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Waite planning to deliver

Heath O'Loughlin  December 4, 2017 9:00 AM

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After 15 seasons of AFL football, Jarrad Waite has decided to change things up.

A competitor, the veteran has realised in order to get the best out of himself in 2018, he needs to modify his training loads before Christmas.

“I sat down with all the physios and the conditioning staff here and probably for the first time, got a really solid plan going into the pre-season,” he said.

“I said to them, ‘I don’t need to be fit come December 1; I need to be fit come Round 1 and then get through the season.’”

 “I’ve always been one who wants to take part in every session before Christmas, but I’ve got to realise that’s no longer the smart thing to do.

“I sit out a few drills on a Wednesday, my major days are Mondays and Fridays and I don’t run two days in a row.”

While a career littered with injuries and other small hiccups has been frustrating for the 34-year-old, he knows he can still dominate at the highest level in season 16.

“I have missed a lot of football, but the fortunate thing is my body has had time during seasons to recharge. They haven’t really been debilitating injuries.”

Waite and Scott Thompson are the only players over the age of 30 on North's list after a dramatic transformation.

“You live by the sword and you die by the sword. I’ve chosen to stay and I want to contribute,” Waite told the Herald Sun of his new one-year extension.

“Obviously, I had to work out if my body could hold out for another year, but I didn’t feel like my speed or agility had tapered off too much, so I was keen to go on.

“It was really the first year where I’ve contemplated not playing on,” he said.

“There was definitely a bit of wrestling in my own mind and I’d spoken to a few mates who don’t play any more, who said things like, ‘You’re a long time retired’ and ‘If you get another contract, go on’. Playing football and doing it in the AFL is a dream job.

“It was then one of the more stressful off-seasons not knowing (if he would get another deal).

“On one hand you want to know what’s going on, but on the other hand you have to understand the club is in a position where they have to make change and a lot of choices to see what’s happening.”