Many people dream of becoming professional sports players. There are many jobs in the entertainment industry, from football to online casino, but few can match the renown associated with top-tier sports competition. One of the most desired of these professions is undoubtedly that of a football star.
One could easily assume that top-flight footballers live in the lap of luxury, but what’s behind the sports cars and multi-million pound contracts? You may be surprised at just how demanding a football career can be. Soccer stars have to be fiercely dedicated to their profession, and they have to maintain peak physical and mental strength. So what exactly does an average day for a pro entail? It’s not just glitz and glamour, that much we can be certain of. Read on to explore a typical day in the life of an English football player.
Get out of bed, brush your teeth, jump in the shower, and get a healthy breakfast. That’s the morning routine for most people, and you’ll be glad to know that football stars get up just like the rest of us. However, what you may not know is that football, like most regular jobs, requires regular attendance in terms of work hours, and perhaps more in daily dedication requirements.
Before the start of any training, professional teams usually outfit their players with numerous tracking technologies. These devices are monitored throughout the day. Player data is tracked in various metrics such as distance traveled, heart rate, metabolic rate, and more. Coaches know every movement a player makes, and the slightest drop in performance will be noticed instantly.
Most football clubs begin their schedules at around 8AM. Following a few screening tests and some routine admin, players will begin their pre-training. Pre-training involves a personalised workout routine. Each player’s unique routine is formulated by coaching staff and health experts. After they’ve hit the gym for a good workout, players receive physiotherapy to ensure that their muscles stay warm and flexible.
Once the physio session is complete players begin their preactivation workout. Preactivation, otherwise known as warming up, is performed to prepare for the intensity of full-team practice sessions. Team sessions involve different exercises on different days. For example, one day could be open-ended 3v3 practice, while another day could focus on drills and passing. Every club has its own routine involving a wide range of activities.
Once team training is complete, players once again focus on individual training. Some players perform free kicks and shooting practice, while others might focus on defensive drills. Goalkeepers work on penalty-saving and spot kicks. Though the majority of training is done individually, all activities are performed for the benefit of the team as a whole.
Training is usually finished by midday, whereafter players will go for lunch. Calories are monitored along with all other metrics, and players have to ensure that they eat well and look after their health. A footballers diet is tailored by nutrition experts, and involves a balanced diet of superfoods, protein and carbs. Some clubs go as far as banning certain types of food, all in the hopes of maxing out performance gains.
After lunch it’s time for statistics. Once all their biometric data is analyzed, players receive a daily debriefing on their performance. They are told what to improve and in which areas they should focus their attention. It’s convenient to have an advisor for so many aspects of life, but it’s also a sacrifice of individual freedom.
Debriefing is followed by recovery. Recovery involves mobility exercises, cryotherapy (or ice baths), and stretching out. Some players prefer cryotherapy, while others avoid it like the plague. Players are free to do their own recovery routine, provided they do it effectively. If a player decides to skip recovery, chances are that will cause a dip in performance. That dip will definitely impact subsequent training, and again, coaches will immediately notice any change in performance.
A footballer has to face perpetual worry about physical injury: the slightest accident can end careers in a heartbeat. Potential injuries are monitored closely, and coaching staff would rather let a player sit out of training if their risk of injury is high. Injured players get tailored workouts too, but cannot participate in team exercises until they’ve fully recovered.
Most players spend their downtime in relaxation. Contrary to what many assume, constant partying isn’t normal for most football stars. Night after night of drinking and debauchery impacts performance negatively. Though some players do enjoy clubbing often, most will spend their free time doing regular activities, like playing some video games or spending time with family.
Players have endorsements and sponsorship deals that require their time, and there are always events and award ceremonies to attend. Many English footballers are celebrities, and their personal lives aren’t as private as your average citizen. Publicity demands an element of vanity, and players can hardly be blamed for the attention given to them by press and media outlets.
Footballers are regular folk who use determination and willpower to succeed. Natural talent is of course a deciding influence. However, it’s been shown that with enough practice, anyone can potentially become a professional athlete. All it takes is thousands of hours of practice from a very young age, with no gaps in progress. No pressure.
We mentioned earlier that a sports career can be more demanding in terms of daily dedication. That’s because everything from diet to downtime affects performance. When performing at the highest level of any sport, 24/7 dedication to success is a requirement, not a choice. Not many people can handle that kind of pressure, let alone the stress of performing well on match day.