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Athlete of the Month - Emily Large (Junior World Champion)

Emily's biggest success this year was winning the world juniors, but all that might change very soon as she has just been selected to represent her country in the Commonwealth Games! 

Emily now has her sights on the Olympics and TeamYSN® caught up with her poolside to dig deeper into her routine, strategies and goals for the near future helping us #InspireAGeneration   

Emily Large British Swimming

How did you get into your first sport, and how old were you?

E: I hated water when I was a baby, never wanting to get in the pool however at the age of 9 I first started swimming competitively at Ponteland Swimming club having watched my sister swim and realising I wanted to join in too! 


How do you cater for your sports nutrition? What sort of meal plans/nutritional strategies did you utilise?

E: My schedule is very tight during term time, getting up at 4.40am and sometimes not returning to the house until 9.40pm after a day at school and 2-3 training sessions inbetween. I consequently have to prepare in advance with a packed breakfast and the Protein Shake is a very useful and good part of the breakfast! 

Let downs and injury are a common feature of being a professional athlete, can you tell us how you motivate yourself and what keeps you going through major incidents or tough circumstances?

E: To date I haven’t had any injuries that have set me back or resulted in training sessions being missed. I attend a weekly physiotherapist (Activate Physiotherapy) which helps reduce the chance of injury. 

What advise would you offer to youth athletes facing similar obstacles? What tools, tactics or strategies do you use to combat adversity? Any recommendations?

E: Be sensible with choices you make and keep on top of nutrition and hydration especially

Emily Large Athlete

As a very successful youth athlete, how often do you train, and how has this changed depending on your sport?

E: Nowadays I train 18 hours in the pool and 6 land based which has increased from 4x1hour pool sessions per week and no land based training 5 years ago. 

How do you stay healthy? Any Nutrition Tips?

E: I have 3 main meals a day with the odd snack. I also try to drink at least 4 litres of water a day to keep my body maintained and ready for training especially with the long day I have! 

What does it feel like to win competitions? Describe the emotion and senses involved during and afterwards.

E: Winning a competition like World Juniors is just another emotion that’s hard to describe. You don’t quite understand what’s going on and the prospect of it all didn’t sink in until a few weeks after! It was just a surreal moment 

What are your future aspirations?

E: In the future I hope to make the Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020 and beyond, and to do something out there which makes my country proud.

Emily Large TeamGB

What is your favorite quote or inspirational quote? Or perhaps you like your own made up quote? What is it? 

E: Michael Jordan "some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen" or Michael Phelps "if you want to be the best you have to do things other people aren't willing to do". 

Who is your favorite athlete or sportsperson and why?

E: I don’t have a favourite sportsperson, however I respect and admire those who have worked up from the bottom and weren’t handed the result to them on a plate. They worked for something they really wanted and kept working for it until their dream became reality. 

What does your ‘internal chatter’ look/sound like in the run up to your event time. What strategies do you use to calm nerves and remain focused.

E: I always tell myself ‘whatever happens, happens’ and that ‘it all happens for a reason’. I take advantage of nerves being a good thing and thrive off them. 

What advise would you offer to Parents of youth athletes regarding their training, the pressure to perform (academic and sporting) and catering for nutrition? How can parents best support their training objectives?

E: Parents should ALWAYS support their children’s dreams however not to the extent where they’re living their dreams through their child’s life. They shouldn’t pressurise their child or be the ‘pushy parent’ and let the child decide what they really want form the sport. 

Any tips for balancing training, academic studies, competitions/games and a social life?

E: During my GCSEs I never missed a training session and I felt this was due to the training reducing stress because I forget about the outside world whilst I’m in the pool. It can be hard to balance training with a social life but things can always be adapted such as leaving a party early to be home in time for morning training.

What are your objective thoughts on Youth Sport Nutrition designing PROTEEN®, the first safe supplement for high level youth athletes to support their recovery post training/match?

E: PROTEEN, is a great shake that really helps me after a training session. I now feel a lot more awake during the day having been up since 4.40am which helps me alongside my academic studies! 

What are your thoughts on using sports supplements, do they have a place in elite sport and how do you avoid compromising anti-doping regulations? What safe practices can parents or youth athletes take to ensure their safety and compliance?

E: I want to get everything I could out of my training. However, I always check that the supplement is under Informed Sport meaning it has been batch tested and safe from doping, to ensure the cleanness of the product.

Emily Large British Swimming


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