Please give us a rundown on who you are and what you do?
My name is Jacinta Beckley, and I play basketball internationally. I went to Seattle University on a basketball scholarship after high school and graduated with a double degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I then went on to play my first year of professional basketball in Budapest, in the Hungarian first division. Since then I have been playing in Melbourne, Australia and also representing New Zealand in the National Women’s team, the Tall Ferns.
What does a typical (in season) day look like for you?
A typical in season day looks different depending on the team I am in at the time, but I’ll wake up and head straight to stadium to get some shots up. I make a couple hundred shots, then head to the gym for a strength and conditioning session. After that I head home for a protein smoothie or a feed. I love a nap, so I usually jump in the shower, take a fat nap and then head back to the stadium to do some coaching sessions with the kids. Then on to team practice for a couple of hours, back home for dinner, maybe a couple Netflix episodes, and bed.
How do you keep health a priority while being so busy?
I think the word ‘health’ includes both physical and mental aspects. Physically, I like to listen to my body. If I am feeling really sore, I may lift less heavy one day, or chuck in an extra stretch and foam roll session another. I am a big fan of the Shakti Mat so I will lay on one of those for a bit. I often go see the chiropractor for adjustments or our team physio for realignments. Taking rest days is also very important for recovery and to reset the mind. I love to attend family dinner every Sunday I can if I don’t have a game. Just spend time with my friends exploring the city, being in nature, going on walks, or to the beach. And try to eat as healthy as possible, with a treat here and there.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received that has helped you become the epic person you are today?
Hmm the best advice? Probably that a courageous mindset is the product of faith, self-confidence, and positive thinking. Basically, do not ever be scared to screw up or make mistakes. Failure is a part of success. Believe in yourself and keep trying. If you want something bad enough go out there and make it happen for yourself.
What advice would you give any readers who want to follow in your footsteps?
Go for it! No dream is ever too big, you just need to have the courage to pursue it. Also love the grind. Sometimes being a professional athlete can be taxing both physically and mentally, but that is all a part of the journey. Love yourself through the lows, ride those waves out, and enjoy every second when you are on top. Celebrate your small wins along the way and watch everything fall into place the way it is meant to be.
What’s your favourite way to have any of our Mitchells Nutrition products?
Right now (I’m not in season), I go to the gym every morning at 5.15 then start work at 6.30am. Before going to work I make myself a protein smoothie with half a banana, some berries, a little bit of yoghurt, some juice or water, protein powder and Mitchells Marine Collagen Peptides. It is so yummy and easy to drink in the car on my way to work. I have noticed a huge difference in my nails especially since adding this collagen into my diet. Being a basketball player, I use my hands a lot, but since COVID-19 I have been working in a factory assembling kitchens. My nails would break so easily and all the time, now they never break.
What’s your proudest moment so far?
I think my proudest moment would be signing my first contract to play professionally. I never thought it would happen, especially after breaking my hand in college. I didn’t think I would bounce back after that, but here I am still kicking. Winning our conference championship at Seattle U, and representing the Tall Ferns are also very proud moments of mine. But, nothing beats that feeling of wearing your national colours on your chest at home in front of your family.
What about your hardest moment, and how you dealt with it?
Breaking my hand was one of my hardest moments. I had no idea how many things required two hands. Cutting my dinner was hard, opening jars was hard, tying my hair up was impossible. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing support system around me. The friends I lived with at the time were a huge help, my athletic trainer is the GOAT for helping me get through treatment and rehab. I laughed and cried so much through this journey, but all throughout I knew I would be able to grind it out. I did skills trainings completely with one hand, while my team trained, I ran sprints and did conditioning on the sideline, I found a way to lift weights. I did everything in my power to ensure that as soon as I got the all clear to play I was ready. And that is exactly what I did. The day I got cleared, I played and all the pain I went through was worth it.
Finally, what’s your favourite adventure spot in New Zealand?
One of my favourite spots in New Zealand is Castle Point. I love it there. We used to go all the time as kids for big family get-a-ways. We would go on walks and runs, surfing and boogie boarding, sliding down the sand dunes, board games, BBQ’s, all of it, we would have so much fun. It holds so many special memories for me, it is super relaxing, and beautiful. It is unreal. I do have a big, long list of places I’d love to travel to in New Zealand, but for now Castle Point has my heart.