Oli has been working with me since I was 13. I have had foot and hip problems which no-one could really work out, they were painful and were starting to affect my game. It blew my mind when Oli figured out what was wrong. He also helped me to understand by own biomechanics and linked it into a football based exercise program for me. Over the next few years I’ve discovered how motivating this is, having a program that I can relate to. After this I started Pilates and rehab sessions with Oli to help with my overall strength and stability and I believe I have avoided many other injuries because of this. There are so many small muscles that I didn’t know existed until I felt them burning. Every time I thought all my muscles were at their peak strength – he’d show me an exercise that proved me wrong.
The extra effort required to keep up with my original injuries on the pitch eventually lead to me being diagnosed with Asthma. Half way through 2016 I was actually having to leave the field due to an increasing number of attacks. Unfortunately for me none of the medication I was trying seemed to be working and when it came around to nationals, I had some pretty scary asthma attacks. After that, I continued to underperform during games so I was cut from the team.
After the team physio Kat Kerr had recommended that we look into breathing courses, I found Tess Graham and Breathability. Early this year I did an intensive breathing program for about 2 months and managed to get the Asthma under control.
Even though I had the Asthma in check, I was worried that my skills would no longer compare with my former team mates. I got lucky again. Oli put me in contact with Stas Kaladzinski, a former capital coach, and I can’t even begin to explain how much this has helped me! I’ve learned so much and I don’t think I will ever understand how much work professionals put into their sport until I’ve been there myself. I’ve broadened my goals because people like Oli, Tess and Stas have helped me to see the possibilities of how good someone can get at soccer, or anything. I understand now that you can’t just put your head down and work as hard as you can, you have to listen to people who have been there. I think I’m lucky enough to have met a lot of very focused and dedicated people willing to help me out.
Thankfully all the hard work is beginning to pay off. I recently got back into CUA squad. This year has been a massive learning curve and even after everything this sport has put me through I’ve found out that there is nothing I would rather do more than play football. I’m so thankful to everyone who has helped me, especially Stas, Oli and everyone at STC. I’m so excited to keep learning and improving on and off the field.