Gamedays are special. They will forever be special. Those are the days you want as a soccer player. All week long you prepare for gameday. That is why when that day has finally come, it always feels good! With this post I want to share of how I approach gameday, what some superstitions are, what I do in order to perform the best way possible and just my overall routine. I will try to run through certain scenarios with earlier and later kickoff times and then in the end I’ll give a specific example of what I did before the home game against FC Dallas to give you a better idea of how what it actually looks like.
My schedule on gamedays really all depends on the kickoff time. Later kickoff times make the day longer and earlier kickoff times make it shorter, but they leave some more room post-game. I usually don’t like to set an alarm in the morning, giving my body enough time to rest until I am ready to wake up on my own. That changes with earlier kickoff times, however, since I need to get going and wake up for what’s ahead. In order to get my legs moving and the blood flowing, Casey, Freddy and I usually walk to get some coffee nearby and just kind of talk about the timing of the rest of the game or the opponent we are facing that day. Casey makes my life easy and really let’s me dictate what I want to do before I have to be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. After the walk, we usually just get back home, I have some breakfast and it’s a pretty lazy morning with either some Bundesliga soccer or some Premier League Soccer. Sometimes I play some PlayStation or FaceTime my family if timing works out. If kickoff is later in the day I usually have a snack at home. Kind of just going off how I feel, so if I am hungry it’s a little more and if I’m not hungry, I won’t eat much. We always get a meal at the stadium 3.5 to 4 hours before the game and that is really where I want to be hungry. We meet at the stadium 4 hours before kickoff and I usually start getting ready to leave the house an hour and a half before that. I sometimes shave that majestic beard of mine (lol) then jump in the shower and just get ready to head to the stadium. Before leaving, I give Freddy a big hug, ask him to give me a good luck kiss (which he usually does) and then Casey and I drive to the stadium. On the way there, we always listen to the same songs and turn it up quite a bit so we can both sing along. She usually drops me off and then heads back home since it’s still a long time before kickoff.
When we get to MBS and the locker room, we all eat together and just hang out. Some get treatment and some watch TV until we have our final meeting before we go meet all the supporters. There are usually quite good discussions of what we should watch. Bundesliga being my number one pick, but it usually ends up being a Premier League match or another MLS game. After the walk through the fans, that’s when everybody really has their own routines and we start fully focusing on the game in front of us. I get adjusted by our chiropractor, then foam roll my legs, get tapped, do a little activation (core, lower body), and then we head out for warmups. Once we meet at the stadium 4 hours before, it really is the same routine every time. It doesn’t matter what time it is or what kind of a game it is. The funny thing is that is also feels the same way every time. No matter if kickoff is at 1pm or 7pm. I kind of like that, because I always know what to expect and there is a level of consistency when getting to MBS.
After the game finishes and we get back to the locker room, our coach usually gives a speech of what he thought of the game and what’s to come for the week ahead. After that I sometimes take an ice bath and get some treatment before jumping in the shower. For some reason I always take a sprite with me there. I’m not really sure why I do that, just kind of became a habit. I usually only drink soda after games and I guess that just became my immediate little reward after the week. After I am done showering and talking to media, I meet Casey on the field and we head home. Win or loose Freddy is always excited to see me, and I usually tell him all about the game. If we don’t have set plans with friends, we decide pretty quickly on what to get for dinner. From there on out it’s really just about getting some food and enjoying my family and friends.
I hope this gives you a good idea of what my days look like for home games. As an example, let’s run through the day of our game against FC Dallas. I woke up around 9 am, which gave me a solid ten hours of sleep. Casey and I had a slow morning, but we still went on our little activation walk (it was pretty cold outside actually). Got back home, had some oatmeal for breakfast and tuned into the second half of the Bayern game. Then just hung out and watched some more TV until I went in the shower before heading to the stadium. As you can see, nothing special going on that day. Since it was an early kickoff, there really wasn’t much time at home. At the stadium, it was business as usual and very similiar to how I described it above. Unfortunately, the result didn’t go the way we wanted it to. Afterwards, we went out to dinner with the Parkhurst family and some friends were in town that Casey and I met for a quick drink to catch up. Overall, the night could have been quite a bit better had the result gone our way, but meeting friends and trying to get my mind off soccer always helps me get ready for the next week.
I hope this post gives you a better idea of what my gamedays look like. Having set routines and a schedule helps me prepare the best way possible and then hopefully perform at a high level. Do you as fans have any set routines before games or superstitions?
Back at it Saturday against Colorado. Let’s get our first home win of the season!
See you then,