HOW CORE+ HELPS AFLW STAR PHOEBE MCWILLIAMS WITH HER GAME
Like most professional sports players, Phoebe McWilliams grew up playing every sport imaginable, from tennis to Auskick to swimming to basketball to netball. She always liked football the best, but considering there were no competitions for girls back then, it wasn’t until she was 21 that she discovered the St Kilda Sharks and started playing professionally. She now also plays in the AFLW comp for the GWS Giants. Busy girl!
Phoebe was recently struck down with an injury, and has been using the CORE+ classes as a way to heal her body and support her mind. We caught up with Phoebe to chat about how CORE+ has helped her game, both on and off the field.
How does playing sport affect your body and mind?
Sport is so important for my body and mind. It’s something I really enjoy. I love training, getting fitter and stronger, spending time with my teammates and continually trying to improve myself.
Having an injury recently has made me realise this even more. I’ve been pretty fortunate with injuries (touchwood!) but for the past three months I have been sidelined with hamstring tendinopathy. Being unable to play has been really challenging. Rehab is a lonely place. Thankfully, I’m now back training with the group and should be back playing matches soon.
What drew you to CORE+ and its classes?
CORE+ provides a really friendly and welcoming environment; the staff and instructors are extremely helpful. I did a Pilates class there the other week and my instructor was great. She was able to cater for the more experienced members of the class and the beginners like me! It was a challenging workout; I definitely got a sweat up.
How has CORE+ improved your game on and off the field?
In footy, strength is so important, especially through your core. A lot of the actions involved in footy require players to be strong through the middle – bumps, taking tackles and trying to out-body opponents all require core strength.
Also, with my injury I have learnt how important it is to build up strength in your glutes. Your glutes need to be firing in order to take some of the pressure of your hamstrings. My glutes got an excellent work out in the Pilates class I did!
As athletes we often train the large muscle groups – quads, hammies, chest, back etc. I find Pilates and yoga use other smaller muscle groups that are often neglected. I used muscles in the CORE + classes I never even knew I had!
Lastly, I love the recovery classes for stretching and rolling. Our muscles are often very tight and sore from all the training we do, and the recovery classes give you a peaceful and relaxing environment to relax these tight muscles and wind down mentally.