Thanks to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, many aspects of daily life have been complicated at best. Much of life has been put on hiatus, such as is the case with much of professional sports. FIFA has recently announced their plans for resuming the world’s favorite sport on the world stage, and that leaves out of practice soccer players looking for ways to get back into the game. Training needs to begin ASAP for FIFA athletes to be adequately prepared for their return. Here’s what you need to know.

Dietary Needs

Everyone knows the importance of a balanced diet, albeit in vague terms that aren’t often taken all that seriously. Athletes, on the other hand, need to clear not only this bar, but also a higher standard. This is because athletes need to accommodate for additional physical activity not only for the games themselves, but also throughout training. Primarily, you’ll need to consume plenty of carbs and protein for energy and muscle maintenance, respectively. These two nutrients form the foundation of a fitness diet.

However, simple, or processed, carbs like sugar can work against athletes by giving them a quick burst of energy followed by a crash, and this can result in weight gain, because there’s simply not enough time to use the energy consumed. Complex carbs from whole grains are your best bet for that reason. Protein has its own drawbacks. Many sources of protein, such as meat and dairy, are also high in fat, leading many athletes, and even many fitness minded civilians, to adopt protein supplements as an alternative. Protein isolate does what the name implies and provides athletes with protein with as much of the other nutrients removed as possible. When adopting a new supplement, be sure to look into Thrive side effects, for example, in order to determine that it’s safe before implementing it in your routine.

Fitness Needs

In much the same way that a soccer player’s diet needs to scale to their level of physical activity, an athlete’s workout regimen will need to not only meet the minimum requirements for a basic level of fitness, but also meet the specific requirements of their sport of choice. Soccer players primarily depend on leg strength, cardio, and stamina in particular. Soccer is also a contact sport, meaning that core strength is important for stability during player to player collisions. Training to meet these specific needs requires specific exercises. For instance, squats are a great way to train for leg strength, and deadlifting is great for leg and core strength. One of the best cardio exercises is swimming, and swimming also has full body benefits. However, another great cardio workout is running, which also contributes to leg strength and prepares soccer players for the game itself.

Strategic Needs

Being out of practice impacts not only the physical fitness of players, but also muscle memory and, perhaps even more importantly, strategic thinking. Getting back into the game means getting back into not only playing your best game of soccer, but also outplaying your opponents. FIFA athletes in particular have their work cut out for them, because they are, ostensibly, the best of the best, so the competition is steep. Practice plays an important role in developing your team’s strategies, but you also have to “know thy enemy” in order to get ahead. Consider watching the previous games of your competitors in order to determine their strategic style and their particular strengths and weaknesses. This can help you develop new counter strategies, increasing your odds of bringing home the W. This can be a time consuming process, but it’s well worth it when you’re competing to be a world champion.

It’s easy to see that the world has missed sporting events at large and, to no one’s surprise, FIFA most of all. The world’s favorite sport is making its own triumphant return, so it’s up to you and your team to do the same. These tips can help you get there.