My Basketball Life with Team Captain Jamie Hayes

How did I come to basketball?

I have always been one of the tallest in my year at school, therefore was naturally picked for the school basketball team. This is where my interest in basketball started, but it wasn’t until I was picked up by a local coach to play for his u16s national league team Appleton All-stars. Then as I progressed through college and university my basketball skills improved and my love for the game has been growing ever since. 

What I love about the game

I would not have enough words to describe what I liked best about the game, but to narrow it down to two things I would have to say the competitiveness of it and the relationship I have built over the years making lifelong friends through the game.

An average day?

An average day for me would be waking up around 6am to have a cuppa and some cereal. Then I would head out to the sports hall to get some shots up before the school children come to school, after which I would head to the gym to get a lift in. Then I would head to the café for a breakfast bap which I have really been enjoying since being in Ireland- shout to O’Hehirs. Then it would be a relaxing day from then so I am ready for practice in the evening. 

Preparing for the game

So, to prepare for a game it must start right with a great breakfast which for me is 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 3 eggs (scrambled), beans, 2 toast, 2 pancakes and of course a cuppa. After I have eaten my breakfast, I would usually relax and try and take my mind off the game this can in the form of listening to music or playing PlayStation with my friends back home. This would take me up to lunch where I would have something else to eat like a pasta or rice meal. With a couple of hours now before game time I will start to pack my bag and focus on the game and mentally preparing. 

My Training week

My training routine is; 

  • Monday- evening practice
  • Tuesday- morning shoot, morning lift (pull body pull session) 
  • Wednesday- evening practice
  • Thursday- morning shooting, morning lift (full body push session)
  • Friday- morning shooting, evening practice
  • Saturday- GAME DAY 
  • Sunday- Rest
My food and cooking

I don’t really plan my meals I just cook what I fancy for that day, luckily with the local sponsors around Sligo town we do not have to worry about some of our meals as we eat out at the different shops and restaurants that sponsor us. I do enjoy cooking and often you will find me over the stove whipping something up. 

I have many meals that I enjoy making but I would have to say my favourite is a salmon creamy pasta dish that I have mastered if I do say so myself. But I do enjoy home comfort foods like a roast or a cottage pie.

Superstitions and traditions

I can be a little superstitious at times. For example if had something new to eat before a game and played well, I will carry on eating that meal before a game. Also, I do not warm up with my jersey on, I will put that on as the game is about to start. 

Resilience and Focus

Basketball has taught me a lot which carries over into the other areas of my life. I would say that basketball has taught me to be resilience and how to overcome adversity. When I’m about to take that shot that could decide the game my mind is clear and I wouldn’t say anything is on my mind other than I tell myself that I have practiced this shot a thousand times and I know I can make it.

The love of sports

If I didn’t play basketball I would be playing football (soccer) for sure, football was my first love in terms of sport and to this day I prefer watching football to basketball. 

Repetition and work hard

If I was to give advice to younger players I would say: 

Keep grinding, the game of basketball if one of those sports where repetition is key so it may seem like you aren’t as good as your peers but basketball rewards those who work hard, so keep working. The best advice ever given to me was; Don’t force the game let the game come to you. 


Instagram- Jamie_hayes


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