Freddie Steward: The Secrets to Balancing Sports and Studies
It’s official: Leicester Tigers full-back and one of Rugby Union’s brightest rising stars Freddie Steward is the newest Prevayl Pro!
As with all Prevayl Pros who came before him, Freddie was invited to an initiation tour around Prevayl’s Manchester HQ, where our Head of Fitness put him through his paces and gave him a taste of what it’s like to train wearing Prevayl.
After getting a few reps in, we sat down with Freddie to reflect on his whirlwind journey to date and discuss his dreams to climb even higher.
Q: First things first, what’s your initial impression of Prevayl?
A: First impression when I stepped into the HQ is that it’s great to see the people who drive the innovation here and their passion. Then, after putting on the garment and trying the kit out for myself, I thought the brand and everything looked absolutely brilliant. All the data I got on the Prevayl App today was very insightful, and I just knew I’m going to get some real use out of it, which is really exciting.
Q: How will Prevayl transform the way you train?
A: I do a lot of exercise. I train day in, day out. I normally use my Apple Watch to track the statistics, but the level of detail that Prevayl has along with its ease of use being clothing, it’s a no-brainer for me: Prevayl is something I’ll be using in my training from now on.
Q: Who or what inspired you to get into rugby?
A: It’s actually my older brother who got me into rugby. When he was younger, mum and dad used to take me to his training and I sort of fell in love with rugby just from watching him play, and that’s where it all took off.
Q: Do you have a role model who you look up to?
A: My dad. The sacrifices he’s made to cart me around the country playing rugby week in, week out. Even now, every game I play he’s in the stadium, on the sideline supporting me through thick and thin, and so does my mum, so I would have to say my parents are my biggest role models.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A: The best bit of advice I’ve had is to not fear failure. Being ok with making mistakes is one of the biggest things, because it’s easy to play with fear and mess up. By failing, you learn lessons and you can then use that to get better.
Q: What’s the most memorable moment in your career so far?
A: Seeing my grandad in the crowd at Twickenham was a very special moment. It was very emotional. Other than that, I think making my debut at Twickenham – just to be able to experience the atmosphere there… I dreamed of it as a kid and for it to come true, to put on the shirt and walk out at Twickenham was just the most surreal experience.
Q: What’s life like as a uni student and professional athlete?
A: It keeps me very busy. I usually spend a good part of the day training, and when I get back from training – usually at about 4 or 5pm – I dash straight to the library. It’s been hard at times to juggle my studies and rugby, because I don’t want one to suffer because of the other. But the university and the club have both been brilliant, and I’ve found a real nice balance between the two.
Q: How do you stay motivated with so much going on in your life?
A: I just set myself little goals and challenges. Instead of looking ahead at something a year away, I focus on the now, the little things like “I’m going to get this done this week”, “This is what I’m going to try to do the next day” and that keeps me moving forward.
Q: Speaking of goals, what are your ambitions for next year’s Rugby World Cup?
A: Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of any rugby player’s career and to represent the country there would be an honour. Paris in 2023 is a really exciting prospect and if all goes to plan, I think we have a real good shot.
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A: Weirdly, I have a bath on the morning of the game. It helps relax me and get me in the right mindset to go.
Q: Finally, do you have any tips for anyone who wants to get into rugby?
A: The work ethic is the most important thing that gets looked past. Sometimes you see players with the flair and skills, but they don’t have the drive… The work ethic is what drives you to do great things.