Stefan Mauk says he is progressing well after missing a few weeks of pre-season due to sustaining a small fracture in his fibular during training.
Mauk revealed he had recently returned to running and was determined to come back stronger.
“I’m going along really well,” Mauk admitted.
“I was back running on the field, the last three or four sessions, which was good.
“And I’m just recovering from a little crack in my fibula from a tackle during a session.”
Mauk, like the rest of the squad, has been provided with fitness programs during the state wide pause.
The 25-year-old admitted he was eagerly awaiting the new A-League season.
“I think everyone is extremely excited by everything that’s gone on so far,” he said.
“It’s been a great environment that Carl (Veart) and Ross (Aloisi) and the other coaches have created and the players have enjoyed every session and we’re just going to get better obviously the more we train together, the more we play and work on the game plan.”
Mauk felt the new signings have adjusted extremely well in their new surroundings, consolidating the strong morale already established within the dressing room.
“I think they’ve fitted in pretty seamlessly,” he said.
“It’s a pretty good group of guys and I think the ones that they’ve recruited are obviously good players, but I think they’ve all been good people as well which is the most important thing.
“If you’re bringing other people in you want them to strengthen your team but also I guess enhance the culture you’re trying to create here.”
The midfielder is also big on the mental aspect of the game and spoke about how he conceived his new business venture, The Inner Game Journal, which launched two months ago.
The journal is designed for both professional athletes to optimise performance as well as anyone looking to reach any fitness goals and keep track of their mental well-being.
Mauk began his own form of journaling on the back of talking to one particular sports psychologist following a challenging spell in the Netherlands and realised a palpable improvement.
“Probably ever since I started playing I was always interested in being the best I could be or always finding ways to be better,” he explained.
“And probably the mental side of the game is something that’s the most neglected I reckon at the elite level.
“It wasn’t until I came back from Holland and I had probably my hardest season and my biggest struggles in my career over there.
“But I really started to reach out to speak to a few different sport psychologists and got put in touch with a couple and probably the best one was Jacqui Louder who I worked with and she works with the Melbourne Storm as well.
“And she just got me to start doing some assessment pre and post session which sounds very basic but something we never really got taught to do.”
It was certainly a turning point for the ex-NEC Nijmegen man and, during his time in the hub last season, decided to turn the idea into a business which has subsequently been endorsed by elite sportspeople from a range of codes.
“Ever since I started doing that I noticed a big difference,” he disclosed.
“And then I incorporated a few different things with tracking what I’m eating, my schedule for the day, and just all these small things through reading different books and listening to podcasts about how high level players or high level performers in any industry are their best.
“I guess that’s how I came up with my own little journal and once I showed a few other players in the team they really liked it.
“And it was then when we were in the hub in New South Wales I started to develop the actual book itself to turn it into a business.
“It’s been live for probably six weeks and it’s been going really well and I’m just excited that I can hopefully give back to the next generation of kids and players coming through and also current professionals that are looking to be the best they can be.”
He said he has further plans to grow his business by making the journals widely available for schools, and local clubs in South Australia for players to identify and attain personal objectives.
Mauk added that this new passion of his is a great escape from the rigours of being a professional.
“I think that’s the mentality and what I like to do whenever I’m doing anything is give it 100%,” Mauk insisted, when asked about future plans to expand his venture.
“The PFA, our union, has always spoken about having something outside of football.
“All these studies show that it increases performance, when I was a younger kid I didn’t believe in that and I just wanted to solely focus on football.
“And you tend to then just stress about the session or all you’re thinking about is negative things or even positives things but you kind of just get too consumed with it.
“And now that I’ve found something that I’m really passionate about outside of football, I noticed when I go into the club I’m buzzing to be there.
“And as soon as I finish I can switch off and still be as professional as what I was before in terms of doing everything right, but now I have this other passion which I definitely want to take as far as I can go.
“And look to create an app for it and to get involved with some junior clubs here in South Australia is my aim and my focus if I can get into those.
“I’ve done a couple of talks with some schools and worked with St. Peters as well, so hopefully that’s the next step, doing some presentations for schools and hopefully getting them involved with the journals as well.”