NRLW Star Jessica Sergis On Juggling Semi-Professional Sport With Full-Time Work

Sydney Roosters and Jillaroos ace, former Dally M medallist and Theragun ambassador Jessica Sergis opens up about juggling work as a pre-school teacher with playing rugby league, what sport means to her and why mental wellbeing is vital

The juggle is real

“It’s definitely challenging juggling a full-time job and being a semi-professional athlete. Trying to be a semi-professional athlete, you want to put all of your time into that, do everything right and be the best version of yourself possible. But as women, we need to maintain work, support ourselves and make a living – it can be quite stressful! I do love having the choice to switch off from rugby though and I find it refreshing to be surrounded by young, smiling kids in a healthy workplace.”

Rugby is more than a game

“I love the game, the competitiveness and physicality of it. I absolutely loved playing against boys and trying to beat them. I’d never shy 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 it, I’ve made 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, because if I’m not happy with what I’m doing then I won’t perform on the field. To manage my mental well-being in high-pressure situations, I’ve found journaling and implementing positive self-talk in my day-to-day helpful. Also, if I have a day off, I make sure to actually have that day off, rather than try and sneak in an extra gym session. It’s about making more time for myself, whether that’s 20 minutes to use my Theragun, getting my nails done or going for lunch. Just something that makes me happy and relaxed.”

The future of women’s sport is bright

“We’re growing, our exposure is being taken to the next level, and ratings are getting better and better. While we may have to put the hard yards in now and set the foundation, in five to 10 years’ time the hope is that the female profession will be just as good as the men’s and they can look back at 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 is going to be one of the biggest years we’ve had; we’ve had State of Origin, then there’s the World Cup [in October] and another NRLW season. I’d love to go two for two in the NRLW, and winning the World Cup is, of course, a massive goal for the year. But overall, I think consistency in getting there is key. If I’m able to remain consistent on the field every week and show up as my best, everything after that is a bonus.”

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