Who has never dreamed of being a soccer player? The world’s most popular sport has entered our lives often since when we were children, watching soccer matches together with our family while imagining ourselves in one of the world’s greatest stadiums scoring the winning goal in the championship. Or lifting the World Cup. But while the dream focuses on fame, glory, and money, there is another fundamental aspect that we often don’t even think about. What will be the routine of a soccer player? Waking up on time is one of the main concerns of professional players. Not only in soccer, but every professional athlete, after a long day of training, needs a good amount of sleep to recover energy and be prepared to do it all again the next day. Often, at 8 or 9 a.m., training already starts.
A professional soccer player’s workday begins the moment he or she gets up. Although training routines differ for each player, most of them start their day by running between five and ten miles. After the morning run, all players need a healthy breakfast that matches their nutritional needs for the day. As with most athletes, professional soccer players need most of their carbohydrates and fats in the morning, so a good and big breakfast is not uncommon. After breakfast, a professional soccer player usually meets the rest of the team to train together.
Professional soccer players meet with their team to practice skills and train almost every day. After a quick warm-up, players work on specific skills according to their position or make a line of attack against each other, simulating the game experience. As part of practice, the team captain and coach meet with the players for individual training. The physical practice is divided into less intense skill-building activities, such as watching tapes from past games or getting to know future rivals.
Travel and games
If the team has a game to play, players may have to make multiple trips to play on a “distant” field. Depending on the distance, the trip may take many hours. If the game is at home, players will gather in the locker room to dress, stretch, and otherwise prepare for the game. They have a locker room for guests when they travel. The game itself starts with warm-ups, so there may be opening ceremonies or other special events, depending on the soccer matches. After playing, the team will return to the locker room to shower and travel home as a team or leave individually if the game is in their stadium. Some teams like to celebrate together after the game, but it is up to them.
Dealing with the press
An important part of the workday for some players (and the coach) is dealing with the press. On game days and around other important events, elite professional players give speeches, attend events, and answer questions at press conferences. Many professional players have publicists who handle the media at other points.
The body is as strong as the mind allows. So mind care is as important as body care, if not more so. More and more clubs are implementing psychologists, who are part of the team, to help players deal with problems both on and off the field. A great initiative!
Concentration is a point that always generates a lot of curiosity. What are the players doing when they spend time together before matches or while preparing for an important event with their national teams such as the World Cup? Regardless of the discussion, what they do is simple: they play cards, pool, and talk. Nowadays, video gaming rules. All this while obeying the strictest routine of nutrition and rest worked out by the coach and physical trainers.
To be a better soccer player and get more playing time or a higher salary, many professionals have individual afternoon workouts that they do in their free time. This may include lifting weights, running more, or practicing various skills. Players may also consult their doctors in the afternoon to talk about the progression of any injury.
Do you know who goes to bed early? The children and the soccer players. With such a rigid training schedule and the need to sleep a specific amount of hours to regain energy, professional soccer players need to go to bed early daily to get eight hours of sleep each night. This is part of the routine. The training schedule helps accustom the body to working this way, and straying from the routine can affect performance in training and even in the game.
The latest soccer results are always the most important ones, and to achieve the best, every soccer player should maintain this routine, so as not to be surpassed in performance and results by someone else who has decided to train more and/or more intensively.