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NRLW star Jessica Sergis on juggling semi-professional sport with full-time work

Jessica Sergis, ace of the Sydney Roosters and Jillaroos, former Dally M medalist and Theragun Ambassador, explains how she balances her work as a preschool teacher with playing rugby, what sport means to her and why mental wellbeing is so important important is

The juggling is real

“It’s definitely a challenge to balance a full-time job and a semi-professional athlete. When you’re trying to be a semi-professional athlete, you want to dedicate all of your time to doing everything right and being the best possible version of yourself. But as women we have to work, support ourselves and make a living – it can be quite stressful! However, I love having the choice to switch off from rugby and find it refreshing to be surrounded by young, smiling children in a healthy workplace.”

Rugby is more than a game

“I love the game, the competitiveness and physicality. I absolutely loved playing against guys and trying to beat them. I have never shied away from being a girl, I wanted to be part of the contact as much as possible. But rugby has definitely helped me in more ways than just being an athlete. Through this I have found friends for life and learned important life skills in leadership and teamwork.”

Mental health is vital

“The mental side of things is just as important as the physical. If anything, it’s the most important thing because if I’m not happy with what I’m doing, I won’t perform on the pitch. To manage my mental well-being in high-pressure situations, I have found journaling and implementing positive self-talk in my everyday life helpful. Also, if I have a day off, I make sure I actually have that day off instead of trying to sneak in an extra workout. It’s about having more time to myself, whether it’s 20 minutes to use my Theragun, get my nails done, or go to lunch. Just something that makes me happy and relaxed.”

The future of women’s sport is bright

“We’re growing, our commitment is being taken to the next level, and the ratings are getting better and better. While we may have to do the hard work and lay the groundwork now, there is hope that five to ten years from now the women’s job will be as good as the men’s job and they can look back on what we’re doing now and be thankful.”

Read: Everything you need to know about the 2022 Women in Sport Awards

Consistency is my jam

“This year will be one of the greatest years we’ve ever had; We had State of Origin, then there’s the World Cup [in October] and another NRLW season. I would love to race two for two in the NRLW and obviously winning the world championship is a big goal for the year. But overall I think consistency is key on the way there. If I can be consistent on the field every week and do my best, everything after that is a bonus.”

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