BRITTANY JESSUP - SURF LIFESAVER

ATHLETE PROFILE

MOTIVATION

What got you started

Most of my family have been involved in Surf Lifesaving in some way, so as I was practically living at the beach I couldn't wait to get started in the U6's age group and become a lifesaver.

How do you set your goals?

On one of the pin boards on my bedroom wall I have a training schedule set for the week, because I think that if I can see what needs to be done I'll achieve it. I have a training journal also that I find very helpful as a source of motivation, where I write down weekly goals and favourite inspirational quotes I read.

Do you have a word, mantra or motto that you live your life by?

I have heard many quotes that I absolutely love that inspire me, but this is one of my favourites. "Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts." I also find these two words motivate me to work harder. Chase, because I am always training to chase my dreams and achieve my goals. And Believe, because no matter how hard you work you will never reach your dreams if you don't believe in yourself.

What is your biggest source of motivation?

I think I'm lucky because I have quite good self-motivation, which definitely helps for training sessions and getting up at 4:30 in the morning! However a few other people also motivate me to do my best. My main coach, Steve Perry, is probably the best coach in Australia and has taught me so much, and is always there to back me up and motivate my team and myself on race days. I think because he pushes me so much this motivates me to give 100% all the time. My older brother is a very skilled surf lifesaver and competes at some of the highest levels. When he competes he inspires me to work harder. Also I cannot go without mentioning the women on the Nutri Grain Ironwomen Series. Watching them battle it out during the Rounds in summer just makes me want to qualify for that series all the more.

TRAINING

Favourite place to train and why?

Definitely the beach! In summer the sun is shining and waves make training all the more enjoyable and beneficial at the same time. Even when it is cold the beach is still my favourite place to train. The bonus of having dolphins coming to train with us occasionally is also an amazing sight.

Favourite training sessions?

Ironman sessions on a Saturday morning in summer. The most brutal and gruelling session of the week for sure, but so rewarding. I'm with my friends and at the beach, in my element. Also I love beach sessions with lots of soft sand running; torture for my teammates but for some reason I really enjoy it!

Least favourite training sessions?

Board training on the lake in winter is definitely not one of my favourite sessions. It is dark, freezing and not a wave in sight. However just like every other session it counts towards your final results at the end of a season.

What exercise do you absolutely dislike but do anyways because you know it works?

I love swimming in the ocean, however pool swimming is a different story. I find lap swimming at 5am in the morning boring and tedious however I know that it is paramount for my overall fitness and keeps my speed up in the ocean.

Favourite song/s you workout to?

Anything loud with a fast beat! At the end of a long run I love listening to 'She Wolf' by Sia and David Guetta because it helps me finish off with a hard sprint.

MIND MATTERS

What weaknesses have you overcome and how?

Stress and anxiety is definitely one of my weaknesses I have had to overcome in competitive sport. When a big race or State Titles is approaching I find myself so anxious I can hardly talk or warm up properly. However help and motivation from my coach has helped me overcome this, so even on important race days I just need to overcome the usual nerves. I have also battled with self doubt which most athletes face at some point. To overcome this instead of placing pressure on myself I just give 110% and be happy with the outcome because I know I've tried my best.

Do you have a word, mantra or motto that you live your life by?

Love life. If you think positively, compete for yourself and not to please others, and appreciate every opportunity it would be hard not to. In my sport I can wear bathers all year round, be at the beach almost every day and am surrounded by a community of amazing people. I love life!

What's your best advice for dealing with mental negativity? How do you get out of your own head?

The self-doubts and anxieties are hard to beat sometimes in competitive sport, especially if you are in a bad mindset. Firstly think to yourself, why do I do this sport? Why do I train hard every day? Your answer should be because you love it, not just to please someone, but because you enjoy it. I used to battle with this because I forgot about what I wanted, simply trying to please others and forgetting how much I love surf myself! If you enjoy your sport, your next step is to begin building your positive self-talk. Everything begins in the head; and if you can think it you can do it! Rather than being down on yourself after a race, think of what you can do better for next time. So enjoy your sport, think positive, and smile! The doubt you feel will be gone before you know it.

RACING

What is your favourite race?

The 2km run at Kirra Beach. Soft sand and a gruelling run but you feel so happy with yourself after you finish it. I also love the Ironman race, particularly at a beach where there is big surf. It's a tough and long race, but another great feeling of achievement when you smash it!

When you go into competition, what's going through your head?

I think of all the strategies and techniques I have learnt in the lead up, and the conditions of the ocean in front of me. Nerves are usually pretty big at this point, so I remind myself to stay calm and remember I have been in this situation hundreds of times before, and besides this is what I have trained hard for all season.

When are you the most nervous while you are competing?

When I am waiting for a race to be called, and on the start line. As soon as the gun goes, my nerves are gone.

Do you hear the crowd roaring when you're competing?

In close finishes up the beach in a big competition the crowd becomes big. Because I am focusing so hard I barely hear them sometimes, but during long races such as the 2km run it feels good to hear support from the sidelines to keep you going.

Best tip for race day?

Have a good night sleep the night before, have plenty of healthy food to keep your energy levels high and lots of water. Also a good warm up is crucial, to get a feel for the ocean conditions and to warm up your body.

What was the last piece of advice your coach said to you before you competed?

"This is what you have trained all year for. Use your strengths to your advantages; get a good start, have strong transition runs and finish with everything you have. You're on this finals start line, you can do it."

What is your ultimate goal as an athlete?

Win the Coolangatta Gold and qualify for the Nutri-Grain Ironwomen Series

FUN STUFF

What is your worst habit?

Biting my nails!

If your life was a movie what would be the title?

‘Beach Life,' or something surfy along those lines...

If you were an animal what would you be and why?

A horse, because they're my favourite animal and I love to run!

Who would you say is your biggest fan and why?

My family is my biggest support crew, and some of the younger kids of my surf club are pretty awesome like that.

What are the 5 things you cannot live without?

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Choclate
  • Bikinis
  • The Beach

What is something about you that many people do not know?

I've broken my arm 3 times. You could say I'm injury prone!

Finish this sentence: 10 years from now, I will be...

Hopefully living on the Gold Coast, training hard and a competitor of the Ironwomen Series and studying Veterinary Science!

What would you rather be doing right this second, rather than answering these questions?

I'm about to run out the door and get to training!

FAST FACTS

Age 18
Location South Australia
Sport Surf Lifesaving
Years in sport 13

MOTTO

"Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts."