Alex al­ready in the spot­light

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - All The Week’s Action... -

In the past week, web­sites on both sides of the pond have picked up on my un­usual quest, run­ning good-na­tured sto­ries, which have led to more than 50 new twit­ter fol­low­ers – @ alinthenfl if you’re won­der­ing – and some fol­low-up in­ter­est from other me­dia out­lets.

I’ve had a ra­dio sta­tion show in­ter­est, the NFL UK mag­a­zine ap­proach me for an in­ter­view and on Thurs­day a call from Stephen Austin, the di­rec­tor of NFL Re­gional Com­bines him­self.

It seems I am the only in­ter­na­tional ‘ath­lete’ who is pre­par­ing for one of th­ese com­bines, and as such he’s keen to use my story to pro­mote the event. From my point of view, if I can spread the word of a fan­tas­tic sport to a few more peo­ple then great.

The only cloud on Mr Austin’s hori­zon was my con­fir­ma­tion that I was born dur­ing the Ron­ald Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion – it seemed any hopes he had of me be­ing a First Round draft pick floated out of the win­dow of his Cal­i­for­nia of­fice.

We had a good chat any­way and he told me: “Hav­ing read your sto­ries, and seen your train­ing pic­tures, it’s clear that you have busi­ness be­ing on the field.

“You have the size but we’ll have to look at the speed, change-of-di­rec­tion and hands when you’re here. Keep work­ing hard. We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing what you can do.”

I’ve also had some help­ful ad­vice from a cou­ple of Kent Olympians as a lot of what I’ll do play­ing the Tight End po­si­tion in Amer­i­can foot­ball in­volves run­ning fast and jump­ing high.

Hythe hur­dler Jack Green, who reached the semi-fi­nals of the 400mH at Lon­don 2012, said: “First you’ve got to be ag­ile, then bring some hur­dles in for ply­o­met­rics. If you want to run a quick 40-yard-dash, that will help.”

World Cham­pi­onship 200m fi­nal­ist Adam Gemili has also pro­vided some valu­able ad­vice on health and nu­tri­tion, not least how to get one of the most vi­tal things to any sports­man – sleep.

Work­ing full-time and train­ing some­thing like 15 hours a week on top of that for the past few months takes its toll, how­ever Gemili, from Dart­ford, shared his se­cret for sleep­ing like a baby – mag­ne­sium.

It turns out the min­eral plays an im­por­tant role in hy­dra­tion, mus­cle re­lax­ation, en­ergy pro­duc­tion and, cru­cially for sleep, the de­ac­ti­va­tion of adren­a­line.

In­suf­fi­cient stores of mag­ne­sium mean shal­low and in­ter­rupted sleep and trou­ble drop­ping-off. Now I have a spray which I ap­ply be­fore bed and it’s made a big dif­fer­ence. A good kip makes ev­ery­thing eas­ier.

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