Melbourne winger Sandor Earl is better equipped than most NRL players to deal with life on the sidelines and is reaching out to his Storm teammates to safeguard their mental health.
Credit: AAP (Australian Associated Press).
Off contract at the of 2020, Earl has plenty to lose with the postponement of the NRL season.
He had hoped to extend his Storm deal beyond this year with both starting wingers to leave the club at the end of this campaign.
Having being banned for four years for doping during his Canberra days and then an ACL injury that wiped out his 2018 season, Earl knows it can be tough to adjust to time away from the game.
With no certainty around the timeline for the competition return, players are coming to grips with a new normal.
Earl said he would look to be a sounding board for other players who were missing the structure in their routine. "I will definitely look to be more proactive with that," Earl, who was Melbourne's Nines captain, said.
"We're potentially facing a four to six week break and there's no doubt that not everyone's equipped for that, to see it as an opportunity.
"It's hard to find motivation, and like the general public we are going through a period where we may not even get paid, we are going to suffer financially, we are going to lose our passion, our routine, our structure."
"There's a lot to it so it will be about trying to convince the boys that it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but you need to set some new goals."
The 30-year-old said he would encourage the players to stay focused and create a new routine so they can emerge ready to play.
"That's the best way I can see to get through what's going to be a tough period," Earl said.
"You've got to try and stay upbeat and look for opportunities; what can I improve? How can I work on getting my body right?"
A qualified personal trainer, Earl planned to spend some time at his own F45 gym to ensure he hit the ground running and could continue his career without further interruption.
"I'm well trained and ready for these times but at the same time I'd love a drama-free period of time but what can you do?" he said.
"I'm hopeful that we will get to play again and I just need to be ready."