How Jordan Hendrikse Finds Balance Between the Try Line and Personal Passion

by | Jan 22, 2024 | Entertainment

In the dynamic world of rugby, Jordan Hendrikse has emerged as a rising star, transitioning seamlessly from schoolboy rugby to making a mark in senior rugby. This talented Lions flyhalf and SA Sevens player’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable. His rapid progression through the ranks showcases not only his athletic prowess but also his adaptability and commitment to excellence.

In a candid conversation with Hendrikse, we delve into the various facets of his career, wellness routines, and the unique experiences that have shaped him both on and off the field.

MH: You’ve had a remarkable journey in rugby, transitioning from schoolboy rugby to representing the South African national age-group teams and making your mark in the senior rugby scene. How has this rapid progression influenced your approach to the game and your personal development as a player?

Jordan Hendrikse: The rapid progression has taught me to be more adaptive, in terms of absorbing information instantly and applying it. And on a personal level, it has made me grow as a player and be consistent in what I do.

Being a frontline player in the United Rugby Championship at a young age is impressive. Can you share some insights into how you manage the pressures of performing at a senior level and balancing your responsibilities on and off the field?

Handling pressure is your level of preparation, so I train how I would play. That means putting myself through game-related situations, staying in the moment, and backing myself. The same responsibility comes with off-field, being well-prepared and knowing your details, which gives confidence to the players in the team.

Your debut season with the Lions was exceptional, earning nominations for the 2021 Junior Springbok Player of the Year and SA Young Player of the Year awards. What aspects of your game do you feel contributed most to your success, and how do you plan to build on this in the coming seasons?

The aspects of my game that I feel contributed to my success in the first season were, firstly being new on the scene and being an unpredictable player. But in finer detail, I can say, my big boot, being physical and taking the ball to the line. For the coming seasons, I will continue finessing my strengths but also work hard on my weaknesses as I work towards being more consistent overall.

Having played for the SA Schools A side and the Junior Springboks, can you highlight the key differences in your experience between age-group rugby and senior-level rugby, and how those experiences shaped your playing style?

There is a big gap in terms of experience between schoolboy rugby, Junior Springboks, and senior level. The intensity, and physicality of schoolboy rugby and Junior Springboks are similar. Whereas at senior level it’s way more intense and physical. It shaped me to be a smarter player, be adaptive to what teams present me and be decisive in what I do.

Congratulations on your call-up to the Springboks Sevens squad for the 2022 London Sevens. What adjustments did you make to adapt to the sevens format, and how did that experience contribute to your overall skill development?

Thank you, I must say sevens was a blessing and an honour to represent my country. Sevens has taught me a few things, firstly to maybe weigh a bit lighter and be fit. Because those short bursts of intensity blocks are mentally tough and exhausting. But it has taught me to identify space quickly, beat my opponent and back my ideas/skills.

Fitness is a crucial aspect of rugby. Could you share insights into your fitness routine and how you maintain peak physical condition, especially considering the demands of playing fifteens and sevens rugby?

A crucial aspect of playing rugby is your recovery. So I gym twice a day to keep my physical condition, I ice bath after training sessions, and do lots of stretching before and after sessions. That’s to keep me feeling 100% every day.

READ MORE: Build Muscle Like Top SA Athletes with Our Elite Rugby Training Plan

Skincare is an essential part of an athlete’s routine. How do you take care of your skin, particularly with the challenges of varying climates and travel associated with international rugby?

To be honest with you, I don’t necessarily have a skincare routine. However, I do wash my face with Cetaphil products and apply sunscreen during the day. Skin is also an uncontrollable factor, especially when playing rugby. So I wash it frequently to keep it clean and fresh.

Mental health is increasingly recognised as a vital component of an athlete’s overall well-being. How do you prioritise and maintain good mental health amidst the intense competition and high expectations that come with professional rugby?

Mental health is a component of health and well-being that underpins an individual’s decision-making ability. So how I manage my mental health is by being physically active daily, I do what I love every day of the week. I cook a mean meal most days, which keeps me fully fed, and there’s nothing better than tasting my food. I enjoy creating content with my camera and photography. Most importantly, I spend quality time with my girlfriend, family, and friends. That all contributes to me having good mental health.

Your interests extend beyond rugby, including cooking, health and fitness, and fashion. How do these off-field activities contribute to your overall well-being, and do they play a role in enhancing your on-field performance?

Cooking, health & fitness, content creation, and fashion are some of my hobbies I’m passionate about off the field. It takes my mind away from rugby, which is very healthy and contributes to my well-being. I truly believe you need to take your mind off rugby and enjoy life and it will make you happy. Your well-being off-field will always contribute to your performance on-field to a certain extent. That then creates a positive mindset which is very contagious and creates a great environment.

READ MORE: Breitling South Africa Welcomes Rugby World Cup Champion Canan Moodie to the Squad

Joining Roc Nation Sports is a significant milestone in your career. Can you share the factors that influenced your decision to join Roc Nation, and what do you hope to achieve with their support in your rugby journey?

Roc Nation was one of my milestones and caught me off guard when they approached me. But what stood out was their motto “chasing greatness,” and I’m here to chase greatness. So that influenced me, and so did Michael Yormark, the president of Roc Nation Sports International. They help me elevate my rugby career on and off the field. I look forward to my continued journey ahead with Roc Nation Sports International.

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