The secret’s out. Andrew Smith’s feet don’t look very nice. We know this because Cody, his nine-year-old daughter, gleefully pointed it out to the world the other day during the livestream of their workout together.
In lockdown with the rest of New Zealand, Wellington Firebirds trainer Smith is helping us stay focussed on our fitness by beaming his short, free daily workout sessions — with helpful co-presenter Cody — at noon every day from his Kapiti Coast home’s garage, using Facebook live (visit: https://www.facebook.com/Andrewsmithfitness-132941073447918)
Before you start to harbour delusions of training like a pro cricketer for the next few weeks to unleash your inner elite athlete, there’s a catch: Smithy’s designed these home sessions for almost anyone to have a go at — not just for hardcore gym-goers and career cricketers.
A personal trainer and gym instructor before he became the champion Firebirds’ strength and conditioning trainer some five and a half years ago, the fun but focussed sessions take just 15 minutes a day: four rounds of four-minute “tabatas” — which means high-intensity exercises in a 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off interval. All you need is your device (you can watch live or play it back later), some floor space, a water bottle and a chair — and like Cody, the kids can join in with you and have a laugh, possibly at mum or dad’s expense.
“I’m trying to encourage people to keep moving, especially with a lot of us working from home now or people with kids they need to home-school or look after,” Smith explains.
“It’s a time you can still spend together (in your bubble), or, it gets someone away from the computer for 20 minutes to do some movement and exercise. If people don’t have a short window to exercise, their posture is going to be real bad after four or however many weeks! So I’m just trying to help out to create a little bit of balance.”
Like everyone else, Smith himself is trying to figure out the new lay of the land at home where he’s looking after his two girls with his partner in their bubble — together with three dogs, two cats and a chicken, as well as kittens that they’re fostering through the lockdown.
“I’m relishing the great family time, just trying to make the most of these unusual times.”
Three-year-old daughter Lola “is an absolute rocket”, he laughs, while Cody’s energy, cheeky chatter and impressive walking handstands find the perfect outlet in their shared garage project.
People can adapt the exercises to their own abilities “and even if you do it for just five minutes, it’s better than nothing, yeah? It’s good for mental health, too — including mine because I’m definitely a guy who likes to be out there going places and seeing people, and this is something I can have some really good fun with.”
You’ll see a few familiar cricketing names from the NZ Domestic cricket scene pop up with encouragement in his comments, but they’re there of their own free will at this stage of the year.
“In one respect it’s not a bad time of year to be having a bit of distance from each other because it’s what normally happens at the end of a season, for a wee while — just ideally not like this, in these circumstances, obviously!
“Players and the wider team stay connected on our WhatsApp group, but after a long season it’s normally the time we go away for a bit an regenerate so in that one respect, it’s not too much out of the norm. It’s the same for me — I don’t want to go pestering guys one week after the season about fitness. There’s plenty of time for that.”
Before nationwide Covid-19 restrictions were introduced, there was also time for the Firebirds to gather together at the Basin Reserve to celebrate winning the first-class Plunket Shield for the first time since 2004, having been out in front when the season was cut short — to go with their Dream11 Super Smash title this season and last summer’s one-day Ford Trophy title.
“It was a really good season for us, really enjoyable,” says Smith.
“It obviously was strange circumstances to finish on, but the big thing is this is a group travelling in the right direction. For me that’s very exciting and I’ll look forward to working with the lads again when we get back to normal.”
Check out more lockdown activities from our cricket family!
WHITE FERN Suzie Bates has laid down the keepy-uppy Bat Challenge
Wellington Firebirds keeper Lauchie Johns has gone Round The World with his bat challenge
Take Otago Volts trainer Blaine Clancy's “Lockdown Daily Workout Challenge” on Instagram
Simple, expert Drills4Skills lockdown practice with ex Central Stags player/coach Ben Smith: #bensmithsdailychallenge
Retired Central Stag Marty Kain is providing free personal video reviews to analyse your technique online
BLACKCAPS captain Kane Williamson has discovered a talented new slip fielder in his household bubble... maybe there's one in yours! #caninecordon