Sport Sport Focus The morning routines of Australia’s most successful sportspeople
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The morning routines of Australia’s most successful sportspeople

Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill starts every day with a "really positive" activity. Photo: Getty
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Hit the snooze button each morning?

It’s probably no surprise that our most successful sportsmen and sportswomen don’t, with many preferring to start their days before the sun rises.

So, what is it that athletes do of a morning, particularly on gameday? Do they have set routines they follow?

Socceroos star Tim Cahill, Collingwood AFLW forward Moana Hope, Olympic rower Maddie Edmunds and Stawell Gift winner Matthew Rizzo all opened up to The New Daily about their morning schedules.

Tim Cahill, 37, professional footballer, Melbourne City

With four young children and a calendar packed with engagements, Tim Cahill said getting eight hours of sleep a night is not always possible. “But it’s definitely the goal,” he told The New Daily.

Cahill said that having breakfast with his family has always been the most important part of his pre-match preparation.

“It helps take my mind off anything else that might be going on, and [means I] start the day in a really positive way,” he said.

“Then when I get in the car and start to head to training or a game, I start to think more about football and the day ahead.”

With much of his training for Melbourne City in the mornings, Cahill’s go-to breakfast is Weetbix with fruit and milk and a cup of coffee. 

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A post shared by Tim Cahill (@tim_cahill) on

Matthew Rizzo, 18, sprinter, 2017 Stawell Gift winner

On the morning of last Monday’s Stawell Gift, Rizzo woke at 6am.

Like any other race day, he had a bowl of oats and a strong coffee before heading to the track.

“I like to arrive two hours before the race to let everything sink in,” Rizzo said.

The Langwarrin sprinter often divides his time between listening to music during his warm-up and mingling with other athletes – a method he said helps him stay grounded.

“The key is to be mentally prepared, but not over-think the race,” he said.

“I usually spend the morning telling myself: ‘I’ve done the physical preparation, now I just have to let the event unfold’.”

Rizzo usually rises before 5am four times a week for training either at the track or the gym, then it’s off to university or work at Bunnings.

matthew rizzo

Moana Hope, 29, AFLW marquee player, Collingwood

With football to train for, a traffic management business to run, her sister to care for, and numerous ambassador responsibilities to meet, Moana Hope is an early riser.

“I normally wake up between 3am and 4am and the first thing I think about is work related,” she admitted.

After starting the day with a bowl of Special K and a coffee, Hope listens to Melbourne’s GOLD104.3FM driving to work or training.

“At a morning training session, I have set targets that I aim to achieve, so I try to mentally prepare by visualising how I will reach each target,” she said.

“Then, when I get to work, I always have a list of jobs written down that I need to complete, which saves me trying to remember everything!” 

Maddie Edmunds, 25, Olympic rower, women’s quadruple sculls

With two – or sometimes more – training sessions a day, Olympic rower Maddie Edmunds swears by at least eight hours sleep a night.

With her alarm clock usually set for either 4.50am or 5.50am, that means she’s in bed before 9pm every night.

Before training, Maddie has a coffee and two pieces of rye toast with peanut butter.

She said that’s enough to fuel her morning session of two hours on the water.

“But, if I could be on a coffee drip I would,” she laughed.

“I like to take my day one session at a time, and whatever happens around that just happens.”

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