what situation you’re in, just get in there and work hard at whatever you can in terms of your rehab, create a good environment for yourself and I guarantee you’ll heal a bit quicker. I’ve done both sides of being down and feeling good. It took me a really long time to cover from an ankle injury when I wasn’t feeling great, whereas with a couple of knee injuries I was positive and found myself back on the field much quicker than expected.

What does your perfect day with the family look like?

It is always an early start with my little one. Some time at the park (generally chasing poppy around). A mid-day nap and maybe some time in the ocean. Very simple and fun-the way we like to live life.

Besides footy what fulfils you?

Obviously my family are my everything but away from that I really enjoy finding different ways to invest and learn about the world’s economic state. 

When you’re not playing footy where can we find you?

If it’s not with my two girls, then I’ll either be on the golf course or on the beach!

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Credit: All images provided by Canterbury
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