Melbourne Football Club’s Katherine Smith isn’t your ordinary footballer. The midfielder juggles her footballing responsibilities while studying a Bachelor of Exercise Science full-time, working at Rebel Sport and co-founding her own football coaching business, Girls Footy Australia. She details her incredible life outside of the AFLW in an exclusive column.
My days and weeks are different to most AFLW players – every day I am doing something different.
I study full-time at Deakin University, work part-time at Rebel Sport, work one day a week at Melbourne and operate my own football coaching business.
For example, this week I worked at Rebel Sport on Monday and Sunday, was at university all day Wednesday and Friday, Thursday worked at the club and had Tuesday and Saturday off.
In between my schedule, I might have a business meeting for Girls Footy Australia (GFA), or catch up with a friend. My life is a bit different to your usual Monday to Friday job as I am doing something different every day.
I started GFA in the first AFLW season. It came about when the co-founder of Girls Basketball Australia floated the idea to me and I jumped at it. We run holiday programs, academies, clinics for schools and local clubs and provide girls with the opportunity to develop their football skills.
All of the coaches at GFA are AFLW players which gives them not only a role model, but a quality coach who knows what they’re talking about.
I also make sure to fit my football training schedule into my week. Everyone at Melbourne receives a program from the club which is consistent on what our training days will look like ahead of the pre-season and AFLW season.
For me, I train on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and those sessions are divided into some weight training and running. The program set out by Melbourne keeps in line with the usual schedule we would have for the AFLW and also VFLW so that we aren’t having to completely change our lives every month or so.
Managing to actually have a full day off is really important for me. Recognising that I can’t go at 100 per cent all the time, which I used to think I could do, is something I have had to learn.
I make the effort to have at least one day a week where I am doing nothing so that I can go to the beach or hang out with family and friends so that I don’t burn out.