NSW Education LIVE – Nicola Barr

This page is a transcript of the video NSW Education LIVE with Nicola Barr.

Duration – 17:35

GWS Giants star Nicola Barr takes you through a quick workout to start the day.

Transcript

Nicola Barr

Hey guys my name's Nicola Barr and I play in the AFLW for the GWS Giants and today we're gonna run through a bit of footy skills but before we do that I just wanted to give you a little bit of an introduction into who I am and how I got into football.

So as you guys might know, AFLW wasn't always available to young girls. So I didn't actually always play AFLW, I grew up overseas and always loved playing different team sports. But when I got an opportunity to play AFLW I loved the fact that it combined all sorts of different skills that I learned from my youth. So I loved kicking and catching and running and I hadn't really tried tackling but it's something that I'm trying to get better at. So, but a lot of my teammates as well, didn't have the option to play. They all kind of had to play with the boys and then they got to a stage where AFL wasn't available to them. So it's fantastic now that we have a competition to play in and when I was drafted I was super excited to be a part of the competition and to be a part of the Giants. So, really excited to be here.

In terms of my journey to AFLW, it was a bit random to be honest. I wasn't really, as I mentioned, I hadn't played AFL before so it was a bit new to me. But now that I'm into it, I absolutely love it and wouldn't want to be doing anything else. But as you guys know, it's been a little bit different being in isolation and working from home and learning from home. So you do have to adapt and find different ways, I guess, to keep practicing your football skills and everything. So I have definitely been loving, I guess, that challenge and doing that instead. So that's been lots of fun and, I guess, in terms of isolation and playing in a team, it's been pretty different as well. Obviously I'm used to training and being around lots of my teammates a lot but I have unfortunately, like you guys, I haven't been able to do that lately. So I have had to be a little bit creative. But there's plenty to do when you're by yourself and even with just one other person, as well, which is fantastic.

In terms of training by myself, I actually love training by myself. I think it gives you a really nice opportunity to focus on what you need to work on and even though I can't be in person with all of my teammates, it's been great to chat over, chat with them over FaceTime and different social media platforms and check in with each other about what we're up to. And the platform that I love to use is actually Strava and just checking on my teammates, what they're up to with their running and their cycling and their swimming and everything. But I'm definitely one that loves to exercise outdoors. So for me, the fact that the gyms are closed is not too much of a problem for me at the moment. I love training outside and doing that kind of thing. So absolutely loving it!

But today we're gonna run through a few skills that you can do at home by yourself or with a partner. Now I don't know if you've watched a lot of the AFLW but one of the things that was really cool was the incredible marks that were taken this season. Can't tell you that I did too many myself but I've definitely have had plenty of teammates who have been able to take some really cool speckies. One in particular being Rebecca Privitelli. She took out a Mark of the Year and she is definitely a really good example of hard work and dedication. She played in her first couple of years in the AFLW and then had a rest and now is back into the sport and had an incredible season, taking an amazing mark.

Announcer

Trys to get to move the ball, had one arm pinned. Parker, here is Staunton. On cue, top of the square. High ball sitting under the footy. Taking a terrific mark.

Nicola Barr

All right so, before we get into our footy skills, were gonna run through a bit of a warm up to start off with. So, for my warm up, I'm a Pilates instructor as well, so I like, I guess incorporating that sort of thing into my warm up normally. So you can leave the footy down to start, if you like. And what I like to do to start off with is something called roll down. This is really nice for our spine articulation and our spine mobility. So you're gonna have your feet hip width apart to start off with, your knees are slightly bent. You're gonna take a deep breath in here, and then as you exhale, you're gonna tilt the chin to the chest and imagine you're peeling off a wall behind you. Stretching out through the hammies and just articulating that spine. And then you're gonna walk all the way out on your hands and that's what we call an inch worm. From here you're just gonna stretch out the back. And then walking all the way back, you can stretch your calves out here in a pike. And then walk your hands all the way back to the feet. Nice work. Rolling up stacking that spine. All right we're gonna do that one more time. Tilting the chin to the chest, rolling each vertebrae off one another and then walking the hands in front again. Nice work.

This time you're gonna bring your left leg forwards and were gonna move into a stretch. It's called 'world's greatest stretch'. That's cause it's the world's greatest stretch. We're stretching out the hip flexors, getting some nice spinal mobility as well. Might feel a bit of a stretch into your groin. Let's go for two more here and then we'll switch sides. We always do this one in our footy warm up. All right then switching legs, bring your right leg forwards. Again just stretching into that hip flexor and your groin. Nice work. Let's go for two more here. Last one. Really good. And bring that leg backwards. Moving back into a pike, stretching out those calves. And then walking the hands all the way back up to the feet. And then slowly stacking each vertebrae on top of one another again. Nice work, all right.

Next exercise that we're going to do is called a hip bridge. It's really good to activate your glutes. Really important for football to activate the glutes to prevent injuries and help to improve your running as well. So you need to lie on the floor for this one. Your knees are going to be bent and your feet flat on the floor, and what you're gonna do is just peel your spine up off the ground. Squeezing the glutes at the top and then lowering all the way back down to the mat again. We're gonna do four of these all together, just to make sure our glutes are nice and warmed up. And again, when you're just lifting your spine one vertebrae up at a time off the mat. It's really nice for our spinal articulation as well. Nice work. Let's go for one more here. All the way up, squeezing the glutes. And then lying all the way back down again. Nice work, all right.

I'm going to rock all the way back up again and I reckon it's time to move into our footy skills. So the first thing that were gonna do is actually you do all by yourself. So you just need a football and we're gonna go through some marking stuff today. Cause we want to make sure our marks are as good as my teammate, Bec's. Mine aren't as good as Bec's so I definitely need to have a bit of work on these. But all you need to do, grab your footy, lie back on the mat and just have your legs out nice and straight. All right, our first exercise is your just gonna throw the ball with two hands up and then catch the ball. Or mark the ball. So you don't have to do this one very high cause we're just starting off. Just gonna throw the footy up and catch it again. Just getting used to having that footy in your hands. Throw for a few more here. Five, four, three, two, one.

All right, from here the next one, we're just gonna rock the ball between each hand. Just throwing it to each hand. You can start off with your hands quite close and then to challenge yourself a little bit more you're just gonna bring the hands out wider. And you can just mix it up between having the hands out nice and wide and then having them in close again. Just go for a few rounds of each. So you don't really need a lot of space for this at all. This is just really nice for our hand-eye coordination. This is challenging our ball grip as well. Nice work. So just mixing it up between having your hands nice and close, and then spreading the hands out a bit further away. Nice work guys. All right lets go for one more in close here. Five, four, three, two, one. Let's go for five out wide. Four, three, two, one. Nice work. All right the hands should be starting to feel a little bit sore. But that means we're getting them nice and warmed up.

All right, so now you're gonna switch on to just doing one hand throws and catching it. So you're just gonna start off on your right hand, throwing and then catching the ball again. So might be a little bit challenging. I've got plenty of work to do myself, as well. But it's really important that we do keep our footy skills up during this time because it's hard when you don't have many teammates around but there's so much that you can do by yourself. It's really important to just keep practicing. Let's go for five more on the right. Four, three, two, one. And then lets go for 10 on the left hand side. My left hand side is definitely not as good as my right. Five, I think that's five now. Five, four, three, oh! Two, one. Nice work.

All right we're gonna go back to the start and do two hand throws with our footy. But this time it's gonna be a little bit higher. All right so, you're gonna throw it up a little bit higher than we did the first time depending on how high your ceiling is. Don't break the ceiling. Parents won't be happy. But we're just throwing up the ball, little bit further than we did at the start. Just to be a little bit more, I guess specific to footy. Obviously when you're playing footy, the ball does get quite high when you, when you're receiving the footy from your partner. Whoah! Nice work. Let's go for five more here. Four, three, two, one.

All right from here we're gonna throw at a few cheeky ab exercises. So you're gonna grab the footy from at either side bring it over head and then you're gonna stretch all the way up, touch the feet. And then coming back down. We're gonna do 10 altogether. Just threw this one in, nice to add a bit of abs as well with the weights stuff. Seven, six, five, four, three, two, last one. Nice work. All right well done guys, really good start. Now if you've got a partner or someone at home that you're happy to do footy exercises with, this is when you're gonna grab them. So, Lloyd? You gonna come in and help me with a few exercises today?

Lloyd

Yup.

Nicola Barr

So, what do you think we should do first?

Lloyd

Um, cause you're lying down we might keep you in that position.

Nicola Barr

Yup!

Lloyd

You want to lie back down like you were?

Nicola Barr

Yup!

Lloyd

What were gonna do, you're gonna put your hands by your side.

Nicola Barr

Yup.

Lloyd

And you're not allowed to lift your hands up to try to catch the ball until I drop it. Okay?

Nicola Barr

Oh no.

Lloyd

It's a bit of a fun challenge for you.

Nicola Barr

This is gonna hit my face?

Lloyd

I'm going to try and hit you on the nose, okay?

Nicola Barr

Oh no.

Lloyd

Good. And drop. Really good. So this is testing your reaction time. I might pretend to drop it. Okay really good. Well lets go for two more. No keep your hands by your side. Good. Testing your reaction, testing your clean hands. Good. One more. Ah very good, jump up.

Nicola Barr

That's a good one for testing your reaction time guys and definitely football is not always that predictable. So that's a good exercise. That was a nice one. What are we gonna do next?

Lloyd

We're gonna get you on your knees.

Nicola Barr

Yup.

Lloyd

We're gonna kick some footies into your hands. As you said you don't need a big space but I might just start by hand balling it.

Nicola Barr

And I hand ball back?

Lloyd

Yup, hand ball it back.

Nicola Barr

Good.

Lloyd

That's it.

Nicola Barr

So guys, footy as well it's, I know that it's normally played on a nice big space but we actually do a lot of this sort of craft stuff, Whoa! (chuckles) At training and making sure that you're nice and quick and speedy with your reaction time as well. So it's really good.

Lloyd

As you said, a lot of what I was doing now, I might throw a really few, few really quick ones, a few high ones just to test Nic out. As you said before, footy is really unpredictable. The ball comes, all around your body so you gotta be ready. And then we might even move into, I might kick a couple.

Nicola Barr

Oh, you're gonna kick?

Lloyd

So this one will come a little bit harder. You got to make sure your partner has a good kick.

Nicola Barr

And make sure there's no glassware at home. And make sure your partner has a good kick.

Lloyd

Nic's lucky I'm a very good kicker.

Nicola Barr

(laughing) I don't trust you. You kick so ugly. Whoah!

Lloyd

Fumble. A couple of fumbles is okay. You gotta test yourself out to improve.

Nicola Barr

So to make it more challenging guys, obviously the harder the partner kicks the footy at you, the more challenging it's gonna be for our marks. And generally, the closer that your partner is to you as well, it's a little bit more challenging. So if you've got more space, you can always push back. Give yourself a little bit more time.

Lloyd

And now the challenge we go at is if Nic just uses one hand. Puts one hand behind her back.

Nicola Barr

It's gonna be tough!

Lloyd

See how she goes. I might give it a little bit more here to start. See.

Nicola Barr

And I just throw it back?

Lloyd

Throw it back. Good.

Nicola Barr

Oof! Does that count as a fumble?

Lloyd

No it's okay. And now the other hand. But with this funny shaped AFL ball, a lot of it's really important that we have good ball control.

Nicola Barr

Not like that one.

Lloyd

Not like that one.

Nicola Barr

My left hand's not quite as good. Whoop!

Lloyd

Couple more.

Nicola Barr

I gotta do a bit more of this stuff so I can start marking like my teammate.

Lloyd

Yeah exactly. Privitelli.

Nicola Barr

Privitelli.

Lloyd

What's next Nic?

Nicola Barr

Um all right. Well. We could do some speckies on the couch?

So guys if you got a couch at home that's big enough, we're gonna show you a quick exercise that you can do with a partner. And what you're gonna do is you're gonna sit on the edge of the couch, actually I might go from this side. You're gonna sit on the edge of the couch, your partner is gonna hand ball or kick it or whatever a little bit higher. Sort of in that general direction. And remember you can only do this if your parents let you use the couch for this. But what they're gonna do is kick it up and you're gonna fall back onto the footy. And use the couch as a bit of a, as a bit of a landing spot.

Lloyd

Good. You having fun?

Nicola Barr

Go back, wide. I'm trying my best. This isn't easy. Privitelli!

Lloyd

Yeah sometimes when you're falling or taking a specky you really want to call your favorite player's name or someone who takes a good mark. Privitelli is a good one.

Nicola Barr

Privitelli!

Lloyd

Dang!

Nicola Barr

All right should we move into a different one?

Lloyd

Yup, absolutely.

Nicola Barr

All right, cool so that's a nice one to practice your speckies. You can obviously do it from both sides of the couch as well. And the last one we're gonna do is very similar to one that we did on the floor before so we had our hands by our side and then not bringing our hands up til our partner drops the footy. So this time you're just gonna sit on the couch hands gonna be behind the back, partner's gonna throw it at ya.

Lloyd

Good.

Nicola Barr

Nice and quick hands.

Lloyd

That's it.

Nicola Barr

Quick reactions here.

Lloyd

Good hands. Ah! You got it.

Nicola Barr

Let's go for two more. Oh!

Lloyd

Oh you just saved the window! Perfect.

Nicola Barr

All right guys that is all of our skills done. Lloyd, thanks for helping me out today. If you have a partner, let them join in with you but, again, you can always do those exercises by yourself as well so, really nice way to just keep practicing your footy skills, we love to see you guys working out with us as well. It's really awesome. I know I've been loving practicing my footy skills at home and grabbing a partner to help you do that sometimes as well. But keep up the good work guys and see you soon!

End of transcript.

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