Zara on her sports hero and being a mother: ‘I am more determined’

In an interview with The Telegraph, Zara Phillips has spoken of her equestrian dreams and how being a mother has made her even more determined to achieve those goals.

Zara Tindall (Phillips) and Mike Tindall. Picture by i-Images

Zara Tindall speaks of motherhood and her competing dreams. Here with husband Mike Tindall. Picture by i-Images

Speaking about motherhood, Princess Anne’s daughter said: “I think you kind of know more about yourself. You learn what you’re comfortable with. Having a child probably helps that. You’re in a place where you’re more settled, where you’ve got something else to focus on, so you don’t become obsessed.”

But Zara Tindall, mother to Mia, one, also said that having a child makes her want to prove people wrong: “That said you’re just as driven as before, if not maybe more. I’ve found when people say ‘well now you’ve had a baby you won’t be able to do what you used to’, that makes me even more determined.”

When asked who her sporting hero is, now that her husband Mike Tindall has retired from rugby, she chose a British athlete, who is also a mother of two.

“Jo Pavey, she is amazing. I was there, I watched Jo do that, it was amazing.”

Jo Pavey won her first major gold medal at the age of 40 in the European Championship 10,000 metres race.

“She is an example. After having two kids she’s set some standard for the rest of us. Amazing.”

Zara won a silver in the London 2012 Olypmics, and received her medal from her mother, Princess Anne, also an equestrienne.

The interview took place in the German countryside, near Aachen, as Zara trained with Rolex ambassador, Isabell Werth at her home stables; Mrs Tindall, known professionally by her maiden name, is also a supporter of the brand. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum is also there, another ambassador for Rolex, and the trio are known as the Rolex Dames.

All three took time off riding to have children, but all have returned to top-tier competing.

Philip WIlson

Zara and Toytown won Silver in the London 2012 Olympics. Philip Wilson

“There’s definitely more highs being a mother than being in sport,” Zara, 34, said. “One thing I do know, I make better decisions now. Before I’d have got on any old horse. Now I’m more selective. And when I see a steep slope, I go round it. Mind, I don’t know if that’s a product of motherhood or just being older.”

“I’ve been thinking about this a lot,” she says. “Psychology is everything in sport. I studied PE at school and that was a part of it, I’ve been aware of it since then. Everyone is so different in how they get through competition. It’s really interesting what makes everyone tick and how they get the best out of themselves. But I think what everyone has in common is that you perform better if you can relax. Having Mia has definitely enabled me to relax more.”

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