Life is rarely quiet for Gloucester Rugby’s Director of Academy & Development, Carl Hogg. His days as a professional rugby player may be behind him following a series of injuries, but that certainly hasn’t slowed him down. After a number of years coaching in the English Premiership with Gloucester and Worcester and time with the Welsh region, Ospreys and the Russian national team, Carl is enjoying life back at Kingsholm.
Since returning to Gloucester in March of this year, Hogg is focused on identifying and developing the next generation of premiership players at the club and works closely with Head of Academy Peter Walton.
Mammoth caught up with Carl to talk about his career, his daily routine and his sleep habits:
Hi Carl. So what does an average day look like for you?
My weekdays tend to be pretty corporate, with Monday to Friday spent having meetings in the office. I save my evenings and weekends for watching rugby matches. I usually manage to watch about four or five games of rugby over a week – 50% standing and 50% seating.
This isn’t too demanding on my body or mind, but it does cause my back to get stiff and sore after a while because of previous injuries I’ve had from playing.
Sounds busy! What do you do to unwind and take care of yourself when things get stressful?
Well, I’ve had a variety of injuries from my time as a professional rugby player, some of which required surgery while I was playing, and some required surgery after I stopped.
But my family and I retain a pretty active outdoor life. We watch quite a bit of live sport – mainly rugby and horse racing. We also go for a lot of walks and bike rides as a family.
I love to cycle and keep fit. In the summer, I like to get out on my road bike as much as possible – usually three or four times a week for two or more hours at a time.
Now, about sleep. How important do you consider rest time and recovery for both your body and your mind?
From my time as a player, I know first-hand just how important quality sleep is for your performance. And as a coach, I can recognise the benefit of high quality sleep in the pressurised environment of professional sports coaching. The Premiership is particularly challenging and relentless in nature.
So how many hours of sleep do you aim for a night?
I always try to aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a night. I’m usually in bed by 9.30pm during the week, hoping to get to sleep by 10pm.
What’s your typical sleeping position, and do you have an optimum sleep environment?
I tend to sleep on my back in a ‘crucifix’ position. I had four operations on my left shoulder, so I’m not able to sleep on my side. I also sometimes experience back ache when I sleep on my back, but I find that placing a pillow behind my knees offsets the pain a little.
In order to get to sleep, I like to keep my bedroom temperature cool.
We also know you’re a fan of a Mammoth mattress! Can you tell us which mattress model you own and what you think of it?
As a former professional rugby player, I fully understand the holistic benefits of sleep quantity and quality on playing performance. Finding a comfortable mattress is critical for me, in the quality of sleep I achieve. Having had previous surgery on my back and shoulder, I often have difficulties sleeping on different mattresses in hotel rooms etc.
Having bought a Mammoth Shine Model 1, Superking mattress in Firm, I’ve discovered a mattress that is extremely comfortable and lends itself to quality sleep with no residual aches or pains in the morning.
Finally, if you could have a (purely platonic) late night chat anyone, dead or alive, who’d be worth losing sleep over – and why?
Definitely Muhammad Ali. He was a massive personality with huge charisma who shaped a generation. He stood up for what he believed in: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”