How to do a gym workout on holidays

As a travelling athlete I often find myself having to be creative in order to complete my gym workouts or rehab exercises whilst away. A holiday at the beach, a trip overseas, a night in a hotel or just time away from your local gym are not good enough reasons to miss or drop back your strength training. I work very hard whilst in the gym so can not afford to go backwards when I am away on a tour or on a break from training. I have provided some tips below that I use so have a read and feel free to add some of your own. Keep in mind that I am talking purely about weights training and not cardio training.

If you are staying in a hotel whilst away then this is the type of gym you may have access too. A lot of hotels do have gym facilities but they are usually small and have minimal equipment. All you can do is make the most of what you have got.

There will almost always be a few dumbbells so use these to make basic exercises more difficult. eg. squats – double leg, single leg; lunges – forward, lateral; calf raises, sit-ups and all arm exercises. If there is a machine then make the most of the various exercise options it has. You can always lower the weight if its not something you normally do as part of your program. For chin ups you just need a bar or railing and push ups simply require some floor space.

A fit ball is another item that you may find in a hotel gym or have at home yourself. These are great for balance and increasing the difficulty of an exercise by providing an unstable base. Any arm exercise can be made harder by sitting on the ball or lying on it in a bridge type position. Again use your dumbbells here. There are numerous abdominal exercises around that are great when using a fit ball. Just sitting on the ball in good posture with your feet off the ground is great for your core strength and balance.

Theraband – What a great invention. This is something that I use everyday and carry with me whenever I travel overseas or interstate. They come in different colours and each colour has a different level of resistance. I use them mostly to strengthen my shoulders and prevent injuries as goalkeepers are very prone to shoulder problems. They are very easy to use and actually quite versatile. They can be tied to a door, jammed in a door, held under your feet or wrapped around anything that is heavy or fixed to the ground. You can just hold the end and pull or make a loop to put your hand or foot through. So many options. They can replace any exercise that you do on a pulley machine at the gym.

Now if all else fails and you cant find any equipment, proper weights or a gym then just use your friends. Find a friend that weighs the appropriate amount and then squat them. You may need to start off with a small child and please make sure you maintain good technique throughout. * Actually…Don’t try this at home!!

Finally, as with all exercise, it is very important you warm up and cool down appropriately. Stretching is a great way to keep your muscles in good shape as is using a foam roller. This is similar to getting a deep tissue massage but you can do it yourself and of course control the level of discomfort you cause. And yes it can be uncomfortable. You use it by lying on top of the roller then moving your body around so it moves up and down the particular muscle or muscle group you want to release. Quads, Hamstrings, adductors, calves, ITB or Gluts. You can also use it up and down your back.

I hope you have found my suggestions helpful. Please comment below if you have other ideas. I would love to hear from you.

These suggestions are my own and have developed over time with assistance from experienced professionals. Please seek guidance from your Physio, doctor or coach before attempting any of the above exercises. Especially squatting your friends!!

How to do a gym workout on holidays |

Cleaning your gear

As a goalkeeper I am fully aware of the reputation we hold of being ‘stinky’. This is something I am passionate about changing. I am convinced that a pair of shin guards will smell much worse than a well looked after set of goalkeeping gear.

A few things I would suggest that may help prevent the comments and ridicule from team mates about your stench:

1. Air your full kit out after every training session or game. I guarantee you will have sweat or water on your gear through contact with the turf

2. Wash your smock, cover shorts, bandana, neck guard, pelvic protector and arm guards (if detachable) at least once or twice a week. These items should easily fit in your washing machine. Front loaders are much more gentle on the gear but top loaders are also ok. Always wash the gear separate to your every day clothes.

3. Wash your shoes every few weeks. This can also be done in the washing machine or by hand in a bucket or sink.

4. Body armour is usually the main cause for smell so must be addressed somehow. I have tried washing it in the machine but due to the size it can be difficult and also may damage the gear or the machine. The best way I have found is to take a brush (best is the brush from a dust pan and brush) and a bucket of warm soapy water. Take the gear outside and use the brush to scrub the gear all over. Do not be afraid to use plenty of soapy water. Leave it hanging outside to dry for as long as you can then you should be right to go.

5. Finally I suggest you buy some face wipes from the supermarket. These can be used to wipe out the inside of your helmet. Another area that can get quite dirty, especially your chin strap.

I hope all these tips help. If you have any ideas of your own please feel free to share them below

Skills Session 10: Cleaning your Goalie Gear |

Nutrition tips – diet of an elite athlete


Food plays a big part of my everyday life. I love shopping for it, I love preparing it and most of all I love eating it. Being an elite athlete I have a high energy requirement but also need a wide variety of different foods to keep my body in good shape. Do not get me wrong. My diet is not perfect. I exercise for a few hours every day so I am not afraid to treat myself every now and then. I understand what I should and should not eat and over time I have learnt what is best for my body. Everyone is different and will require different types and amounts of food depending on their lifestyle. My priorities are to meet my high energy requirements, build and repair muscle and of course stay healthy and injury free. Below are some of my favourite foods and the foods I eat most regularly. Fresh is best!!


My snack of choice is fruit. Fresh fruit or dried fruit is a great choice to have in between meals. I usually eat 3 or 4 pieces of fruit per day as it is healthy, portable and there is so much variety. I buy all my fruit (and vegetables) from the Subiaco markets as I know it is fresh. I buy a weeks worth at a time so that I will always have some available to take with my to training or work.


My preferences when it comes to lunch is rice cakes, tuna/chicken salad or sandwiches. In my lunch I always try and have some form of meat or fish with salad. Its a great opportunity to be creative so I try and mix up my toppings on rice cakes or crackers or make different types of salads. In the photo below I went with avocado, tomato and ricotta cheese. As you can see I like pepper. It is important to include some form of carbohydrate but that does not have to be bread so sandwiches are not your only option.

‘On the go’

For a healthy snack after training or when I am on the go I like to have a smoothie. You can buy them at most cafes but its best if you can make your own. Just simply add your fruit of choice, light milk, yoghurt, honey and some ice. Mix it in a blender and you are good to go. If you want some extra protein then add an egg or egg white. Don’t worry it wont affect the taste.


Growing up my family always had dessert after dinner so now that I live by myself I have carried on this tradition. Certainly not for everyone and something that needs to be combined with a healthy portion controlled meal. Fruit is always a great option. My dessert of choice is fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or mango with natural yoghurt. But if I am out and about then I’ll be having dessert at one of the my favourite places. Tutti Frutti. Here they sell various flavours of frozen yoghurt and all the mix-ins you could want. If you have not been before then I recommend you try blueberry and banana yoghurt with strawberries, coconut flakes and muesli. Delicious!!


Staying hydrated is so so important, especially for athletes. Your body looses water and salts all the time so its important that you keep up your fluid intake throughout the day. Water is the best option generally but if you are undertaking exercise then you need to replace the sodium that is lost through sweat. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are excellent for this but my choice is Aqualyte which is an electrolyte drink and is purely for rehydration unlike other sports drinks that provide sugar and energy.

If you are someone who has trouble drinking large amounts of water then try adding a small amount of low sugar cordial or even soda water for a bit of fiz.


Eating is a very sociable thing and so takeaway and eating out is part of most people lives. Athletes are no exception. Myself and the girls love going out for a meal or getting takeaway and eating by the beach or the foreshore so we have to be smart with our choices. Most restaurants have healthier options if you know what to choose but the best way is to go to places where the style of food is healthy. I am a huge fan of Asian food with Japanese and Vietnamese being my favourites. Both of which are pretty safe when it comes to healthy choices.


Everyone has their weakness and this is mine. Licorice. I certainly have a sweet tooth and my sweet of choice is Rj’s Licorice. All the way from NZ. It comes under the ‘sometimes food’ category as it is full of sugar but given the amount of exercise I do I allow myself this luxury every now and then. Yum!!!


I am lucky enough to have the support of my local butcher David from ‘THE BUTCHER SHOP’ in Victoria Park, Perth. This means I can make sure I get my three serves of red meat each week and therefore lots of protein and iron. I love nothing more than to have friends around for a BBQ and salad so its great to be able to serve up some beautiful meat.

Combined with seafood, chicken and lots of vegetables this makes up my weekly dinner menu.

These tips and ideas are all my own. For expert advise you should speak to a dietician or medical professional.

If you are interested in reading recipes or getting more tips and ideas please comment below. All photos are the property of Rachael Lynch from

Nutrition tips – Diet of an Elite Athlete |

Physical Components of Goalkeeping

Hey, so I’m having doing a lot of research on goalkeeping as its A Level PE position in sport, and I am having to research the physical components of goalkeeping. Now I know that a lot of the components link in with each other eg You can’t only have good reactions, cause if you don’t have the power in your legs to get your body close enough to the ball your trying to save then where is no way you’ll save it even if you have reacted quickley to it! So…

I’m basically asking for different peoples views on a rank order for the following physical components that I have come up with: (If you feel that I have missed a key component them please add it to your answer!)

1. Reactions

2. Speed

3. Power

4. Agility

5. Flexibilty

6. Balance

7. Strength

8. VO2 Max (aerobic capacity)

So I would really appreciate if you could list the above conponents in rank order of which you feel are the most important for a GK.

Thank you!

Penalty Corner Defence

As a goalkeeper it is very important that you know the roles and responsibilities of every position in Penalty Corner Defence. It is your job to control the circle and therefore the PCD. You will be given guidance from coaches along the way but if you know each position then you can be confident in your job and help your team mates if they are unsure.

Firstly I need to explain that there are many ways to defend a penalty corner with the most common being a 1:3 set up. I wont go into detail with them all but the roles of each person change slightly depending on the way you run out. The explanations below are based on a 1:3 structure.

Goalkeeper: First role is to save the shot. If it is a flick then you need to be standing and if its a hit you must be lying down. When lying down you should be able to cover most of the goal. When fully stretched out your left glove and stick needs to cover the right post. Your stick may hang over a little bit but it is important you can save everything that is on the ground or in the air on that side. Once the first save has been made you need to be back on your feet for any rebounds.

Left Post: First role is similar to the goal keeper. Save the shot. The posty needs to stand to the goalkeepers left and either in line with or in front of you. When you lie down they need to cover the rest of the goal as unless you are six foot four you will not be able to cover it all. Second role for the posty is to go for any R2 deflections. This is very difficult as they must not move off the post too early but if they can read it then they should go for it. The final role is to clear the pads. If the ball stops in front of the goalkeeper then the posty must turn, block out the attackers and clear the ball wide.

Right post: This position has a number of responsibilities and requires a bit of multi tasking. They should stand on the outside of the post and about three steps in front of you to start. First task is to block out any deflectors that come in on the left side. They must also be ready to intercept any balls that go back to the push out. The third job is to block out any rebounders and clear the pads if necessary.

First Runner: This would have to be the most simple role on PCD’s but requires the most courage. This person has to run as fast as they can to the top of the circle and use their stick or body to stop the first shot. If the ball is moved across the top of the circle then the runner must have a go at it.

Second runner: This person has the role of stopping the R1 deflector from getting in to a goal scoring position. They can use their body to block them out or just stand in front and make the trap. It is important that they stand just outside the line from the ball to the post if possible so that the posty has clear vision.

Dont forget to wear protective equipment

Penalty Corner Defense |

Goalkeeping and the off season

With the winter hockey season now over in the southern hemisphere I am sure many of you are starting to wonder what to do for the next few months until pre season starts. You have a few options. I am a big believer in getting some rest and making the most of the time off but if you want to keep up your skills then check out my suggestions below.

SUMMER HOCKEY – great opportunity for you to have some fun playing hockey without your goalie gear on. Summer hockey is designed to allow people to play hockey in the off-season, keep their skills and fitness up and have fun with a group of friends. For me I think you are better off playing as a field player and just enjoying your hockey. This is not to say that goal keeping is not fun but you need to spend some time out of your gear to freshen up and re motivate yourself for the following season.

INDOOR HOCKEY – This may not be available to everyone depending on where you live but if you get the opportunity to play Indoor hockey then I highly recommend you do it. I played both club and state level as a junior then senior and loved every minute of it. It is a different game but can be great for your footwork, reflexes and technique. The speed and intensity of the game combined with the smaller court means you are getting lots of touches and plenty of action. It is a nice change from regular hockey. You may need to buy/make some covers for your OBO leg guards as it makes it easier to slide on the different surface.

Now if you want time off hockey completely but are feeling motivated to keep your reflexes up I can suggest you try a bit of table tennis. Not just your traditional table tennis though, playing with a bat in each hand. I learnt this little trick following a conversation with Danny Green’s trainer. He felt it was a great way to improve both your hand eye coordination on both sides and also your reflexes. Try it. If you have a friend who is pretty handy it will help but if not just enjoy a game or two and make sure you use both hands.

If you have any tips or ideas of your own around keeping up your skills in the off season I would love to hear about them.

Goalkeeping and the off season |

Awesome new chest guard

Hey all I just wanted to let you know how great I think that the new chest guard is (Previous post). I got a very hard hit on the shoulder about a week ago and I think that the new chest guard performed very well. I believe if I was in anything else the hit would have floored me.

Also I got a hit in the middle of the chest today and hardly felt it at all.

So far this new chest guard is performing great.

I am an OBO keeper

Many people ask me for recommendations on gear so I thought I would put up a post with all the equipment I use. OBO lead the hockey world when it comes to Goalkeeping gear. They produce the very best quality equipment and have been keeping goalies safe for years. I have been lucky enough to have the support of OBO for my whole international career and I know that I can not play my best hockey without it on.

If you are looking at purchasing your first set of gear then I have two pieces of advice for you. Number one: Always try the gear before you buy it. Borrow some from your club, a friend or a team mate and try training in it to see if you are comfortable and like the feel of the gear. Number two: Buy gear that fits you perfectly. The gear is quite expensive and if you are a young keeper then yes you will grow out of it quickly but if it does not fit properly then you will not be able to move efficiently and your saves will be less effective. As a junior I was lucky enough to borrow gear from my school then Greensborough, my club. Every year I would save up for a new piece of equipment or put in a request to santa. If you need assistance just pop into any Hockey World or OBO store or you can email me through the site.

OBO Robo Hi rebound Leg Guards and Kickers

OBO Robo left and right hand Gloves

OBO Body Armour and Arm Guards

OBO Padded Shorts and Pelvic Protector

OBO Helmut and Neck Guard

Hockeyroos Goalie Smock

OBO Wheelie Bag

Special thanks to Steve Zang for the photos

I am an OBO keeper | Rachael Lynch

32″ stick

Hey all, I wanted to share with you why I think that using 32″ stick is useful. I was finding the end of the handle annoying so I thought about going to a shorter stick to eliminate this problem. Using a shorter stick still provides the same amount of coverage out the end of my glove as can be illustrated by the photos below. Also the use of a shorter stick makes it just that little bit lighter for aerial saves. I have not found any disadvantages yet, but I would be interested in your thoughts about the use of a 32″ stick.

I do recommend that if you are going to try a shorter stick that you put a thicker piece of tape at the end of the handle for a sensory reminder, that you are at the end of the stick.

Toni Cronk 36.5" stick
Toni Cronk 36.5" stick
Toni Cronk 32" stick
Toni Cronk 32" stick

Toni Cronks review of the new robo chest

Dear Amazing person

We thought you might like to see this feedback on the new ROBO chest guard form Toni Cronk… Australian National Goalie. Toni’s comments (in red boxes around the edges of the fact and feature sheet) are really valuable to us, as they enable us to improve on small aspects of the product. We really value player feedback… from national goalies like Toni, to beginners; as while we know OBO products are good, we also know that they can be even better. We really do listen to feedback … so please keep it coming !


Simon and the committed team at OBO New Zealand

Click to enlarge