Matildas’ star very mindful of how to handle growing fame Sam has feet on ground
IF YOU spot Sam Kerr briefly sticking her head into her Matildas shirt mid- match in Penrith today, you’ll have witnessed the Australian forward grounding herself. Just for a split second. Then, if the simple mindfulness trick has done its job, she might follow it with one of those Sam Kerr moments that shot her into the stratosphere in the first place.
“I have a special Kerr says. thing,”
“We have a sports psychologist who works with us and my thing is that whenever I’m thinking about something else and I catch myself, I put my head in my top.
“So now you’ll see when I do that I was not paying attention or I’m frustrated.
“It’s just about bringing myself back to where I am and feeling my feet on the ground, kind of mindfulness.”
By her own reckoning, Kerr is “a bit of a free spirit”.
It’s what makes her football so captivating.
It’s also something the 25year- old says renders her easily distracted.
“I’m the worst, ask Staj,” she said. “I have to stay focused and that’s something I’ve honestly been working on for ages.
“I’ve got better at it over the last two years and maybe that’s why my game has changed.”
A lot has certainly changed in the year since Kerr and the Matildas last played in Penrith and Newcastle in front of sellout crowds, when she scored three times across two wins over archrivals Brazil.
With the accolades has come a taste of global fame that still feels foreign to the quietly spoken Perth native.
“You always want that as a kid. To be, I guess, known as a sports star,” she said.
“But it can be a bit confront- ing sometimes. I still haven’t got my head around walking into somewhere and people almost staring at you.
“I can’t imagine being someone hugely famous now, like a LeBron ( James).
“It’s full on, not so much in Sydney but where I’m from in Perth, I think because of my brother ( former West Coast Eagles champion Daniel Kerr) and family being well known in Perth it’s much greater.”
Kerr has an agent now to manage the demand that comes with being one of the world’s best players ( not to mention the face of Nike) so the Perth Glory W- League marquee can concentrate on the pitch in a World Cup year.
Right now the focus is beating Chile at Panthers Stadium today and McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday.
“You prefer to play in front of a home crowd when everyone’s on your side and maybe get a few extra calls from the referee,” Kerr said. “But it’s an amazing experience, especially when the crowds are so big like they were last time.”