When international athletics and motherhood collide!
Working parents wear many different hats, and one of the largest advantages is the amount of transferable skills you develop through sheer necessity. But how do you cope when you are an elite athlete and a working mum? Sally Keogh is the goalie for English Lacrosse Senior Female squad, and is set to compete in the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s World Cup, a full-time teacher AND a mum! Here, she takes time out from her busy schedule to talk to The Daisy Chain about how she juggles work, motherhood and training.
What is the biggest challenge for you being a working mum AND an international athlete?
It sounds like a cliché, but time is so limited! Previous to having my little one I took it for granted that I had time to train, to mark homework, plan lessons or (God forbid) spend time with my husband! Now I live my life at 100mph, wearing lots of different hats and fitting in training where I can – often at the crack of dawn!
Now you are a mum, what skills have you have bought into your role in the England lacrosse team?
As a goalie you want to be known for your dynamic play, shot stopping ability and quick hands, but I have had to settle for being known as the ‘wise mother hen’ of the squad (maybe because I’m one of the oldest on the squad – pushing 31!). But I take it as a compliment that I have a calming influence on the defensive unit – maybe all that practice calming toddler tantrums has paid off!
How has your training evolved since becoming a mother?
Initially, my training was focussed on getting lean again after having my little one (too many biscuits in the early sleep deprived days). But sometime last year I felt I was in a good position to really start focusing on key areas like strength, flexibility and agility. Our Strength and Conditioning guy is great at tailoring our programs to our individual needs, so more frequent shorter sessions for me that I can fit in round work and being a mum work really well.
How do you balance being a mum and an international athlete?
Sometimes I manage the balance really well and others not so much. I’m really lucky that I have a very supportive family, both my husband and my parents readily jump in to look after my little one. For example, my poor long-suffering husband has done most weekends for the last two years – it does, however, mean that he has a great relationship with our daughter. My mother embraces time with her granddaughter as a great weight loss method – whilst looking after my little one last year, as I was on a two-week long tour, she lost a stone!
If you could give your ‘Pre-child’ self one piece of advice, what would it be?
‘You will be ok -go for it – embrace every opportunity and throw as much at your life as possible’
I always like to be moving forward so yes I live my life at 100mph but I love how crazy it is!
What advice or words of encouragement do you have for mums wanting to get back into work?
Go for it, but make sure it works for you – don’t be afraid to ask for what works for you. I was very firm with the school on what I was and wasn’t happy to do – with so much to balance it was important to me that my daughter wasn’t coming second best. Talk to your partner about it and then rope in as much help as possible and don’t be afraid to ask for help – no one can be superwoman!
Massive thanks to Sally for the interview and Good Luck to the England Lacrosse team!
If you want to have a chance to watch Sally & The England Team play please enter our competition on Facebook for a chance to win x2 tickets to the quarter finals.