I can remember one interview in college where I was asked about my pregame routine, or if I had a ritual or checklist of sorts or any superstitions. My memory may fail me, but it was one interview in four years; one. And then I came to Charleston and people became very interested in what exactly goes on in the day of the life of a Charleston Battery professional soccer player in the days leading up to a game. Obviously every player has his own way of doing things leading up to a game, and from my experience some are absurd, some are simple, and others simply go by the seat of their pants, so I can only speak for myself. And my routine is quite sophisticated to say the least..
Truthfully, preparing for a game starts the second the final whistle blows in whatever game I just finished. But to narrow it down to the good stuff, my "routine" starts the moment I wake up Thursday morning, with a game Saturday night. On the average week at home, we will train Thursday morning. Things start early for me, I'm a morning person, always have been. So whether I wake up when my alarm goes off or when the sun decides to break through my window, I'll get up, get dressed, eat a light breakfast, which is typically a piece of fruit and a water. Once at the stadium, I go through my daily checklist. Connect phone to speakers, proceed to blare "motivational" music, 10 minutes in 95+ degree hot tub, flexall (aka icey hot) lower back massage, stretch, 30 minute moderate workout, which on Thursday's focuses on core strength, stability, and explosiveness. The training session will be lighter than the previous days as we turn our focus to our tactics for the weekend with crossing and finishing. After training, I'll head home to eat a deli sandwich of sorts with two sides, one veggie and one fruit, and then a protein shake. Thursday's dinner is always pasta with fish or chicken and either bread or a roll. Moving on to Friday... Friday's morning is completely identical, except that my workout is light instead of moderate. I alter my focus to just stretching. The most important thing is making sure my legs are rested and ready for Saturday. Friday's training is also different. And it's quite the Charleston tradition - old v. young. And it's as simple as it sounds, the older half scrimmages the younger half. I'll have to post again at a later day strictly on old v. young, because it most definitely deserves it. Furthermore, after training is when preparing turns up a notch. After I shower, I'll have the club's massage therapist massage by lower back, big man problems, and then any other muscle that may be sore at the time. Next, lunch. And for a foodie like myself, I can't complain with another Charleston tradition. Orlando's. And as superstitious as I may be, I don't get the same pizza every time. I have fun with it and mix it up. But I do always get a small caesar salad with grilled chicken on the side. Friday night's dinner has always been a carbo load to say the least, but I tweaked things before the season started and since then, whenever we have had a home game, I've gone to Olive Garden... It's hard to beat endless soup and salad on top of handfuls of pasta selections. And I take full advantage of it. The typical Friday night meal usually consist of 2-3 different soups, 2 salads, 3 different pastas, 2-4 breadsticks, and sweet teas and waters to wash it down. And.... at that point I'll head home, decompress, stretch, roll out, and hit the hay. And considering it's Friday, I'll save my game day routine for another post. I appreciate y'all tagging along for the ramble.