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Guildford Heat captain Mike Martin on his perfect Surrey weekend

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 October 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 20 February 2013

Guildford Heat captain Mike Martin on his perfect Surrey weekend

Guildford Heat captain Mike Martin on his perfect Surrey weekend

Professional basketball player Mike Martin is captain of the Guildford Heat – one of Surrey's most successful sports teams. Here, he chats to us about his very active weekends, much of which are spent at the new Surrey Sports Park

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2010

Professional basketball player Mike Martin is captain of the Guildford Heat one of Surreys most successful sports teams. Here, he chats to us about his very active weekends, much of which are spent at the new Surrey Sports Park

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My weekends are very rarely about relaxing. During the basketball season, I normally get up early and eat a large bowl of Cheerios. I do chill out for a bit then preferably watching one of my favourite programmes, which include Family Guy, House, Greys Anatomy or CSI. Im definitely not a Desperate Housewives type of guy!

If weve got a home game, which we now play at the new Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, I dont need to be there until 5pm for a 7pm start. For an away game, I normally meet the team at 10am, depending on how far we have to travel.

During a typical weekend at home, I go to the gym at Surrey Sports Park for about an hour in the morning. I either ride the bike or do a body weight work-out, which includes push-ups, pull-up lunges and ab work.

The facilities at Surrey Sports Park are among the best Ive been to in the UK. The gym is state of the art and they have three basketball courts, which is any players dream as it means there are plenty of opportunities to practise. I normally do some shooting drills for about 45 minutes after my training and then go back home, have a shower and something to eat. I try to eat as healthily as possible, normally cooking myself chicken and rice or jacket potato with tuna although I do enjoy eating out at Nandos in Guildford, too.

Going into battle
Before I know it, its time to head back to Surrey Sports Park and meet the team for the game. When I was younger, I used to get nervous before games, but Ive been playing basketball at a professional level now for 14 years. As a result, I no longer feel the nerves but spend time focusing on the battle ahead, planning the victory which we hope to achieve and giving advice to the less experienced players in the team.

In the locker room, our coach, Creon Raftopoulos, gives us a pep talk and helps us to focus on team morale. Once were on court, our focus is entirely on the game. We dont watch the cheerleaders or pay attention to the teams mascot, Scorcher, entertaining the crowd. During the breaks, Creon suggests the best course of action to beat our opponents and we discuss key areas of focus, like strategies for defence.

If we lose the game, I rarely go out with my teammates. As team captain, I like to lead by example and I dont think its appropriate to go out if I havent done my job properly, which is to lead the team to victory. If weve won we go out. We start off at the Surrey Sports Park bar, meeting the fans and beginning to unwind. We often celebrate our victories at the Piano Bar or Dusk in Guildford. The greater the victory, the bigger the celebration, particularly if weve beaten one of our biggest rivals.

Sometimes we play on Sundays, too, so we have to get a good nights sleep to be able to play to the best of our abilities the next day.
If Im having a day off, I try to spend time with my family and, in particular, my 10-year-old son. Hes just starting to get into playing basketball, which, as you can imagine, I am really pleased about. We go to the court quite a lot now and shoot hoops together.

In the season, everything is geared around basketball, so when I get the chance, I love going to the movies, too, or eating out with family and friends.

As Im 6ft 6in, its hard to go unnoticed when Im out and about. I do get spotted a lot and people are always coming up to me to ask for my autograph, which Im very happy to give. Its funny how people always tend to ask me the same questions. Normally, they want to know if my parents are tall to which I answer that theyre not. A few of the fans have made comments that I look like Snoop. I enjoy the friendly banter with fans and love the fact that they enjoy watching the Heat play.

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