Training at the Pro Level
Women’s soccer has never gotten as much attention as it deserves. But that’s thankfully starting to change, and more people are tuning into the sport than ever before. For instance, the final match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 between the Netherlands and the USA was the most watched match in the history of the event. Across all platforms, more than one billion people tuned in.
Women’s soccer is exciting — and more people are starting to recognize that. There are plenty of incredible players right now to make it even more exciting, players like Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan. But what does it take to be a pro in women’s soccer today like these stars? Below, we’ll take a closer look into how these athletes make sure they’re in their best shape for each match.
Mix Up Workouts
You might think that, since exercise is how they earn their living, those pro soccer players might enjoy exercising more. But staying in shape off the field is a lot different than playing the game, and for many athletes, it can become too much. On average, most players are spending at least a couple hours per day six days per week exercising — no small feat. Megan Rapinoe, for instance, hates working out. To keep things interesting and to make sure she stays in shape, she mixes up her fitness routine now and then with different types of workouts.
Although there are certain areas of the body that soccer players should focus on when working out — like strengthening the core, upper body, and leg muscles — players will generally benefit from workouts that stretch and strengthen the entire body. As long as players are getting a good, full body workout, mixing up workouts (with activities such as yoga, cycling, dancing, or running) is a fine way for pros to exercise.
Use Music to Improve Training
There’s no denying that music is powerful: In everything from being a professional gamer to being a professional athlete, finding appropriate “soundtracks” when doing activities that require concentration can instantly improve your mood, amp you up, reduce stress, and enable clear thinking. That’s why soccer players tend to listen to music while on and off the field. Besides the benefits mentioned, the right tunes can also help athletes to exercise longer and better.
Whether they’re in the locker room before a game or are doing their daily exercise routine, upbeat music can help to pump them up and get them in the zone. This is necessary before a big match, but it’s also a great way to improve training workouts. For example, when exercising, the right beats can help to improve each individual move and push them harder. A faster tempo can encourage them to run faster, or a steady drum might help them to do reps faster.
Plus, music makes training and playing more fun and enjoyable. They play soccer for their career, and part of the deal is that they must stay in great shape. But when exercising starts to feel too much like a chore, music can be a great motivator and help to get the job done.
Adhere to a Proper Diet
Having a well-balanced, nutritious diet is a must for pro soccer players. Sure, soccer burns a lot of calories, but that doesn’t mean players can eat whatever they want without consequence. They need to choose the right foods so that they stay healthy and have enough energy to get through each day and match. Many teams also enlist nutrition coaches to help players adhere to a proper diet.
Like most professional athletes, diets rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins are commonplace. But that doesn’t mean that players stick to a strict diet all the time — sugar and carbs are acceptable in moderation. For example, some athletes choose to drink chocolate milk after a workout to help with recovery because it has carbs, protein, and other essential nutrients. And the occasional bagel is definitely okay.
Being a pro soccer player takes a lot of work — much more than you might initially realize!
The WSU Team bringing you news and updates from the world of women’s football.