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Andrew Alderson: How to reignite alpha male flame

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The Weekend Warrior can feel vulnerable when he realises his sporting talents appear to be on the wane. Andrew Alderson examines 10 ways for blokes to reignite the alpha male flame over the summer holidays.
You may not be Kelly Slater but fun on a surfboard is still possible - just keep trying and let the wave do the work. Photo / Getty Images
You may not be Kelly Slater but fun on a surfboard is still possible - just keep trying and let the wave do the work. Photo / Getty Images

1 When beach cricket presents, seize the bat and play an innings of Gavaskar v England 1975 World Cup proportions (i.e. don't let your strike rate get over 21 and leave most of the deliveries outside off stump until you've seen the fluff off the tennis ball). But a moment will come when you must unleash. A bowler, possibly your six-year-old, will drop short. They know it, you know it, and you've got time. Rock onto the back foot, give yourself room outside off stump and square cut it with a force that demands a swimmer to retrieve it. Ah, you're feeling better already.

2 Speaking of the water, you're hardly Kelly Slater when it comes to cutting a svelte swathe through the waves, but what the hell, anyone can body surf with enough attempts (and optimum buoyancy). Let the wave do the work and down you roll, euphoric in its grasp. Hey, you've just been crowned King of the Ripples.

3 Head to the golf course to enact that New Year's resolution that you'll play once a week. It'll be more like once a year, but dreams are free. At some point (probably once in the round), you'll hit a decent tee shot on a par four, placing you about 140 yards out. You know you've got this. Demand your eight-year-old caddy pops the clubs down. Pretend to consult with them in front of your partners about wind direction et al and reach for the seven iron. Take an easy Ernie Els swing and ... whack. Embrace the satisfaction of being on the green in regulation, ready to four-putt.

4 Get on a tennis court in a collared but loose-fitting shirt and McEnroe headband and prepare to unleash Mr Subtle. Damn these big-serving power games requiring more energy than a full English breakfast will permit. Opt instead for a gentle serve and baseline strategy which keeps your father-in-law running. Then, when your opponent's at the end of their shuttle running tether, step in for the coup de grace, a drop shot to lock their hamstrings. Thank you linesmen, thank you ballboys (and girls).

Recapture that feeling of sporting euphoria at your local tennis court. Photo / Getty Images
Recapture that feeling of sporting euphoria at your local tennis court. Photo / Getty Images

5 Head to the local pool and make a beeline for the 10m diving platform. Don't worry, you're not going to execute the 3.6 level-of-difficulty reverse three-and-a-half somersault pike. No, your specialty is the 0.0 level-of-difficulty bomb. Extra style points will be added for the decibel level you can muster bellowing "aaaargh" as gravity draws you to its bosom. Witnesses will be buying you beers afterwards on the basis of bravery alone.

6 If you're on holiday at the beach, kayak to the local store to get fish and chips for lunch. Everyone's entitled to channel their inner Alan Thompson once in a while.

7 Okay, this one's so embarrassing it might require the family to be out for the day and a closed set. Imitate a bona fide Karate Kid Daniel-san crane kick ... on the trampoline, of course. What a tribute to one of the greatest sporting moments in cinema history, and it beats cleaning the car by waxing on and waxing off.

8 Pedal up an incline and pretend you're part of the Tour de France peloton. Feel those endorphins course through your veins as you turn a molehill into a mountain. Time for some form of EPO at the end. Let's opt for an Enormous Pile Of ... pancakes.

Recapture that feeling of sporting euphoria at your local golf course. Photo / Getty Images
Recapture that feeling of sporting euphoria at your local golf course. Photo / Getty Images

9 Let a hallucination take hold as you go out on a morning jog to work off the Christmas excess. You're Peter Snell 300m out from the 1500m tape at Tokyo in 1964. You put on what former All Black Earle Kirton would refer to as the "gaaas" and whiz past a couple of lampposts. You're bringing it home as if legendary coach Arthur Lydiard is chasing you along the Waiatarua route. Right, enough of that. Guts ... at ease. You've burnt off precisely two slices of leftover Christmas ham.

10 Bet on a cricket match. If it was good enough for Australian duo Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh at Headingley in 1981, along with countless others if anecdotal evidence is believed, it's good enough for you. Here's a tip: Pick KS Williamson as top scorer enough over the next few years and you'll be whittling away the principal on your mortgage in no time at all.

- Herald on Sunday

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Covers sport across NZME's print, digital and radio brands.

Andrew writes and broadcasts on cricket and the Olympic disciplines for NZME's print, digital, video and radio platforms. His most recent project followed New Zealand sportspeople competing in Europe during the 2015 northern summer. He has attended four cricket World Cups, three Olympics and regularly works as a correspondent overseas.

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