Katie Zaferes: The Life Of A Champion – Featuring Tommy Zaferes

A force to be reckoned with, Katie Zaferes is quick, strategic, and Super League’s top female athlete. The 2016 USA Olympian says 2019 is a new year and she’s ready to show everyone what she’s been working towards.

With Singapore just around the corner, Katie is beginning to make the shift from the off-season into race mode. It’s time to focus and get into the groove in the right way,

“It’s really a gradual shift, where I go from doing nothing at all to getting back into things. I go from full disengagement to full focus. Once I’ve taken my break, I start talking to my team again. I collaborate with my coach, nutritionist and sports psychologist. There is added pressure going into this last race in Singapore as the leader, but it’s also pretty cool. As much as I want to take the overall title, I know I can’t focus on that. So in what I’ve learned so far mentally, I notice the position I’m in, and then move on to something more productive. For me that means focusing on the process and things I can control.”

In preparation for the Championship Finale in Singapore, Katie has partnered with her husband, Tommy, a renowned triathlon photographer who also happens to be racing, to train and push herself even harder. She mentioned,

“On the bike, he [Tommy] does his own thing and I just try to hang on for my dear life or else I get dropped. I realised how good of an incentive it is because he really elevates my level of always wanting to be close to him. In the swim, he’ll help me out a bit by wearing a band, buoy or both so that he doesn’t crush me completely.”

Despite the chaos and highly intense training, the couple have declared every Monday as “Katie Days”, a day where Katie spends time by herself to reflect.

“It’s always good to have that solo space to help clear the mind. It’s also fun to finally come back at the end of the day with things to talk about with each other that we didn’t experience together for once.”

During the evenings, she adopts a religious routine which involves unplugging and slowing things down by 7pm, followed by a strict bed time of 9pm. Tommy highlights that

“Katie has an app on her phone that locks her out of all social apps after a certain amount of usage, so unless she has something super important, the phone is away at 7pm.”

Katie is dedicated to not only being the best athlete, but also the best person she can be to everyone in her life. She has worked to not control what pops up in her mind, but how she reacts to it, benefiting her on and off the course. For her, it’s about having

“A heightened awareness of thoughts and feelings and what my tendencies are when different things arise in mind. How can I shift my thinking into a more productive thought that pushes me further beyond those mental limits.”

At the end of the day, it’s not just about work. Katie makes sure to ask her husband an important question;

“Before bed I ask Tommy If he felt loved today and how? Luckily, his answer is usually yes, but it’s always fun to find out what in particular made him feel that way. Often it’s not the actions that I would suspect.”

She’s grateful for those closest to her and the support they give to helping her succeed in what she loves; racing and competing.

“Really this journey would be not very much fun if I didn’t get to share it with the community of people around me.”

Written by Courtney Griffin.

If you’ve missed the news, Super League Singapore is happening on the 23rd and 24th of Feb! Check out what’s going on at the event here