Sports environment on and off the field

THE environment that a sportsperson lives in has a lot to do with his performance as an athlete.

It can sometimes tarnish it if you’re living and hanging around the wrong people.

It can sometimes enhance it if you live with motivated people working towards the same goals.

Take young Western Bulldogs midfielder in the AFL, Shaun Higgins, who has been living with team-mates since being drafted by the Bulldogs in 2005.

Higgins’ off field changes include moving into a new Port Melbourne apartment with team-mate Tim Callan after moving out from a three year stay with Lindsay Gilbee.

He was guided by Gilbee for the past three years. Gilbee is a more experienced Bulldog who is now living with his partner.

Now he’s living with Callan, virtually the same age. But it is good to be living with those working towards the same goal on and off the field.

Dieting is important for athletes. And living with the right people maintains your discipline in the kitchen.

Higgins wasn’t one to dwell on the disappointment of that last-gasp loss to St Kilda in a prelim. Instead, he embraced it, took it in his stride and moved on with a few interstate getaways with his girlfiend.

He also got back home to Hamlyn Heights regularly to catch up with his family, not forgetting his grass roots and from the strong breed he came from: the Geelong Falcons, which have produced the likes of Jimmy Bartel and Luke Hodge.

“I think the Falcons have had one of the greatest histories in terms of the number of players getting drafted and also the quality of the players that can go on,” he told

 “You always keep tabs on the guys who come from  your region,” he said.

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