We caught up with Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Silver Ferns Netball Star, Grace Kara, to find out how she is getting on with her new Sealy Posturepedic Exquisite bed and to find out why sleep is so important for her sporting performance.
How long have you played netball?
I started playing netball when I was 8 and have been playing professionally for the last 11 years (semi-pro). I played my 100th game last season, which was an incredible achievement both personally and professionally.
What’s your training regime like? How many hours do you spend training, what does this include - gym/court time/running/yoga?
In season, we have two court sessions a week (two to three hours long) and two gym training sessions. I quite like to incorporate recovery sessions (which are important for my body) into the week, with additional stretching, swimming and aqua-jogging.
Our schedule is very intensive and recovery is key if you’re going to be able to play back-to-back games. I’ve always been diligent with making sure I recover well and have recently changed my mentality from ‘recovery after the game’ to ‘recovering for the next game’ – which is key.
What’s your sleep routine like?
Sleep is difficult, especially after a game, because your adrenaline is still pumping, but my Sealy Posturepedic Exquisite bed has made sleep a lot easier. I love a cup of tea and a slice, before bed. I don’t like to watch the game back, not until the next day, as I like to unwind first.
What’s your experience of sleeping on a Sealy Posturepedic Exquisite bed so far?
Amazing – it’s made such a difference to the quality of my sleep. When athletes are constantly playing and training, it’s important to get at least eight hours sleep a night. The difference between my old bed and my new Sealy Posturepedic Exquisite bed is extraordinary.
How important is having a good night’s sleep to you? How does it affect your day-to-day life?
If I haven’t had a good night’s sleep, I feel it the next day. Eight hours of non-interrupted sleep is pretty much the only way I can perform on the court.
Has anything happened, when you haven’t had a good nights’ sleep, such as feeling less alert, less recovered, or worse, tripping or injuring yourself?
In 2011, I ruptured my Achilles heel, which had me off the court for nine months. It gave me a lot of time to reflect on my career and achievements to date, and I came back stronger and more focused after that.
How do you know how well you are sleeping?
Everyone in the team keeps a daily diary and records sleep and muscle soreness, rating key areas. It’s important to know where your weaknesses lie, and it could be as simple as a bad night’s sleep. A great bed helps eliminate that.
What are you reading and/or listening and watching at the moment?
I don’t have a lot of time to read with a packed netball schedule! Music wise, pre-match I try to remain very calm and get into the zone and focus. I’ve been listening to a lot of Lauryn Hill lately.
What’s your favourite quote or a motto you live by?
As cheesy as it sounds, ‘it is what it is’. Every opportunity is about making the most of what you’re given, you’re dealt a hand and you need to go with it. You can’t change what you’re given, but you can change where you’re going.
Find out more about the Sealy Posturepedic Exquisite bed Grace is sleeping on here.