EXCLUSIVE ONE-ON-ONE WITH PROFESSIONAL CRICKETER, SEAN WHITEHEAD.
He’s an All-Rounder for the Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers, where he’s fast becoming a well-recognised name in the South African cricket setting.
As someone who grew up partaking in multiple sporting codes, Sean is no stranger to success and accomplishments. At age 13 he had already achieved his black belt and South African colours in Karate, as well as played hockey provincially until the age of 16.
But it’s professional cricket that he’s most passionate about and it’s no wonder with all his success that he's caught the eyes and attention of international cricket teams, which sees Whitehead apply his trade abroad for Rawtenstall, in the South African off season.
Sean prides himself on being able to adapt to many sporting situations and tasks at hand.
In November 2021, Sean took all 10 wickets in an innings of a first-class match as his South Western Districts side beat Eastern Storm. Whitehead's figures are the second best in the history of domestic cricket in South Africa.
“I see it as a privilege to be able to do what I love but also need to make the most of it, as so many others would take the opportunity I have with open arms,”
What motivated you to become a sportsperson?
I have always had a love for cricket and as I have gotten older I have learnt to not only appreciate cricket but all sports, as it shows how many different ways there are that one can physically reach their goals. Sports requires you to be extremely disciplined and some sports requires some technical skills which I think is so motivating on its own.
What other sports do you love other than the one in which you already are a professional?
I also enjoy watching and playing Golf, F1, Triathlons and lately I have started to follow Football.
Do you always eat healthy food as a sportsman?
I would like to say that I try and stick to the healthiest food possible, but naturally I too have my guilty pleasures.
What kind of diet do you prefer?
I am a definite meat-lover! I also enjoy making smoothies as it gives me a lot of different options and flavours to play with.
Who is your favourite sports hero?
I don’t think I have just one, but if we have to narrow it down to one, I would say Jacques Kallis.
What is one of the main reasons you like being part of a team sport?
The main reason I enjoy team sports is because you can celebrate your own success and others success together as a team and know that all the hard work that you put into the your own craft pays off when you come together and unite your talents.
How do you and your teammates make practice fun?
Luckily our team doesn’t struggle to keep it light-hearted and fun with many jokes floating around. There are quite a few funny characters in our team and we often enjoy small competitions with each other in the team.
Who do you wish was watching you perform at every game or match?
I would always like to have my fiancé watching me, however, we are often quiet far apart.
What is your favourite song to listen to prior to competing?
I don’t think I have a favourite song but I generally have some country playing before a game.
How does being a professional cricketer make you a better person?
As a sportsman, I believe I always have to put in the hard work to achieve what I have set my mind to, as it won’t happen by itself, and being organised is a quality I have truly come to nurture.
What is the one thing you always do after a good performance?
I always take time to acknowledge the hard work that has gone into each performance, but afterwards it’s family time and I try spend as much time with family as possible, be it over a good meal or with friends or teammates whilst on tour.
What inspires you to give your best every single day?
Knowing that I still have goals I want to achieve in the short and long term and knowing that every day I put in the hard work that will ultimately get me closer to achieving those goals.
We all have our own professional and/or personal struggles. What kind of struggles have you had as a sportsman?
I think like many sportsmen, I go through days where I have my insecurities and learn how to deal with them. I believe as sportsman, we constantly face different struggles however, how we learn to adapt and deal with them is how big they become moving forward.
How do you feel being a role model of so many?
It is such an honour to be called a role model and if someone looks up to me I take great pride in that. I still feel that there are so many other sportsman out there whom people can look up to, so to be called a role model to someone is a big honour.
Must-have fitness tool or accessory?
A really good smart watch is a must have, plus a Hyperice Hypervolt which is the best wellness and recovery tool as it helps you warm-up fast, release stress and tension, and unlock tight muscles.
“Enjoy what you are doing at all times even when the things get difficult and never give up because in sport things can happen really quickly,” Sean ends off.
Whitehead represented South Africa at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Follow his journey: @sean_whitehead97