Performing at the top of your game in any sport takes commitment, discipline and motivation. At the highest level of competition, when representing your town, county, or even country, these traits are not only desirable, but essential.
Charlie Greenwood from Grimsby is 28 years old and has been playing roller hockey since the age of 10. He has represented the England national team for the sport on two occasions - once in 2016 at the European Championships in Porto, and more recently in 2019 at the World Games in Barcelona.
Prior to COVID, Charlie was playing regularly for the Grimsby Red Hawks and training in the Sports Hall at Grimsby Health & Wellbeing Centre. For the past year however, training, leagues and competitions have been halted, placing a greater emphasis on him to maintain his own fitness routine for when they can restart.
During lockdown, Charlie completed ‘Couch to 5k’, the 9-week running plan promoted by the NHS. Although aimed at complete beginners, Charlie used the plan to provide structure and motivation, eventually recording an impressive 5k time of 19 minutes 50 seconds. He also used skipping to maintain his cardio and stamina, alternating between bouncing on different feet for workouts between thirty and forty minutes.
It’s great to be back at the gym again now things are gradually returning back to normality. For me, exercising is all about long lasting health, whilst preparing me to perform at my best in the sports I compete in. It’s about getting that extra 1-2% advantage on the competition and staying disciplined and motivated in the process.
Working out also builds a self-confidence and a sense of mental wellbeing in knowing that you are looking after yourself and feeling better for it.Charlie Greenwood
Charlie exercises at the gym at Grimsby Leisure Centre’s pool building four to five times per week, resting on the remaining days. He is regularly researching new workouts and believes changing rep numbers and weights on a regular basis is key to achieving the best results. His most recent workout plan follows the principles of German Volume Training and involves 5 sets of 5 reps on any given weight for each muscle group with short rest periods in between sets. The key to this is lifting weight approximately 60% lighter than your max, avoiding going to failure on any set.
Outside of the gym, Charlie regularly listens to podcasts and audiobooks about sport and training. An influential book on his own development is called ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’ by W. Timothy Gallwey. Whilst the book focuses on tennis, the foundation of Zen thinking and human psychology it is built on applies to all sports. The book’s blurb refers to the ‘outer game’ and the ‘inner game’, with the later being a battle within ourselves. The book is available to borrow as an eBook via Lincs Inspire Libraries free eLibrary Libby.
Another influence on his sporting mindset has been the popular Netflix docuseries ‘The Last Dance’, chronicling the rise of superstar Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls. Charlie added:
“During lockdown, I watched The Last Dance on Netflix. I felt more motivated than ever to stay in the best shape I could ready to return to my sports. I found Michael Jordan’s mentality and attitude inspiring. It led me to re-read the book ‘Relentless’, a book by Michael Jordan’s physical trainer Tim Grover. I find athletes such as Michael Jordan and Cristiano Ronaldo brilliant role models for people who wish to operate at peak performance.”
With COVID restrictions gradually lifting, Charlie hopes to be back training and competing at roller hockey soon. In the meantime, he continues to maintain his fitness levels at the gym. More information about roller hockey can be found on the Facebook page of Grimsby Roller Hockey Club.