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How AFL player Erin Phillips balances work, kids and sleep

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You’d expect two-time AFL Women’s premiership player Erin Phillips to have some intense health goals for 2021 considering her day job is as a star midfielder for the Adelaide Crows.

But then, when it comes to fitness, there isn’t much she hasn’t achieved already, with Phillips one of our most successful sports people ever.

There’s the two WAFL premierships, of course. But there’s also the nine seasons — and two championships — playing in the WNBA. And that’s without mentioning her role in the Australian team at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Understandably, then, the mother of three has only one thing on her mind this year — some well-earned rest.

“Now I’m on breakfast radio, it’s important for me to continue getting enough sleep,” says Phillips, who can currently be heard on MIX 102.3 in Adelaide.

“I don’t often take naps during the day so I’m working on getting to bed earlier each night to combat that 4am alarm.”

Due to the particularly early start, the 35-year-old says a combination of caffeine and a schedule that runs like clockwork are the two things she needs to get the day started the right way.

“I’m in the car to the radio station by 4.30am so coffee is a big part of the morning to kickstart the day,” Phillips says.

“Because mornings are busy, I try to keep a consistent evening routine getting the kids through dinner, bath and bed time, then having an hour or so to wind down with Tracy and get ready for the next day.”

With Phillips’ wife Tracy Gahan, a former WNBA player who met Phillips as a teammate for Adelaide Lighting, being from the US, the former Olympian is keen to get the family overseas in 2021.

“Hopefully we can get back to America at some point,” she says.

“Tracy’s family is over there and we miss them a lot. We haven’t seen them in 18 months so hopefully we have the opportunity to spend Christmas with them.

“But last year made me realise you don’t need a lot of things. We had each other, had our health and it really reinforced how lucky we are to be living here.”

ERIN PHILLIPS ON …

Mindfulness

“I practice a lot of mindfulness and gratitude, working on being present in the now and focusing on the positives.”

Exercise

“I love bike riding. I don’t get out on the roads that much anymore, so I get on the stationary bike in the garage. I use the program Zwift, which I really enjoy.”

Diet

“I follow a vegan diet. Five things that I always have in the kitchen and eat are INC Plant Protein, fresh fruit and vegetables, crunchy peanut butter and a good sourdough bread.”

Life motto

“Be present and enjoy the now. I think COVID really reminded me of that – enjoy the moment. I look and my kids are growing up so fast in front of me, sometimes you get busy and think about what is next, rather than stopping to enjoy the now.

“Since I’ve started doing that I’ve been much happier and don’t have a narrow focus on things.”

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