Katie Zelem: Support Network, Life as a Captain & Favourite Prevayl Metrics
Meet Katie Zelem, Manchester United Women’s midfielder and captain, and now, the newest Prevayl Pro. We invited Katie to Prevayl’s Manchester HQ to meet the team and experience the revolutionary Prevayl Sensor, SmartWear® and App for herself.
After having her first taste of Prevayl, we sat down with Katie to chat about her favourite performance metrics in the Prevayl App, how her family have played a huge part in her success, what it’s like to captain one of the most influential football teams in the world, and more.
Q: What’s your first impression of the team behind Prevayl?
A: The first thing I noticed when I stepped into Prevayl HQ was how great the team is. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. It was amazing to have a tour around the office and meet the everyone behind the brand, not just the people I’d be directly dealing with. It was really informative to get a bit of a backstory from the people who built the brand.
I’m from Manchester, so to see such amazing things happening in my home city is incredible!
Q: What are the key Prevayl metrics that you’ve found particularly useful?
A: For me, it’s really cool that I’m able to see my Training Zones and maximum HR, and really just all the data the App can show me. Also, I’m amazed by how quickly the data can come through from my body to the App, and how I can keep a constant eye on my performance during a workout.
Q: How does Prevayl compare to other fitness trackers you’ve used in your training?
A: We usually wear GPS trackers or HR monitors, but now that I’ve started wearing Prevayl, I think it’s really cool how the Prevayl Sensor is able to track all my workouts and give me all the data I need in real time.
Q: So, let’s take it way back, what inspired you to get into football?
A: When I was growing up, there was a really male-dominated environment around me – it was nearly all boys on the street I grew up in. My cousins, and obviously my dad and uncle, all played football, so for me it was like, “You either play outside with the boys or sit inside all day.”
It was very apparent from that point on that I preferred to be playing football with the lads, and it just became something I grew up doing: always having a football on my feet.
Q: Speaking of your dad and uncle, how have they supported your journey so far?
A: They’ve been hugely supportive. My dad and my uncle still try to come to as many games as possible so they can support me, especially the home games.
My dad travels near and far, whether it’s Manchester or London, to come watch me play. He hates missing games so he’s certainly my role model, along with my mum. They’ve both made so many sacrifices for me to be able to be where I am now.
Q: How do they feel about you now being the team captain?
A: The first time I ever captained Man Utd was at the Manchester derby, at the Etihad Stadium with 31,000 people watching, including my mum and dad. Unfortunately, there were so many people so I couldn’t see them but when the game finished, my dad told me my mum was crying at the game. She denied it but I know she did. They’re really proud of how far I’ve come and I’m so grateful that I can make them proud.
Q: What does a normal day entail for the captain of Man Utd?
A: There’s certainly a lot more responsibilities when you become the captain. You have to be involved in so many meetings, agendas and aspects of the team, but if you can take it in your stride, you can almost make it part of your normal routine.
Q: With so much going on every day, how do you keep yourself motivated?
A: You’ve got to be able to motivate yourself. Football is a very competitive sport. Everyone is fighting not only for places on the League tables but within each team, there are people fighting for starting spots, playing spots, substitution spots and so on. So you’ve got to make sure you stay motivated and be on top of your game for as long as you can. At some point, you’re bound to have some bad games and some down times. That’s just natural, not just in football but in life as well. It’s important to be able to pull yourself out of those bad times and it certainly helps to have a good support network around you whether it be teammates, friends or family.
Q: What are your ambitions for yourself and your team in the coming seasons?
A: There are many things I want to achieve as the captain of Man Utd: playing the Champions League and hopefully going on to compete at the League. As a club, I know we can get there so I hope I can continue to remain a solid name in football.
Q: Any tips for anyone who aspires to become a football player?
A: The key thing is to always enjoy it. I started playing football because I enjoyed it. It’s important that you’re still playing because you love it no matter how high up the pyramid you get.
Also, never let someone tell you no. Football is based so much around opinions: one manager could like you, the other might not. It’s just an opinion of one person. If you stopped doing what you love every time someone said no or you couldn’t do it, you wouldn’t get anywhere. It’s important to believe in yourself and stay resilient.
Q: Before we let you go, can you share a fun fact about yourself that would surprise most people?
A: I’m left-handed but right-footed.