Ryley Batt will sit out the Steelers five-match tour of New Zealand

Hard at it: Ryley Batt enjoyed his Christmas break, but it's time to get back into training.
Hard at it: Ryley Batt enjoyed his Christmas break, but it's time to get back into training.

RYLEY Batt certainly enjoyed his time off following Australia’s Paralympic success last year.

Maybe a bit too much, according to the man himself.

He’s been back into training since mid-January and conceded it had been a bit of a struggle.

Not only because he had a few too many beverages and Christmas turkey’s over the holiday period, but because he’s had to go back to “the old ways” for now.

“You eat the wrong thing once and you pay for it for months,” he said.

Teammate Cameron Carr moved back to Brisbane and personal trainer Tony Lineham is currently on a four-month tour around Australia.

It left Batt to do his own training until Lineham returns in April.

“You do take it for granted having a full-time Oz teammate and a full-time trainer every day so it is a luxury you get used to,” Batt said.

“It’s nice sometimes because you can train when you want, but it is difficult motivation-wise at times.

“Winning every major tournament now for six years you almost sit there and ask what else is there to win because you’ve accomplished everything you set out to do.

“It is hard to get back into it, but once you get back into the grind everything becomes a habit.”

The Steelers key man said he would be spurred on by the “less experienced” guys in the team over the next couple of years.

“They’re new to the team and some of them haven’t won a medal at a Paralympics or a world champs and I’d love to see them win,” he said.

“I’d hate to take the foot off the throttle and say we’ve won all we want to win.

“Then either retire or not train as hard as I was and then lose a medal podium position for these new guys who are busting their arse.”

Batt will stay at home next month when the Steelers head to New Zealand for a five-match series against the Kiwis.

If he had his own way he would be there, but the decision was made by the coach.

“It’s upsetting because I love playing for my country,” he said.

“But it’s the best for our team, I’ll be back in it later on this year; I don’t think this year is a year where we need to go out with our full-strength team and smash everybody.”

The Port Macquarie product will take a keen interest in what happens over the ditch as he continues to prepare for Japan in late May.

That will be his next tournament.

“It’s a pretty quiet year on the international scene which is nice for a change,” he said.

“In saying that, I’m looking forward to this year because it’s a development year for us where we’ll make ourselves better for next year.

“Our main goal as a team are the world championships in Sydney.”


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