Cronk: Fatherhood is beautiful
THERE are days when Cooper Cronk plays on three hours sleep but the star Sydney Roosters halfback says fatherhood is "beautiful" and he wouldn't change it for the world.
Cronk and wife Tara Rushton have a new addition following the birth of their first child, baby boy Lennox Ryder Cronk in July.
The champion playmaker is known for his meticulous approach but he says being a parent has doubled his coffee consumption and forced him to become even more resourceful with his time.
"When you think you are going to get a couple of hours sleep and you only get 30 minutes, you need to be efficient with your time," Cronk told The Daily Telegraph.
"I used to play when I had eight or nine hours sleep and now I'm playing with three or four.
"But you just do whatever it takes.
"I've been pretty consistent with my on and off-field performances for a long period of time and having a family hasn't really changed that. It has just made me be more efficient in terms of going off three hours sleep and what else do I need to do here to get right.
"The only other thing that has really changed besides my sleep is my caffeine intake, which has gone through the roof.
"But it (fatherhood) is beautiful, it is hectic and it is all in the same breath and you wouldn't have it any other way."
Cronk said fatherhood had also provided valuable perspective outside the rugby league bubble.
As a result, the former Queensland and Australian representative believed his on-field form had benefited from the balance of football and family.
"No doubt, we get judged on wins and losses but to have a family and your profession in the same city - that is something a lot of people take for granted," he said.
"I haven't been able to do that for a long time, so it has really made life enjoyable.
"The one thing I will say is that life is really good at the moment.
"It (fatherhood) has also probably changed my outlook on world views and life in general.
"Then there is obviously the connection and the feeling of love and starting a family.
"That was the reason I moved to Sydney, so I'm really grateful and fortunate that the Roosters have been able to provide me with having family and football in the same."
Fuelled by a healthy life balance, Cronk has excelled in his maiden season at Bondi.
On top of guiding the Roosters to the minor premiership, he has made a significant impact culturally through his knowledge and professionalism.
And while Cronk is focused on delivering finals success this September, starting with Saturday's qualifying final against Cronulla, he also has one eye on creating a legacy at the Tricolours.
"I think it is part of my role," he said.
"The team will be judged on wins and losses but for me part of the reason I came to this football club is whenever I leave they are close to winning their next premiership.
"I feel that is part of my responsibility. I did that at my previous club and I'll do that here.
"Because I want to help guys mature, improve and have success.
"I've been pretty fortunate with my career and if it all stopped tomorrow I'd still be a very happy man.
"But some of the inspiration now is to try and create some memories and moments for other people."
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