Creating a routine in your life will allow you to make the most of your day. I have always enjoyed living a structured life – I am able to focus on how to improve myself mentally and physically as a Professional Footballer.
When I moved to Sweden I began training in the afternoons, which I have not done since I was 16-years-old training after school. Although this was a shake up from my routine morning trainings in Australia and England, through these five tips I was still able to make the most of every training session and made the whole adjustment easier:
Stretching and Foam Rolling
Want to feel your best every training session? Static stretching and foam rolling throughout my day before training plays a huge roll in releasing any niggles or knocks I have copped recently, as well as regenerating my muscles that may be simply tight or sore from previous trainings or matches. I know being proactive and looking after my body on a day-to-day basis will benefit me in both the short and long term.
Food consumption plays a huge role in energy level and comfort during training. For myself currently training in the afternoon, I aim to have a full meal for lunch around 2:30pm and a snack of fruit before my afternoon training. I have developed this routine that allows me to train my best, every time, without that heavy feeling of food in my stomach. I would recommend for you to find your own pattern that works for you – everybody’s bodies function differently so experiment until you find allows you to perform your best.
Staying hydrated in general is important. Throughout my day I carry around a 750ml water bottle everywhere I go; I know that I need to drink a minimum of two bottles before training to feel hydrated and at my best. Even when you aren’t training or sweating, your body is naturally releasing water through your skin so consistent water consumption is crucial to train at your highest capacity. Like I said in Meal Timing find a routine that works for you.
Setting Training-Specific Goals
As I mentioned in my Tips To Fulfilling your Dreams Blog (**hyperlink**), setting goals is the first way to get you closer to your dreams. Setting daily goals is the first step to getting step closer. I set training-specific goals every session. Some of my goals include working on my first touch, or working on my shooting, because I know in time, focusing on specific areas daily I will become a better footballer. Setting training-specific goals ensure my I am making the most of every session – instead of just rolling through the motions.
You may be thinking, ‘Hmmm I don’t consider myself much of a meditator…’ But I am not talking about sitting a quiet room, humming with your eyes closed – however this may be what works for you. For me, mediation is anything that relaxes my mind, this ranges from reading to PlayStation to Face Timing someone back home. Although it is important to be focused in this industry, your mind cannot always be thinking about football at every moment! Your body and mind need a break from the constant physical and mental stress – and trust me, your body will thank you when you train.