Thursday, August 8, 2013

It Ain't All That Bad...Preseason Fun

Sorry it’s been awhile since my last post…even though I don’t have schoolwork to preoccupy my spare time these days, I’ve started watching the TV series “Dexter” from the first season and along with naps, that seems to take up the majority of my time between training sessions…but today we began our preseason “break” of five days off and while my fellow “Ami”, Gina Lewandowski, and I had planned a few days adventure in Prague, I seem to have come down with the flu and am quarantined in my room for the near future…I have to say I’ve had terrible luck in my European travels as something always seems to come up and I have to cancel…my Paris plans were cancelled twice in the Spring and now my Prague trip…at least I wasn’t planning on flying because I’ve had just about enough of paying change fees…and I suppose being bedridden gives me the opportunity to catch up on my blogging…just wish my mom was here to nurse me back to health (funny how mom’s naturally make you feel better)

I’ve been back in Munich for a month now and we just completed our fifth week of preseason training. Not going to lie, at our first team meeting when our coach, Tom, handed out the three page schedule my eyes widened when I counted that we had more than 60 trainings and 8 scrimmages before our first game on September 7th…and I thought our six week winter preseason was long! I was accustomed to the 16 day preseasons with UNC, but clearly, there are no NCAA rules prohibiting you from training as often and for as many hours as you’d like at the professional level…but as I keep reminding myself, it is my job, and running, lifting, and training in the heat isn’t as painful when you not only love the sport, but are getting paid to do it…I found this quote a bit ago when I was trolling around on Pinterest and it really sums up my thoughts on being a professional athlete… “If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it”- John Irving…now I know, many of you are probably thinking how tough could it be to “find the courage to live” as a professional athlete…I’m not sure I’m in the demographic John Irving was speaking to, but to say it's easy to live life as a pro athlete would be an understatement…there are a lot of ups and downs, a lot of things you don’t have control over, and in my case, a lot of miles (4, 463 to be exact) and time away from my family and friends…so this quote really hit home and reminds me in moments of doubt that I am lucky to be living my life as a professional soccer player for FC Bayern München…

So I bet you are all curious what preseason has entailed thus far…well here’s a general idea of what our weekly training rhythm usually looks like…

Monday- “free” day, which actually isn't quite so free because I go to our physio to get a massage and have to do a 50 minute auslaufen (recovery run) 
Tuesday- lifting followed by running (our favorite is 4mins at 90-95% max HR, 2 mins jog, 4-6 times…total sarcasm…our team hates the infamous “EB” running)
Wednesday- morning training with Matthias who I would best describe as a mental/ball skills coach…there’s really no way of describing our sessions with him so I plan on posting a video in the future…training again at night
Thursday- training at night…usually more tactical in nature
Friday- morning lift followed by night practice, which usually features some type of running afterwards such as 15second sprints or various agility/speed stations
Saturday- depends on the week…usually some form of training…last week we had Judo training which was pretty fun and an interesting change up
Sunday- scrimmage, better known as “Testspiel” in German…we’ve played our second team, FC Zurich from the Swiss league, and two boys teams so far…on schedule we have a few more boys teams and our last scrimmage before league play starts will be against the North Korean National Team which is touring Germany

Judo moves and Gina Lewandowski with the tap out!
Photo cred: Florian Schießl

As you tell from the schedule above, our weeks are pretty packed and when we’re not training I still try to be a consummate professional and focus on what I need to do to perform at my best…whether that’s going to Heros (sports rehab center) for treatment or extra flexibility training (yes, I am beyond inflexible) or resting my legs with my Skins on between sessions (not so fun in the Munich summer which surprisingly has been HOT!) With five weeks of preseason down, we have four more to go before our season opener away against the Treble winners, Wolfsburg, on September 7th…so far our team is taking shape as we work on a new formation and our fitness is certainly being squared away…I’m excited for Lena and Leonie to join us next week after winning the Euros with Germany and as strange as it sounds, I am actually enjoying's an awesome feeling knowing you're getting better and seeing the results of you hard work...

Until next time,

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