Getting to know our support staff: Mike Delbridge

NAME:

Mike Delbridge

POSITION:

Strength and conditioning coach

NICKNAME:

Mikey, Delbridge

WHEN DID YOU JOIN HAMMIES?

2020

STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH BACKGROUND:

I am a Biokineticist that works in sports and orthopedic rehabilitation, as well as sports performance. Over the years, I have transitioned more into the performance side, as I saw it as a means to help better prepare athletes for their respective sports. I have loved rugby ever since I was small and played for False Bay for 10 years. I found I was much better at improving rugby players than being one myself and so started to get involved more from the conditioning side of things.

WHAT ARE YOUR SHORT-TERM GOALS FOR THE PLAYERS OVER THE NEXT EIGHT WEEKS?

To get them fit, fast and rugby ready, as much as we can, without overdoing it and losing guys to injury.

WHY IS A SLOW START SO CRUCIAL AFTER HAVING AN EXTENDED BREAK FROM PLAYING ACTIVE RUGBY?

After close to a year of no rugby, the players’ global level of conditioning will have dropped, even if they won’t admit it. It will take some time getting their bodies used to the volume and intensity of practice, and if this is rushed, injuries will follow very quickly. Added to this is the higher than normal levels of stress most people are under with everything that is going on – this also adds to the impact on the players’ physical load, and is something myself and the coaches need to keep in mind. These are unprecedented times and just treating pre-season like any normal year would be a mistake.

FAVOURITE HAMMIES MOMENT:

Definitely beating Durbell during the 2020 pre-season, and seeing the players actually get excited for their training each week.

FAVOURITE HAMMIES LEGEND/PERSONALITY AND WHY:

Clint van Rensburg – Just an awesome rugby man and a genuine person all-round. Always positive and caring and constantly looking at how to get the best out of everyone.

BEST ADVICE FOR UPCOMING PLAYERS:

Learn to question why you are doing something be it conditioning or training. A knowledgeable player is an empowered player. They are then more likely to make smart decisions on and off the field.

WHAT MOVIE CHARACTER DESCRIBES YOU BEST, AND WHY?

Not so much a movie character, but I have always likened myself to Chandler from Friends – terrible dance moves and a good sense of dry humour.

SOMETHING YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME:

I love baking sourdough bread at home

LIKES:

Coffee, rock n roll/metal, rugby, cricket, tennis, a cold beer after a good win and some whiskey at night.

DISLIKES

Crossfit, rap music and cats

FUNNIEST MOMENT ON THE FIELD:

Probably has to be my interactions with Martin van Wyk and Earl Lewis at every practice.

FAVOURITE RUGBY PLAYER OF ALL TIME:

The Rolls Royce – Andre Joubert

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT HAMMIES?

Easily one of the friendliest and most welcoming clubs I have been to. The tradition and gees is unreal and it really is a special place.

GOALS FOR 2021:

Get through pre-season unscathed and hopefully have a season to compete in. Last year it really felt like the team was hitting their stride just before COVID hit and will always feel like a ‘what if’ year.