I never cheat in training. I owe it to myself and family to give it everything I have, all the time. To be honest, I hate every minute of training. But the rewards of giving your all and having it translate into great things on the pitch are the reasons why it's all worth it.
Snacking is important. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a great example of a perfect snack. They can go a long way.
As a soccer player, the goal isn't to be very bulky. It is more important to even your body out. Make sure your body is well rounded. You can't really focus on one area. Everything has to be balanced.
In all honesty, as you grow older, you understand how important it is to give everything in every workout, training session and match. When you're younger, you think game and practice are different. The sooner you understand they aren't, the better.
The World Cup only comes around once every four years and is the absolute pinnacle of our sport. It is something we dream about as players. It is a reason why many of us started playing this game. I know myself, my teammates will be focused on what's ahead and what's at stake.
The best athletes in any sport take stretching very seriously before and after matches. Stretching is instrumental in any athlete's physical success.
Your core is so important. Get your endurance up. Running and long-distance. Swimming is good as well. Important to have a good core, utilize the proper exercises to strengthen it. It goes out to the rest of your body and makes sure your body is right.
Get in some pasta or brown rice with your vegetables like a sweet potato and some meat. You need a little bit of everything on your plate to make sure your energy levels are right for the match.
You have to eat right. I eat a lot of vegetables. Keep a very, very healthy diet. It translates to how your body feels. The better your body feels, the better endurance and stamina you're going to have.
Stretching, which I do for five to 10 minutes before and after a match, is so important in general when it comes to prolonging your career and staying injury-free.
In the morning, I work on my core stability and do some work with the exercise bands. Sometimes I do some upper body and a little bit of leg weights to get warm and ready for training. And then I'm out on the pitch.
Sometimes something as simple as going for a 20-minute jog on any given day is important. Keeps your body moving and legs from getting stiffened up from doing high-intensity workouts during the week.
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