Interview with … GBR Ultimate Frisbee player


*Congratulations to Mara, Sam and the GBR Mixed Team who came a credible 5th place at the World Champs*

As part of our Interviews with the Athletes series, meet the Ultimate Frisbee player working towards a Top 4 result for Great Britain at the World Championships In London this Summer.

Name: Mara Alperin (female)
Age: 30
Height: 5’3.5”
Weight: 63kg
Sport: Ultimate Frisbee
Team: Great Britain (Mixed division)

Recent Achievements:

1. European Ultimate Championship in Copenhagen – 1st place
2. European Ultimate Club Championship in Wrowclaw – 1st place
3. Competing in the World Ultimate Championship in London this June

Goals for 2016/17:

At the World Ultimate Championship in 2012 (in Japan), Great Britain came 5th place. I believe that we have improved as a country and have worked so hard, and our goal is to reach the semi-finals (so a top-4 finish).

CPPG: Injuries? Major or minor.

MA: Minor strain in left hamstring and inflammation in left knee

CPPG: How has Crystal Palace Physio Group helped you?

I was able to book a consultation and four subsequent appointments with Jason Milburn at the Fulham Clinic of Crystal Palace Physio Group.  Jason has helped me realise that part of the issue is in the tightness of my hip-flexors and also that my glutes need to be stronger as well so that my hamstrings aren’t over-working. We have gone through numerous exercises and I have noticed a definite improvement.

CPPG: Self-talk/ mantra. When it gets really tough what are your strategies to keep going?

MA: Sometimes it helps to break it down if your workout feels overwhelming. For example, if I have to do 50 kettlebell swings, it helps to think of it as a set of 20, a set of 20, and then a set of 10. In my mind that feels much more manageable.

CPPG: Have you heard of ‘mindfulness’?

MA: It’s funny, but I actually had my best game ever at a tournament where I hadn’t slept much the night before and felt so tired in the warm-up I could barely throw… but then when the game started, the adrenaline kicked in and I was able to go… but because I was a bit tired, I stopped over-thinking things and felt more relaxed in myself, and played so well as a result! I wouldn’t now intentionally skip sleep before a game, but I remind myself of how it felt to not be as worried about making a mistake and not think as much, and just let my body take over!

CPPG: Lucky socks. Any OCD’s or rituals?

MA: Before the whistle blows and the pull goes up, I like to do four tuck-jumps on the line. I used to do this before every race when I ran cross-country as well. It fires me up and makes me think about being fast and aggressive!

CPPG: ‘Your body is a temple’. Super foods or fast foods?

MA: I don’t really eat much of either!

CPPG: What is your typical competition/ race day nutrition?

MA: At a week-long Ultimate Frisbee tournament with one or two games a day, it is very important to stay energized. There is an additional challenge in that the schedule will change each day; your first game could be at 9am (which means starting the warm-up at 8am), or it could be at 12pm. I find it hard to eat a big breakfast right before playing so I try to eat something with protein like toast with peanut-butter, and have plenty of snacks with me to take on in small bits during the warm-up and games (including nuts, pretzels, Lucozade, dried fruit and granola bars). If we have two games in one day, I try to eat something with chicken or pasta in between the games so I keep up my energy but am not too full to keep running around.

CPPG: Post-competition/ race treat?

MA: Gummy bears! (or gummy worms; it depends on what they have at the shop)

Click here for more information on UK Ultimate Frisbee

Mara is one of our GLL Sports Foundation sponsored athletes.  Crystal Palace Physio Group are proud of their long standing relationship with GLL Sport Foundation, helping young athletes reach their potential and sporting success.

GLL Sport Foundation Manager, Mark Gliddon explained:

“The partnership with Crystal Palace Physio Group is a fundamental element of the support programme we provide to athletes, and they have been a great partner to the programme from the very start.  Providing talented athletes with physio and sport science expertise allows them to reach peak performance levels ensuring they can achieve their goals.  On behalf of all the athletes they have supported and us as an organisation I would lilke to thank the Group for their continued partnership”.

For more information on the GLL Sport Foundation and how it supports young athletic talent please click here.

The GLL Sport Foundation was launched in 2008 and operates under the patronage of Sally Gunnell –OBE.  The programme is the largest independent programme in the UK having provided over 8400 athlete awards providing over £4.9million of support since it launch.  The Foundation works in partnership with SportsAid ensuring its direct link to UK sport and Sport England talent pathways.

Re-posted. 22 June 2016
First posted. 26 April 2016

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