AFLW is an intensely physical game, so there’s no disputing Katie Brennan’s physical strength and athleticism. As the inaugural captain of Melbourne’s AFLW Championship-winning Western Bulldogs, Katie trains hard daily to ensure she has the strength she needs to tackle whatever the game throws at her. But to be strong means even more to Katie. Talking to Women’s Health, the WinS ambassador tells us about the importance of building resilience and strength, both inner and outer, and why finding your strength is a beautiful thing.
“Strength is the foundation of speed and power,” says the 25-year-old forward, who focuses on functional strength and conditioning training, Pilates, and stability sessions to prepare for matches.
“These physical attributes give me the ability to be explosive when I have the ball and attack. In these moments I really appreciate my endurance, power, and strength.”
It’s also inner strength, she says, that is key to her resilience in the face of setbacks. Having battled to recover from several injuries in her career, Katie draws on two pieces of advice she was given to help her through tough times.
“Setbacks should always be used to set up your comeback and work on your weakness,” she says. “And it could always be worse.”
In fact, for Katie, there are beautiful lessons to be learned in the times when we fall short of our goals.
“I feel as if every setback you experience makes you that little bit stronger and you prove to yourself that you can get through anything.
“Life always throws you curve balls, and it's all about how you respond that shows your character.
“Positivity is the key.”
This is a philosophy Katie applies in every aspect of her life – from her training, to repairing and strengthening her hair.
“My hair is in a sweaty ponytail or bun 95% of the time and is always exposed to the elements,” she explains.
“I try to strengthen my hair by using blonde shampoo, treatments and Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner: which helps repair 3 months of damage in 3 minutes and protects the hair from UV damage.”
For Remington Shulz, celebrity stylist and Pantene ambassador, hair that is strong, beautiful, and fit for life can be achieved by anyone – AFLW champions included.
“Repair and protect dry, damaged hair with Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner. Pro-V Complex helps insulate and hydrate hair to keep it looking and feeling soft and shiny,” he explains.
Katie Brennan’s commitment to growing stronger in the face of setbacks and challenges also relies on her mental strength which, just like her physical strength, is the result of rigorous training.
“I am a big believer that the mind has power over the body,” says Katie. “I practice a 20 min meditation daily and visualise how I want to perform before setting foot on the field.”
“You build mental strength from being uncomfortable, so in all my sessions I try to really push myself physically.”
For Katie, the beauty in strength is all about the hard work you put in.
“I’m always trying to push the boundaries on what I can achieve,” she says.
“My dad taught me from a young age that hard work takes you to beautiful places.”