Last Updated: 25 Jun 2014
Clare Ryan

When he isn’t travelling as captain of the Western Force, Matt Hodgson juggles his time between his family, his gym and his third job. How does he do it?

A week in your shoes involves…
My job as the captain of the Western Force is my full-time job. We work off a diary that dictates where the rest of my life has room to move. Your time is not your own when you are part of a team. The diary is boss. Days start at 6:30am, and if I get home by 6pm my wife is happy. We train four days per week and play one game a week. If we travel, that is usually on our days off, which pushes it out to seven days a week. On my days off in Perth, I work as a Communication Specialist at FMG (Fortescue Metals Group Ltd). It's nice to pull on a suit and give my mind a work-out while my body has a rest. I also run my F45 gym in West Leederville. I duck in to run a session or two, and come out re-energised. I love being hands-on to make sure that the members get the experience they deserve. It's a great way to start or finish my working day. During the rugby day you may get an hour or two off, which I spend with my wife Jo and one-year-old son, Hunter. Grabbing a bite or just having some downtime with them keeps me sane.

How do you balance work and home life?
I have always loved my job and feel fortunate to have the career that I do. However I need downtime and time away from work to keep me fresh mentally and physically. Nothing does that better than walking in the door to my son Hunter's cry of "Dad!" as he launches at me at the end of a day. As a family we also love going to the beach – for 15 minutes or two hours, it doesn't matter.

How do you manage stress?
When I feel stress increasing I make a conscious effort to look after myself as well as I can. Diet, sleep and taking the time to do something I enjoy releases the pressure. Fifteen minutes away from a stressful situation is often all you need to tackle the topic again with a fresh perspective and increased motivation. Grab a coffee, throw a ball to my dogs or play with my son, and I'm ready to tackle a situation again.

What are your tips for time management?
Keep a detailed diary. I share mine with my wife so that every commitment we make is transparent and we both know where the other will be. I make it a priority to be early. If I'm due somewhere at nine, I consider myself late if I'm not there by 8:30am.

How do you keep motivated?
I'm a competitive person and I like to win. I also think that, being in a team, the desire not to let your teammates and coaches down is a huge motivator. With my personal business, the motivator is to establish a viable life beyond rugby. A sporting career has a limited duration and you may retire from sport, but no one in Australian Rugby is able to retire for life. I want to be able to provide for my family and also have a job that I love beyond the world of rugby. This makes having three jobs at the moment very important and drives me to work hard.

What do you pack to make your life easier when you travel?
My Microsoft tablet and a loaded external hard drive. These tools enable me to work while in transit and also mean that I have my favourite TV series and movies readily available.

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