Tools and motivation for next chapter

Ever since I can remember, my life has revolved around my basketball.
Every day of the week involved either a team training or a game with an expectation of myself to also find time to work out individually every day.
My basketball journey has taken me across Australia and around the world as I juggled working full time and playing semi-professionally before eventually being lucky enough to spend the last three years playing professionally in Australia and New Zealand.
As you all will very much know, the current situation with COVID-19 has changed everything about our daily lives. A very important part of our daily lives is exercise and for me that has looked drastically different in comparison to my normal routine.
With the season cancelled and basketball being non-existent until further notice, I was suddenly left with no schedule, no routine, and plenty of time of which I had no idea what to fill it with.
It was a strange feeling after finding out the basketball season was cancelled. Normally my passion and motivation would be sparked on by the season ahead.
 That competitive fix of winning a game or simply peak performance during the season is something that drives me, and many other athletes after a long pre-season of working out and progressing in our sport.  
I had already spent the last several months preparing and without the season, how would I fill that void?
This emptiness in my life gave me time to think, reflect and re-evaluate. What will I do? How will I stay motivated? How can I stay in shape? How can I progress in my sport? and more importantly take care of my mental health during this difficult time?
Basketball is a very physically demanding sport and over time my body has slowly started to show signs of wear and tear. I began to think that maybe this was a good chance to rehab my body and work on some deficiencies that I’m aware of.
I have been lucky enough to surround myself with good people and motivated friends that help me stay positive and create new opportunities and ‘keep fuelling my fire’.
Be it table tennis, surfing, or setting each other gym and fitness challenges, actually challenges with anything. Things like balance boards, juggling, and even reading. I have found that a variety is really healthy, but it also makes me super aware of how important basketball is to me, and how much time I actually dedicate to the game week in and week out.
So, where to from here…I think for me, and everyone in fact, perspective is essential.
To understand what’s important and how lucky I am to be healthy, and even though sometimes I have injuries or feel down or fatigued, I ultimately still have my health.
I have people to talk to, I have friends to send photos and messages to and I have time to reflect and breathe. And whilst I don’t have the actual game and competition itself, I still have all the tools and motivation to get ready for the next chapter, and that in itself is an exciting prospect.
Mason Bragg, North-West Thunder basketballer 
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