In recent years, Jarrod Witts has welcomed two new additions to his family – son Archie and daughter Gracie - and is understanding how to adapt to fatherhood.
This life-changing event has influenced his attitude towards the game, as it has added a greater sense of purpose and motivation when on the field.
“Obviously it changes your life a fair bit and for the better, and it's been great,” Witts told SUNS Media.
“We obviously added Archie a couple of years ago and then now we've got Gracie as well who is almost 8 months old now.
“Archie's a real footy head and loves it, he sleeps with his footy.
“You want to obviously do your family proud and support them as much as you can, so he's an avenue for me to do that and I love running out and playing for my family.”
Witts also reminisced on how “unforgettable” it was to have his family show their support, despite only being able to come to afternoon games since Archie is still young.
“I haven't actually spotted him whilst I was playing but to have him in the rooms after the game, it was a really special moment,” Witts said.
“That's kind of what you dream about doing early days, when you're later into your career and to be able to do that and get some nice moments.”
Witts also mentioned how great it would be if he is able to pass on his passion for AFL to his son, who is already a very proud Gold Coast SUNS fan.
“I think if he wants to get into it, I'll be there to support him, but at the moment, that's what he seems to like and enjoy,” he said.
“He walks around the Gold Coast in his jersey and carrying his footy.”
Having been with his partner Renee since the age of 22, the ruckman says her support has helped, especially when required to travel around Australia for away games.
“We don't have any family that live up here, so that can be a challenge sometimes, but we get to play footy and do something we love.
“My partner Renee is really, really falling into the mum role and she loves it. She's amazing. So that makes it a little bit easier to leave.”
Witts states that the key to finding the perfect work-life balance, while juggling family-life, work, and university coursework, is good time management.
“Footy’s great and you put a lot of time and energy into it, but it does allow you to have a bit of time away as well and with (other) commitments,” Witts said.
“I've got plenty of time to fit the family time in and do uni as well… we just tick them over slowly, but I find it’s enough time.”
Currently, Witts is two thirds of the way through a Bachelor of Business at Griffith University and is majoring in sports management.
The SUNS captain also collaborates with some of the other team members to form study groups and share the pressures of university life.
“There's a couple of us who try to do similar subjects, where we can just help each other out throughout the season,” Witts said.
“At the moment, I do some work with Jack Bowes and Brayden Fiorini.
“We seem to be studying the same things and around the same level, so it's good and allows us to knock it off together, which makes it that little bit nicer to get through.”