Jade Kirisome is a college freshman and basketball player at Furman University.
Throw in the fact that she’s also from Brisbane (the one with the cool accent and all the marsupials, not the one in California) and you’ve got one seriously busy lady. Thankfully, we managed to sit down with Jade over a rare free hour to find out how she stays so focused and collected during the season. From movie nights with the team to ideal US-Australia call times, here are some of her thoughts on finding balance as a student-athlete.
M: Alright, so obviously life as a student-athlete is crazy. Could you walk me through a normal training day during the season?
J: I usually wake up at 6:30 AM and do weights for an hour at 7. Then I’ll shower and have a protein shake. We have to have protein after a workout. After that, it’s straight to class. I have two classes, then a break for lunch, then another class. Then we’ll do film for an hour as a team before practice. After practice, it’s recovery and straight to study hall for a mandatory two hours every day. Once that’s done, I’m so tired I just walk home and fall asleep!
M: Were there any moments coming over as a freshman that were hard to adjust to?
J: Actually, when I first started lifting weights. I was really small when I came in and they just started putting me on these crazy weights. I remember being so sore that I could barely sit down. Everything I did was so painful at first, but then I got more and more used to it and, yeah, it’s fine now! Was quite a bit of shock at first, to be honest.
M: What about life as a student? Did you dive straight in?
J: So I enrolled early and did summer school. Summer school had one or two classes a day, so I was like, “Ah this is easy, this is so chill!” But then when proper classes started it was a bit of a shock and I was really, really tired. I had to go to bed early because my days were so much busier and I really had to manage my time a lot better. I have to eat properly, I have to sleep properly, otherwise I’m not going to perform well. But now I’ve gotten used to it and gotten into the swing of things, which is good.
M: Speaking of eating properly, do you have a favorite quick meal for between classes?
J: Yeah! I don’t know what you guys call it but it’s a ham and cheese toastie, like when you toast the bread; that’s probably my go-to. I guess you guys call it a grilled cheese or something? Or for something that’s just really fast I’ll have like, a granola bar and a banana.
M: What about mental recovery when you’re not training? What do your weekends look like?
J: We’re pretty lucky, we get our weekends off actually. Saturday and Sunday we all sleep in and then try to do fun stuff as a team. It’s so mentally tiring, we try to make sure we go out as a team and do something that’s not basketball-related otherwise we’d all just get so sick of it. I was really surprised but we all get along so well and pretty much everything we do is as a team.
M: Do you have any weekend traditions or favorite activities?
We always have a Friday movie night. It’s because we’re all so tired so we’ll just do that. But it changes a lot on the weekend depending on what everyone wants to do. One of my teammates has a house on the beach so we’re planning to go to her beach house over the next few weeks and kind of just relax.
M: What type of movies will you watch? Like, are we talking Wall-E or inspiring sports films?
J: We’ll just go through Netflix and choose whatever. It’s mostly comedy I think, just something light-hearted since the whole week is so intense. We just want to chill out.
M: Obviously there’s a huge time difference between here and Australia. Have you found it hard to stay in touch with friends and family back home?
J: Yeah, so they’re 14 hours ahead. It kind of sucks but the good thing is my mom’s an early bird so
she’s probably up by around 5:30 in the morning, which I don’t know why anyone would want to do that, but that time really works out since that’s just after my classes end. So I’ll have quick calls in-between everything, just random calls whenever we’re both free. It’s pretty much whenever we catch each other.
M: Is there anything you did back in Australia on your own for recovery that you don’t do as much here?
J: We were really big on foam rolling and trigger points. So after a lot of my training, as a team we’d have ten foam rollers and it’d be “Everyone get on the floor and start rolling!” Here we use a lot more of the elastic stretching bands, like for stretching your hamstrings and stuff. I really want to get back into foam rolling and using a trigger ball though.
M: What about for mental and social recovery?
J: With class and training seven hours a day, things can just get really mentally draining. Sometimes I think, “Alright I need some time to myself.” You just get so caught up in it. Every single second is about basketball, and if it’s not basketball I’m in class, and if I’m not in class, I’m lifting weights. So I really want to take more time to myself, sometimes without my teammates too, just to get a break and clear my head. Stuff like that.
Originally submitted for Issue 8 of Undo Magazine.
Author: Max Henry
Art Director – Miguel Southee
Photographer – Andrew Morales
Stylist – Dela Kirisome
Hair/MUA – Andrea DiSabatino