A day in the life of Corinne Hall
Ever wondered what game day looks like for a pro athlete? We sat down with Corinne Hall from the Hobart Hurricanes to hear all about it.
The night before
I like to have a good meal, get into bed, watch something on Netflix and have an early night. Sometimes I find it hard to switch off because I’m already thinking about the game the next day, so I’ll jot down some notes. Getting my thoughts and nerves out on paper helps me sleep a bit better. I actually really like drawing portraits, too. For me it’s a really good escape in a stressful and chaotic environment.
I’m normally awake by 7am. We do a hydration test first thing and then we’ll have breakfast. Our nutritionist likes us to have a good routine, so I’ll either have muesli, some sort of cereal or Weet Bix, lots of fruit, a little bit of yoghurt and a cup of tea. Some of us like to do a bit of gym work to get the nerves out and move our bodies. For people like me who have a few injuries, we might do some physio, too.
Before the game
I like to keep as relaxed as possible. If I’m starting to think too early about the game I’ll do something to distract myself, whether that’s listening to music, drawing or having a chat with someone outside of cricket. I like to listen to Pachelbel’s Canon in D. For some reason the violin in that calms me down.
As a captain I’ve learnt you’ve got to manage that time before the game well. I like to be really prepared. I’ll go over our match strategies so I’m clear with how we want the game to go. I’ll also have a mental check in with myself and see where everyone else is at and whether someone needs a chat or a confidence pick up beforehand. Getting to know your teammates during pre-season and in training is really important. You get an understanding of how everyone responds under pressure and what you can do to help in those moments.
With an afternoon game I’ll make sure I’ve had some lunch beforehand. I go for a big salad sandwich – it’s one of my favourites! I might also have a smoothie and I’ll drink lots of water.
Heading to the stadium
We always travel together to the stadium. As soon as we get to the bus that’s when we start to get into our routines. Some girls will in plug their earphones and others are really chatty. We’ll check in with the coaches as well.
Once we get to the ground all-rounders get to work straight away because they don’t have a lot of time for their skills prep. I’ll have a chat with our coaches about the ground conditions and to make sure we’re on track. We’ll do those sorts of check ins constantly until the toss.
The warm up
We try to bring a lot of energy to the warm up. We start with a general warm up to get the body moving and then we’ll have a fun game, which alleviates some anxious energy. Then we’ll go into different disciplines. If we’re bowling, we’ll get into bowling and fielding, if we’re batting we’ll be in the nets and the coaches will be giving us throw downs.
We’ll come together one last time before going out. We have a huddle – there’s normally a little joke said in there – then it’s all about performance.
I’m pretty intense come game day. I’ll have a joke here and there, but once we run onto the field my brain is constantly ticking over. For me it’s about being in the game – being competitive – fighting.
I’ve never really played a very stylish game. A couple of my teammates call me a ‘scrapper’ because I’m in the fight and I’ll throw myself around. I’m very competitive and I want to take a good catch and impact the game in a really positive way, so I’m always really energetic in the field.
T20 is such a quick game, the momentum can shift within a couple of bowls so you don’t have time to second guess yourself. For me, during the game it’s about trusting my instincts, understanding that I’ve done the work, knowing what we’re going to do and just relying on my experience to know what’s best for the team.
During the game we keep each other motivated by pushing and supporting each other equally. We’re all very much accountable for bringing the right energy to the group and we’re all there for the same reason. We want to win and we want to get better.
It’s important to keep your energy up, especially if you’ve had a big half or if you’ve batted the whole innings in the first half. You need to replenish your energy stores by getting in those snacks. If it were up to me I’d be having Cadbury’s chocolate on the sidelines, but obviously that’s not going to be optimal for performance – my dietitian will appreciate me saying that! We’ve got a smoothie bar set up and on colder days tea is a big hit. We have muesli bars, fruit, and yoghurts, things that are high in energy and easy to digest.
Playing in front of a home crowd is unreal. I adore playing at Blundstone Arena. We’ve been lucky enough to play in all the big stadiums in Australia but there’s something special about this place. I think it has a lot to do with the way Tasmanians love sport and love cricket. It picks you up. With that energy, buzz and electricity in the grandstand, you feel like you can do anything.
After the game
If it’s an afternoon game we normally finish around 5.30pm. We then meet our fans. We absolutely love this part. We always make sure to go out and thank the people that have come to watch us play. We’re such champions of our own sport and we want young boys and girls to see that girls can play cricket as a career.
We’ll then do media and then head into the change rooms. If we’ve won, we’ll sing our team song, and then it’s all about recovery. We’ll get into ice baths and do some stretching and rolling on some foam rollers. There’s also some food for dinner, normally a stir fry or a pasta, something that’s quite carb focused.
It’s then back on the bus and to the hotel room. A few of us will get together and watch something on TV. Nothing formal, we all like to relax in different ways. Some people will have a cup of tea and watch a documentary and others will watch the footy and have a Pepsi Max. It’s harder when it’s a night game because it can be difficult to switch off when you get to bed and you’re feeling wide-eyed at midnight. But with afternoon games you can have more of a normal bed time, which is usually around 9pm.
The next day
We all prep for the team meeting the next day by reflecting on our performance and key moments in the match. We’re constantly learning and we try to create that environment where we want to get better.