Gina Lewandowski training with FC Bayern München

Eat, train, sleep, it’s that simple…

I have had a fair amount of people ask me what a typical day looks like in the professional soccer world here living overseas.

So I would like to answer this question and share a typical day for me. First off, we normally train seven times a week, including two double days, and then play our games on Sundays. Each day looks a bit different with the training times but tend to be fairly consistent from week to week. There also always seems to be some things to do during the day when I am not training so each day brings something new and of its own. We also have one day off a week which at times tends to be a catch-up day for things I may need to accomplish in the week or it can become a day where I can just completely mentally and physically relax and enjoy living here in Germany. Munich is a beautiful city with many things to do so my life here never seems to be boring or monotonous. Exploring the city and its surroundings is what I love to do and take advantage of when we get some days off or even just some down time.

I will share a typical Wednesday, a double day for us, on which we train in the morning and in the evening.

Our first training starts at 9 am sharp in the gym for strength training and lasts about one and half to two hours. In order to best prepare for the day I wake up around 6.30 am to get a good breakfast in, get ready for the day ahead, and then most importantly have some down time before I must leave around 8 am. I live near three other girls on the team so driving together is super practical and economical. Traffic in the city is always a topic of concern for us Munich drivers so we must always calculate the worse when leaving for training. This session doesn’t consist of a lot of weight training but rather of stability and core exercises which basically involves more of our own body weight. We do incorporate some weights at times but often mostly work with different types of resistant bands, boxes, medicine balls, gymnastic/exercise balls, and other fun gadgets. TRX exercises are also a big popular tool we, as well as many athletes, are integrating more and more into training programs. Each player has their own individual program from our athletic coach which helps us focus on our own specific needs and weaknesses. Many of the exercises are similar in concept which mainly focuses on strengthening the core. This is also arguably the main area of importance for female athletes at our level as well as any athlete in general. Strengthening the core (stomach, back, hips, and butt) brings stability and control to the rest of the body and as a result helps support the entire body and prevent injuries.

After training we have the opportunity to eat lunch at our club’s facilities. The lunch consists of a very hearty meal with a fair amount of choices. It is a great option for us to get a good meal in before our next training and as well as to save a bit of money. If we finish with training earlier than when the lunch room opens, a few of us crash at one of our teammate’s apartment for a coffee and some quality down time before lunch.

After our solid food fill for the afternoon there are a few hours of down time until our next training in the evening. This time is normally used to relax and recover until the next session. This down time is also important to run errands or get other necessities done since we don’t have much time to do these things in the evenings after training. Most people with regular working hours have this time is in the evenings whereas we have this time in the afternoons. When the average person is coming home from work we are heading off to work. So we must use this time wisely depending on our needs for the day. There are however a few girls on the team who do have a second job or are in school so they naturally do not have as much down time and have to plan their days accordingly to what they may require.

Our second session of the day begins at 5.50 pm. We must all be out on the field at this time to best prepare ourselves for the session ahead of us. We warm up individually and then a few of us usually get together for a small game of 6v2, 7v2, etc depending on the amount of girls wanting to play. We do this until the start of training, with one touch only and a double round for a nutmeg or 25 uninterrupted passes. This small-sided game usually brings the technical side out of us as we playfully experiment with our touch and tricks as we try to keep the two in the middle as long as possible. The main training starts around 6 pm and last about one and half to two hours. It involves a lot of ‘Zweikämpfe” as well as a small Parkour at the end. ‘Zweikämpfe’ is a difficult word to translate directly to English but entails different forms of 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4. Depending on the week and objectives of the training we may work on one form more than the other. These drills are a great opportunity to work on our skills, 1v1 abilities, and tactical awareness. Towards the end of training, we do a small Parkour training which consists of ladders, hurdles, poles, hoops as well as some passing and shooting on net. Different forms are set up and each is done a certain number of times. These exercises are valuable to increase our speed and agility. In order to achieve top agility you need a good combination of balance, both static and dynamic, and coordination. At the end of each of these Parkour patterns the goal is to maintain the focus on the final objective of passing the ball and/or shooting on net. These drills are important to increase our athletic and mentally capabilities.

We also have a physical therapist available to us at every evening training during the week for whatever we may need, both before or after the session. This is a great resource for those who need extra care or treatment throughout the week.

After training, I normally head home for a home-cooked meal or some of us may even get together and eat out somewhere depending on how much energy we have left from the day. Either way, I get another good meal in to help prepare for the days ahead until our next game on Sunday.

So that is an exciting full day for me here in Munich. Eat train sleep, it’s that simple… like I said there are days where we have some more down time and therefore I undergo some other non-soccer activities to help balance my days here.

Here is a short update to our season so far…

Gina Lewandowski celebrating with FC Bayern München

We are officially mid-way through our season and ended the first round in 2nd place, two points behind Wolfsburg, who are in 1st place. We started off the second round last weekend with a huge win vs 1.FFC Frankfurt, which was a great team performance for us. We have one league game left coming up this weekend against Freiburg and then a German Cup game vs 1. FFC Frankfurt on December 21. Afterwards, we will then immediately head into our winter break and enjoy a few weeks off from soccer. When we start up shortly after the New Year, we hope to continue our positive season but also know that the season is long and there is still a lot more work to be done. However, we must first focus on our next big challenges coming up, first one this weekend! , before we can enjoy our Christmas break.

Have a blessed and wonderful Holiday season! Merry Christmas!

3 Comments
  1. Asa 5 years ago

    Thank you Gina great Blog

  2. WSU 5 years ago

    Brilliant blog, thank you Gina.
    A really good insight into life as a professional soccer player. The training sounds intense but rewarding and it is obviously achieving results, based on FC Bayern München’s current form.

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday season too!

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