The FIFA World World Cup is scheduled for 2022, and the players are guaranteed to be gearing up for the event in Qatar already. It’s a tough and strenuous journey to the World Cup, and players take this opportunity to show their skills as individuals and as a team very seriously. Rigorous training, proper diet, and other forms of preparation are going to be necessary to be ready for this incredible event. This article will explore a few ways these players might be preparing themselves.
1. Getting Nerdy
Since sports tend to be associated with a mind-over-matter attitude, it might surprise you to find out that a lot of the work before a World Cup is mental. Players have to know everything about their mental and physical condition, requiring them to track carefully every aspect of their lives over the months leading up to the tournament. Their movements are tracked via GPS during training sessions, and although coaches are the ones utilizing this information, players have to be aware of their own stats so their workouts can reflect their performance.
Tailoring your own nutrition and fitness to your performance in practice is hard to do without using a lot of statistics and crunching the numbers. Type A players who are aware of every number in their lives, from their body fat percentage to their auto loan rates, might have an easier time than others who would rather focus on the physical aspects of the game. But regardless of preference, each player in the World Cup is guaranteed to have spent hours doing the math.
2. Fueling Correctly
Everyone knows that athletes eat a lot, because their energy expenditure is so high. But the needs of a professional in a FIFA league are more specific than those of your average varsity soccer player. In preparation for the World Cup, players will have to really double down on making sure their nutrition is in check and giving them exactly what they need to play optimally. It’s not just about calories or drinking a protein shake. Frequently players will need specific levels of macro and micronutrients, meaning they’ll need a diet tailored to their specific needs. They’ll work with a nutritionist to find out exactly what is missing and what could be replaced for more optimal nutrition.
One player might be told to focus on a high-protein diet with little to no fat, while another might be encouraged to consume more fat and avoid the carbs. Lots of nutrients from fruits and veggies will be necessary, as well. In addition, they’ll want to supplement with various vitamins to keep themselves as healthy as possible, and of course stay hydrated throughout the grueling and sweaty practices.
3. Pre-Game Preparation
When the players from FIFA leagues are gathered to prepare for games, they’re individually assessed for specific training programs leading up to the game. In these few final weeks, players might be assigned a rigorous training regimen if they’ve had an easier season and are out of shape. Other players who have been put through the wringer will be given more leisure time.
But this time isn’t meant to be spent lying on the sofa and catching up on T.V. Active recovery means the player will have to spend that free time doing light activities, such as an easy hike or bike ride, and getting lots of physical therapy or massages, depending on their needs. The goal is to have each player individually prepared for the World Cup in exactly the right way to optimize their performance. Pushing a tired player too far or allowing an untested player to slack off can result in serious injuries and suboptimal playing on the field.
Being a professional player comes with it perks, but as you can see, the World Cup is no walk in the park. Being a FIFA league player is truly a test of character and determination.