When you’re out due to suspension, time can travel slowly.
Barnett is currently in the middle of a three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle but using his time out of the game wisely.
“Trying to maintain my fitness and they’re doing a lot of maintaining on little niggling injuries,” Barnett told the Our Town Our Team podcast of how he’s been spending his time.
“I’ve just been working on them little things and strengthening, little stabilizers and that. And just trying I guess to burn time. I’ve just been trying to rip in and times going pretty fast at the moment.”
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Having found consistency in his performances this season, Barnett is getting stuck into his fitness to ensure when he returns in Round 18 against the Roosters, he’ll be raring to go.
“A lot of the experienced blokes told me about using this time wisely to refresh the body and come into the back end of the year,” Barnett said.
“That’s the advice I’ve tried to take on-board. I beat myself up about it, but now I’ve put it behind me and I’m just enjoying training hard and times going fast so I can’t wait to get back out there.”
The 25-year-old has 69 first grade games to his name.
In his fourth year at the Knights, the 2017 Danny Buderus medal winner is enjoying his most unswerving year to date.
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Whilst Barnett doesn’t claim to be superstitious, he does attribute his better performances to a developed routine.
“I never really had a routine and that’s where a lot of my inconsistencies (have) come with footy.
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“Since Glas (Tim Glasby) has come to the club, they’ve talked about routines and Browny (Nathan Brown) has driven it.
“I tried being a bit more routine based this year in preparation for games.”
Along with his daily coffee and staying hydrated, the backrower claims ‘shocking the system’ with a swim in the ocean is key in getting his mind to relax.
“I like to go in the ocean,” he said.
“It’s just something to make me not think about footy as much, that’s a main thing for my preparation is to just not think about the game because I’ve got a tendency to overthink things. If I can think about the game a bit less I usually perform a lot better.”
A goal-setter, like many of his teammates, Barnett dreams of playing representative football.
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With several Origin players in the team, the Wingham product one day hopes to pull on the sky blue for NSW.
“I’ve set individual goal my whole career
“I want to play rep footy… I know what I’ve got to do to go to that next level. Once I get back, I hope I can do that. I’ve been working hard at it. Hopefully I can push a foot forward there… hopefully the personal goas can come like they have for blokes like DSaf.”
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His teammate Daniel Saifiti is a prime example of hard work baring results.
“It’s really pumped me up to do well and made me realise, if I get up to his level, one day that could be me,” he said.
Aside from hard work and developing a routine, Barnett has changed his mentality.
Having added size to his frame, Barnett has cleaned up his diet and tweak his approach to training.
“You always see Glas wanting to do things after training,” he said.
“I’ve tried to pair myself up with him. Kingy is another on who has paired himself up with him.
“Hard work has got us there. It’s not a fluke but it’s just the start. I’ve got to go to another gear. If I can do that, the team will see the best me.”